The Miramax Collector's Series proudly presents the two-disc release of the powerful motion picture applauded by critics and moviegoers alike ... written, directed, and starring Billy Bob Thornton (1996 Academy Award(TM) Winner, Best Adapted Screenplay and Academy Award(R) Nominee, Best Actor). Twenty five years after committing an unthinkable crime, a quiet man named Karl (Thornton) is finally returning home. Once there, he is befriended by a fatherless boy and his mother. But when his new-found peace is shattered by the mother's abusive boyfriend (Grammy-winner Dwight Yoakam), Karl is suddenly placed on a collision course with his past! Also featuring Robert Duvall (OPEN RANGE), John Ritter (BAD SANTA), and J.T. Walsh (BREAKDOWN) -- SLING BLADE is an unforgettable movie experience!
For anyone who hasn't seen Sling Blade since its 1995 release, attempting to identify added scenes in this somewhat longer director's cut (148 minutes versus the original film's 135) is a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, writer-director-star Billy Bob Thornton has updated his optional commentary track to identify those extra moments and explain why he re-inserted them. For the most part, this previously unseen footage extends the mood of certain scenes, stretching out moments of humor, compassion, tension, etc. There are no important revelations, but it is interesting to hear Thornton talk about the background of these scenes, and where ideas for the dialogue and action come from.
The second disc in this special edition of Sling Blade offers quite a few special features, several of great interest, including a couple of lengthy, biographical features about Thornton. One is a Bravo Profile originally seen on the Bravo cable channel, including interviews with Sling Blade composer Daniel Lanois, Thornton's friend Matt Damon, and then-wife Angelina Jolie, who calls Thornton "a mad genius with a deep soul." The other piece provides extensive material about Thornton's childhood, the years in which he lived with his grandmother, learned basketball from his "hot-headed Irish father," and eventually grew up and moved to Los Angeles. Also on disc 2 is a roundtable discussion with Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, and Lanois, a conversation with Lanois and Thornton about the film's music score, and two interviews with co-star Robert Duvall. The latter has a lot to say about what makes Sling Blade a classic film and why he's proud to be a part of it. --Tom Keogh