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1. Sling Blade
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2. October Sky
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3. October Sky (Special Edition)
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4. Sling Blade (Miramax Collector's
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5. Biloxi Blues
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6. One False Move
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7. Tully
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8. South of Heaven, West of Hell
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9. Academy Award Winning Movies -
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10. October Sky/Field of Dreams

1. Sling Blade
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
list price: $19.99
our price: $14.99
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Asin: 6304765223
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 654
Average Customer Review: 4.22 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (138)

5-0 out of 5 stars Parting the waters of the medulla oblongata of mankind
Normally, movies that are written, directed and star the same person have some fatal flaw due to over-control and a lack of another voice of reason. However, in this case, Billy Bob Thorton put together a great movie.

Billy Bob's portrayal of "Karl", a retarded man who killed his mother and lover as a child, is one of the best characters ever on screen. With his high-water pants, bad haircut, underslung grin and gravelly voice, he's not someone you'll soon forget.

A finely acted film, even the smallest parts were well-done. Suprisingly, John Ritter (an actor who I can not normally watch), gave the finest performance of his career as a gay store manager. Dwight Yoakum was great as the abusive boyfriend, and Lucas Black was good as the kid. J.T Walsh, Robert Duvall, and James Hampton are also in it.

This is not a Disney type plot, and there is a fair amount of swearing and yelling, and some violence. It all is natural to the story however, and the dialogue is some of the best you'll hear anywhere.

I don't give out 5 stars to movies very often. Mmm-hmmm.

5-0 out of 5 stars An terrific wonderful film, which is unforgettable.
When a man by his early forties living in a Mental Hostipal, who being release by the first time in thirty years by the name of Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) for murdering her's mother lover and then his mother. Karl is a mentally challenge man, who never really experience the outside world. Once he's out to the World, Karl befriend with a sad-sensitive boy (Lucas Black), His Mother (Natalie Canerday) and a nice man (John Ritter), who take a liking in him. Karl hits reality with mean-spirited alcoholic abuser man (Dwight Yoakam) and his past comes to haunt him.

Writted and Directed by Billy Bob Thornton (All the Pretty Horses, Daddy and Then), which is based on his Play, which also he win for an Oscar for Best Adatped Screenplay. Thornton was also nominated for Best Actor. This independent film has First-Rate Performances by all. J.T. Walsh, James Hampton and Brent Briscoe appears in Small Roles-including Oscar-Winner:Robert Duvall. This film is touching, sad and funny also. This is a real one of a kind, unique film. A true classic of the 90's-A Winner. Grade:A+.

5-0 out of 5 stars Billy Bob does everything but sell the popcorn
Billy Bob Thornton took his screenplay and directed himself in this unforgettable film.

Thornton's Karl Childers became one of the Icons of American cinema, and I still hear people doing Karl's gravel-throated mumble which gets an immediate look of recognition from the people around.

Karl is an essentially good man who is mentally challenged. He recognizes good and bad in others, and he seems to understand his place in the world, even if the intricacies of complex human relationships pass by him as unnoticed as the ozone layer.

As the movie opens we learn that Karl is being held in a State Mental Hospital many years after he has killed a couple of people he thought were doing wrong. I'd say more here, but I think it might spoil some of your enjoyment of the movie to learn more - so just watch the movie! We also learn that Karl is being released because they've "cured him".

He goes back to his home town with all his worldly belongings in a sack. A kindly Doctor from the institution gets him a job as a lawn-mower mechanic and he meets a little boy who is friendly to him.

This is a movie of characters, and simply describing them would not do the characters justice. Karl is a simple man with a pretty well-developed sense of right and wrong. The little boy has lost his father, and the boy's mother, Linda, (portrayed in a wonderfully understated performance by Natalie Canerday) has taken up with a hard drinking, bad-mouthing redneck played by Dwight Yoakam. The late John Ritter is almost unrecognizable playing the soft-spoken crew-cut manager of the store where Linda works. Ritter's Vaughan is devoted to Linda and the little boy, Frank (played by Lucas Black), but Vaughan is also a homosexual in a small town in the south, and his social status is precarious.

There are many serious and tender and hilarious and moving scenes, and most of them involve Billy Bob's Karl. For example, there is one scene where Vaughan invites Karl to the diner where Vaughan proceeds to pour his heart out to the uncomprehending Karl. Vaughan goes on about the difficulties he has had in life, and with his father, and being a homosexual. The entire time Karl sits silently, eating his "french-fried 'taters".

Vaughan finally pauses and says "You always seem to be deep in thought. Tell me, what are you thinking right now?"
Karl replies: "I was thinkin', I'm gonna take me some of these taters home with me."

This movie will stick with you long after you have seen it. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A legendary performance for Billy Bob Thornton
Sling Blade starts out at a mental home where Karl, played by Thornton, is being released after 25 years. He killed his mother and a boyfriend after he caught them having sex and he didn't think it seemed right. But Karl is deemed to be safe for society and he is also a man with a good heart that when asked if he will do it again replies,"I don't reckon I got no reason to kill nobody." Karl, by the way is somewhat mentally challenged. So it is time to be released, and Karl returns to the town he used to call home with no place to go and no one to return to (except a father who will not recognize him).

Karl befriends a young boy named Frank, and the two are friends from the start. Both of them share some of the same emotional issues, but in Frank's case it is due to his mother's abusive boyfriend Doyle (played by Dwight Yoakam). Karl gets a job working on small engines at a local garage and lives there for a while, but Frank and his mother agree it would be good for Karl to live with them. From the first time Karl meets Doyle, he begins to see what a terrible person he is. Doyle is constantly belittling Frank and Vaughn (a friend of Frank's mother who is gay), and is verbally and physically abusive to Linda (Frank's mom). Karl appears to be a very simple man, but it is apparent that his mind is always at work analyzing the people around him. Doyle grows worse and worse, and Karl becomes increasingly fed up with him. Karl always remains calm no matter the situation, but we start to see that he is the only one who can make things better for Linda, Frank and Vaughn and that as the movie progresses Karl realizes something must be done. I will spare you the ending, but the final conflict revolves around Karl's love for Frank and Linda and with him making a choice, a choice that could send him back to the mental hospital.

This is an incredible movie that deserves all of the notariety is has collected since its release. It won many awards, and deservingly so. There is a little bit of dark comedy here, some tragedy (like when Karl is talking about his brother he had to bury when he was just born), but most of all it is a disturbing examination of internal conflict in one simple man that really is a good guy at heart. It is pretty disturbing at times, so you have been warned. The movie is nothing short of perfect though and it is definately one that you need to see in your lifetime.

5-0 out of 5 stars A darker, more sinister Forrest Gump
Thornton portrays a man whose apparent stupidity masks a deeper understanding of morals and circumstance than the common man. Everyone treats him as, and calls him, a "retard", yet he sits in his own presence watching and learning...taking in his surroundings to figure out who is decent, and who isnn't. He just wants to get on with his life, yet, he befriends a young boy by happenstance who he can relate to through common toils and emotion, who he can share his innermost thoughts and dark history with, and who he can - within his own diminished capacity- protect in full with his own fraternal....regards.

This movie will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you cringe. But it won't let you go until you see it in its entirety, and question the fact - is it okay to kill if it's for a better cause?

A must-see. ... Read more

2. October Sky
Director: Joe Johnston
list price: $14.98
our price: $11.24
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Asin: B00000IQVL
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 937
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Based on the memoir Rocket Boys by Homer H.Hickam Jr., October Sky emerged as one of the most delightful sleepers of 1999--a small miracle of good ol' fashioned movie-making in the cynical, often numbingly trendy Hollywood of the late 20th century. Hickam's true story begins in 1957 with Russia's historic launch of the Sputnik satellite, and while Homer (played with smart idealism by Jake Gyllenhaal) sees Sputnik as his cue to pursue a fascination with rocketry, his father (Chris Cooper) epitomizes the admirable yet sternly stubborn working-man's ethic of the West Virginia coal miner, casting fear and disdain on Homer's pursuit of science while urging his "errant" son to carry on the family business--a spirit-killing profession that Homer has no intention of joining.

As directed by Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer), this wonderful movie is occasionally guilty of overstating its case and sacrificing subtlety for predictable melodrama. But more often the film's tone is just right, and the spirit of adventure and invention is infectiously conveyed through Gyllenhaal and his well-cast fellow rocketeers, whose many failures gradually lead to triumph on their makeshift backwoods launching pad. Capturing time and place with impeccable detail and superbly developed characters (including Laura Dern as an inspiring schoolteacher), October Sky is a family film for the ages, encouraging the highest potential of the human spirit while giving viewers a clear view of a bygone era when "the final frontier" beckoned to the explorer in all of us. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (207)

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant story about perseverance and glory
"October Sky" is a superb show! It's 1957, and Homer Hickman is just a regular high school teen living in a small West Virginia town where his father is the manager of the coal mine that employs, well, everyone. As we meet Homer, he is working, not very successfully, to deal with the usual plagues of to get the the girl of your dreams, how to be noticed while walking in the shadow of a sports hero older brother, how to gain attention and respect from his father, and so on...just about then it is announced that the Soviets had launched Sputnik!

The space age had arrived!

The specter of Sputnik orbiting overhead has a profound influence on Homer...he is captivated by the idea of space and rocketry. He becomes the heart and soul of a group of four HS students who start to dabble in making model rockets of their own...much to his father's chagrin.

You will sorrow with Homer and his friends in their setbacks, and revel with them in their successes. Laura Dern plays a pivotal role as a teacher who encourages the boys to continue their experiments. Before long the whole town in caught up in their launches.

You'll love the way that Homer explains to the sherrif, in front of his class, why one of his rockets couldn't possibly have been responsible for starting a forest fire in the area...classic!

If you haven't seen this show, watch it! It's well worth your time.

As another reviewer aptly pointed out, this is a great film about teens...the teens look and act like teens. The players all do a great job!

"October Sky" is definitely a top-notch 5-star offering for the whole family!

Have a great day...

Alan Holyoak

5-0 out of 5 stars An Insperation That Will Live In Your Heart
When released in 1999 this little movie was a movie that i knew nothing about and i was not sure if i wanted to see it. Although on a saturday afternoon i decided to see it and was i glad because this movie is about Homer H. Hickam Jr living in a small town named coalwood in 1957 when the russians launched Sputnik. Since he is destined to work down in the mines like his father he tries to make it out of there. Homer is played by newcomer Jake Gyllenhaal in a stand out performance. Chris Cooper as the gung ho dad about mining coal in a particularly strong performance and Laura Dern as Ms Riley who encourages the boys to go for there dreams or they will be in the mines.

Told with impeccable detail to the sets and the Photography it has the right look and feel to it. Directed by Joe Johnston who is know for such movies as The Rocketter is new and brings this movie to life. The end of the movie is very moving. Guarented you will go out loving this movie. This is one of the best films of 1999 and really deserves to be seen. Truly a movie that will live in your heart forever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational top to bottom
This movie is insanely inspirational. If you buy any positive movie for your collection, think about this one. It tells the story of Homer Hickam and the Rocket boys. Just after the USSR launched Sputnik (the first manmade satellite), the US had to play catch-up.

At this time is when a kid (Homer) decides to build a Rocket. The movie is the quest to build a working rocket and get the hell out of the little coal mining community he is stuck in. He has dreams to get to college and work for NASA.

Will he accomplish his dreams??? Hells yea! After he makes it through two science fairs and his father. This is one of those rare movies that will make you a better person for having seen it. Do yourself the favor and get this movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best rocket movies ever
As a rocket scientist from a top five university, I am astonished about how much this movie correlates with my own experiences. Not only is this movie a great representation of the glory of flight, it also encompasses the human spirit. This movie is not just for rocket enthusiasts. It is for anybody that has had a dream or a passion and let nothing get in the way of it. This movie is captivating and motivating.

5-0 out of 5 stars whiz bang!
Homer Hickam is a ordinary coalminer teen.His dad is head of the mine and he raises hell a lot.Homer has a tough time getting close.His biggest sore point is that he detests the mine.He doesn't want to end up under the earth forever.He trys football.Thats the only way any of his friends have gone to collage.He fails in that.He wishes a girl would notice him.He does have two loyal friends.Then everything changes with Sputnik.Seeing it flying over the stars above his head is the moment when he realizes his calling.Soon he starts thinking about rockets.Why not build one? He goes to the poor nerdy boy for help.Soon the four have become allies.Homers first attempt in the science of rockets goes flat(well,the fence goes flat).His dad is angry and tells him to quit this craze.Homer won't do it,so he goes off in the woods and starts testing rockets.Some go nutty,some explode.Nothing works.Finally,when the whole town is there to watch,it happens.The rocket soars high.His teacher tells him to enter his rocket designs in the science fair.It seems like sucess is at hand when Homer's dad gets hurt.Homer must go down in the mine and work to support the family.His dream is shattered.
Does Homer Hickum get a scolarship with his rocket? Watch and see. ... Read more

3. October Sky (Special Edition)
Director: Joe Johnston
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.48
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Asin: B0006FYOTC
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 13119
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (207)

5-0 out of 5 stars coal miner reviews
I am a coal miner and have been for many years. I grew up during the same time period as the movie and lived and worked in the coal camps portrayed . I am also an avid movie watcher and "OCTOBER SKY" is by far one of the best movies of all time. It is probably one of my top five favorites and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a heartwarming, true to life movie. The characters, language, scenery and incidents are impeccable. Would'nt change a thing. The movie didn't play in my area so I drove about 75 miles to Charleston just to see it and I wasn't disappointed. TWO THUMBS UP!

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
October Sky didn't even find its way to the small theater in my town, so I figured the movie wasn't really worth seeing. When it was available for rental, I rented it and was totally suprised. This movie was INCREDIBLE. The plot is very well written, and it's a very touching story. (I found myself almost crying several times.) October Sky is a story about sucess, failures, dreams, and family pride. I would call it one of the best movies of the 1990s.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply a wonderful movie
I saw this movie on the trop from Switzerland to the USA and it did certainly shorten the long flight :-) It's a wonderfully entertaining movie, showing us the beginning of the new age of the sixties and the dreams of young people of that time that finally led us to the exploration of space...

5-0 out of 5 stars Probably the first TRUE family movie I've ever seen
In saying this is the first true family video I've seen, I mean a video that is not just for kids, but is one that the entire family can not only tolerate, but love. Recently, myself, my husband, another couple, their 2 kids ages 12 and 10 and my son age 5 all watched this movie. Each and every one of us loved it. The message and the story will stay with us for years to come. The husband of the other couple is from West Virginia, where this movie is set, and both his grandparents were coal miners. He said the setting and the details were incredibly accurate. Every bit of acting was right on target. The fact that this is a true story, and the pictures and stories at the end of what happened to all the characters, made this even more moving. I remember reading about this movie and thinking it didn't really sound that interesting, and not really wanting to see it, but I was certainly wrong. Don't make the mistake I almost did--don't miss this.

5-0 out of 5 stars My inspiration
Do you feel constrained in your job? Are you an unhappy student? Then this movie is for you. I first watched the rental and I was deeply touched and inspired by it. I right away decided that this movie is worth owning, so I bought myself a copy. I don't regret it. Every time I watch it, it makes me re-evaluate my life and inspires me to go after what I value most. It makes me realize that I, too, can do what most people will tell me is impossible. It inspires me to keep trying and keep dreaming. You must own this movie so it touches and inspires everyone who visits your home. ... Read more

4. Sling Blade (Miramax Collector's Series)
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
list price: $19.99
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0007RT9LC
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1945
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Billy Bob Thornton wrote, directed, and starred in this mesmerizing drama with haunting overtones of To Kill a Mockingbird. Thornton plays a mentally retarded man who has spent 20 years in a psychiatric hospital for killing his mother and her lover. Released into the community from which he came, he befriends and protects a lonely boy regularly harassed and abused by his mom's boyfriend (a terrific performance by Dwight Yoakam). The story is ultimately about sacrifice, but Thornton certainly doesn't get twinkly about it. Some of the best material concerns the hero's no-big-deal efforts to integrate into a "normal" life: working, eating fast food, earning admiration for his handyman skills, and attaining a semblance of community among other damaged souls. John Ritter has a great part as a gay shopkeeper who tries to assuage his own loneliness by spilling his guts out to Thornton's uncomprehending character. The DVD release presents the film in its original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (154)

4-0 out of 5 stars All Right Then
If you are expecting a slow southern drama about a small-town misfit who is released from an asylum and trying to fit in again, then Sling Blade is a "must see" movie.Released by Miramax in 1996 and wrote, directed and starred by Billy Bob Thornton, this fictional drama is set in Arkansas , where a mildly retarded man named Karl Childers played by Thornton is about to be released after 25 years from an asylum for the criminally insane.This movie has a very slow pace which is in comparison to how Thornton is portraying Karl.Thornton receives an "Academy Award winner for Best Adapted Screen Play and for Best Actor in 1996" in this breath taking performance as Karl Childers.

Karl, played by Thornton, was imprisoned for a youthful act of terrible vengeance. Stumbling upon his mother naked on the floor with one of the towns men on top of her, and believing that she was being raped, he killed the man with a few thrashings of a sling blade. After killing the man and looking at his mother he realized that the man was her lover and Karl, filled with red rage, killed his mother as well.Now 25 years later he returns to the community where he stumbles upon a young boy named Frank Wheatley (Lucas Black) who has lost his father and likes to listen to Karl's rasp voice andhis "all right then" phrases that he makes. With both Karl and Frank feeling like outcast they are drawn together and become good friends, and before long Karl moves in with Frank and his mother, Linda (Natalie Canerday), and finds a job fixing lawnmowers.Not to long after Karl moving in with the Wheatley home, he realized that Linda's boyfriend, Doyle (Dwight Yoakam), abuses both her and Frank.Doyle is always putting Frank down for being different and calls Karl a "humped-over retard", between each of the drinks of beer he swigs down.You also learn about Linda's friend and protector, a gay grocery store manager (John Ritter) whose self appointed goal is to protect the Wheatley family from Doyle's drunken outrages, and to keep his gay life in the closet in this small southern town.

In addition to figures such as Jim Jarmusch showing up in a cameo as a Tastee Cream counter clerk and J.T. Walsh captive role, musicians such as Vic Chesnutt and Ian Moore make appearances as members of Doyle's terrible backyard band. I give this movie 4 stars even though it could be argued that Sling Blade could be taken under the cutting board, but it does not take away from the great performance of the movie which runs approximately 1 hour 34 minutes.

4-0 out of 5 stars Neglect and ignorance breeds violence

The film Sling Blade was written, directed, and starred Billy Bob Thornton as a mentally retarded man who was neglected and teased as a child.Most of Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) childhood was one of torment at the hands of cruel school children, and neglect from ignorant parents.Karl thinks his mother is being raped and kills her assailant, only to find that his beloved mother was a willing participant in the encounter.He becomes enraged and strikes her down with a sling blade.Karl spends the next two decades in a state institution for the criminally insane.He has been a model patient, and is eventually deemed fit for release back into society.Only his body has grown during his incarceration, while his mind has remained that of a child.His first encounter outside of the hospital is with a young boy Frank (Lucas Black) and his mother Linda (Natalie Canerday), who take him into their home and treat him with dignity and kindness.Karl instantly loves his new family, but his happiness is quickly extinguished when Doyle (Dwight Yoakam) enters Karl's life.Doyle is a violent alcoholic redneck who destroys any hope for Carl, Frank and Linda to have any sort of happiness.These are the main players in this tragic story, but (John Ritter) Vaughn Cunningham plays a supporting role as Linda's homosexual boss and close friend.We also catch a glimpse of Karl's father Frank Childers (Robert Duval) in a small, mostly insignificant role as well.The movie starts out slow and really never speeds up as it progresses.I think that the movie would not work any other way than being slowly told since the main character is slow as well.Sling Blade ends as it begins, with tragic consequences for everyone involved, and leaves me wondering why people are so cruel to others who are different.I would definitely recommend the movie.I enjoyed the movie and I found it worth the time I invested in watching it.The characters were well developed, and I was able to become emotionally attached to Karl's character as well as Frank, his mother, and Vaughan while they tried in vain to coexist with Doyle and his abusive ways.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good guys finish last?
Billy Bob Thornton wrote, directed, and starred in this slow moving drama with scary similarities to the movie To Kill a Mockingbird. Thornton plays Karl, a mentally retarded man who has spent 20 years in a psychiatric hospital for killing his mother and her lover with a sling blade (Thus the name of the movie). Released into the community from which he came, he befriends and protects a lonely boy regularly harassed and abused by his mom's boyfriend Doyle (Dwight Yoakam). The story is ultimately about sacrifice; Karl is forced to make a choice between what he feels in his heart, and what he feels is biblically wrong. Some of the best material involves Karl's no-big-deal efforts to integrate into a "normal" life: working, eating fast food (mostly French fries), earning admiration for his handyman skills, and attaining a semblance of community among other damaged souls. John Ritter has a great part as a gay shopkeeper who tries to alleviate his own loneliness by spilling his guts out to Thornton's uncomprehending character. There is also a meaningless scene where Karl confronts his father (Robert Duvall, who is a great actor that must have needed a quick paycheck, as he really played a very insignificant role).

After watching the film, I must admit I felt a little ambivalent about Karl's final decision. Without giving away the ending, I felt that Karl was forced to make a decision because Frank's (Lucas Black) mother refused to make one. She is involved in an abusive relationship and keeps both her and her son's life in peril because she doesn't want to be lonely. The plot is so similar to other movies I've seen, that I knew what the ending was going to be from the beginning.

I thought the movie was worth renting, but didn't like it well enough to add it to my movie collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Slow On Purpose
Billy Bob Thornton does an excellent job writing, directing and starring in this movie.You will not even recognize him as he becomes a retarded southerner, (Carl Childers), just getting out of the State correctional facility.The way that Thornton explains the childhood of Carl in the beginning of the movie gives the audience a good picture of what he has been through.He befriends a young boy (JT Walsh) who like himself has struggled through a troublesome childhood.When Carl gets out of the State Hospital he is introduced into another dysfunctional family.The boy whom he had befriended invites him to stay with his family so that he does not feel nervous all of the time. The new family consists of the boy's widowed mother, her best friend also her boss who is played by John Ritter and her new boyfriend, Doyle (Dwight Yokam) who is a very mean construction worker.Yokam and Ritter also do excellent jobs in their roles.Yokam plays the part of an unstable single alcoholic whom is destined to abuse everyone he is associated with.Ritter is a local grocery store manager who is trying to hide the fact that he is a homosexual.Toward the end of the movie you can predict what is going to happen by the turn of events that take place. Carl gets Baptized and then things around the household start to get out of control.He goes to all of the people who have been straight with him and asked them of favors.What happens next is quite predictable but the manner in which it takes place is out of the ordinary.This movie is not a very fast paced movie and there are many slow spots.The reasoning behind this is the main character is also very slow and he is setting the pace.I would rate this movie a four out of five and would watch it again due to its incredible acting and excellent screenplay.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thornton makes a brilliant "debut"
When I first saw Sling Blade back in 1996, I was immensely moved by Thornton's portrayal of a mentally retarded man trying to assimilate into the world from which he was cast years ago for killing his mother and her lover. It was, to me, a perfect movie from beginning to end. The movement was precise; all of the situations (unfortunately) highly believable, and the acting, from Thornton to John Ritter to Lucas Black was terrific. Lucas Black, incidentally, seems to be making the transition from child star to adult actor quite well. So many "cute kids" that can act like "cute kids" grow into ungainly adults who can't act like adults. He's breaking that mold, and perhaps it's because he was never under the intense scrutiny that others like Macaulay Culkin were.

Anyway, I'm digressing in a huge way.

Having seen this recently on cable, I was surprised at how strongly certain images remained from my first viewing. Frank (Lucas Black) tossing huge bags of laundry out of the Laundromat, the cot that Karl (Thornton) slept on, originally, in the back of the garage he worked at, the horrible scene where Doyle (played to oily perfection by Dwight Yoakam) flew into a drunken rage and shoved Linda (Frank's mom, Natalie Canerday), whereupon Frank viciously attacked Doyle by throwing everything he could get his hands on at him. That was such a brilliant and moving scene. As was the scene where Karl grabbed Doyle's hand and said something like, "Don't you lay a hand on that boy".

However, while watching it, I realized that I had missed a rather major plot line, the entire reason that Karl and Frank bonded the way the way they did. I'm chalking it up to being nine years dumber than I am today, but that's just a convenient excuse. I missed it, and, uh, all I can say about that is "duh!".

What I missed is rather simple, and may come as no surprise to anyone reading this. Karl, under direction from his parents, drowned his younger brother and buried him alive. Retarded and young as he was, he didn't have a complete grasp on the situation, but over the years, he came to realize that what he did was wrong. On Frank's end, his father killed himself. Rather simple here. Karl found the little brother he wanted as well as his perceptive abilities could grasp, and Frank found the father he desperately missed and needed. Without that core, the movie really lacks coherency. So for me to have missed that and still enjoyed the film immensely - well, like I said earlier, duh. My only complaint about the missing father figure was that John Ritter's character, who was gay, could easily have been a father figure to Frank. Being gay didn't disqualify him. Let's get serious - if being gay disqualifies, even in young Frank's mind, wouldn't a socially inept retarded person be disqualified too? That's a minor problem, though.

Going back to powerful images, anyone who has seen this film is not likely to forget the ending, where Karl calmly goes from place to place, extracting promises from various people so that he and Doyle will be alone later that night. Karl calmly asks Doyle how to reach the police, and once Doyle tells him, Karl calmly stands up, kills him with what I guess is a sling blade (I admit ignorance here), then calls the police, reports a murder, and says that with the second blow he nearly cleaved Doyle's head in two. After reporting the murder, he sits down and finishes eating dinner.

Later, upon being readmitted to the mental institution, we are confronted with the most disgusting of criminals - and I'm not even certain why this particular criminal was institutionalized, unless he had a great lawyer - the child molester. This man is talking to Karl about his "exploits", which are revolting, and asks if Karl had met anyone on the "outside". Karl says he met a boy, and the molester indicates that he doesn't go that way, but was sure that Karl had a good time with him. Karl replies, and I'm paraphrasing liberally, "Don't you never say nothin' `bout that boy. As a matter of fact, I'd appreciate it if you don't say `nothing to me at all."

Retarded, yes. Immoral? That's a more difficult question. The Bible told him that killing was wrong, but obviously he somehow worked out that in certain matters killing was OK (he said to his father that he would kill him where he sat, but he saw that his father was doing a fine job of it himself).

This was the first time I'd seen Billy Bob Thornton, although he'd appeared in and/or written seventeen films prior. Having never seen him, I had no idea how remarkable his acting was. After seeing him in other films, his performance here put Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man to shame.
... Read more

5. Biloxi Blues
Director: Mike Nichols
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Asin: B0000VV508
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Sales Rank: 6189
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars In my top ten . . .
Despite my best instincts to the contrary, this movie remains among my top ten favorite (notice, not BEST - there's a difference) movie of all time.

There is something about this movie that simply appeals to me. Being in the military and working as the Executive Officer of a Basic Training Battery, I definitely recognize the witt and toughness of Drill Sergeant Merwyn J. Toomey (actually, I kind of wish we were allowed to be more like him today - it would produce better soldiers). But the appeal of this film goes far beyond recognition of the brilliance of Christopher Walken's performance as the DS.

Above all the dialog in the movie is crisp and funny, without an element of raunch or being to sarcastic. There are feelings of genuine nostalgia and sweetness about the picture which are hard to describe, but definitely noticeable. They are in the scene in which Broderick's character meets Daisy for the first time, they permeates the scene in which Eugene loses his virginity and they even appear at the end of the film, where the soldiers of the company learn DS Toomey is leaving.

The performances of all the principles are nothing short of fantastic. Broderick is perfect as Jerome, Walken is great as DS Toomey, and Penelope Anne Miller - wow.

The last think about this film that makes it stand out is the music. There is a slow rendition of "How High the Moon" which makes its appearance at the beginning, at the end and in the scene at the USO where Jerome meets Daisy. This version of the song, which is normally done at a jazzy trot, is wonderful, almost hypnotic. For this song alone, the soundtrack is worth exploring.

4-0 out of 5 stars Book or movie, take your pick; both are stellar
Neil Simon's 'Eugene Morris Jerome' plays never fail to make me laugh no matter how many times I see/read them. He's got his finger on the pulse of true comedy, and it's treatment in this film is quite worthy.

Although the whole cast is great, Matthew Broderick does a fine job portraying Eugene; just the right amount of incredulousness and irreverence to do the character justice. But he also carries the few bits of drama without many problems, so for any actor to handle comedy and drama with such flair is commendable.

Christopher Walken as the sadistic Sgt. Toomey steals the show, however, proving he's not just a bad guy in films... he's also a very FUNNY bad guy, with unerring comedic timing, that unfortunately doesn't get shown often enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars The one-liners continue..
The "next" installment in the life of Eugene Morris Jerome is FINALLY here. The native New Yorker, Eugene is shipped out to boot camp during WWII and winds up deep in the South - Biloxi, Mississippi. His writer's "instict" kicks into full throttle as he negociates his way through all the physical and mental challenges boot camp offers. Far away from his hysterical family in Brighton Beach...Eugene is surrounded with an equally
dys-FUN-ctional crew of fellow privates. Neil Simon's clever dialogue and Matthew Broderick's phenomenal performance make this movie a great follow up to Brighton Beach Memoirs!

4-0 out of 5 stars ...It's like Africa hot
I am thrilled to see this DVD is finally going to be made available. In college I my theater troupe pulled off "Biloxi Blues,"

I went to see Christopher Walken perform in a broadway production of "James Joyce the dead" a few years ago, and low and behold, bumped into Matthew Broderick and his wife. Not only were the two of them in the film production of Biloxi Blues together, but had performed the play together on Broadway as well.

This was about 5 years ago, and I was thrilled to see the two of them were still friends. Great movie, fantastic play.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well its about time :)
everytime I get on Amazon I always check to see if this was available, now I am very pleased that it is soon to be released, thanks to the powers that be, ... Read more

6. One False Move
Director: Carl Franklin
list price: $27.95
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Asin: 0767818083
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 20354
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best crime films ever made
"One False Move" is a lost classic that is great films on many levels, acting, screenplay, direction, mood, etc. But what makes it really special is its authenticity. In the middle of the film there is a scene of a highway patrolman pulling over a carload of suspects that could be a training film at any police academy. The patrolman does everything right, until he makes one minor but ultimately deadly mistake. The violent scenes are quick and realistic, like a punch to the gut. Bill Paxton as the erstwhile motormouth "hero" and Billy Bob Thorton as the high Strung "villian" turn in career making performances. Even the small southern town that serves as a backdrop for the movie feels totally authentic. Anyone who enjoyed "Sling Blade" or "A Simple Plan" will love this movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars CYNDA WILLIAMS. . .enter my world!


Bill Paxton, Cynda Williams, Billy Bob Thornton, Michael Beech, 1992


Two men and a woman steal some money and drugs and head out from Los Angeles. Along their path, they decide to let Fantasia (Cynda Williams) go home
to Arkansas to visit her family. Little do they know that waiting for them there is a small town cop who is ready to handle whatever they bring.

My Review

This is one those little known treasures that most people would be pleasanly surprised with. It was only her second film, but Cynda Williams displays a very confident and
bold presence on the screen. She is very effective in portraying a young woman caught up is a disastrous situation. The viewer will feel great sympathy for her character. She deserved an Oscar nomination for this role.
The film was written by Billy Bob Thornton, who was married to Cynda Williams at the time.

5-0 out of 5 stars i never get tired of this one....
i saw OFM when it first came out, over ten years back. it was on cable the other day. it still keeps me glued to the set. bill paxton, billy bob thornton, michael beach....great work. too bad this one didn't get more media and a larger audience.

4-0 out of 5 stars Move Over "Jaws"
This review refers to DVD edtion(Columbia Tri-Star) of "One False Move".....

"One False Move" is one truely good thriller. Directed by Carl Franklin, who has a knack for bringing us some great noir("Devil In A Blue Dress"), and really engages us in the story and the characters.

Ray,Pluto and Fantasia are on the lam. They are drug dealers who just committed the most horrific murders and are heading from L.A. to a smalltown in Arkansas. The law is hot on their trail and notifies Chief Dale "Hurricane" Dixon of Star City to be on the look out for these big time criminals. Dickson is a big fan of the L.A.P.D. and is eager to get in on this big case and apprehend these ruthless thugs. But does he really know what he's getting himself in his wife says "He watches TV..I read non-fiction". And..there's more...Fantasia brings with her to this small town a big secret that has our hero "Hurricane" personally involved as well.

The cast is fabulous. Billy Bob Thornton and Cynda Williams play Ray and Fantasia, the Bonnie and Clyde type lovers on the run. Michael Beach is their co-hort.He is educated, has an IQ of 150, and makes "Jaws" look like the family pet! And Bill Paxton is simply outstanding as Chief Dickson, the small town cop with big ideals. The music score is as chilling as the story and the screenplay(Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson) will have you hanging on every word.

The film was nominated for and won several international awards,including an "Independent Spirit Award" for Carl Franklin for Best Director, and an "International Fantasy Film Award" for Thornton and Epperson for Best Screenplay.

The picture presented on this DVD is excellent. It has the choice of anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 which is the intended ratio, or full screeen format. The colors and clarity were very good. The sound was good in DD 2.0, all sounds were distinguisable, but I had to keep turning it up and down throughout the movie, as the dialouge seemed to get higher and lower at times.(this film is begging for 5.1). There is commentary by Director Carl Franklin which may be viewed during the film if you choose.The problem with this is that you can not go in and out of the commentary without turning the DVD off and on. There is no "Resume Film", you would have to go to the scene selection to pick up where you left off, if you only wanted to hear certain portions of the commentary. The Tech info here and the "Special Features" listed on the case state that there are subtitles in Spanish and French. If you are needing these..fahget about it...the "Spanish" subtitles come up in English and I could not find the French subtitles anywhere. It may be viewed in Spanish though.

Four stars for the package....a terriffic and chilling story,great transfer to DVD, but let's fix up those subtitles for those who may need them Columbia....

Thanks and enjoy...Laurie

3-0 out of 5 stars it's alright
Normally I wouldn't review a movie like this, but the reviews were a little too kind and I regretably bought it because it wasn't available at the local rental store. Anyway, I didn't think it was an undiscovered gem but decent, pretty watchable, scenes are sometimes boring and non-relavent, but quality acting and an easy to follow plot help make up for it. A little predictable too. Basically, go rent it if you've nothing better to watch. ... Read more

7. Tully
Director: Hilary Birmingham
list price: $9.99
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Asin: B00009AV8C
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 19234
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Two brothers and the summer a hidden past is revealed
Based on my memory of reviews when this film was first released, I expected a kind of comedy-drama-romance, which it is not. It can best be described as a family melodrama, set on a small farm in Nebraska (actually shot in the rural community of Ft. Calhoun, near Omaha). The elements are somewhat familiar: an older man raising two sons, of somewhat different temperaments, all haunted by the memory of a mother who had aspirations beyond the narrow confines of the farm (she names a horse Jackie, after Jackie Kennedy, because she "liked famous people"). During a summer, as the boys have grown into young men, the truth of their mother's past begins to make itself known, and all are deeply affected.

The story has a leisurely pace as it unfolds, and for a time it seems to be about the growing attraction between womanizer Tully and Ella, a college-educated friend of his younger brother. But this becomes a thread in the larger story of a family's secrets and loyalties surfacing after years of silence and half-truths. For its length, it's a small film, and its strength is not in big effects, sex and nudity, or heavy plotting. Instead there are well-acted scenes between people in muted conflict who struggle with emotions and the difficulty of trusting others with the truth about themselves. This will not be everyone's idea of entertainment, but as indie movies go, I found that it rewarded my patience.

The cinematography captures the deep greens of mid-summer, and scenes are often shot in early morning or late afternoon, so the golden, glancing sunlight lights characters with a rich glow and casts cool shadows. Night scenes are played against a textured fabric of insect sounds. Always the camera captures the isolation and solitude of country living.

Perhaps the only real ring of inaccuracy in the film is the fact that so little of the dawn-to-dusk work of actual farming is reflected in the lives of the characters. These boys have an awful lot of time on their hands; the farm seems to take care of itself. The film is based on a story by writer Tom McNeal, whose novel "Goodnight, Nebraska" has similar characters (a young couple), a rural small town setting, and touches on similar themes. For fans of the film, I recommend McNeal's book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better than the Title
Sometimes movie titles (Tully) are weaker than the movies. This story line of mid-western farm people from a vague time period, I'm guessing the late 1980's or mid-90's, is well developed. We care about young stud Tully,his dorky brother, and weather beaten dad. The farm is in danger from a mysterious debt and Tully is gradually falling for the freckled good-girl neighbor back from vet school. These are people that work. How many movies are about real people that work? No detectives or super-models here, no; these are rural folks that honky-tonk on a Saturday night and swim in the local water hole with their girlfriends, or make love down a lonely road on top of the hood of a 82 Cadillac. I cared about the characters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous character development
It's a slow movie... but the character development is excellent! Tully is the story of two brothers, their father, and life on the farm. You'll find yourself caring about these characters. I really appreciated them because they don't complain about their lives on the farm and aren't bitter about their existence.

Thoughtful and sometimes sad, Tully is definitely worth watching.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Little Film
Wonderful story. So nice to see a story about rural America where the charachters are NOT trying to escape, but instead shown as real people. The cinematography was strong and I thought the landscape was used to great advantage to show the relation between the people and the land.

This movie will not knock your socks off, but at the end you will say you had a good experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why we watch small films
Tully is the kind of small film that makes it worth slogging through all the other small films. The story takes place in the vast flatness of the Midwest, but this one actually feels true to that landscape, not just an excuse for small-town existential crisis. Cunningly acted, powerfully written, and full of the kinds of genuine character epiphanies that make us want to watch movies in the first place, Tully represents the beginning of a great career for its young director, Hilary Birmingham. ... Read more

8. South of Heaven, West of Hell
Director: Dwight Yoakam
list price: $14.98
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Asin: B00005LMAL
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 27235
Average Customer Review: 2.66 out of 5 stars
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If you've never heard of South of Heaven, West of Hell, there'san excellent reason. If you have heard of it, it's probably because you stumbledupon the information that it marks the directorial debut of singer-actor DwightYoakam, who managed to sweet-talk a spectacularly quirky cast into abetting theenterprise: current girlfriend Bridget Fonda and her papa Peter; indie-worldluminaries Vince Vaughn and Billy Bob Thornton (for whom Yoakam made a memorablyloathsome villain in Sling Blade); character-acting stalwarts Bo Hopkins,Matt Clark, Luke Askew, and Scott Wilson; and such icons of the florid fringe asBud Cort, Paul Reubens, and Michael Jeter. All should file for workman's compand alienation of audience affection because they got themselves mired inone of the dumbest, most inept, most tediously self-indulgent messes in thehistory of showbiz hubris.

Yoakam stars (you guessed?) as a U.S. marshal whose tiny Arizona town isliterally annihilated by a clan of outlaws from his past. He and they used to befamily. Now he has to track them down, even as they go on making life hell onearth for anyone in their path. That includes a hapless government man (B. Cort)whom they're keeping alive for sport, and a traveling lady (B. Fonda) who ...well, who's blonde and is mostly photographed in slow motion because she's thedirector's girlfriend (see above). It is beyond the scope of mortal man todescribe how primitive are Yoakam's notions of dramaturgy (mostly there is justshouting and hair), how any coherent grasp of time or geography eludes him, howlittle difference it makes whether these gargoyles start killing each other inany given scene. It's just awful. And while we're at it, offal. --Richard T.Jameson ... Read more

Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dwight and friends make a real western
The more I see this flick, the more I love it. At first viewing this DVD, I thought it started off pretty dull and slow, but then things picked up when I realized the film's characters are supposed to be quirky and odd. I loved the unpretentiousness of the writing and acting. No stupid predictable Hollywood lines or situations in this film. GREAT!

Being Dwight's first Director job (and not knowing anything else about Mr. Yoakam) I think it's a minor masterpiece. I do wish he'd have cast someone else as his character and concentrated on directing only. All the actors were outstanding. Can't say enough about them. Truly a pleasure to watch them in action. I also dug those wild rags!

This movie gave me the western flick bug. I rented other westerns thereafter. Well-known and recent ones, including a God-awful remake of High Noon with Tom Skerritt and Michael Madsen. I love this little gem the most. I intend to buy it. Already own the soundtrack CD.

Can't wait until Dwight's next effort.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Dark Movie That Isn't For Everyone
South of Heaven, West of Hell really didn't get much theatrical exposure, which is surprising considering its stellar cast, including Dwight Yoakam, Billy Bob Thornton , Bridget & Peter Fonda, Vince Vaughn, Paul Reubens and Bud Cort. In addition, South of Heaven, West of Hell is in the strange position of having different cuts of the film being released on VHS and DVD. The VHS of South of Heaven, West of Hell is 30 minutes shorter than the theatrical and DVD version of the film. I have no idea why Trimark would decide to touch South of Heaven, West of Hell, one of the most intriguing and 'real' westerns I've seen in a long time.

Running at about two and a half hours, South of Heaven, West of Hell takes its time telling its story, but surprisingly doesn't really feel slow. Director/Star Dwight Yoakam does a great job of capturing the feeling of life in the West at the turn of the century. There's a scene at dusk where there's nothing really going on, a group of people sit around outside and listen to people play music. It's such a stark contrast to modern life where people close themselves in their homes and flick on the TV. It's little moments like this that create a real and credible world in which the story takes place.

Aside from being one of the more methodical and realistic westerns I've seen, South of Heaven, West of Hell is also by far the darkest, where there really aren't any heros, and the lines between honor and revenge are quite blurry. South of Heaven, West of Hell is a gem of a movie with stellar performances. While I felt Dwight Yoakam did a great job as the lead, I really enjoyed the supporting performances, especially Bud Cort (best know for being Harold in Harold and Maude), Paul Reubens, who is a thrill to watch playing a cowboy, and Billy Bob Thornton in a brief but pivitol role.

After watching South of Heaven, West of Hell I still had a number of questions about the film, but unfortunately the commentary doesn't clear everything up, which at first was a little frustrating, but after a bit of thinking was ok. It's hard to remember a recent film that I thought about as much afterward. South of Heaven, West of Hell isn't a movie for everyone but for those interested in a dark, real western I'd highly recommend it. [Geoffrey Kleinman,]

2-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully photographed, that's about it...
I love Dwight Yoakam's music and songwriting, he's surely one of the best singer/ songwriters out there but I think he should leave the screenwriting to professional screenwriters. This film looks beautiful, but the plot leaves a lot to be desired and the dialogue is often very dull. Dwight has some positives in this, as bad as it is. For instance, he looks great on a horse, but he looks uncomfortable in front of the camera here, which is unusual for him, given his other movies. The characters are interesting enough, but not given enough development that we can see. I don't think Dwight should give up directing entirely, but I would not recommend seeing this.

3-0 out of 5 stars South of Coherence, West of Logic
Dwight Yoakam, accomplished country/western singer, loves movies. He has appeared, as an actor, in over a dozen films. On this film, Yoakam functioned as writer, co-producer [with Buck Owens], director, star, and of course, he worked on the musical score as well. This would be quite a feat for the most accomplished of movie stars, which Mr. Yoakam is not. He can be very effective as an actor, when directed properly, as in "Sling Blade" and "Panic Room". He is a better actor than Johnny Cash was, or Merle Haggard; certainly as good as the icon known as Willie Nelson.

This film is so bad, it is almost good. It is so different, so off-center, so oblique, that it challenges the audience. The cinematography, by James Glennon, is lush; images bathed in dust and golden light, drenced in blood-red sunsets and shimmering mirage riders, ghost-like apparitions. I think it is admirable that Yoakam had enought influence, enough money, enough good friends, and enough ego to launch this dark confused tale. But, alas, it does not emerge as eclectic as Jim Jarmusch's mini-classic,"Dead Man". We all love a western, and Yoakam can be applauded for purposefully breaking down many of the cliches of the genre. Next time though, sir, please procure blanks for your handguns that do not sound like cap pistols.

The movie has been called self-indulgent, and it is; tedious, even egregious. Actually, what it is remains closer to a labor of love falling leagues short of coherence. It was poorly written. Without strongly defined characters, clear conflicts, and fully-realized conclusions, we struggle as viewers. At times, the film becomes too esoteric; like Dennis Hopper's "The Last Movie", one suspects the cast had fun doing it, but where's the fun in watching it ? No one wants a film to fail. We search for those tiny nanoseconds that elevate, entertain, and enlighten us.

The movie is populated by bizarre characters portrayed by a bevy of terrific actors. Yoakam, as U.S.Marshall, Val Casey, is at ease in front of the camera; but Val comes off as shallow posturing. Where is the anger, inner strength, and passion ?
Several times in the semblence of a plot it is mentioned that an official government letter exists, and in it is the information that Valentine Casey was deceased; that he had died in Cuba in the Spanish-American war. When confronted with this conundrum, Val just stares wistfully toward the horizon. So, as an undercurrent, we wonder if Val is really an avenging spirit, or if the whole movie represents a nightmarish dream ?

Joe Unger, as the outlaw Nogales, makes a strong impression, finding a real person within the absurdity of the script. Billy Bob Thornton, Peter Fonda, Matt Clark, and Bo Hopkins, sleepwalk through their brief scenes, lending their visage and names to the project. Bridget Fonda, as Adelyne, is credible, considering her character is written incoherently. The Henry Clan are the heavies. They are led by Luke Askew, astride a primitive wheel chair, spouted biblical platitudes, manning a machine gun mounted on his wagon, and finding time to bugger his daughter. Vince Vaughn cuts a wide swath as Taylor Henry, the most lethel of the bunch; killing without remorse, ice-blooded and stone-faced. Comic relief is provided with the bawdy flavor of Shakespeare; down, dirty, and bloody. Bud Cort is dipped in [foul stuff], stripped, humiliated, beaten, and shot. Paul Reubens, as Arvid Henry, seethes like a [unique] gunslinger, bouncing about like a Marx brother; murdering, [abusing], stealing,... Michael Jeter, as the uncle, gets to whine, beg, howl, cajole, and [be abused],... Terry McIlvain, as Val's sidekick, U.S.Christmas, is costumed in a colorful skirt, like a South American gaucho, and he makes the most out of his screen time.

...this one could become a cult classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Western Since Pale Rider
Easily the best western since Pale Rider. As a 26 year old non-country boy, the only other westerns I considered worthwhile were those of Sergio Leone and anything shoot-em-up with Clint Eastwood, pre-Unforgiven days... Dwight Yoakam serves up a fine dish of honky-tonk, gunfighting, and even raunch in a western that plays more like a documentary than fiction. Not in the boring ... documentary fashion, but in a way of life, be it low or otherwise. This movie is original, intelligent, and puts any later western to shame, including Young Guns, its sequel, Unforgiven, or Posse. Those who claim there is no plot are obviously not paying attention to a film they decided to critique. ... Read more

9. Academy Award Winning Movies - Volume II (Good Will Hunting/Sling Blade/The Cider House Rules)
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
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10. October Sky/Field of Dreams
Director: Joe Johnston
list price: $26.99
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Asin: B0000EMYC4
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