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Blu-ray Review: Natural Born Killers (Unrated Director's Cut)

Posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 3:43 PM by Scott Jentsch

Front Cover ArtworkNatural Born Killers (Unrated Director's Cut)
Blu-ray
Warner Home Video
86 Minutes

List Price: $28.99 (Check Price at Amazon.com)

This movie is also available from Amazon on DVD.

Available 10/13/2009

Not Rated

Click here for additional movie details, including the full plot summary, cast listing, trailers and videos, photos, reviews of the movie, and links to the official movie web site and more.

  TheatricalThis Disc
Video Format:
8mm, 16mm, 35mm, video
1080p VC-1
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 1.85:1
Audio:

Dolby Digital

Dolby TrueHD
Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Other:  

Movie: BD-50 (x1) BD-J

Disc Contents

  • Movie
  • Special Features
    • NBK Evolution: How Would It All Go Down Now? (21:59, HD, 2 ch)
    • Chaos Rising: The Storm Around Natural Born Killers (26:30, SD, 2 ch)
    • 6 Deleted Scenes (20:49, SD, 2 ch)
    • Alternate Ending (with Introduction by Oliver Stone) (4:54, SD, 2 ch)
    • Charlie Rose Interview with Oliver Stone (11:38, SD, 2 ch)
    • Theatrical Trailer (1:47, SD, 2 ch)

About the Movie

Oliver Stone uses a hyper-realistic style and lots of violence to make a statement about the media and the public through a story of husband and wife serial killers involved in a cross country killing spree that elevates them from fugitives into media celebrities.

How Does it Look?

Still from the movie (not an actual screenshot)

How do you judge the picture quality of a title when the source material was in both black & white and color, using everything from NTSC video to 8mm and 16mm film, in addition to traditional 35mm film? The materials included talks about the fact that more than 3,000 edits were performed after filming was complete.

The answer is that you can't use any base of reference and you have to go on what you're given and judge whether it works for or against the movie in any way. I would have to say that it works for the kind of movie that this is. Stone brings to the screen a kind of movie scrapbook on acid with healthy doses of incredible violence and style to make its point.

How Does it Sound?

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack keeps itself busy! The movie is all over the board and the audio keeps up, immersing you into whatever montage of reality you're thrown into. Gunshots hit you in the gut and the surrounds wake up when they're called upon, but not to a great degree.

Extras

I like to see the theatrical trailer included with movies, so I was happy to see that one was included here. Being able to watch the trailer helps one to appreciate how the movie was marketed during its theatrical release, and it's a nice extra to have. My only wish is that they would have given it the high definition treatment to compliment the high definition movie.

Except for the featurette NBK Evolution: How Would It All Go Down Now?, all of the extras are in SD. This puts a damper on an otherwise nice package of additional materials for the movie. Whether or not you liked the movie, the featurettes may give you some insight as to Oliver Stone's intentions for the movie and the statement he was trying to make about the media and the public in the early 1990's.

The alternate ending has an introduction by Stone in which he talks about his approach for the alternate way of finishing off the movie. Personally, I think his original choice (the one that's in the movie) was the better of the two, which is usually the case with alternate endings.

Other Aspects

Inside the Blu-ray case is a thick, 46-page booklet that describes the intent of the filmmaker in releasing this title and the background behind the movie and some overviews of the cast and crew. While these types of booklets were not that rare in the DVD realm, they're almost unheard of in the Blu-ray industry! It starts out with an introduction by Oliver Stone, and the entire thing is worth looking through. It makes for a nice addition to the overall package.

This disc is BD-J formatted, and our PlayStation 3 was able to support auto-resuming the movie, even after the disc is ejected. This is one of the biggest usability problems with the Blu-ray format that studios need to recognize and support, so it's good to see that perhaps this tide is turning. Bookmarking is not supported.

Conclusion

If you aren't a fan of Oliver Stone's style, and especially if you haven't seen this movie before, I think it's purely a rent-first-buy-later situation. However, if you like this movie and its director, there's not much a question that you want to have a copy of this movie in its most complete form (as per the director's intentions) and with the highest picture and sound quality possible!

The purchase price on Amazon.com is quite attractive, so it's a good value for a purchase. If you're not sure about buying this title, put it on your Netflix list and check it out for yourself!

Recommended Reading

Don't just take our word for it, check out these resources for more reviews of the movie and of the disc.

RentBuy


Check Prices on Amazon.com

A copy of this title was provided at no cost by the movie studio/distributor for the purpose of this review. No expectation of the results of this review were set as a condition of receiving the item.



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