Black Hawk Down DVD Review
PictureColumbia Tristar's DVD production team have outdone themselves here with a blisteringly sharp anamorphic 2.40:1 image that remains faultless throughout the film. Even when the action is at its most hectic and Scott is thrashing his camera around in all directions, the transfer never makes a single misstep, with edge-enhancement, artefacting and digital dot crawl all noticeably absent from the image.
SoundAs good as the picture quality is, it just can't hold a candle to the film's sensational Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix. During the fight scenes the mix manages to throw you right into the centre of the action, with bullets whizzing past your head and explosions making superb use of the LFE-channel. Even without the benefit of a DTS track, the incredible dynamics and perfect steering make this one of the finest audio mixes around at the moment.
ExtrasThis two-disc set includes filmographies, six Essence of Combat featurettes (devoted to the actors' bootcamp, location filming, scoring the film, visual effects, story and character development and final thoughts), eight deleted/alternate scenes with optional commentary, a Designing Mogadishu featurette, a production design archive, storyboards with optional commentary, Ridley Scott's own pre-production art with optional commentary, several photo galleries, explorations of the main title design with optional commentary, a DVD-ROM weblink and three feature-length audio commentaries. The first of these is provided by Ridley Scott and Jerry Bruckheimer, while the second features author Mark Bowden and screenwriter Ken Nowlan. However, it's the third commentary, featuring US Special Forces veterans Matt Eversman, Tom Matthews, Danny McKnight and Lee Van Arsdale that is the real star of the collection, giving a fascinating insight on the events portrayed in the film.
VerdictOK, the film isn't great, but as far as DVD packages go, it's hard to fault what Columbia has done with Black Hawk Down.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.99
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