Nope, this is not a commentary on my employer, just a review of the last movie I saw.  Netflix continues to be an easy way to get our movies.  With our terrible weather on Sunday, a movie was the perfect distraction.  I’ve been pretty lucky and enjoyed almost everything we’ve watched lately.  Blood Diamond was a pretty exciting tale of the civil war and illegal diamond trade in 1990’s Sierra Leone.  I don’t think this specific story is true but the overall background story is true and pretty upsetting.  These rebels are crazy.  They kill and/or torture innocent civilians.  They kidnap, then brainwash men (mostly young men) and hook them on drugs in order to “convert” them to their way of thinking.  The official army is corrupt (at least the group in this movie) too so the whole situation is pretty bad and it is never really clear who the “good guys” are in some scenes.  Leonardo DiCaprio has another good role here and I think he does a nice job with this complex character.  One of those gritty bad side with a decent heart underneath it all. I am not a fan of Titanic but I liked him in Catch Me If You Can.  Djimon Hounsou put in a great performance as a local fishermen who gets kidnapped and forced to work in the diamond mine which ends up driving the whole plot.  I recognized his face but didn’t know his name.  I looked him up on IMDB, he has been in a lot of stuff but I think this is probably his biggest role.  His character has a lot of emotion and rage which he delivers well.  He is the true hero in the movie, doing anything and everything to rescue his family.  Jennifer Connelly is in there too.  I guess they needed a love interest to bring out Leo’s character’s softer side.  The story is confusing in the beginning but if you stick with it, it makes sense.  Be prepared for a lot of violence.  And the ladies will look at their diamond rings in a whole new way.

If you are ever struggling for a great gift idea, here is one: Netflix. My sister and brother-in-law got us a gift subscribtion to Netflix and we love it. They offer several plans. The one we got includes only 2 movies per month (unlike some of their unlimited plans) which is perfect for us. It is really easy to manage our account and pick movies with the Netflix website. We still go to the video store and do “on-demand” as well so we have been watching a lot of movies lately. Here are my thoughts on a few:

Flags of Our Fathers – This is a “must see”. I say this because I think we owe it to the men that fought on Iwo Jima. It has a lot of the same impact of seeing “Saving Private Ryan”. I wouldn’t say it was as good though. But Flags tells an interesting story too, about what the image of those men raising our flag above Iwo Jima meant to this country. Lots of blood and gore so be prepared.

The Departed - This movie has a ton of stars in it including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, and Martin Sheen. It won the oscar for Best Director. Everyone I heard from loved this movie. I was told to prepare for a lot of violence and a non stop onslaught of bad language. I guess I am desensitized because I didn’t think the language was that over the top. The acting was incredible, as expected. But I thought the plot had some obvious holes in it. Stop here if you haven’t seen it yet as I am about to give away the ending…So no one guessed that the “rat” in the mob was the same guy who attended the police training academy? And no one guessed that the bad cop was the same guy who grew up along side the head mobster? Weak. But again, great acting and still totally a great one to see.