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  • Sling Blade [Blu-ray] [1996] [US Import]
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Sling Blade [Blu-ray] [1996] [US Import]

49 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001UREJYA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 359,294 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Caramba! on 18 Jun. 2013
Format: DVD
A real labour of love from Billy Bob Thornton whose astonishing performance and beautiful direction make this superb drama pack an emotional punch that is rarely matched in modern US cinema.

Rock solid in its authenticity and with a masterful balance of the tough and the tender, 'Sling Blade' presents a smalltown cauldron of prejudice and simmering violence as it experiences the primeval challenge of recognising and responding to an unlikely force for positive change in the guise of Thornton's mentally disturbed character, and his innocent love for a lonely fatherless boy.

Almost a redneck take on aspects of the Beauty and the Beast legend, this manages to be both earthy and poetic at the same time, with great pace and a brilliant script that really allows the characters to live and breathe, and speak in believable rhythms that make sense of the inner turmoil that constantly threatens to imprison them.

A lengthy film filled with fantastic, almost epic-like, photography and attention to detail, that simply flies by as it envelops the viewer in its powerful spell. 'Sling Blade' achieves that rare but oh so satisfying balance of energy and contemplation, the real art of story-telling, that guarantees it a place in the finest of cinematic achievements.

Once seen, never forgotten.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mr M Crichton on 11 Oct. 2004
Format: DVD
Billy Bob Thornton may have been discovered, and rightly so, trough his masterful portrayal of an adult with learning difficulties.
The film focuses on his relationship with the people around him, his family - his father survives after the death of his mother and her lover but he has little interest in Thornton when he is released from care.
In the brilliantly scripted scenes shared between Thornton and his young companion in the film, there is a relationship growth. It buds from their, unfortunate, similar mental status but becomes something much more than friendship. They share thoughts and understand each other particularly well, and after getting over the intial shock of her son's 30+ year old friend, the boy's mother takes him in and treats him as family.
However the bigotted and aggressive bully played by Dwight Yoakam who infects the mother and son's life doesn't take well to Thornton and as a result the tension throughout the film is progressive and growing.
The film's ending is the perfect portrayal of why life can't ever end up the way we wish, but at the same time it shows insight into the real and genuinely good qualities of the human mind. Thornton's character's thought process to reach the conclusion of what he has to do in the end is evident, and touching.
I've never felt more thoughtful after watching something, it's a must have for anyone who has seen it and loved it on television or in the movies but also for anyone who hasn't seen it, and is yet to have their mindset altered by it.
The one role Billy Bob Thornton should have been given an Oscar for, a real pity he didn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Caligula II. on 24 Jan. 2015
Format: Blu-ray
REVIEWED VERSION: 2009 Miramax US Blu-Ray

Director: Billy Bob Thornton

Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Robert Duvall, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, John Ritter, Lucas Black, Natalie Canerday, Rick Dial

Production: US 1996

SYNOPSIS

Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) has been in an Arkansas mental hospital since age of 12 for killing his mother and her lover - he actually thought the man was raping his mother. 20 years later he is deemed fit to be released into the outside world to start a new life in a small town.
Karl befriends a young boy, Frank (Lucas Black), and meets Karl's mother (Natalie Canerday) and her abusive boyfriend Doyle Hargraves (Dwight Yoakam). As Karl and Frank become closer friends, Doyle becomes more and more abusive and poses a serious threat to Frank and his mother...

THE PROS & CONS

SLING BLADE is without a doubt one of the best movies ever made. It was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay, which it won and Best Actor (Thornton). It was made on a budget of $1,000,000 and grossed $24,444,121.
SLING BLADE is Billy Bob Thornton's full-length movie directing debut and he did a great job at it. He went on making the great ALL THE PRETTY HORSES.
What makes SLING BLADE a masterpiece however, is the superb cast: every single main cast member delivers a stunning performance, be it Dwight Yoakam as Doyle, whom you could just punch in the face repeatedly, John Ritter as the gay store manager, Lucas Black as Frank or Natalie Canerday as Frank's mother, it is Billy Bob Thornton however who completely steals the show. The fact that Billy Bob Thornton did NOT win the Best Actor Academy Award is one of the biggest mistakes in the Oscar history (and they have made so many)!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD
This 1996 Arkansas-set tale of (essentially) bigotry and persecution written, directed and starring Billy Bob Thornton has a subtly authentic feel to it, no doubt at least partly as a result of Bob Thornton’s own rustic upbringing in the State. Of course, Sling Blade has been (rightly) lauded for Bob Thornton’s brilliant central turn as the slow-witted, straight-talking Karl Childers, however, the film also represents a remarkably assured directing debut, as well as containing a restrained, perceptive and darkly comic script (for which Bob Thornton won an Oscar).

Cinematically, Sling Blade is relatively unspectacular, with Barry Markowitz’s camera simply and straightforwardly depicting the film’s rural backdrop, whilst Daniel Lanois’ inventive original music provides a haunting, 'floating’ feel to proceedings. Having said this, Karl’s story is 'topped and tailed’ by two brilliantly atmospheric scenes (reminding me of Milos Forman’s classic One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) in which Karl is being 'talked at’ by fellow ‘patient’, the unsettling Charles Bushman (J T Walsh in a superbly creepy turn). It is, though, primarily via the strength of Bob Thornton’s turn as the disturbed Childers, whose dead-pan, innocent visage and nervy demeanour conceal a painfully troubled past, that the film scores most highly, as, on being discharged back into the community, he befriends the young Frank Wheatley (Lucas Black) and is 'adopted’ into his home with 'single mum’ Linda (Natalie Canerday) and her violently unstable boyfriend Doyle (an impressive Dwight Yoakam).

Of course, one can see the film’s denouement coming a mile off, but this does not detract from what is, for me at least, a highly engrossing (more than) two hour running time.
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