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Blood Diamond (Widescreen Edition) (2006)

Art House & International movie directed by Edward Zwick

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Your Diamond or Your Life

  • Feb 6, 2007
`Blood Diamond' is an excellent adventure. Skillfully intersecting the lives of three key figures, we get more than a soap box lecture from the liberal left. Hardly preachy, the movie has natural developments and dialogue that are organic to the story and its delivery. Some of the heart-stopping violence and the tender timeouts are testaments to fine timing and storytelling. Meaningful throughout, we witness how greed and violence scar the lives and landscape of developing Africa. However, the film would be a worthy experience even if it didn't have a message.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays a jaundiced diamond bounty hunter, Danny Archer, mentored by the military prowess of a commanding colonel since his late teens. Despite the fact that his longevity should earn him fringe benefits, he gets an assignment meant to patch up a recently botched effort. To get what he wants, he crosses the path of refugee, Solomon Venge (Djimon Hounsou), who is trying to reunite his family after sectarian violence has split them apart. Solomon has found and hidden a huge rough diamond in the middle of his forced labor at a rebel camp, which Archer could use as the payback acquisition. In the middle is liberal reporter, Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connolly), who wants to make a difference in the region more than win a Pulizer Prize. Archer meets her and finds she can assist him with reuniting Solomon's family. For her part, she needs the inside scoop of the black market diamond trade. She knows about greedy agents, like Archer, are trading arms for diamonds to fund the rebels' side of the civil war, but she needs proof. It's a complex, yet captivating trade. In between these developments, we see Solomon's own son being indoctrinated and taught (among many) to fight with submachine guns for the rebel forces.

`Blood Diamond' may not always surprise, but it is filled with riveting adventure and harrowing battle scenes. Urgent situations, anguishing details, and a connected plot construct a solid movie experience. Pointedly, the film is meaningful. The movie makes expert connections from the battles to the diamond trade to the jewelry store. It also aligns the characters well. In one emotional scene Archer and Bowen talk about his past, and we discover that he was made an orphan at an early age after civil war atrocities killed his parents. Sometimes a few coincidences play too neatly into the hand of circumstance, but the exploitation and compelling chase scenes are presented genuinely enough. DiCaprio's worthy Oscar nomination and fine supporting performances add to the cohesive story. Even some of the cinematography is breathtaking enough to keep from taking the Third World for granted. More than `Rambo' for liberals, `Blood Diamond' is a thoughtful and well-crafted movie experience with an important story to tell.

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More Blood Diamond (2006) reviews
review by . March 24, 2010
Blood Diamond is one of those "Public Awareness" films that accomplishes its goal without relying on much preaching. In a way you could easily classify Blood Diamond as being a Hotel Rwanda film for audience members who aren't in the mood for pure drama. So instead the issues are mixed into a classy, well thought out action thriller. More recently we saw this concept used well in District 9, which addressed the issue of racism, slums, and xenophobia in South Africa. This contemporary method of informing …
review by . December 15, 2009
Decent plot, good cast, good watch, but fades afterwards. Like many movies these days. Recommended for any Leo fans and a decent watch all in all, just not the best.
review by . June 11, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Very compelling and well acted film showing all the corruption and suffering that go into producing the world's diamond supply. Leonardo DiCaprio was excellent as a corrupt adventurer who seeks out diamonds for some shady London businessmen. He comes across a man in prison who claims to have found a huge diamond. DiCaprio strikes a deal with him to help him locate his family if he will lead DiCaprio to the diamond.    Loaded with action and some "disturbing" violence. The only …
review by . April 11, 2007
I've made a point of passing by any movie with meaningless violence. The kind that is all about sensationalism, or worse, a more degrading kind of titillation for those who get off on scenes of women being objectified and thrashed to a bloody pulp. All too many of those on screen today. More on that topic elsewhere.     But I sat down for this movie, as filled with heartrending violence as it is. The difference? This violence has meaning. It is historically accurate, and this …
review by . March 30, 2007
Blood Diamond was a film that I didn't really want to see but I wanted to see. I didn't want to see it because the things I was told about it didn't really make me too happy. Blood diamonds or conflict diamonds are diamonds mined in war zones and sold to finance the conflicts. I remember as a child my mom would tell me that there're places in Africa where you could walk down the roads and find diamonds and jewels in the ground. Of course I didn't totally believe her then cause I was like 6 but after …
review by . March 26, 2007
A rare and sizable diamond is found by a worker in a warlord's diamond mine. This adds even more turbulence to an already volatile situation as different forces attempt to seize the 'blood diamond.'    In a certain sense I found this film to comparable to 'Babel' - it tells s story that reveals an uncomfortable truth about our world, but remains grounded and personal with its perspective. Focusing of a few principle characters - with each actor/actress giving a solid performance …
review by . March 23, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Edward Zwick delivers the goods with BLOOD DIAMOND, a tense and very compelling film about the greed and bloodshed that surround the diamond industry of Sierra Leone. Though a bit too long at two and a half hours the story is not only a dramatically viable one for a film, but it also has much to say about human interaction and the sanctity of friendship.    Solomon Bo (Djimon Hounsou) is a fisherman who becomes indentured to the evil men who search for diamonds after being separated …
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #37
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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Leonardo DiCaprio puts a handsome face on an ugly industry: In parts of Africa, diamond mining fuels civil warfare, killing thousands of innocents and drafting preteen children as vicious soldiers. DiCaprio (The Departed) plays Danny Archer, a white African soldier-turned-diamond-smuggler who gets wind of a large raw jewel found by Solomon Vandy, a native fisherman (Djimon Hounsou,In America) recently escaped from enslavement by a brutal rebel leader. Archer offers a deal: He'll help Vandy find his war-scattered family if Vandy will share the diamond with him. Drawn into this web of exploitation is journalist Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly,Little Children), who agrees to help if Archer will tell her the details of how conflict diamonds make their way into the hands of the corporations who sell them to the Western world. DiCaprio is compelling because he never flinches from Archer's utter ruthlessness; Archer ends up doing the morally justifiable thing, but only because his desperate greed has led him to it. Hounsou and Connelly, though saddled with all the moral and political speeches, rise above the cant and keep the movie's treacherously formulaic plot rooted in human characters. But in the end, the story won't stick with you as much as the dead stillness in the child soldiers' eyes; the horror of African civil strife refuses to be contained byBlood Diamond's uplifting message--and the movie is all the more potent as a result.--Bret Fetzer
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Director: Edward Zwick
Genre: Foreign
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2007
Runtime: 143 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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"Your Diamond or Your Life"
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