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Sling Blade [Blu-ray] [Import]
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Billy Bob Thornton wrote, directed, and starred in this mesmerizing drama with haunting overtones of To Kill a Mockingbird. Thornton plays a mentally retarded man who has spent 20 years in a psychiatric hospital for killing his mother and her lover. Released into the community from which he came, he befriends and protects a lonely boy regularly harassed and abused by his mom's boyfriend (a terrific performance by Dwight Yoakam). The story is ultimately about sacrifice, but Thornton certainly doesn't get twinkly about it. Some of the best material concerns the hero's no-big-deal efforts to integrate into a "normal" life: working, eating fast food, earning admiration for his handyman skills, and attaining a semblance of community among other damaged souls. John Ritter has a great part as a gay shopkeeper who tries to assuage his own loneliness by spilling his guts out to Thornton's uncomprehending character. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Karl befriends a young boy named Frank, and the two are friends from the start. Both of them share some of the same emotional issues, but in Frank's case it is due to his mother's abusive boyfriend Doyle (played by Dwight Yoakam). Karl gets a job working on small engines at a local garage and lives there for a while, but Frank and his mother agree it would be good for Karl to live with them. From the first time Karl meets Doyle, he begins to see what a terrible person he is. Doyle is constantly belittling Frank and Vaughn (a friend of Frank's mother who is gay), and is verbally and physically abusive to Linda (Frank's mom). Karl appears to be a very simple man, but it is apparent that his mind is always at work analyzing the people around him. Doyle grows worse and worse, and Karl becomes increasingly fed up with him. Karl always remains calm no matter the situation, but we start to see that he is the only one who can make things better for Linda, Frank and Vaughn and that as the movie progresses Karl realizes something must be done.Read more ›
This movie will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you cringe. But it won't let you go until you see it in its entirety, and question the fact - is it okay to kill if it's for a better cause?
Why this movie was so highly priased by most other critics will always be one of the great mysteries on cinema. Full of one note acting,(who on eath thought Dwingt Yokum could act?) and a dull as dishwater script, this is the type of movie that gives the term "arthouse" a bad name.
Billy Bob's portrayal of "Karl", a retarded man who killed his mother and lover as a child, is one of the best characters ever on screen. With his high-water pants, bad haircut, underslung grin and gravelly voice, he's not someone you'll soon forget.
A finely acted film, even the smallest parts were well-done. Suprisingly, John Ritter (an actor who I can not normally watch), gave the finest performance of his career as a gay store manager. Dwight Yoakum was great as the abusive boyfriend, and Lucas Black was good as the kid. J.T Walsh, Robert Duvall, and James Hampton are also in it.
This is not a Disney type plot, and there is a fair amount of swearing and yelling, and some violence. It all is natural to the story however, and the dialogue is some of the best you'll hear anywhere.
I don't give out 5 stars to movies very often. Mmm-hmmm.
Karl Childers (Thornton) has lived in a mental institution ever since he killed his mother and her lover when he was younger. He has been declared fit for release and soon finds a job as a garage mechanic. After befriending a young boy named Frank Wheatley (Lucas Black), Karl moves into his home. However, there is trouble in the household because of the tense relationship between Frank's mother (Natalie Canerday) and her abusive boyfriend (Dwight Yoakam). Karl eventually decides that he wants to set matters right after observing the cruelty imposed on Frank and his mother. However, tragedy ensues when Karl's limited comprehension of the world around him leads him to devise only one horrifying solution to the problem.
The only thing separating "Sling Blade" from a television movie-of-the week is Thornton's performance. It is so different from anything you're used to seeing that it sticks in your mind long after the end of the film. Thornton succeeds in vividly bringing to life his character but his Karl is trapped within a pedestrian story. The-outsider-being-brought-into-a-troubled-family-circle-with-resulting-disastrous-results routine has been done many times before. There are no new twists or fresh perspectives in this latest re-telling so the entire film has a general feeling of "seen-it-all-before" to it. The pacing is also languid which does not help matters.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I received this dvd and Unbroken but I have not received the Babylon Code.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Billy Bob Thornton as Karl, the mentally challenged recently released violent offender with a big heart is amazing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by K. Burke
I ordered this for my son. He is pleased with it and the excellent condition in which it arrived.Published 3 months ago by Wilma Green
One of my all time favorite movies. Worth sharing with certain people.Published 5 months ago by francis dunphy
Low bugjet movie, boring at times, too much swearing, throwing it in the garbage.Published 7 months ago by Lorraine
Very well done movie and good acting. Good story line and it was clean without the usual swearing that seems to be the norm in films these days. Highly recommend it.Published 19 months ago by Doyle Bray
Fella's at work were always talking about this movie. I totally know why now that I've seen it. Title is misleading. It's not a horror flick. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mr. D.