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ISSUE #112
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Features

ArrowMcCain's Mutiny
Why "Mr. Integrity" wants the war to drag on
Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Negligents
How to convert ignorance into “skepticism”
Ben Zaitchik

ArrowCivil War?
An oxymoron in one act
Ian Murphy

ArrowBaker-Hamilton Omission Report
Iraq Study Group aims to change perception, not reality
Matt Taibbi

ArrowThe BEAST Holiday Gift Guide
Because you must consume!

ArrowAre YOU a Racist?
Take the BEAST Quiz!

Local BEAST

ArrowAn Important Message from our Fearless Leader
Paul Fallon

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Environmental Apocalypse

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Turistas, Blood Diamond, Unaccompanied Minors, Apocalypto, The Holiday

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Fiends Like These, Cutler & Run, That's [sic], Osama for your Mama and more

 

Kino Korner

 


Turistas | Blood Diamond | Unaccompanied Minors
Apocalypto | The Holiday


Blood Diamond

Blood DiamondWhen you’re generally dissatisfied with a trip to the movies as I usually am, you’ve got to look to other sources for good movies. Lately I’ve been hitting Turner Classic Movies. They’ve got something for everybody—drama, action, musicals, cult classics, the whole nine. I go here because if newer movies were food, I’d be bulimic. And I’ll record movies that I’ve heard are good or just to catch up on ones I’ve always wanted to see. And one of the ones I heard was good was Sullivan’s Travels. It’s a movie from 1942 directed by Preston Sturges where a movie director played by Joel McCrea wants to make a movie about the hard times in the world. He decides to go across the country posing as a hobo. He goes through all this zaniness and hardship only to discover that people probably more than anything need to laugh. They don’t need to be reminded of all the crap they endure on a daily basis.

I agree with this to a certain extent. I don’t necessarily don’t want to feel like I’m watching CNN for two hours when I go to the movies. It’s all well and good if a movie has something to say about what’s happening in the world, but at the same time you don’t want to be reminded why you haven’t been to church lately either through a masturbatory sermon. With a political thriller, you face a tightrope walk between conscience and entertainment. Some, like Syriana and Traffic, have pulled it off in spades and others have failed miserably.

Take the case of The Blood Diamond. A diamond smuggler works with a fisherman whose family has been taken captive. Together, they fight injustice going on in Africa within the diamond trade. With some hard work and some sharp thinking, this could’ve been the kind of movie that could open people’s eyes while entertaining them. But what does it do instead? It just decided to cram it in the cornhole and hit a few of the points while dousing it in mediocre action scenes.

Leonardo DiCaprio, whose heart I’m sure was in the right place here, plays the diamond smuggler of questionable character who works with Djimon Hounsou after he recovers a honey of a diamond. DiCaprio’s trying to pull a screwjob on whats-his-face so he can get the hell out of the country. Hounsou wants to try and use the diamond to get his family back. Then an American journalist played by Jennifer Connelly shows up and explains how terrible things are in Africa and how Americans don’t care. The pretty white people hump each other and a somewhat pretentious message movie becomes a definitely pretentious action flick, after some explosions happen.

So what the hell went wrong, you may be asking yourself. Underdeveloped characters and the director’s (Edward Zwick—see The Last Samurai) need to get his directorial nut off are what happened. For a guy whose family gets shanghaied, Hounsou doesn’t do much complaining. He plays his usual subservient character and makes you wait for the scene to be over. Throughout Blood Diamond I couldn’t help but wonder what would keep this script from getting turned into a straight to video crapfest. When I walked out of Syriana, I was ashamed to live in this country for a few hours. After Blood Diamond, I just kind of said “that blowsto myself, went home and took a dump.

 

 

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