Sling Blade [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
Billy Bob Thornton plays Karl Childers, a man about to be released from a mental hospital after staying there for 30 years. Karl killed his own mother and her lover when he was only about 12 years old and you wonder from the beginning of this film - why are they letting him out?
Some people call him slow, some people say he's retarded - but as each scene comes and goes, you realize that there is a lot more going on inside Karl's head than anyone else believes.
While autism is not mentioned by name in the film, it's obvious that this character was modeled after an autistic person. He does not maintain eye contact and rarely exhibits emotion or speaks.
He returns to his childhood hometown after being released from the hospital and puts his mechanical skills to good use as a small engine wiz at a local mechanic shop.
He befriends Frank (Lucas Black), a young boy who reminds Karl of the kind of life he could have had, if he had only had different parents. Frank's mother has a psycho for a boyfriend (masterfully played by Dwight Yoakum) who treats Frank and his mother like garbage and threatens to kill them if the relationship ever ends.
Small town folks have big hearts, but sometimes small minds. Frank's mother (Natalie Camerday) has a best friend who is gay (well acted by John Ritter) and he must hide his relationships from the townsfolk. Her friend Vaughn wants to go to a a bigger city with wider acceptance of his lifestyle, but he continues to stay to act as a guardian angel for his friend and her son.Read more ›
The movie centers around Carl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton), a mentally retarded man who has just been released from a mental hospital after spending most of his life there. He's a convicted murderer who killed his own mother and her lover, but the audience is made to love him from the beginning and feel sympathy for his situation. He befriends a young boy named Frank who is being raised by a single mother who has an abusive boyfriend. The movie centers around the growing friendship between Carl and Frank, and how Carl decides to take matters into his own hands in order to protect Frank and his mother from the abusive boyfriend.
The strength of this movie is in the acting job by Thornton. His character is a cross between Boo Radley from To Kill A Mockingbird (by Harper Lee) and Lenny from Of Mice And Men (by John Steinbeck). While the audience is suspicious of Carl at the beginning of the movie because of his history, we are quickly assured that he is extremely gentle and kind. Also of note is the performance by Dwight Yoakam as the abusive boyfriend. You'll really hate his character, which obviously means that Yoakam did a great acting job.
Overall, this is an excellent movie. It's definitely worth seeing.
The title of the film looms over the audience as Thornton urges fondness while successfully negotiating the fine line between our fear of, and affection for Karl Childers (Thornton), a recently released mental patient committed as a child for violently murdering his mother and her boyfriend. Sling Blade is a study in tension with thick suspense built through superior character development resulting in conflicts that escalate into deliberate, almost real-time rhythms.
The story is one of need and moreover of acceptance, as the collection of limping characters, directly or not, seek it, and to some degree, with the help of Karl, attain it. The boy, Frank (Lucas Black), seeks the love of a father figure after the suicide of his own. Linda, the mother (Natalie Canderday), requires the general acceptance of her perceived role as a Southern woman, and subsequently the acceptance from a mate, which is evident in her destructive dependence upon her demonic, red-neck boyfriend, Doyle (Dwight Yoakam). Her own deep need renders her perhaps overly accepting of others, including Karl, whom most mothers wouldn't let within ten feet of there sons. Vaughn (John Ritter), like the others, seeks love, and on an outward scale, struggles with his half-open homosexuality in the small Southern town.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bill Bob did a fantastic job portraying Karl. Good story but predictable.Published 1 day ago by Judy Smith
A little slow but a very good tale is woven. Thornton surprises with his skills as an actor.Published 2 days ago by E. Dreer
I would have to say this is one of Billy Bob Thornton best performance, the whole story keep my interested through out the whole movie a really great filmPublished 3 days ago by L. M. Young
I thought it was slow moving and I question if most parents would be open to an unknown mentally challenged man spending a lot of time with their child. Sorry-no haters please. Read morePublished 6 days ago by D. Wall
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