Follow us on:





RSS Feed to all our Blu-ray Reviews



Without question, director Oliver Stoneís NATURAL BORN KILLERS ($35) is a brutal movie. Not only is this movie a brutal indictment of sensationalistic media, it is also brutally violent and brutally funny. NATURAL BORN KILLERS stars Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis as Mickey and Mallory, two crazed killers on a murder spree through America, who are turned into international media darlings by a sleazy tabloid TV show, which is hosted by an even sleazier Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.). Although every cop in America is on the lookout for Mickey and Mallory, NATURAL BORN KILLERS adds an unbalanced lawman by the name of Jack Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore) to the mix. Of course, Scagnetti manages to be on hand when Mickey and Mallory are finally brought to justice. However, if you think the movie is over when Mickey and Mallory get locked away in prison- you are dead wrong.

Due to the level of that violence the movie depicts, NATURAL BORN KILLERS has been steeped in controversy; the filmís theatrical release was met with protests and Warner even sublet Oliver Stoneís Directorís Cut of the film to another video label. Violence aside, NATURAL BORN KILLERS is one of the most visually disconcerting movies that I have ever seen. Stone plays mix and match with various film stocks, including Super 8, as well as shooting sequences on video, plus he shifts between color and black and white at the drop of a hat. There are times where no two shots within a scene seem to match, but the overall effect is astonishing.

Despite Oliver Stone's visual bravado, I don't think NATURAL BORN KILLERS would have succeeded at all, had it not been for the film's rock solid performances. Woody Harrelson is like watching a ticking time bomb- looks completely harmless, until it explodes. Robert Downey Jr. practically steals the movie with his performance as the slimy, egotistical "journalist." In the scenes where his lawman goes over the edge, Tom Sizemore is almost as scary as Harrelson. Tommy Lee Jones turns in a hilarious scene stealing performance as the prison warden, who looks like he should be selling used cars. Finally, there is Rodney Dangerfield, who absolutely amazing in a dramatic role that works brilliantly against his established comic persona. The cast of NATURAL BORN KILLERS also includes O-Lan Jones, Edie McClurg, Balthazar Getty, Russell Means and Steven Wright.

Warner Home Video has made NATURAL BORN KILLERS available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentation is utterly superb and can look amazingÖ that is, when Stoneís mix and match filmmaking technique allows. So obviously, the 35mm sequences looks better than those shot on Super 8 or video footage that was transferred to film. Talking about how sharp and how detailed the image is would be rather pointless, since itís all over the map. Colors can be deeply saturated, or muted, or even monochromatic- however, hues are faithfully rendered across the board. Blacks, whites and contrast have the same variable quality based upon the medium. The elements from which NATURAL BORN KILLERS has been transferred from are in excellent shape. Grain and video noise are perfectly representative of how any given sequence was produced.

NATURAL BORN KILLERS is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. The sound design is aggressive and perfect companion to the filmís over-the-top visuals. All of the outlying channels engage in a highly effective manner. Sound effects come from all sides, and pan around the soundstage effortlessly. Fidelity is very strong, especially where pop songs and other music is integrated into the track. The bass channel is highly potent and sometimes downright explosive. Dialogue reproduction is clean and maintains full intelligibility, even when the sound effects threaten to drown it out. English, French, Spanish and German Dolby Digital 5.1, plus Japanese and Italian language tracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese and Swedish.

The interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some supplements. Director Oliver Stone is on hand to provide a running Audio Commentary. Additionally, there is an excerpt from The Charlie Rose Show in which Oliver Stone is the featured guest talking about NATURAL BORN KILLERS. Deleted Scenes and an Alternate Ending are also provided and include introductions by director Stone. A Theatrical Trailer closes out the supplements. NATURAL BORN KILLERS features book styled packaging that contains forty-two pages of photos and notes.

NATURAL BORN KILLERS is an amazing piece of cinema. Warnerís Blu-ray presentation is a truly superb rendering of this mixed media motion picture. Highly recommended.



Natural Born Killers [Blu-ray] (1994)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



Add to My Yahoo!  Add to Google  RSS Feed & Share Links