Blood Diamond

  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Producers: Gillian Gorfil, Marshall Herskovitz, Graham King, Paula Weinstein, Edward Zwick
  • Writers: Charles Leavitt
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Djimon Hounsou, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Michael Sheen, Arnold Vosloo

Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1999, the film shows a country torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebel forces.[1] The film portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels’ amputation of people’s hands to discourage them from voting in upcoming elections.

The film begins with the capture of Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a Mende fisherman, by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels when they invade the small Sierra Leonian village of Shenge. Separated from his family, Solomon is enslaved to work in the diamond fields under the command of a Warlord called Captain Poison (David Harewood) while his son Dia is conscripted into the rebel forces, the brainwashing eventually turning him into a hardened killer. The RUF use the diamonds to fund their war effort, often trading them directly for arms. While working in the RUF diamond fields as a forced laborer, Solomon finds a large, pink diamond inside a big, broken pipe in the diamond fields. Claiming that he must go to the toilet, Solomon hides the diamond between his toes to try and sneak it away to bury it. However, moments before government troops launch an attack, Captain Poison sees Solomon hiding the diamond. Captain Poison is injured in an attack by government forces before he can get the stone, and both he and Solomon are taken to prison in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

Solomon travels to London and, with the help of Bowen, he trades the diamond to Simmons for £2,000,000 and the reunification of his family, making the exchange as Solomon’s wife and children arrive via a Lear Jet at a London airport. Bowen, who secretly photographs the deal, later publishes a magazine piece exposing the trade in “conflict” or “blood” diamonds. The film ends with Solomon smiling at the photograph Maddy took of Archer earlier, now published in her magazine along with the complete story of their journey, before addressing a conference on blood diamonds in Kimberley, South Africa, describing his experiences. This refers to an actual meeting that took place in Kimberley in 2000 and led to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which seeks to certify the origin of diamonds in order to curb the trade in conflict diamonds.

The Mummy

  • Directors: Stephen Sommers
  • Producers: Sean Daniel, James Jacks
  • Writers: Screenplay, Stephen Sommers, Story, Kevin Jarre, Lloyd Fonvielle, Stephen Sommers
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo

The movie begins in Egypt, circa 1290 BC. High priest Imhotep engages an affair with Anck-su-namun, the mistress of Pharaoh Seti I—other men are forbidden to touch her. When the Pharaoh discovers their tryst, Imhotep and Anck-su-namun murder the monarch. Anck-su-namun then kills herself, intending for Imhotep to resurrect her. After Anck-su-namun’s burial, Imhotep breaks into her crypt and steals her corpse. He and his priests flee across the desert to Hamunaptra, the city of the dead, where they begin the resurrection ceremony. However, they are caught by Seti’s guards before the ritual can be completed, and Anck-su-namun’s soul is sent back to the Underworld. For their sacrilege, Imhotep’s priests are mummified alive, and Imhotep himself is forced to endure the curse of Hom Dai: his tongue is cut out and he is buried alive with a swarm of flesh-eating scarabs. The ritual grants eternal life, forcing Imhotep to endure the agony of his wounds for all time. He is buried under high security, sealed away in a sarcophagus below a statue of the Egyptian god Anubis, and kept under strict surveillance by the Medjai, descendants of Seti’s palace guards. If Imhotep were ever to be released, the powers that made him immortal would allow him to unleash a wave of destruction and death upon the Earth.

At night, Evelyn takes the Book of the Dead from the Americans’ tent and reads a page aloud, accidentally awakening Imhotep. Although both groups return to Cairo, the mummy hunts down the Americans who opened the box, slowly regenerating with each person he kills. Beni survives a meeting with Imhotep by pledging allegiance to him and helps him track down the Americans and the canopic jars in Cairo. Evelyn hypothesises that if the Book of the Dead brought Imhotep back to life, the Book of Amun-Ra can kill the high priest once again. Imhotep captures Evelyn, intending to sacrifice her to resurrect Anck-su-namun, and returns to Hamunaptra, pursued by Rick and Jonathan. Evelyn is rescued after an intense battle with Imhotep’s mummies, and she reads from the Book of Amun-Ra. Imhotep becomes mortal, and Rick stabs him. Rapidly decaying, Imhotep leaves the world of the living, vowing revenge. Beni accidentally sets off an ancient booby trap and is trapped by a swarm of flesh-eating scarabs as Hamunaptra begins to collapse into the sand. The heroes escape and ride off into the sunset on a pair of camels laden with treasure.

The Mummy Returns

  • Directors: Stephen Sommers
  • Producers: Sean Daniel, James Jacks
  • Writers: Stephen Sommers
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, John Hannah, Oded Fehr, Freddie Boath, Alun Armstrong, Dwayne Johnson

In the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes in 3067 BC, a warrior known as the Scorpion King led his army to conquer the city. However, the Scorpion King lost the campaign and his army was scattered into the desert of Ahm Shere. One by one they died of heat exhaustion, leaving only the Scorpion King. To survive, the Scorpion King swore an oath to the god of the underworld, Anubis, exchanging his soul for the power to defeat his enemies. Anubis granted his wish, creating an oasis to hide the Scorpion King’s pyramid and giving him the Army of Anubis (an endless legion of demonic anthropomorphic jackal-headed warriors) to exact his revenge. The Army of Anubis swept across Egypt, destroying all in their path, and once their task was finished Anubis claimed the Scorpion King’s soul.

About 5000 years later, in 1933, Evy and Rick O’Connell are exploring another pyramid with their son, Alex. Within, they discover the Bracelet of Anubis. Back in London, their son Alex puts the bracelet on, providing him with directions to the oasis of Ahm Shere. It being the year of the Scorpion, Alex has seven days to reach the oasis, at which point the Scorpion King and his army will reawaken. Alex is captured by an Egyptian cult who have resurrected Imhotep: their purpose for doing so is to use Imhotep’s power to defeat the Scorpion King, which would give him command of the Army of Anubis. The cult, led by local museum curator Baltus Hafez, includes the psychopathic warrior Lock-Nah and Meela Nais, the reincarnation of Imhotep’s love Anck-su-namun. The O’Connells set out to rescue Alex, accompanied by Ardeth Bay, the Medjai warrior from the previous film, and Evy’s hopeless brother, Jonathan. Rick’s associate Izzy, an airship pilot from his past adventures, provides transportation.

Rick and Imhotep race to escape the now-collapsing temple. A chasm leading to the underworld appears, and Rick and Imhotep fall in, barely managing to cling onto the edges of the opening. Evy enters the room and manages to save Rick despite the dangerous debris falling from the ceiling, but Anck-su-namun is unwilling to do the same for Imhotep. Shocked and heartbroken, Imhotep willingly casts himself into the chasm; meanwhile, as she flees, Anck-su-namun accidentally falls into a pit of flesh-eating scorpions. The family climbs to the top of the pyramid and meet up with Izzy. They escape unharmed and with a massive diamond that Jonathan pulled from the top of the pyramid. The film ends with the group setting off into the sunset, a grateful Ardeth bidding them farewell from afar, and Jonathan and Izzy arguing over who should keep the diamond.