©2008 Big Empire Industries and Randy Shandis Enterprises
Every right imaginable is reserved.


This week:
Blood Diamond

Filthy says:
"Shut the fuck up!"

One thing's for damn sure about Blood Diamond: the people who made it drive Toyota Priuses. This interminable pile of horseshit is just as conspicuous a message to everyone who sees it that the people behind the wheel REALLY, REALLY CARE. Never mind the insane amounts of energy and pollution wasted in making a new a car, and that that may actually be better helping the world by simply maintaining and driving older cars for longer. Because, if you do that, people can't see how much you really, fucking care. And that's a buttload more important than actually caring.

Blood Diamonds is not entertaining. It doesn't even try. It's just some asshole (Director Edward Zick) using the Hollywood machine and pseudo-consciences that pop up in the Grassfuckers during Oscar season to broadcast to us unwashed masses how much he fucking cares about poor people halfway around the world. I didn't get any sense that he really does care, just that he wants us to know.

Leonardo diCaprio plays a weapons dealer who trades with Sierra Leone rebels for diamonds that they collect illegally and brutally. How brutally? Think "Foxy Boxing" night at a halfway house. Actually, he's an active weapons dealer for about three minutes, then he spends the rest of the movie as a fucking tool, exploited by Ed Zwick to make a point that was never in doubt, but that somehow makes him feel better for saying.

He learns of a man (Djimon Honsou) who discovered and hid a giant diamond while enslaved by the rebels. Honsou is willing to trade the diamond to be reunited with his family: a son taken by the rebels and a wife and two daughters in a refugee camp. He also meets an American who represents everything smug and unpleasant about telling others about your high morals and superiority. That is a reporter played by Jennifer Connelly. Never does a hot woman look less hot than when she is spouting statistics off that annoying page of self-righteous horseshit that Harper's puts into every issue. She has no personality beyond spouting things that Ed Zwick really thinks he needs to tell us.

For no apparent reason--and ignoring all her own high-minded principals--Connelly falls for diCaprio's amoral weapons dealer who is aiding and abetting the civil war bloodshed she claims to despise. They go with Honsou on half a quest for the diamond. Then diCaprio and Honsou dump the broad and go dig up the diamond. A shitload of fighting ensues along the way with virtually every fucking person near diCaprio, Connelly or Honsou dying in a hail of bullets. But they never get hit. I mean, we're talking more bullets than on New Year's Eve in Alabama, and yet they are the only people who keep surviving.

Ultimately, Honsou does recover his diamond, diCaprio grows a conscience right on schedule, and just before dying from that last and perfectly scheduled bullet. As he lays dying on a Liberian mountainside, he calls Connelly and makes one last "heavy breather". It's so fucking romantic I thought my nuts would explode.

But Honsou isn't done being exploited. First it was by the rebels. Now it's by do-gooder Connelly who documents his selling of the "blood diamond" for her magazine article. Sure she gets fame, but more importantly, she can feed her insatiable need to be a smug self-righteous piece of blah.

Not a God damn piece of action in Blood Diamond feels real in any way. It all feels like an extension of Zwick's desire to speechify and testify at how awful blood diamonds are. And not because he feels it. More like he feels like he wants a fucking little gold statue to shove up his ass. This is Hollywood sensitivity as fake and self-righteous as Pay it Forward. Wow, what a brave stance to take on blood diamonds, because, you know, most of the world is all for senseless genocide. The thing is, Zwick comes out strongly against death while jerking off in the editing room to the incessant gunfights and explosions. "Violence is bad: here's some to entertain you!"

What is more annoying is that Zwick makes the villains cartoonishly bad and never gets at the issues that can resolve the civil war. He just says we should stop buying blood diamonds, which is about as obvious and non-controversial a stance as you can take. Then, at the movie's end, he tacks on a bunch of fucking morals written on the screen about how it is the consumer's job to "insist" that the diamonds he buys are not blood diamonds. What the fuck? Part of the movie is spent explaining how the diamond cartels obscure the origination of diamonds so they can say all of them are clean. Zwick doesn't tell the audience how to distinguish blood and clean. Maybe that's harder to do than gunfights and simplistic, self-satisfying moralizing.

Zwick is like a bad high school history teacher who just can't teach the material without adding his own editorial, based on a Vanity Fair article he once read, because he thinks the audience is dumb enough to eat it up. If you're going to make a message movie, do it so cleanly that the audience can't see the director and writer's grubby fingerprints everywhere.

One Fucking Finger for Blood Diamond, another pile of Hollywood crap posing as a good deed. If anything deserved an Oscar, it's this crap. That way Hollywood can pat itself on the back for patting itself on the back.



David Sheehan of Hollywood Close-ups

Deja Vu has"A powerful performance from Denzel Washington that is pure perfection!"

Home of the Brave is "Sure to stir the hearts and minds of all those who see it!"

Filthy's Reading
Jon Krakauer- Under the Banner of Heaven

Listening to
Blasé Suave - The Four People You Meet in Heaven


Stranger than Paradise