Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blood Diamond

by Brian
Saw Blood Diamond this afternoon, thought it was kinda stupid. It tries very hard to be a serious-minded movie, but it's too much of an action movie to have much impact on a political level. I'll give Zwick credit for bringing up an issue that no one really wants to think about, and at times being willing to deal with it in very brutal terms. However, I think stopping every 20 minutes to blow some shit up just for the hell of it really trivializes the issues at hand. Maybe that's just me.

And it's not even a very good action movie. It relies too much on lots of machine guns being fired and not hitting anyone, and it's the type of movie where the action scenes always start just as an important conversation is ending. It's like a Michael Bay made the thing.

As for the acting, I can somewhat respect what Leo does here, but really his character is too ridiculous to be believed. It's like he's part Rambo, part James Bond, and part Rick Blaine. It's a testament to his ability he's as credible as he is, but there's only so much he can do.

Jennifer Connelly is close behind. Again, she's not bad, but she's stuck playing off of two female character cliches: the tough-as-nails professional and the girl who swoons for the badass. Djimon Hounsou comes across best, but late in the movie his character goes into Complete Idiot Mode, and it really makes him hard to root for.

By the end, I was actually laughing at it. I don't want to spoil anything - so if you're worried skip the rest of this paragraph - but during the last scene of the movie, the ending of Michel Gondry's Human Nature came to mind. "Would you testify to Congress?" "OK, if you think it would help." Funny stuff.

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Blogger Nick said...

That sounds bad enough that I actually might have to see it in a cinema.

Ah, yes, didn't quite get the hang around that one, did ye? Well, my mind, it's sneaky.

12/11/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Me again.
I actually liked this movie, not that any of you complete strangers care. =)
To give it some credit, this is actually based on a true story, and it sticks to the facts rather well.
I am not a Leonardo DiCaprio fan, although I thought he was great in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," I can never take him seriously as someone gruff, all I see is Jack from Titanic over and over again. His accent was surprisingly good though, and I found him believable. Of course, I may just be a silly girl who falls for the bad boys. :p

12/22/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

FYI: We are all complete strangers.
Unless jaydro was really holding an elsewhere party in puerto rico and flew slim, wagstaff, lesterg, brian, nic and the rest out there. You did, didn't you?!?!?! I knew there was an anti west coast bias on this blog!
This was because I liked Spanglish...wasn't it Brian???

12/22/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Hmm...I guess I can spill now.

While your theory is certainly plausible, Count, you're way off. You see, the convention was actually back in September. And it wasn't in Puerto Rico, but rather in the small town of Clayton, NM, where one can see for miles around and thus one of us could always stand guard and watch, meerkat-style, for approaching authorities. Also, we invented the "Gone Elsewhere" secret handshake and gang signs. Nick made some genuine Swedish pancakes, with fresh lingonberry jam that he thoughtfully smuggled into the US. It was fun.

And no, it wasn't because you liked Pay It Forward, although now that you've reminded me of that, it probably will be the reason next year. It's just that we're all liberals (albeit to various degrees), and we couldn't have you messing up our plans to convert everyone to Islam and force everyone to be gay married. Seemingly contradictory goals, I know.

Also, more lingonberries for me if you weren't there.

12/22/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Oops, I mean Spanglish, not Pay It Forward, of course. Hope you didn't like that one, too.

12/22/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

And Amanda, you're quite welcome here.

I think I've moved past Jack from Titanic. DiCaprio has grown a lot as an actor since then, and I think he's convincing in a much wider range of roles than he used to be.

But I also think that this is a role that would make anyone look a little foolish. It's way too much of a fantasy movie-star role, and because it's set against terrible real-world consequences, the fantasy elements seem really glaring and awkward.

Agreed on the accent, though. I was genuinely impressed by that.

12/22/2006 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

You left out your war on Christmas!!!

I'll just have to use my voice for good: 5 more Heroes reviews!!!!

12/22/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

You left out your war on Christmas!!!

Aaarrgghh! That's exactly what I mean - you weren't even there, and you're still blowing it for us.

12/22/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Count, if I flew anyone here anywhere, I would fly you to the NC mountains to see the locations used in The Last of the Mohicans.

Anyway, I have problems with DiCaprio, too. I thought he was pretty convincing in The Aviator despite his lack of Hughes's lankiness. He was good in Catch Me If You Can because he was playing a kid, though it turns out that the real guy looked more grown-up than he did. He always seems a little too boyish to me, though what I've seen of Blood Diamond had me thinking of Errol Flynn--or is it Billy Zane? ;-)

12/22/2006 10:45:00 PM  

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