Okay, my faithful readers, I will not retell my favorate scene from Commando which is funning through my head as I write this for you. I have written about this moment before, so I will spare you the long description of the scene. I will share this clip:
When Blackhawk Down came out I wanted to see it. I was going to see it with a freind who's boyfreind was in the Marine reserves and was called to South Caralina. We were looking to see a movie together. She said she couldn't watch it. I love Ridley Scott. We didn't watch it.
In hindsight I am glad I missed it. Scott is a visionary director. Alien, Blade Runner, and Legend are some of my favoraite films. (Yes I said Legeand. If you haven't seen it, Tom Cruise runs around with no pants on for the entire film. Even when he found the magical armor, THERE ARE NO PANTS!) Ridley Scott can make a film that are instant classics. Not to say all of his films are that good. I mean Legend has Tom Cruse with no pants trying to save his the Unicorn while follow fairies and fighting the most amazingly evil villian with a greater entrance then Darth Vader in Star Wars. Sadly I can't find that online, but here is a great momement of Tim Curry as Darkness.
Black Hawk Down is the beginning of of the downslide of Ridley Scott as an artist. To get acsess to the equipment to make the film he was forced to change the ending of the film. 19 US Solgers died and 73 were injured. One american sodlger was held captive for 11 days. They were trapped in unbelivable sercomstances and killed hundreds if not thousdands (Depending on the report) armed millitants. The men who fought in this battle did so bravely and it's only a mircle the causlties were so little. It is the type of event you should make a movie about. Especually as George W. Bush was ramping up his war in Afganistan.
Where as any historian worth his salt who look at the First Battle of Mogadishu knows that there were inportaint lessions for Afganistan and Iraq. Sadly, we had more disasterous results. Most of the time one of our helecopters get shot down, everyone dies. What was different about this case and the others? I don't know, but this is a question we should be asking. As a filmmaker who has a movie which comes out as we were about to go off to war, Ridley Scott did us a diservise and made a peice of propiganda which kept the American people ignorant of the realities of war.
To be fair, the great Samuel Fuller said in The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera (And forgive me, I can't find the exact quote) "When I make a movie I lie. When someone dies they just fall down. In war it is not like that." I understand as telling a dromatic story there are parts where you must lie, but to save everyone and not have the villians drag your men naked through the street does everyone a disservice. Sam Fuller was never an artist in the way Ridly Scott is, however, he faught in a war and understood the power of making a great war film is to make it an anti-war film. Even if you are fighting what is suspected to be Al Qeda forces in Scott's case or Nazi's in Fuller's.
(If you want to see a clip of the Sam Fuller documentry, here is a clip. It was made right before Fuller passed away. It is a fantastic movie, in writing this I want to see it again.)