11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Natural born killers is a film that is needs an open mind and an understanding that films can have a hidden message or else this film will pass you by and you will never see the brilliance of it,it appears to me that many have missed the point.
The film is an ode to americas glorified fascination with the macabre and how serial killers for example can gain legendary status and thats because of the media.
Granted the films violent scenes are excessive but in understanding the reason for that one understands that people embrace these acts in what they read,what they watch and so forth in the news,america is a country that reigns in violence and murder,this film details with two killers who you cant help but love,but are the characters played by robert downey junior(the journalist) or tommy lee jones(the warden) any better,thats what you need to decide.
The content of the film is one of a couple,mickey and mallory,who go on a killing spree across america and how their fanbase grows as the media gives them iconic status,certainly even i as a viewer warm to them,sense of irony im sure.
This is a film that is more of a satire and is twisted in more ways than one and with 3000 edits involved(most films have 700) it is clear that there is alot going here,you shouldnt miss this.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2010
Bluray review. The blurb on the back of the case says this is the most radical film since 'A clockwork orange.' Having recently watched and reviewed it I think the comparison is a good one. Two abused misfits hook-up and wreak a maelstrom of mayhem across a swathe of America. It doesn't stop with their capture either. The real story though is the media and public reaction to them, and how violence is glorified in society, particularly TV. They become celebrities, everybodys favourite 'natural born killers.' There are some very good performances, not least by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis in the lead roles, though Robert Downey junior and Tommy Lee-Jones are also very good. There was a feeling that all the key players were caught up in something not of their own making, and were being swept along by events, rather than dictating them.
Picture Quality is difficult to judge, as the film is a real feast for the senses. Brilliant over saturated colours, animation and black and white are all used liberally to provide a real visual assault. So you have a range from very good detailed scenic views, to aged looking, grainy black and white. Some of it was shot on hand-held cameras as well, with the limitations of smaller film size and movement. The picture is presented in 1.78:1, so it gives a fullscreen picture on a widescreen TV. All-in-all I thought it was very good- definitely better than DVD. It had limitations imposed by the source material, but I felt they did a very good job in presenting the material they had, particularly as much of it was designed to be over the top.
Audio Quality was also a bit full-on. Music was often playing, particularly in the action scenes, sound effects were loud particularly gunfire, but the dialogue always came through, without needing to adjust the sound, which is always my preference. There is a Dolby True HD English soundtrack.
Overall this was a very interesting experience. The combination of Quentin Tarantino as writer, and Oliver Stone as director was never likely to produce anything mundane and boring, and it certainly didn't!
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2004
"Natural Born Killers" is Oliver Stone's "take-no-prisoners" assault on the media that is cinematic eye-candy to the teeth. It's an uneasy satire to watch, but it is an extremely effective film that is both thrilling and funny. Many people loath this movie, as it is not an easy one to take. I feel there's a lot of ugly truths hidden within, and those truths aren't very easy to accept for most. For those who are aware of how manipulative and hypocritical the media world can be are in for one crazy and unforgiving ride that has no limits.
Mickey and Mallory Knox may appear to be your ordinary couple, but they aren't. In fact, the two are notorious serial killers who love to get their adrenaline pumping by destroying the lives of others. The media has pretty much made the villainous duo heroes to the public, as they can't get enough of them. They headline every single news program with absolute pride. As the two continue their bloody rampage through the states, the public is watching every step of the way with bloodshot eyes.
The structure of the film is usually what turns people off from it, but I thought it was all executed perfectly. It doesn't follow your basic plot structure in the same way most films do. We're presented with the characters, the conflict, resolution, etc.--but it's pieced together in random spots as if you were surfing through different channels on the TV. This is extremely effective for what Stone is trying to convey. It's a disturbing film because it actually sheds light on something most people don't want to fess up to, and that is the glorification of criminals and violence. I found it to be a breath-taking satire, as well as an outstanding film all together.
One of the many strong points that this film has is the amazing acting from the superb cast. Woody Harrelson is savagely entertaining as the notorious "Mickey," while Juliette Lewis is beautiful and deadly. Robert Downey Jr. is a complete joy to watch as he partakes in the role of the obsessive talk-show host who is only concerned with ratings (now, who does he remind you of?). It also must be said that Tommy Lee Jones gives one of his funniest performances ever--the expressions on his face are absolutely priceless.
This particular DVD version of the movie contains a bunch of goodies for DVD fanatics. One of the main features is that this is the "Director's Cut." While it's not much longer than the original theatrical version, certain extended shots and angles deemed "controversial" have been restored in this version. The picture and sound quality is really great and does the film the justice that it deserves. Extras that can be found on the DVD include the director's commentary, deleted scenes, an alternative ending, and cast and crew interviews. Not a bad package, if you ask me.
"Natural Born Killers" is an absolute cinematic treat to film buffs. While it's most likely not to be welcomed with open-arms by most, it certainly is entertaining to those who love it. It's not your ordinary movie, that much is for sure. If you're looking for a risk-taking satire that defies all of the rules and boundaries, this might be the choice for you. It's a unique experience that never loses its appeal or originality. -Michael Crane
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2012
Maybe this shows that Tarrantino should stick to writing, because this, amongst his usually dire movies, has all the violence, all the swearing, but has a scary, scary point to it. Also, it finally allowed Oliver Stone to direct a second good movie after a lot of self-indulgent rubbish.
Onto the movie, though. Hard, hard to watch, but truly astounding; the experimentation and surrealism break up what would otherwise be harder still to watch. The leads are amazing to see; the violence is really unpleasant but fits the subject matter. Woody Harrelson became a major star in my eyes on the strength of his astounding performance here.
I would, however, be surprised to see many two or three star reviews; you can't really help having a strong opinion.
I could give it five stars, I really could, but the subject is so dislikeable, I really can't. But I could.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2006
I wanted to see Natural Born Killers for ages, but as it wasnt available in the UK, I couldnt buy it ( I only had a r2 dvd player at the time and PAL video). First seen it on Channel 5 and after that, I couldnt wait for it to be released.
Natural Born Killers is a totally unique movie. The idea behind the theme is very interesting and I think Oliver Stone handles the material well, the script and the acting are good, and you end up rooting for Mickey and Mallory even though they are murderers. The supporting cast - Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Downey Jr are also great, but this is Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis's movie.
There is a lot of violence in the movie that many people wont like, but despite this, it is an intelligent and satirical movie that will certainly go down in history - you gotta see it to understand its one of I kind. The editing, which obviously Stone took a lot of time over is one thing that takes a bit of getting used to - changing from normal to green to black n white every 10 mins or so, but this just adds to the feel of the film and I think it works well.
So, I highly recommend this film. I bought the UK boxset when it came out, although there is an excellent directors cut which has loads of fab extras - including some infamous deleted scenes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2013
Stylish and provocative, Natural Born Killers has been accused of encouraging copycat crimes, though anyone dumb enough to emulate this film was already on the edge, in my opinion. Roaming serial killers Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis) aren't idealised; director/co-writer Oliver Stone paints them as standard psychos, full of arrogance and self-righteousness, spouting crap pseudo-philosophy like Charles Manson. When Mickey says "that's poetry" to Mallory's inane cliched statements I was amused, not left in awe of them, and amusement's the reaction Stone wants, I think.
Natural Born Killers is at heart a (very) dark comedy; the only reason Mickey and Mallory might seem sympathetic to some is because the other major characers are just as vile, if not even more hypocritical. Celebrity cop Jack Scagnetti's (Tom Sizemore) an evil psychopath who's no different to his prey, prison warden Dwight McClusky's (Tommy Lee Jones) a soulless fascist and TV journalist Wayne Gayle's (Robert Downey Jr.) a two-faced worm. The only likeable people are a couple of Native Americans and an ageing cop whose partner Mickey and Mallory kill.
In a segment designed like a sitcom, where shocking dialogue's scored with a hollow laugh track, Mickey and Mallory murder Mallory's abusive dad (Rodney Dangerfield) and ignorant mum (Edie McClurg). They then, after a blood bond ritual, go on a killing spree which ends when they're captured by Scagnetti. Their adventures are intercut with TV footage of journalists and citizens discussing them; they become cultural icons, treated like media personalities by a world as diseased as they are.
Dozens of styles, from black-and-white to single colour, fanatastical landscapes and even vaguely sci-fi images, like walls which double as TV screens, tell the story in a dizzyingly schizophrenic manner. This can sometimes obscure the plot, but overall it's visually sumptous and fascinating.
The film struggled with censorship, which is strange because even its director's cut isn't any more and in some cases less violent than others of its time. The Silence of the Lambs won four Oscars, and that could be seen as having slightly stronger content (skinning, semen-tossing). Maybe the problem was that Mickey and Mallory are easier to imitate than Buffalo Bill or Hannibal Lecter. Novelist John Grisham weighed in on the film's alleged amorality when a friend of his was killed by two teenagers who'd watched it. Though I can empathise with Grisham's loss, someone who's first novel, A Time to Kill, implicitly endorsed vigilantism, while providing a thriller which depicts child rape, should watch what he says. Ultimately, to claim that Natural Born Killers incites murder is childish and naive. Stone's characters are selfish, narcissistic and desensitised. They're human cockroaches, and if you want to be like them you're a cockroach too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2007
This movie brings up several important issues about todays society. Does this movie make too much use of violence. When it first came it brought up a lot of debate. Some refused to show it because of it's violence. When I saw it, I wasn't shocked by it and I found that frightening. However, it made me start to think about the world we're living in and the power the media has to affect peoples meanings and opinions. This movie is one of the most anti-violent movies I have ever seen. Some say it is just violent, but I clearly see a anti-violent message in there along with criticism of the media making heroes without thinking about the consequences first. While some action movies got you all worked up with all the shooting and heroes this movie just makes you sit there and think: "What the...?". It may not rise as much debate today, as we are getting used to more violence, but it certainly opens you're eyes and it's criticism of the media is now probably even more topical then it's ever been.
I think Oliver Stone did this Tarrantino story very good. On the other hand there was some elements I found confusing and effects I didn't quite get the meaning of. However, this is one of them movies you can watch several times and still see something new each time. This is probably not the last time I've seen it.
The acting is great. There is really not much more to say. The casting did a good job finding the right actors for the roles and the actors deliver.
The cinematography is also very nice done. There are no boring or unnecessary shots and the lightning is just magical. The change between color and black and white is also nice. You notice it at the beginning, but then the you don't notice if the color is changed from green to red. It all just seems natural and right at the moment. It's the same with the sound. You notice some songs, but mostly it's just there creating the atmosphere just as it should.
This is a movie everyone should see. It's upsetting and raises a lot of topics that is worth discussing and bringing forward. I'm gonna watch it again because it is a little confusing, but never the less a good and recommendable movie!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2003
The first time I saw this, my impression was of a garbled mess. Subsequent viewings uncovered the skill with which this film was made.
This is not a film to have on in the background - it deserves your sole attention. Much was made on its release of the violence in it - this is the whole point. Stone, in his usual sledgehammer, blinkered way, gets his message across very strongly. Harrelson, who up until then had played amiable idiots, is a remarkably believable psycopath. Juliette Lewis is adequate (sorry, she just naturally winds me up) and the supporting cast put in energetic performances.
However, it is the technical wizardry and multiple media that make this a great film. To paraphrase Stone, it's an art film with a Hollywood budget.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2014
You don't need to know anything about this film, as you'll either love it or hate it! (There's no inbetweening, when it comes to NATURAL BORN KILLERS!) However, my reason for this post, is to warn others about this new UK release!
Once again, we UK Blu-Ray fans get royally screwed-over! Despite being advertised as the 20th Anniversary Edition, this is NOT in fact the case!
What you get, is:
- The Uncut Director's Cut (122 minutes)
- NBK Evolution: How Would It All Go Down Now? (documentary)
- Commentary and Introduction by Oliver Stone
- Chaos Rising: The Storm Around Natural Born Killers (documentary)
- Deleted Scenes with Introductions by Oliver Stone (about 20 minutes worth)
- Charlie Rose Interview of Oliver Stone (featurette)
- Alternate Ending with Introduction by Oliver Stone, and the
- US Theatrical Trailer
. However, in the USA, Warners are releasing the proper 20th Anniversary Edition, which includes:
- The Original Theatrical Cut (119 minutes), PLUS
- The Uncut Director's Cut (122 minutes)
- Housed in a new DIAMOND LUXE, Steelbook-style case
- Natural Born Killers: Method In The Madness (All-new feature-length documentary, featuring director Oliver Stone, editor Hank Corwin and technical advisor Dale Dye, who unleash the cinematic tools of controlled chaos they used to make the film
- PLUS ALL of the other stuff listed above, on the new UK Blu-Ray!
This item can be Pre-Ordered from Amazon.com at...
... and costs less than £18, including Standard Shipping to the United Kingdom! It's released on 9th December 2014. Thus, making it better, (but as-pricey), as this lame-assed release, that has been fobbed-off onto us UK-based NBK fans! On top of this, the US release is REGION FREE, so will already work in all UK Blu-Ray players!
The US 20th Anniversary Edition is what we should be getting, but it isn't! When companies treat UK film fans with this amount of utter contempt, is it any wonder that the UK fans then go and buy foreign releases?! As such, Warners UK deserves to be shot for this joke of a release! Shame on them!
I'm returning my UK version straight back to Amazon for a full refund, and am plumping for the new US set instead! Do NOT purchase the UK version, but go and pre-order the superior US release instead! You owe it to yourself, and to send a message to Warner in the UK, that we will NOT accept this kind of second-rate release!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Oliver Stones controversial Natural Born Killers was developed from a script by Quentin Tarantino although Tarantino was unhappy with the artisitic direction Stone chose and distanced himself from the project.
The movie follows murderous lovers, Mickey and Mallory Knox as they carve a bloody path across America and become media darlings in the process. The film looks like an acid trip and flits between colour, black & white and animation, cut with violent imagery of death and destruction. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis are on fine form as the stone cold psychopaths and are supported by Robert Downey Jr playing the deplorable journalist Wayne Gale and Tommy Lee Jones as a highly strung prison warden.
The films relentless violence and glorification of Mickey and Mallory's antics recieved a lot of criticism and the film remained banned for 8 years. I think the film is misunderstood. Stone is trying to comment on the media obsession with violence and crime. It's like an exaggerated OJ simpson trial which descended into a shambling media circus where the severity of the crimes and victims were completely forgotten. This is exactly what happens in Natural Born Killers only they just happened to kill 52 people for kicks.
Natural Born Killers is a difficult watch as the camera work and style are so shaky but I think this represents the insanity of Mickeys mind. I can't recommend this movie highly enough, the final act where the pair are in prison is absolutely brilliant. The special edition features the notorious court room scene with Ashley Judd and the severed head on a stick bit from the prison riot.
Like This? Try: Badlands