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Natural Born Killers
BLU-RAY disk
06.24.2008 By: Sturdy
Natural Born Killers order
Director:
Oliver Stone

Actors:
Woody Harrelson
Juliette Lewis
Robert Downey Jr.

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A psychotic couple go on a three week killing spree across America. Along the way, they gain notoriety in the American public and actually generate support for their killings. This attracts the attention of a TV personality intent on getting even more famous off of them.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It had been a long time since I had seen NATURAL BORN KILLERS, but I remember not being much of a fan the first time I saw it. I have to say that after my second viewing, Iím still not much of a fan. NBK has some problems and gets way too preachy in the final act, even for an Oliver Stone film.

I honestly appreciate Stone trying new techniques and a new style with this film, but I couldnít shake the feeling that he was trying too hard to be hip. It reminded me of my dad trying to use slang terms and getting them wrong. The ďtrippyĒ style felt forced and served as a distraction to the story rather than an enhancement to it. Stone is at his best telling a linear story and seemed out of his element here. Sometimes directors can ďover-stylizeĒ a movie and thatís exactly what Stone did with NATURAL BORN KILLERS.

Oliver Stone always has to throw in a political statement in his films and thatís one of the reasons most people love him or hate him. Personally, I donít care. However, I didnít like the way he did it here. We go through the first two acts with the atrocities of the media being implied, but when we get to the final act, Stone starts spelling it out for us. Itís not difficult to discern that the media is furthering these two sociopathsí actions, so we donít need it explained. Downey Jr.ís character represented the media and again, we got it. So the long explanation from Mickey and Mallory at the end wasnít really needed.

You probably already know that Tarrantino came up with the story for NBK, but if you havenít seen it, donít let that be the reason you watch it. Itís clear from the beginning that not much of his original idea made it into the film. Donít expect QTís dialogue or QTís stylized violence. I will say that the biggest highlights for me were the performances from Harrelson and Lewis. They both give knockout performances and really make the film tolerable.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by Oliver Stone: Stone almost treats this commentary like heís teaching a class in film school. That makes it very interesting as far as why certain things were shot the way they were, but we didnít get a whole lot of juicy, behind the scenes tidbits. I still liked it and found Stone to be very good at keeping the track rolling.

Deleted Scenes (20:49): I didnít mind these scenes and found them to be pretty significant to the overall story. Thereís a whole minor story that was cut out that involved Ashley Judd. She was part of one of their killing sprees and is involved in a big courtroom scene. It obviously didnít make it into the film, but it was cool seeing it on the Blu-ray.

Charlie Rose Interview with Oliver Stone (11:38): Charlie Rose is great as always and Stone provides some interesting and in-depth answers to some of the violence-theme questions. It seemed short to me, but I still enjoyed it.

Alternate Ending (3:30): I didnít like this alternate ending at all, so Iím glad it was cut. It really didnít make sense and didnít go along with the rest of the film. However, I liked that it was included as a special feature.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Iím not really a fan of NBK and I think it tries too hard to be cool. I also get annoyed when movies spell their themes and messages out to me. So if you donít already own this, or havenít seen it, then I would recommend making it a rental before moving it into your collection.
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