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Sunday, June 16, 2002

What I don't like about war movies is that so many people die. You get to know and like the characters, and before the movie ends their heads are blown off, or their hands or something. I think that's what makes every really good war movie into a good antiwar movie. I guess. I can't say, because I don't watch many of them.

Anyway, Black Hawk Down is probably a really good movie, but I wouldn't know because I don't like war movies. I'm not sure how this one got to the top of my rental queue so quickly after it was released on video, but it's one of the few DVDs I got from Netflix that I watched only once.

The sound is great, and the action is intense. If you like great sound and intense action, this is your movie. It seemed a little relentless to me, as if every moment had to be filled with all that sound and action, and everything in the world that could possibly go wrong had to go wrong. If it weren't based on a true story, I'd have asked the writer to back off just a little on the sound and fury.

What Pearl Harbor had that so many people thought it shouldn't have, a human interest love story behind all the flying bodies and pyrotechnical magic, is one thing that would have made Black Hawk Down more palatable to me. But my palate is used to the blander stuff.

This isn't to take anything away from the precision-trained fighting men who had to carry out this fiasco of a raid on a building in downtown Mogadishu. It wasn't their fault that so many bad decisions were made and so many of them had to be killed. It isn't even the filmmakers' fault that all (but one) of the heroic American soldiers (many of them played by British actors) were white and all of the villains were black. But none of that made me like the film any more.

Maybe some day I'll watch it again and like it better. Maybe I should watch it backwards, so that everybody ends up alive when I'm finished. That's one DVD capability that I haven't tried yet. That could be the best way for me to watch war movies from now on.


The Sebastopol hills, seen from the middle of my driveway.

The title of this entry refers to the fact that this is quite possibly the worst movie review ever written, or at least the worst ever made available for public consumption. I can tell you that I disliked Riding in Cars With Boys just as much, if not more. More, because my expectations were higher. I really thought I'd like it — it's my kind of movie, supposedly — but it just lay there like a flounder on the dock. But I won't write a review of it, out of respect for all the effort that went into making it. I'm sure they were trying very hard.

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Latest recommendation:

C. Throckmorton, June 14, The Gospel According to Mom: 1934

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Diamonds and Bats
"I wondered why he didn't want the 'mementos' she was giving away, but as it turned out she was actually handing out small packages of Mentos."

Two years ago: Heading Home
"We enjoyed it, but it might have been better had we not been so cold and wet."

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