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Natural Born Killers

Oliver Stone courts controversy like a streetwalker flags truckers. Over the years he's gone from a drugs and violence meister (screenplays for Midnight Express and Scarface) to deep theologian on our collective Vietnam experience. The drama of his life reached a peak with JFK, but lapsed a little with the ignored Heaven and Earth. But with 1994's Natural Born Killers, based loosely on a screenplay credited to Quentin Tarantino, he was back in the saddle, raising the hackles of every pundit and hack in the land, and pleasing the heck out of film students in awe of his free-wheeling visual style. The film is a simple love story between Mickey Knox (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis) who decide to go on a killing spree, pursued by a cop (Tom Sizemore) and a TV reporter (Robert Downey, Jr.). Natural Born Killers is almost non-stop visual pyrotechnics. Everything from cartoons to sitcoms lend their form to the story of Mickey and Mallory. Stone lets loose, and the result is awe-inspiring. Because of a company policy that won't allow it to release unrated or NC-17 rated tapes or DVDs, Warner offers the theatrical version of the film in its boxed set of Oliver Stone films (Trimark released the director's cut of the film on DVD), but this disc only lacks two extra minutes of additional images. Beautiful anamorphic transfer (1.85:1), and the remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 track in English is almost all that the viewer could want, though fanatics will still need to own both versions. The disc comes with six deleted scenes that have appeared on other DVDs and Laserdiscs, plus "Chaos Rising: The Storm around Natural Born Killers," a "making-of" featurette; and Stone on the Charlie Rose Show. Finally there is the theatrical trailer (in full frame), talent files on four actors and Stone; and a static musical menu with 40-chapter scene-selection. Snap-case.
—D.K. Holm

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