Snatched from his simple life, Solomon Vandy (Hounsou) is forced to mine for diamonds under the sweltering South African sun where he discovers—and hides—a rare gem that could possibly mean a new life for him and his now-imprisoned family. As if by fate, his path crosses with Danny Archer (DiCaprio), a greedy middleman in the sale and transport of so-called Blood Diamonds, and he offers to help Solomon recover the stone. They enlist the help of Maddy Bowen (Connelly), an American journalist, whose press credentials allow her far-reaching privileges, and together they embark on a frantic, and emotional, mission of freedom and redemption. (Jack Kelley)
Special Features are the same as the standard disc and inlcue commentary with Director Edward Zwick and the theatrical trailer, featurette: Blood On The Stone (50 minutes), Becoming Archer (8-1/2 minutes), Journalism On The Front Line (five minutes), and Inside The Siege Of Freetown (10-1/2 minutes); and Nas's "Shine On Em" music video. Additional features include the In Movie Experience option, which features captivating focus points.
The VC-1-encoded 2.38:1 HD DVD can look very good at times, with good detail and vibrant colors. Black levels are not consistently solid, though, which can leave some of the darker scenes looking overly flat. This and the Blu-ray Disc release look identical. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital Plus and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel encodings both have (generally) natural-sounding dialogue and very good fidelity. There are brief moments, however, when the dialogue is too obviously ADR-produced. The TrueHD encoding provides a slight improvement in overall fidelity and dynamic range. (Danny Richelieu)