6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal Parody of American Media
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...
Published on 12 Jan 2007 by R. Mullaney
2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor offering indeed..........
What on earth was going through the mind of the director of this film? Ranging from full colour, to black & white then plenty of grainy shots thrown in for good measure. The worst this for me was the backing track music was so loud it was difficult to hear the dialogue, and I was listening to this via a top notch Yamaha AV amp with plenty of bells & whistles, yet I could...
Published 22 months ago by J. G. Roland
Most Helpful First | Newest First
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal Parody of American Media,
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
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost in a World of Ghosts...,
This review is from: Natural Born Killers - Director's Cut [DVD]  (DVD)"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
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film as deranged as the lead characters,hell yeah,
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.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love this Movie! See it now!,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Natural Born Killers - Director's Cut [DVD]  (DVD)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.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching again,
By A Customer
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable transfer of a movie not made for HD,
This review is from: Natural Born Killers [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)I'm a big fan of the movie so I've gone ahead and gone Blu.
Watching it, the transfer is patchy but the main reason for this is the way NBK was shot. Mainy scenes in the first half of the movie are camcorder-esque or deliberately grainy but those that aren't are crisp and well updated. The TrueHD audio is ok too, not a major change from the DVD's DD 5.1 though.
Worth the upgrade from DVD and definite one for the basket if you're a violence film addict.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'VE SEEN THE FUTURE. IT IS MURDER!,
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full-on assault on the senses,
This review is from: Natural Born Killers [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)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!
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much criticised but highly under-rated modern classic.......,
This review is from: Natural Born Killers - Box Set [DVD] (DVD)Natural Born Killers : A true contemporary cinematic masterpiece, or simply an excessively graphic depiction of violence, thinly veiled under the protective covering of its 'media satire' label? It is easy to see how most audiences find it difficult to see Oliver Stone's murderous road movie as fitting into anything but one of the two categories above. Such an outspoken film will inevitably receive outspoken responses, from opposing ends of the scale. However, if one steps back from the controversy and hype surrounding the film, to look at it solely as an individual body of work, its merits begin to push themselves to the fore.
It cannot be denied that visually, the film is breathtaking. The variety of formats that Stone employs constantly vies for our attention, switching from colour to black and white, 35mm to 16mm, live action to animation, road movie to sitcom. Punctuated by superimposed hallucinations and visceral violence, this is one film that could never be accused of being boring. It is difficult to define exactly what it is that Stone has created here. Serial killer flick, road movie, twisted romance - Natural Born Killers crosses the boundaries of all three, at the same time carving a unique space for itself in cinematic history.
It is, perhaps, the central contradiction between the film's 'message' and the way that it is conveyed, that makes it so interesting. To some, Stone's critique of the media and its power to elevate such characters as Mickey and Mallory Knox to the status of national heroes, may appear to be nothing but self-indulgent hypocrisy. After all, one cannot deny that they are presented to us in a 'cool', charming and sexy manner and by the time we've reached Batonga State Penitentiary, we are, I would suggest, anticipating the next bloodbath more eagerly than our psychopathic protagonists. Yet, this is exactly Stone's point. He wants his audience to acknowledge not just what they are watching, but also the way that they are watching it. The idea of two individuals being taken from an existence as low-life murderers and transformed into media superstars is underlined by intelligent casting. That is to say, Woody Harrelson, whether as Woody in Cheers, or as Billy in White Men Can't Jump, had typically been cast as the goofy but loveable type. To see him in his full serial-killing glory in N.B.K. is a testament to how our perception of people can be manipulated by the way that they are portrayed in the media.
Much has been written about Natural Born Killers since its release, with widely differing viewpoints and focuses ranging from its effect on the audience to its use of the 'MTV generation' style (a description which is fast-becoming more of a cliché than the style itself). However, it is somewhat difficult to find criticism on the film that does not label it either as sheer genius or over-rated sensationalism. It is definitely a 'love it or hate it' movie. How each individual will respond to Natural Born Killers cannot be predicted, but what is certain is that no matter what you think of it, you'll never forget it.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Stone over-indulgence, but brilliant none-the-less,
This review is from: Natural Born Killers [VHS] (VHS Tape)In making Natural Born Killers, Oliver Stone has ventured into cinematic territory that requires considerable daring - graphically portraying the exploits of mass murderers while simultaneously exposing the complicity of America's media and popular culture in their brutality. If you can get over Stone's relentless and graphic directorial style and his complete lack of concern for censorship or social outrage, you will learn a great deal from this piece of film.
Technically, Natural Born Killers was a cinematic break through. Stone's seemingly haphazard barrage of imagery is in fact a finely tuned roll of delicately edited cinematography.
black-and-white video, secondary TV, newspaper echoes, exaggerated caricatures, hyperbolic acts of violence, rear and front projections, animation, sitcom style, adjusted speeds, warped lighting and canned laughter.
In the opening series of shots we can see that we are in for a visual feast, as Stone sets about pushing and pulling the viewer to see exactly what he wants you to see. He shoots through a red tint, as we see sharp, crisp shots of the surrounding area, this effect is echoed throughout the film, fore-shadowing the imminent bloodshed that we expect in a film which is, primarily, about mass murder. He also shoots in black and white, again fore-shadowing another main theme that the film aims to tackle, the media and it's role along side acts of ultra-violence. Already, within the first few shots we see that, stylistically, although clichéd and at times a little tacky, the imagery that we are being presented with is of a very potent nature and is being offered to us in an impressively high calibre fashion. For this we must give Stone great praise.
Stone has never been a director to back down from any challenge, and again he has shown that he doesn't really have a mechanism within him, telling him when enough is enough; Stone can't make a point subtly - and yes, even an extreme, hallucinogenic movie like this one would benefit from some subtlety. Yet you do not see as much actual violence as you think you do in this movie. It is not the veritable 'gore-fest' that it's critics will have you believe it is; it's more the tone, the attitude, and the breakneck pacing that gives you that impression of an explicit nature. Stone is not making a horror movie, like all good satirists, he knows that too much realism will weaken his effect, and that is what this is, a political and social satire.
The couple take great pleasure in murdering dozens of innocent victims before they are captured, tried and sent off to prison. Through it all, their celebrity grows, culminating in a televised prison riot and breakout. This all sounds a little too surreal to be taken seriously, and indeed it shouldn't be, in parts, but the underlying message, the sub-text and the undertone of this film holds a devastatingly important message for western society as a whole. Stone is on the mark in pointing out the absurdity of killers becoming media stars, and the movie has a terrifically creative way of making this point. But despite its success, many believe that, in his effort to make the film entertaining, Stone has crossed the line and is committing the same sin that the film sets out to condemn.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Natural Born Killers - Box Set [DVD] by Oliver Stone (DVD - 2001)