Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sling Blade (1996; Billy Bob Thorton)

A film highly overlooked by most people due mostly to the monolithic success that was Forrest Gump, Sling Blade is... wait a minute. I never review anything up here...

Much better. Well, I might as well do the plot first too... Karl, a mildly handicapped individual, is put into a mental hospital after killing his mother and her lover at a very young age. Fast forward a few years and now it is time for Karl to be released as an adult to create a life of his own. With great unease the hospital releases him, and we get front row seats to just how adapted Karl is.

Alright, now to backtrack, Sling Blade was regrettably ignored by most people (myself included... but I was 6, give me a break) during the colossal reign of Forrest Gump. I'm not saying Forrest Gump didn't deserve the attention, but we need to learn to spread the love a little more.

The first moments of the film where we witness Karl's interview with a young girl writing for her school newspaper and then his eventual release set an unforgettable tone of unease. This is our first introduction to Karl, and we are thrown right in with the rest of the characters as we try to figure out whether Karl has really recovered. This part of the film seals the deal as to why Forrest Gump won out. The light-hearted sides of film tend to sell better.

That isn't to say that the entire film has a serious tone about it, that is. In actuality, the film does have quite the mixture of emotions thrown into it with great success. Add on top of that a great timely soundtrack to fit the southern atmosphere and baby, you got a stew going.

The only thing I can dock this film for is the lack of replay action it will get (which is another contrast to Forrest Gump). This film is a beast (two and a half hours or something like that) and it just didn't feel like the material was enough to warrant frequent repeats (it was damn close, though).

Score: 4/5

Notes: Hades (Some people call it Hell, but I call it Hades)

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