Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Guilt Trips and Gold Teeth.

Blood Diamond
2006, USA
Edward Zwick
35mm


Remind me never to go to Africa. Not that my going was ever a particular danger, since I enjoy visiting areas where the culinary specialties run a bit more exotic than dirt and grubs, but now I'm especially sure. When I go on vacation, I like to keep all my limbs attached to the trunk of my body, as opposed to twitching in the iron rich dust like maggots in bone meal. The whole point of this movie, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a Rhodesian diamond smuggler/mercenary, Djimon Honsou as a fisherman with a hidden gem, and Jennifer Connelly as Lois Lane, seems to be to make me feel guilty for buying conflict diamonds. Well, it's not going to fly. Sure, the trade results in the deaths of thousands in slave camps, civil war, and general strife, but it does also results in cheap diamonds. And ultimately, when I'm spelling my own name on my platinum fronts, I try to be cost effective, in order to still have money for spinning hubcaps, fur coats, and various other gaudy accoutrements better suited for a Valley Girl Barbie than a grown man. It's all about value, and since I would normally pay extra for merchandise someone has died over, like my Bonnie and Clyde death car and Anne Frank oven knob, those blood diamonds are a real steal. Plus, I wouldn't want the Chinese pre-teen ghosts who haunt my Nike Air Force Ones to feel lonely. I also have a belt buckle that speaks in tongues, and a dress that's possessed by the spirits of three plus-sized prostitutes and a senator's daughter.




That's how I roll. Like an idiot.



But that's beside the point. I don't know why I should feel guilty about this mass genocide supporting my swap meet jewelry. After all, it's just Africa. Sure, the continent is the cradle of civilization. But, it's also the cradle of HIV and those annoying Christian buy-a-black-baby commercials. In fact, that's what these movie is, one of those stupid infomercials with the kids with swollen stomachs and crusted eyelids covered in insects while a white guy in a beard and a C level soap opera star try to extort money out of teary-eyed viewers. In Blood Diamond, the bearded white guy is played by Jennifer Connelly, as the moral center of the film. She does this completely oblivious to the fact that portraying a white American as the moral center in Africa is like, well, portraying a white American as the moral center of anything. Americans like to think of themselves as John Wayne's, tough-but-fair, violent-but-just vigilantes who do the right thing no matter what, when in reality they're just that Jared guy from the Subway ads pre-diet: fat, retarded children who consume all they encounter in a cocoon of oblivious entitlement. They couldn't form the moral center of a Twinkie, let alone a continent.

And this reference to deliciously sickly sweetness is no accident. While most of Blood Diamond is a realistic, gripping, and violent exploration of a country tearing itself and its people to pieces, it's peppered with saccharine, cheaply melodramatic scenes that stick out and distract from all the machete hacking and gunshot wounds. It's a shame really, that the pockets of histrionic emotion spoil the film, like cooking clam chowder with icing sugar instead of flour, because Leonardo DiCaprio is great in it. One of the few instances in which he seems like a character instead of a Tiger Beat cover, DiCaprio's Danny Archer is amoral but intensely likeable, evil but entertaining, Dennis the Menace with a Mauser instead of a slingshot. As awful as he his, he’s the real draw of the film. They should have made his character the American.

Underage? Read a PG-13 review at The Comic Book Bin. Then come over to my house and let me watch you touch yourself. Girls and effeminate boys only need apply.

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18 Comments:

Blogger batturtle said...

Yeah...but remember the part where the dinosaur soldiers chased Leo and Amistad and Lois Lane? That part was the awesomest.

12:15 a.m.  
Anonymous Mr Segue said...

I still dont understand the scene with the Illuminati and that big electronic thing. The whole concept of time travel in a film about Africa is confusing. WTF was the FBI doing going back in time for diamonds for???

And dont even START me on Jah Jah Binks. Inearly turned this movie off.

12:39 a.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

...peppered with saccharine, cheaply melodramatic scenes that stick out and distract from all the machete hacking and gunshot wounds.

Throw in some whining about the lack of bandwidth and air-conditioning on this continent, and you've pretty much nailed my typical day. Now, somebody give me a Green Card.

8:36 a.m.  
Anonymous i hate movies said...

You must be slinging a lot of cane to be able to afford conflict diamond grills.

9:10 a.m.  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

So this is a bad movie that DiCaprio is good in rather than the usual good movie that he sucks in?
Odd.

Zilla, you don't need a green car, just marry me already. After 6 months we'll both tire of the sex and you can divorce me. It won't be the first time.

10:40 a.m.  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

Green CARD. Well, you don't need a green car either.

10:41 a.m.  
Blogger Sam Kahn said...

I really hated this movie. You pretty much nailed it with the stuff about Connelly and saccharine melodrama.

Zwick needs to stop making movies.mo

1:31 a.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

I'd rather have a green car.

3:17 a.m.  
Anonymous Rin said...

I'd rather have my own personal Green Mile.

3:19 a.m.  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

ouch.

10:27 a.m.  
Anonymous Frodish said...

"That's how I roll. Like an idiot," is my new personal credo, replacing a quote from Pinhead, "I am so exquisitely empty", and before that "There is no better way to tame a woman than with your giant whirring metal cock". Thanks.

12:36 p.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

If it makes you feel better, Jerk - that was the best offer I've had this week.

Still, I'd rather have a green car.

3:03 a.m.  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

Maybe if you smiled more Zilla......and put the gun down, you'd get more/better offers.

10:06 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Also, learn how to say "zebra" correctly. That's usually a deal-breaker.

11:26 a.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

Jerk, people usually won't speak to me unless I'm pointing a gun at them.

Ash, I do say "zebra" correctly.

Now run along to your basement and practise saying "banana" until you get it right.

8:10 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

I DON'T LIVE IN A BASEMENT.

11:17 a.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

Gotcha. *Wink.*

Run along to your SUBTERRANEAN PENTHOUSE WITHOUT ANY WINDOWS and practise saying "banana" until you get it right.

12:35 p.m.  
Blogger Atmosfootwear said...

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4:46 p.m.  

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