Posted by: nhfalcon | June 6, 2007

A Couple of Movie Things

1) Another great quote: “I’m not a spy. I’m nothing. I’m navel lint!”

What movie is that from?

2) I finally watched Black Hawk Down all the way through yesterday. I know, I know – the movie came out in theaters in 2001. I’ve had the DVD for a couple of years now, but for whatever reason I’ve never been able to sit down and watch it all the way through. Stuff just kept coming up (that happens a lot when you have a kid, I’ve noticed 🙂 ).

Anyway, I didn’t have to be to work until later in the day yesterday, so after dropping off Little Man at his daycare, I popped  BHD in the PS2 and watched it all the way through.

WOW!!!

This film is intense! I haven’t watched a movie like that since Saving Private Ryan. The acting is great (you’ll be amazed at how many faces you recognize in this movie, even though none of them is a megastar), the effects, sound and visuals are stunning, and the pace is relentless. Your emotions are constantly yanked around as the film progresses, and you’re left doing a lot of thinking when it’s over.

For those of you who don’t know, the movie is based on the book of the same name written by Mark Bowden in 1999. The book details what has become known as The First Battle of Mogadishu, which took place in October of 1993 between American special forces and Somali guerillas. What was supposed to be a quick, less-than-one-hour operation to kidnap two high-ranking aides to warlord General Mohamed Farrah Aidid turned into a raging firefight that lasted almost a full day and killed 18 Americans and possibly over 1,000 Somalis.

Tactically, the mission was a success. The targets were captured and the American forces inflicted casualties far out of proportion to their own. Strategically, however, it was a failure, as the losses of American troops and equipment and the sight of American corpses being dragged through the streets after the battle caused President Clinton to withdraw U. S. forces from the region.

Ironically, I had just finished reading a book called The Killer Elite by Michael Smith that details the history of the Intelligence Support Activity, an ultrasecret American special operations team that was a vital part of the hunt for Aidid and his top aides (among many other missions). I had also read Bowden’s book quite some time ago (and have started reading it again – I highly recommend it).

Bottom line? After watching this movie and reading these books, I will never question the training and the determination of our country’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. What I will question is our country’s leaders’ balls and intelligence. I’ll question their intelligence because they seem to constantly misunderstand the situation in the countries that they send our troops into (Vietnam, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq), and I’ll question their balls because they seem to constantly be afraid to do what needs to be done to achieve their stated objectives (see the countries I listed earlier).

Sorry to get off on the political rant there for a second, but I felt those sentiments needed to be said.

Back to the original point – if you haven’t seen Black Hawk Down, watch it!

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Responses

  1. I started reading Black Hawk Down while I was working as an intern, but I never finished it. I also started watching the film, but I never got all the way through it, mostly because I was scared. I know how it ends, and I didn’t feel, at the time, that I had the emotional reserves to see that. Maybe I’ll borrow it from you some time.

  2. Could always be a movie night with the spouses and Bowyer sometime.

  3. I am not squeamish about stuff like that in movies and I will tell you, Chili, that it’s pretty harsh. In a similar way to the first and last half hours of Saving Private Ryan (Falcon, those 2 half hour segments were amazing, the rest of the movie? Eh.). However, it’s a fascinating movie and and important one. I’d love to borrow the book from you sometime if I may.

  4. I’d be happy to loan you the book when I’m finished, Kizz. I’m about two-thirds of the way through it at the moment. I’ll let you know through Mrs. C. asap.

  5. I watched “Blackhawk Down.”

    I’m so nuts that what has stuck with me since is the portrayal of the Delta Force guys with their roller bladingX-games helmets (that’s what they looked like to me) and their selection of weapons. I wonder if there was any truth in that, or the movie makers just wanted us to be aware of their somehow separate status?

    I always wish war movies would/could make the fighting scenes so horrific that they make the average person want to vomit and go home to mommy. War is not glorious, scenic, or in any other way uplifting, it is the worst of us as humans, and should never appear to be anything better.

    Those helmets! They were so cute.

  6. The depiction of the Delta operators was accurate. They really do wear those helmets on missions, and they have access to pretty much any weapons they want.

    I believe the helmets are actually hockey helmets. They’re worn instead of standard U. S. Army issue helmets because of their lack of weight and bulk. The success of Delta missions are predicated on (among other things) speed, mobility, and the ability to move in tight spaces, something standard issue helmets wouldn’t allow.

  7. So do the hockey helmets provide any actual protection to the noggin? (In combat, that is, not hockey).

  8. Not against bullets, no, but Delta operators are willing to make that sacrifice for the sake of speed and agility. The hockey helmets are worn more for protection against random knocks and dings while running around in urban environments.

  9. Hello all,

    Just a quick question, found this page on a quick google search – I am looking to buy one of said helmets, do you have any idea on make/model used?

    Many thanks,

  10. That’s a good question, Pete. I don’t really know. As I mentioned above, I think they’re a type of hockey helmet, so you might want to try sporting goods stores. Given that they’re in use by spec ops units like Delta and SEAL Six, you might also want to try military surplus shops. According to one book I have about Delta, the helmets are made by a company called Pro-Tec.

  11. […] began with this post of mine. That, in turn, led to this post by Kizz. As I read Kizz’s side of things, lots […]


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