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Blood Diamond (R)





Release Date: December 8th, 2006 by Warner Brothers Pictures.
The Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, Michael Sheen, Arnold Vosloo, Kagiso Kuypers, David Harewood.
Directed by Edward Zwick.

BASIC PREMISE: In Sierra Leone during the 1990ís, Danny (DiCaprio), a mercenary, and Solomon (Hounsou), a fisherman, set out on a dangerous journey to retrieve a precious diamond.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Blood Diamond has enough conflicts for three movies. Danny wants to find a precious pink diamond to smuggle through rebel territory and to become rich. Solomon has found and hidden the diamond, but a malicious rebel kidnaps his wife and son threatening to kill them. Then thereís Maddy (Connelly), an American reporter who follows Danny and Solomon to uncover and publicize the harsh truth behind the diamond industry in Sierra Leone. DicCarprio and Hounsou both give strong, convincing performances, but the script by Charles Leavitt turns the characters into one-dimensional stereotypes. The character of Maddy feels very underwritten and forgettable, especially during the contrived scenes when she briefly romances Danny. Director Edward Zwick tries to compensate for the weak, unfocused script through picturesque settings and a fitting musical score. Thereís nothing wrong with a film being so manipulative because every film manipulates to some degree, but, in this case, it doesnít help with anything. Zwick simply fails to add any much-needed authenticity which would have made this film much more powerful.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Contrived and unfocused.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 3

IN A NUTSHELL: Strong performances and picturesque settings donít make up for a contrived and unfocused plot.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD


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