The Diamond of Jeru
The Diamond of Jeru was made for and released on the USA Network in the later part of 2001. Based on a short story by Louis L'Amour, the film stars Billy Zane (Mike Kardec), Paris Jefferson (Helen Lacklan), and Keith Carradine (John Lacklan).
To eliminate the boredom in their marriage, the Lacklans go to Borneo in search of a diamond. Once there, they are set up with tour guide Mike Kardec. However, when Keith suspects his wife, Helen, and Mike of being a bit too friendly, he switches to another guide who shows him a huge diamond. After they leave, Mike suspects they're being set up and follows. He soon discovers that the guides work for Jeru, a native headhunting chieftain in possession of a huge diamond. Now Mike must save them from certain peril and recover the diamond.
The Diamond of Jeru is one of the more enjoyable made for TV films that I've seen, helped immensely by the presence of Zane as the film's hero. The film certainly borrows from other films in the adventure genre, like Raiders of the Lost Ark, but it does manage to remain interesting throughout. The film does slow down a bit after the flashy introduction, but quickly picks up again once Mike begins his search in the jungle for the Lacklans.
The Diamond of Jeru is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer is very clean throughout, with only one or two specks and a few small marks. Colors throughout are natural and vibrant, with accurate flesh tones and deep blacks.
The Diamond of Jeru is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Stereo, both in English. The front soundstage adequately presents the material, with frequent use of the front surrounds. However, the rear surrounds are given relatively little to do. Dialogue throughout is crisp and clean without distortion. No optional subtitles are included.
Extras include cast interviews/soundbites from location. While on the short side, they do provide some insight into the making of the film.
The Diamond of Jeru is an entertaining adventure film that is certainly worth a look, especially for fans of Billy Zane. The MSRP is fairly reasonable, given the above average audiovisual presentation, though the disc could have used some more extras. Definitely worth seeing once, either as a rental or on TV.