A friendship with someone can change your life, and bring happiness for many years. A friendship may also help you through bad times, that we all face at different moments in our lives. I am personally grateful for the friends i have, and the memories we have from the past that we can still talk about. When i think about films that tell a story of unique friendships, we have a lot of titles to choose between. But there is one film i especially love, for a number of different reasons. And that film is known as Sling Blade, released in 1996. Directed by legendary actor Billy Bob Thornton, he also have the lead role as the intellectually disabled Karl Childes. After being locked up for many years in a state mental hospital for killing his parents, he is now ready ( according to his doctor ) to be let back out in society. He meets the young boy Frank Wheatly ( played wonderful by actor Lucas Black ) who becomes a friend with Karl. Frank´s mother Linda Wheatly ( also a great performance from actress Natalie Canerday ) accept Karl to visit their home, since she sees that he really care about her son. Franks stepfather Doyle ( fantastic performance from country singer Dwight Yoakam ) is a real asshole, who abuses Linda and treats Frank like shit. Karl understand what´s going on, and he will not allow this to go on. Sling Blade is one of the best independent drama films of the 90´s with an amazing cast, and i have to say that Billy Bob Thornton does one of his best acting performances in his career ( and he have done a lot of really good films ). Sling Blade is a must buy, and my suggestion is that you get the 2 DVD disc from the UK with some nice special features. Last week i was listening to British film critic Mark Kermode while he did a review for the independent film The Peanut Butter Falcon. This sounded really interesting, so i decided to check this film out on VOD. Is this one of the best independent films in a long time, or is The Peanut Butter Falcon a boring experience ?
Zak ( Zack Gottsagen ) is stuck at an retirement home, since he has no family left who can look after him. He is too young to be in here, but have no choice since he can´t take care of himself. At this elders home, Zak´s friend Carl ( Bruce Dern ) help Zak to escape from the retirement home. The one woman who is supposed to make sure of taking care of Zak, known as Eleanor ( Dakota Fanning ), is forced to travel across the state, to look for Zak. It turns out that Zack found his way to a fishing boat, where he hides. There he encounters troubled fishing worker Tyler ( Shia LaBeouf ), who is not happy about having an unknown passanger. But he realise that Zak have escaped for a certain reason, and on their road trip, they are about to find out that they might have more in common than they both thought.
You know that feeling when you see a film that turns out to be so good, that you can´t stop watching ? This is exactly how if felt while watching The Peanut Butter Falcon. This film looks fantastic, and the acting is absolutely brilliant from almost every character. Not only that, but the beautiful countryside locations is a perfect match for this story. One of the things that makes this film so special, is to show you that you can find a true friendship, when you least expect it. In some ways this film reminded me of the really good drama comedy Rain Man. 2 very different people become friends, even if they come from different backgrounds. Another important detail about this film, is to show people that there is nothing wrong about being a person who has downs syndrome. They are just as much human as anyone else, and should be treated with respect. Let´s get into the characters for a bit. I will begin with wonderful actor Zack Gottsagen, who delivers one of the best performances i have seen in a very long time. He really goes all in with his character, and manage to bring out an amazing portrait of Zak. Actor Shia LaBeouf is a perfect choice for the character known as Tyler, a man filled with personal problems, who may start to learn more about life when he meets Zack. The journey we follow with these 2 men deliver some really funny moments, but also some sadness when reality strikes. Legendary actor Bruce Dern ( who i absolutely love in the independent film Nebraska, a must buy on DVD or Blu Ray ) give us another strong performance. Directors Tyler Nilsson and Michael Schwartz have managed to tell a story filled with so much passion, that you will fall in love with this film. Even if the story is very simple, it is so effective that you will not forget it. The Peanut Butter Falcon is just like a fantastic desert, once you tasted it you can sit there for hours and still enjoy the taste. If you are going to pick up one DVD or Blu Ray this spring, it should be The Peanut Butter Falcon. I seriously doubt you will find any other title better than this film at this moment.