Sling Blade (1996) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama
Miramax || R - 135 minutes - $34.99 || August 4, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-08-19

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

B L U - R A Y

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Writer(s): Billy Bob Thornton (play); Billy Bob Thornton (screenplay)
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh, John Ritter, Lucas Black, Robert Duvall

Theatrical Release Date: November 27, 1996

Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • 7 Featurettes

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot: A partially handicapped man named Karl is released from a mental hospital, several years after murdering his mother and another person. Karl is often questioned if he will ever kill again, and he shrugs in response saying there is no reason to. Now out of the mental institution, Karl settles in his old, small hometown, occupying himself by fixing motors.

After meeting a young boy named Frank who befriends him, Karl is invited to stay at Frank's house with his mother Linda- who views Karl as a strange but kind and generous man. However, Linda's abusive boyfriend Doyle sees things differently in the way rules ought to be run- normally insulting Linda's homosexual friend Vaughan as well as Karl's disabilities, and having wild parties with his friends. As Karl's relation with Frank grows, he is ever so watchful of Doyle's cruel actions.

This is one of those films that you look back and wonder if we will ever see another one like it again. Thornton not only starred in the film, but he also wrote and directed it leading to winning several awards. The film boasts terrific performances by Billy Bob Thornton, the late John Ritter and Lucas Black.


Commentary with Billy Bob Thornton

Mr Thornton Goes to Hollywood (1 Hour 6 Minutes)
Bravo Profiles (45 Minutes)
Roundtable Discussion (1 Hour 15 Minutes)

- - These are three terrific featurettes that delve deep into the process of how the film got started and includes numerous interviews with all the cast and crew.

Also included on the disc is A Conversation with Billy Bob Thornton and Robert Duvall (8 Minutes), A Conversation with Billy Bob Thornton and Composer Daniel Lanois (23 Minutes), The Return of Carl (4 Minutes) and some On Set footage.

Fans of the film will be pleased with the work Disney has done. Sadly, for some reason the original short (which stars Ron Livingston!) for the film was not carried over from the original DVD release or the Directors Cut of the film.


Sling Blade is presented in 1.85:1 (MPEG4) on a 50GB Disc. Average is the best way to describe it - itís definitely High-Def but it seems to be lacking that little extra thing that would make this look better. I also noticed a wee bit of contrast boosting but not enough to really steer me away from this one. The DVD was pretty bad so you are getting a noticeable improvement.

Disney has included English 5.1 DTS MA Track for this release. Another solid audio release from them. Rears are filled for most of the film while the dialog comes through nice and clean on the front speakers.


This may be a tough upgrade for some simply because of the similar features from the previous DVD. But with improved video and audio, I'd say give this one a go.