While this monumental retrospective of Oliver Stone's directorial career doesn't include Salvador
--Stone's early, acknowledged masterpieces of history and remembrance--it certainly sheds light on the more controversial arc of his work ever since.
Beginning with 1987's Wall Street, Stone's barbed tragedy about corporate raiders and blinding greed during the Reagan years, this cinematic 10-pack represents a curious odyssey of generational touchstones, outright obsessions, and feverish experimentation. The minor, 1988 Talk Radio, for instance, introduced Stone's then-evolving critique of inflamed media in a society of hapless onlookers. But it was 1994's Natural Born Killers that exploded the theme in a wildly ambitious farce concerning two lovers who defy manufactured perceptions by becoming notorious murderers. Killers pushes the limits of screen violence, visual literacy, and the mixed-media technique (juggling film stocks, incorporating video, etc.) that Stone introduced in JFK. If the result is cold and forced, it's also brazen.
Most significant is the way this collection underscores Stone's drive to fuse historical drama with lingering emotions about the past. Stone, a Vietnam War veteran, revisits that haunting debacle here in the masterful Born on the Fourth of July and the moving Heaven & Earth. Yet some of his most famous efforts still draw heaps of scorn for narrative hubris and factual recklessness. (Does anyone really believe John F. Kennedy was assassinated during a Lyndon Johnson coup d'état?) But time is on Stone's side. Eventually, JFK, The Doors, and Nixon will be seen not as a failed objective history, but as the experience of a tumultuous era in the imagination of a man who lived through it all and can't shake it off.
The collection concludes with the flawed contemporary noir U Turn and the unexpectedly entertaining football saga Any Given Sunday. Stone bided his time following this extraordinary body of work, until the humanitarian relief drama Beyond Borders (not included) found the director on familiar footing. As Stone's legacy continues to grow, there is a remarkable career here to revisit with these 10 films. --Tom Keogh
The Oliver Stone Collection 10-Movie Giftset includes Extra Special Features on most Titles: Any Given Sunday Special Edition Director's Cut (2 discs):Behind-the-scenes DocumentaryFull Contact: The Making of Any Given Sunday2 Feature-Length Audio Commentaries by Oliver Stone and Jamie FoxOver a Dozen Deleted/Extended Scenes3 Music Vides Featuring Jamie Foxx and LL Cool J Jamie Foxx Audition Tape and Screen Tests Instant Replay Feature Allowing Direct Access to Game Action Scenes Gag Reel, Football Outtake Montage and Much More Also Includes Enhanced Features for DVD-Rom. JFK Special Edition Director's Cut (2 discs):17 Minutes of Footage Not Seen in North American TheatersNew Digital Transfer in Remixed Dolby 5.1 SurroundReissued in Dual-Layer Format Allowing Uninterrupted PlaybackFeature-Length Audio Commentary by StoneDeleted/Extended ScenesInterview with Fletcher ProutyVisual CommentaryMultimedia EssayAlso Includes Enhanced Features for DVD-Rom. The Doors (2 discs):Expanded Double-Disc EditionDocumentary The Road of ExcessDirector CommentaryFeaturetteAdditional Scenes. Natural Born Killers:New Digital Transfer in Remixed Dolby 5.1 SurroundDocumentary Chaos Rising: The Storm Around Natural Born KillersFeature-Length Audio Commentary by StoneDeleted Scenes and Alternate EndingOriginal Theatrical Trailer. Wall Street: Director CommentaryCharlie Rose Interview. Heaven and Earth: New Digital Transfer in Remixed Dolby 5.1 SurroundFeature-Length Audio Commentary by StoneDeleted ScenesOriginal Theatrical Trailer. Nixon: (2 discs) Expanded Double-Disc Edition with Deleted Scenes Reinserted into the FeatureDirector Commentary. Talk Radio: Prod