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9 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an Incredible Movie!, April 30 2007
By 
D. Landry (Ottawa) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blood Diamond (Full Screen) (DVD)
When I rented this movie, I wasn't sure I would like it or not. But wow! Was I ever glad I did, it was incredibly good! So good that I bought the original movie to add to my collection.

This movie has a great deal of violence but realistic and not too much that you can't bear watching. The constant action is what keeps your interest from start to finish. It tells the facts about the conflict of diamonds quickly and accurately. DiCaprio's performance is impressive, certainly the best by him I've ever seen. Djiman Housou has an enormous physical presence as the brave Mende fisherman who suffers the separation of his family due to civil war raging around him. Excellent performances all around.

You will go through a lot of emotions while viewing this movie which makes it that much more good to watch. Obviously, it is not a movie for the whole family due to the content and violence, but an excellent one for any adult that wants to view a great story with compelling characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Brilliant!, April 3 2007
Following a white mercenary's search for a diamond, a fisherman's search for his family, and a journalist's search for a story, in war torn Sierra Leone, Blood Diamond is not your typical action/adventure movie. Usually the movies of this genre provide fairly easy going humor, action and suspense (or at least the ones I've watched). Blood Diamond is different on a number of levels. And it's a good kind of different.

First off is Leonardo DiCaprio. He plays so strongly in this film that he almost matches his performance as an undercover officer in The Departed. His character, Danny Archer, is a veteran diamond smuggler and soldier of fortune who is currently working his trade out of Sierra Leone. DiCaprio pulls off his character's Afrikaner accent, smuggler wits and cynic outlook on life with exceptional skill. Djimon Hounsou also plays well as the overwrought fisherman, Solomon Vandy, who helps Archer find his diamond. Usually in adventure movies acting is not top notch but in Blood Diamond it is.

Another thing that is different is it's harshness. Movies of the genre usually have some blood but aren't too brutal. Blood Diamond has quite a bit of gore and brutality in it. There are several massacres that happen over the course of the movie and Blood Diamond has no problem showing them in fairly graphic detail. It's not that bad but compared to adventure movies it's a little more graphic than most.

The brutality however is there for good reason. It advances the most important part of the film: it's social commentary. Obviously with a name like Blood Diamond the movie deals heavily with the atrocities committed over the diamond trade, and the shady back room deals in how these conflict diamonds reach consumers in the developed world. It was obvious why diamond companies were making some noise over the release of the movie.

But Blood Diamond takes it one step further and comments on all of Africa. It touches on Western apathy, child soldiers, civil war, mercenaries, massacres, and the plain harshness that occurs in Africa on a daily basis. As Danny Archer says: "T.I.A. (This Is Africa)" and director Edward Zwick excellently packages the horrors of Africa and puts it into an exciting movie that will hopefully force Western audiences to think about Africa and how to help.

This is an adventure movie that is a cut above the rest of its genre, in both its content and it's commentary. Although it's not a classic (like Indiana Jones for example) it is still extremely powerful. 4.5 diamonds out of five.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great suspense movie., April 16 2014
By 
Tim R. Luker (Windsor Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: NEW Blood Diamond (DVD) (DVD)
This is a great movie that will keep you riveted to your seat. One of those movies you can watch over and over and you still enjoy every minute.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good., Sept. 23 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blood Diamond [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I purchased this movie not knowing what to expect as Decaprio had never convinced me he had much depth as an actor. But I was pleasantly surprised by his performance in this film. The storyline is good and compelling. All in all, a very interesting and thought-provoking movie depicting the dirty reallities of the diamond trade.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has my jeweller seen this?, Dec 10 2007
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blood Diamond (Full Screen) (DVD)
Whatever one may have thought about Leonardo DiCaprio prior to this film, it must be revised after seeing it. If you liked his work before, this performance will elevate him further in your esteem. If you had doubts about his abilities - as this reviewer did - "Blood Diamond" will dispel them. The story of a civil war in the manufactured African nation of Sierra Leone, the film is nearly an art form of modern power struggles. Violence is endemic, with meaningless killings, abduction of children to become soldiers and the waning light of justice in a world of social disruption.

DiCaprio, in the character of Danny Archer, for all the strength of his depiction as a trader, remains a middle level figure in the sweeping picture of the diamond trade. Rebel armies have become mining managers as well as guerrilla fighters. Villages are raided for workers and soldiers, leading to fisherman Solomon Vandy [Djimon Housou] being taken for the one and his son Dia for the other. It's hard to know which scenes are more wrenching, the harsh discipline of the mining or the terror conditioning of the boy soldiers. Solomon is revealed as having found a priceless diamond while he and Archer happen to be in the same gaol. Archer sees an opportunity and takes up with Solomon, who is seeking his lost son.

The interaction between the two men, with its added fillip of the white's dependency on the African, is almost serpentine. We never really learn if Solomon expects to trade the diamond for his son, or use it to reunite and enrich his entire family. Archer, under the tutelage of a mercenary colonel [with which Africa seems surfeited], must maintain a precarious balance. That delicate role is complicated further when he meets a journalist with a sense of mission. Watching this film the second time with Zwick's commentary on how Jennifer Connelly built the role of Maddy Bowen from accounts of women journalists in war zones is more than just informative. It gives vivid credence to the wonderful scene where Bowen "disarms" a group of threatening rebels with her camera.

To reach that point, Zwick and his production team have produced a stunning array of images. From the grandeur of African landscapes in Mozambique, South Africa, Sierra Leone to the intimate close-ups of both major and minor characters, this film is exemplary cinematic drama. Zwick's description of what had to be done to keep the film's impact strong without harm coming to the participants is enlightening. That Housou and DiCaprio insisted on doing many action shots on their own instead of using stuntmen must have aged the director measureably. What some of the battle scenes might have done to the extras, who were acting novices, is beyond description. Zwick's selection of a 12-year-old music and drama student to play the child soldier is indicative.

The denouement of this film is very nearly "Hollywood pap", but not quite. The fate of Solomon and Dia, of Danny Archer, but mostly that of the diamond, are suffused with ironies. While Zwick may not deserve credit for instigating changes in the diamond industry, the efforts of people such as Connelly portrayed most certainly do. It's encouraging that a film such as this could come out of Hollywood instead of a European studio. Hollywood may be shedding its fear of reality. One can only hope that audiences can cope with it as well. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an Incredible Movie!, May 1 2007
By 
D. Landry (Ottawa) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
When I rented this movie, I wasn't sure I would like it or not. But wow! Was I ever glad I did, it was incredibly good! So good that I bought the original movie to add to my collection.

This movie has a great deal of violence but realistic and not too much that you can't bear watching. The constant action is what keeps your interest from start to finish. It tells the facts about the conflict of diamonds quickly and accurately. DiCaprio's performance is impressive, certainly the best by him I've ever seen. Djiman Housou has an enormous physical presence as the brave Mende fisherman who suffers the separation of his family due to civil war raging around him. Excellent performances all around.

You will go through a lot of emotions while viewing this movie which makes it that much more good to watch. Obviously, it is not a movie for the whole family due to the content and violence, but an excellent one for any adult that wants to view a great story with compelling characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A jem of a movie, Oct. 31 2007
By 
Joseph Kayne (Victoria, B.C. Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blood Diamond [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
Not usually my type of movie, this one impressed me. I don't as a rule go for the big message heavy flic. I was concerned this movie would do what most OSCAR(tm) movies do, and go for the depressing ending that makes you feel like crap for being human. "Blood Diamond" does not fall into this trap.

The movie is devastating in it's depiction of the hardships of the African people. It makes it real with astonishing performances, and brilliant direction. The scenes of war, strife and turmoil will shake you to the bone. Yet, the overall movie and it's inevitable ending remains hopeful, and makes the viewer feel like they can make a difference.

The High Definition transfer here is a little soft, and some scenes have an overall red tinted hue. I'm not sure if this was choice of the director, or a sub-par video encode, but for this reason "Blood Diamond" loses one star.

The sound is lively and urgent. Despite being subtitled to help with various tribal accents, the sound remained easy to understand even without them, due to the clean and tight audio. The action sequences are where the sound really comes alive. The sound alone is a terrific reason to recommend this title.

The special features are plentiful and informative. This title makes wonderful use of the In-Movie Experience that has become HD's signature. Online content is also choc full, taking this movie to a whole new level.

I recommend "Blood Diamond" and encourage those who are hesitant to give it a watch. You wont be disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fast paced and exciting,but touching and heart breaking (4.3/5), Sept. 4 2007
By 
falcon "disdressed12" (canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
i really liked this movie.it''s faced paced and exciting.it's also very
touching and heartbreaking.it concerns Sierra Leone in 1999 and the
bloody civil war,and the illegal conflict diamond trade by big
jewelery companies.the movie contains lots of violence.many innocent
people are killed.if you are squeamish about violence,you might want
to steer away from this one.it is not a documentary,so i'm sure a lot
of liberty was taken for dramatic purposes.as far as i know,the part
about the civil war and the conflict diamond trade are fairly
accurate.Leonardo DiCaprio turns in another great performance.he's
turned into quite an actor.as a matter of fact,i liked him better in
this movie,than "The Departed".Jennifer Connelly is good in her
role,although i wish she had been given more to work with.but the real
standout in this movie is Djimon Hounsou(The Island,Constantine)as the
anguished father looking for his family.i thought his performance was
brilliant.i also liked the views of the landscape.overall,a very good
movie,though not easy to watch.i give "Blood Diamond" an 4.3/5
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4.0 out of 5 stars TIA..., Aug. 5 2007
By 
1990s. Sierra Leone. Civil War. Solomon Vandy (Hounsou) is taken away from his family to work in the diamond fields. Diamond smuggler Danny Archer (DiCaprio) ends up in prison where he overhears that Solomon has found a rare diamond and hidden it. Their quest for this diamond will bring them together. With the help of American journalist Maddy (Connelly), the two men will try to save Solomon's family.

---Having lived in Africa myself, I can tell you that most of what you see in the film is true - unfortunately. Indeed, TIA... This Is Africa.---

Wonderful script, decent acting from everyone - finally DiCaprio has a respectable role, and is actually good! -, great cinematography, my hats off to the scouting location manager.
The violence shown is rather evocative, and necessary to depict the country's situation.
Unfortunately I found the ending quite predictable.

Still a very good film that I recommend to everyone.
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Blood Diamond [Blu-ray]
Blood Diamond [Blu-ray] by Edward Zwick (Blu-ray - 2007)
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