Sling Blade

  • Directors: Billy Bob Thornton
  • Producers: Larry Meistrich, David L Bushell, Brandon Rosser
  • Writers: Billy Bob Thornton
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J T Walsh, John Ritter, Lucas Black, Natalie Canerday

Karl Childers (Thornton) is a mentally challenged man who has been in the custody of the state mental hospital since the age of 12, having killed his mother and her lover.

Although thoroughly “institutionalized”, Karl is deemed fit to be released into a world “too big” for him. Prior to his release, he is interviewed by a local school newspaper reporter to whom he recalls in detail the brutal murder of his mother and her lover with a kaiser blade (noting “some folks call it a sling blade”). Karl claims to have killed the boy for supposedly raping his mother. When he found out his mother was a willing participant, he killed her too.

Having a knack for small engine repair, Karl eventually gets a job at a local lawnmower repair shop. Not long after, he befriends Frank (Lucas Black). Karl shares with Frank some of the details of his past, including the killings. Frank reveals that his father was killed, leaving him & his mother on their own (he later admits that he lied, and that his father committed suicide). Frank introduces Karl to his mother Linda (Natalie Canerday), as well as her gay friend Vaughan (John Ritter). Despite Vaughan’s concerns, Linda allows Karl to move into her garage. This does not sit well with Linda’s abusive boyfriend Doyle (Dwight Yoakam).

Doyle becomes increasingly abusive with Karl and Frank, leading to a drunken outburst and physical confrontation with Frank. Though Linda initially kicks Doyle out of the house, she later reconciles with him. After Doyle confronts Karl and Frank again, Karl begins to realize that he is the only one who can bring about a change and spare Frank and his mother a grim fate. In premeditated fashion, Karl tells Frank to spend that night at Vaughan’s, and asks Vaughan to pick up Linda. Later that evening, Karl returns to Linda’s house. After asking Doyle how to reach the police, he promptly kills him with a lawnmower blade, turns himself in, and is placed back in the state mental hospital.

Crank

  • Directors: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
  • Producers: Tom Rosenberg, David Rubin, Skip Williamson, Michael Davis, Michael Ohoven, Gary Lucchesi, Richard S Wright
  • Writers: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime
  • Actors: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Efren Ramirez, Dwight Yoakam, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Keone Young, Carlos Sanz

Carlito (Carlos Sanz) leads a wealthy and influential Mexican-American and Latino/Hispanic crime syndicate in Los Angeles, simply referred to in the film as the “West Coast Crime Syndicate”. Worried about the encroachment of a group of heavily-armed Chinese Triads into LA, and the effects that may have upon his operations, Carlito orders the contract killing of their leader, Don Kim (Keone Young). Carlito’s best hitman, an English man called Chev Chelios (Jason Statham), is ordered to do the job. However Carlito has underestimated the Chinese and after the hit, the heat from Hong Kong is much greater then Carlito expected. Carlito immediately regrets that the hit may have been “ill-advised” and to ease the pressure Carlito offers the Triads both an explanation and a solution: the hit was nothing to do with him, and Carlito will himself remove certain elements within his own organization who were responsible and operating on their own.

Ricky Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo), a small time punk and long-time rival of Chev Chelios, uses the opportunity to conspire with Carlito and the Chinese against Chelios, unbeknown to Chelios who believes Carlito is still loyal to him. Whilst Chelios sleeps in his apartment one night, Verona silently breaks in and injects Chelios with the “Beijing Cocktail”. This is a synthetic drug which stops the flow of adrenaline in the body, slowing the heart, and eventually killing the victim. Chelios wakes to find a recorded video made by Verona mocking Chelios and explaining the situation, and that Chelios should only have about an hour left before the poison stops his heart.

In the end it is revealed that Chelios never actually killed Don Kim, in fact sparing his life and telling him to leave LA instead. Towards the end of the movie, Chelios arranges a rooftop meeting with Carlito, Verona and their henchman, who promise him the antidote to the Bejing Cocktail. Don Kim arrives along with his Triads to assist Chelios, and in a vicious shootout many of Carlito’s men are killed. Carlito is killed by none other than an ambitious and treacherous Verona, who then attempts to leave in Carlito’s escape helicopter. The movie concludes with Chelios confronting Verona in the helicopter and as they fight the pair fall from the chopper thousands of feet above LA, and mid-flight Chelios breaks Verona’s windpipe, quipping “I told you I’d kill you, you little bitch!” He then calls Eve on his cell phone, apologizing that he will not be coming back to her. Chelios hits a car, bounces off it and lands right in front of the camera. In the last shot it is implied that his adrenaline is indeed still flowing fast; his nostrils flare, he blinks, and two heartbeats are heard.

Sling Blade

  • Directors: Billy Bob Thornton
  • Producers: Larry Meistrich, David L Bushell, Brandon Rosser
  • Writers: Billy Bob Thornton
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J T Walsh, John Ritter, Lucas Black, Natalie Canerday

Karl Childers (Thornton) is a mentally challenged man who has been in the custody of the state mental hospital since the age of 12, having killed his mother and her lover.

Although thoroughly “institutionalized”, Karl is deemed fit to be released into a world “too big” for him. Prior to his release, he is interviewed by a local school newspaper reporter to whom he recalls in detail the brutal murder of his mother and her lover with a kaiser blade (noting “some folks call it a sling blade”). Karl claims to have killed the boy for supposedly raping his mother. When he found out his mother was a willing participant, he killed her too.

Having a knack for small engine repair, Karl eventually gets a job at a local lawnmower repair shop. Not long after, he befriends Frank (Lucas Black). Karl shares with Frank some of the details of his past, including the killings. Frank reveals that his father was killed, leaving him & his mother on their own (he later admits that he lied, and that his father committed suicide). Frank introduces Karl to his mother Linda (Natalie Canerday), as well as her gay friend Vaughan (John Ritter). Despite Vaughan’s concerns, Linda allows Karl to move into her garage. This does not sit well with Linda’s abusive boyfriend Doyle (Dwight Yoakam).

Doyle becomes increasingly abusive with Karl and Frank, leading to a drunken outburst and physical confrontation with Frank. Though Linda initially kicks Doyle out of the house, she later reconciles with him. After Doyle confronts Karl and Frank again, Karl begins to realize that he is the only one who can bring about a change and spare Frank and his mother a grim fate. In premeditated fashion, Karl tells Frank to spend that night at Vaughan’s, and asks Vaughan to pick up Linda. Later that evening, Karl returns to Linda’s house. After asking Doyle how to reach the police, he promptly kills him with a lawnmower blade, turns himself in, and is placed back in the state mental hospital.

Panic Room

  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Judy Hofflund, David Koepp, Gavin Polone
  • Writers: David Koepp
  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam, Jared Leto

Meg Altman (Jodie Foster), recently divorced from the owner of a pharmaceutical giant, and her 12-year-old daughter Sarah (Stewart), who has diabetes, are staying in a four-story townhouse that was previously owned by a disabled, reclusive millionaire. It has a panic room, an isolated room used to protect the owner from an intruder that is protected by a four-inch-thick steel door and an impressive security system, and features a separate phone line.

On the night the two move into the home, it is broken into by Junior (Leto), the grandson of the previous owner, and Burnham (Whitaker), an employee of the security company used by the residence. The two are after $3 million in bearer bonds, which is locked inside a floor safe in the panic room. Unknown to Burnham until after they’ve broken in, Junior has recruited Raoul (Yoakam), a bus driver who lives in Flatbush, to assist in the heist.

After discovering that the Altmans have moved into the home one week before they anticipated, the burglars decide to go on as planned with the heist. However, Meg wakes up and discovers the intruders from the CCTV monitors in the panic room when she wanted to switch off its glaring light. Before the three can stop her, she runs to Sarah, wakes her, and they escape to the panic room.

Following the trouble with the home invasion Meg and Sarah begin searching for a new house in the newspaper.