Woody Harrelson

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Posted by kaori 04/20/2009 @ 00:11

Tags : woody harrelson, actors and actresses, entertainment

News headlines
Lindsay Lohan joins 'The Other Side' - Entertainment Weekly
Lindsay Lohan is set to star in The Other Side, a fantasy-comedy costarring Woody Harrelson, Giovanni Ribisi, Dave Matthews, and Alanis Morissette, reports Variety. In her first feature role since 2007's I Know Who Killed Me, Lohan will play a grad...
Cast: Steve Zahn, Jennifer Aniston, Margo Martindale, Fred Ward ... - Scorecard Review
Woody Harrelson as Jango: They just couldn't make him cooky? Did he have to turn out to be a bit of an arse? That's just so predictable. Sue doesn't have to choose between a punk who turns into a yogurt mogul and Mike, the movie makes the decision...
Edward Norton: Playing poker with Woody Harrelson a great deal - New York Daily News
Edward Norton's favorite poker player is Woody Harrelson, for one very simple reason: He can kick Harrelson's butt at cards. "He's more of my victim. I love to take as much money off of him as possible," the actor told us at a SoHo Rep gala....
Michael J. Fox recalls the moment in the first lines of his 2002 ... - Gainesville Sun
He was hanging out with co-star Woody Harrelson, and his first thought when he woke to find his pinky dancing on its own was that he and Harrelson had probably had a few too many beers the night before. "Maybe we'd gotten into a slap-fight," he relates...
Lindsay Bounces Back - Cityfile
Not only did she finally land another acting role—she'll be appearing in The Other Side, along with Woody Harrelson, and Giovanni Ribisi—but she may be getting her own clothing line at JCPenny, too. And the cops are getting closer to figuring out who...
Stars taking shots - Toronto Sun
Last month Woody Harrelson went after a particularly pushy TMZ pap stationed at New York's LaGuardia Airport, reportedly breaking his camera. Harrelson has also been named in a 2007 lawsuit filed by another TMZ photographer, accusing the actor of...
Kanye has no time for Twitter - Canada.com
Write if you get work: Variety says Lindsay Lohan has landed a role in a movie, a real one, also starring Woody Harrelson and Alanis Morissette. (Hey, I didn't say it was a good one.) It's called The Other Side, and Variety says it's about "a graduate...
Van Sant Considering Jack Black, Woody Harrelson for Acid - Paste Magazine
However, two other names have emerged from the pool of possibilities to portray the One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest author, according to Rolling Stone: Jack Black and Woody Harrelson. Both actors both have their pros and cons and are sure to upset some...
The Shutdown Corner movie of the week: 'Wildcats' - Yahoo! Sports
It's the first sports movie pairing of Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes. They're not featured quite as heavily in "Wildcats" as they are in "White Men Can't Jump," but the magic is there. You can see it. • There's a completely gratuitous nude shot of...

Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson cropped by David Shankbone.jpg

Woodrow Tracy "Woody" Harrelson (born July 23, 1961) is an American Emmy Award-winning and Academy award-nominated actor. Harrelson's breakthrough role came in the classic sitcom Cheers as Woody Boyd. Notable film roles include Roy Munson in Kingpin, Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers, Larry Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt, Dusty in A Prairie Home Companion and Carson Wells in No Country for Old Men. He also played Ezra Turner in Seven Pounds.

Harrelson was born in Midland, Texas, the son of Diane Lou (née Oswald) and Charles Voyde Harrelson, who divorced in 1964; he has two brothers, Jordan and Brett, the latter of whom is a professional motorcycle racer. In 1979, in San Antonio, Federal Judge John H. Wood, Jr. was shot and killed by rifle fire by Charles Harrelson, who was a freelance contract killer. He was convicted and eventually died during his life sentence in maximum security prison.

Harrelson grew up in Lebanon, Ohio, with his mother. Harrelson attended Lebanon High School and later Hanover College in Indiana. He was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, and in 1983, received a bachelor of arts in theater arts and English.

Harrelson is best known for his work on the NBC sitcom Cheers. He played the character Woody Boyd, who replaced Coach (Played by Nicholas Colasanto, who died in the third season). He began playing the character in season four and lasted 8 seasons on the show. In 1988, Harrelson won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. In 1999, Harrelson guest starred in the show's spin-off Frasier, in which he reprises the role of Woody Boyd. Harrelson was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. In 2001, Harrelson appeared in several episodes of Will and Grace.

After the end of Cheers, Harrelson left his television career to pursue a film career. His first film was Wildcats in 1986 with Goldie Hawn. Harrelson became friends with Wesley Snipes and starred with him in the box-office hits White Men Can't Jump and Money Train. He appeared in mostly minor roles until 1993 when he starred in Robert Redford's Indecent Proposal.

After the success of Indecent Proposal, Harrelson played Mickey Knox in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers and Dr Michael Raynolds in the film The Sunchaser. In 1996, he starred in the comedy Kingpin.

Harrelson's career took off when he starred in the Milos Forman film The People vs. Larry Flynt, in which he plays Larry Flynt a pornographic writer and owner of Hustler magazine. The film was a success and Harrelson's performance as Larry Flynt was considered one of the greatest performances of the year. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for Best Actor, but subsequently lost to Geoffrey Rush for his performance in the film Shine.

After the success of The People vs. Larry Flynt, Harrelson starred acting in more serious film roles. He starred in the 1997 war film Welcome to Sarajevo as Flynn and in 1997 starred as Sergeant William Schumann in Wag the Dog. In 1998, Harrelson starred in the Drama/Thriller Palmetto and played Sergeant Keck in The Thin Red Line, a war film nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1999.

After The Thin Red Line, Harreslon made other film such as The Hi-Lo Country and in 1999 he portrayed Ray Pekurny in the teen comedy EDtv. Also in 1999, he appeared as boxer Vince Boundreau in the sports film Play it to the Bone.

Harrelson didn't appear in movies again until 2003 when he co-starred as Security Guard Gary in the comedy film Anger Management. After Anger Management, Harrelson co-starred as Stan Lloyd in the action film After the Sunset, and as Leland Powell in the comedy She Hates Me.

In 2005, Harrelson played Raymond in the film The Big White and also in 2005 played the role of Bill White in North Country. Also in 2005 he appeared as Kelly Ryan in the film The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. In 2006, Harrelson made two films, playing the part of Roy Arnie in the animated film version of Free Jimmy and as Ernie Luckman in A Scanner Darkly. In 2007 he played Carter Page III in the film The Walker.

In late 2007, Harrelson co-starred in the western No Country for Old Men, playing Carson Wells, a bounty hunter. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. Harrelson also won the Screen Actor Guild Award for Best Cast, along with Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Kelly McDonald.

In 2008, Harrelson made many films, but the most known are Semi-Pro and Seven Pounds. In Semi-Pro, he played the role of Monix and in Seven Pounds played the role Ezra Turner. Harrelson has several upcoming projects The Messenger, Defendor, Zombieland, Pinkville, The Other Side, Bunrako and his most anticipated project yet, 2012 as Charlie Frost, a man who warns everyone about the end of the world. The film is directed by Roland Emmerich. All of the projects are scheduled for release in 2009.

In 1999 Harrelson directed his own play, Furthest from the Sun, at the theater de la Juene Luene in Minneapolis. He followed next in Roundabout's Broadway rival at the N. Richard Nash played The Rainmaker in 2000, Sam Shepard's The Late Henry Moss in 2001, Joan Kolvenbach's On an Average Day opposite Kyle MacLachlan in London's West End in the fall of 2002, and in the summer of 2003, Harrelson directed the Toronto premiere of Kenneth Lonergang's This is Our Youth at the Bakery Street Theater. In the winter of 2005/2006 Harrelson returned to London's West End, starring in Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana at the Lyric Theater.

In 1985, Harrelson married Nancy Simon, daughter of playwright Neil Simon, in Tijuana. The two intended to divorce the following day, but the storefront marriage/divorce parlor was closed when they had returned to it, and the two remained married for ten months.

On December 28, 2008, Harrelson married Laura Louie, his girlfriend since 1990. The couple have three daughters, Deni Montana (born February 28, 1993), Zoe Giordano (born September 22, 1996), and Makani Ravello (born June 3, 2006). When announcing Makani's birth, the couple referred to the three as their "goddess trilogy". Laura is his former assistant and a co-founder of Yoganics, an organic food delivery service.

Harrelson is a supporter and an activist for the legalization of marijuana and hemp. On June 1, 1996, he was arrested in Lee County, Kentucky after he symbolically planted four hemp seeds to challenge the state law which did not distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana. Harrelson won the case.

Harrelson is also an environmental activist. He once scaled the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco with members of North Coast Earth First! group to unfurl a banner that read, "Hurwitz. Aren't ancient redwoods more precious than gold?" in protest of PALCO CEO Charles Hurwitz, who once stated, "He who has the gold, makes the rules".

He once traveled to the west coast in the U.S. on a bike and a domino caravan with a hemp oil-fueled biodiesel bus (the subject of the independent documentary, Go Further) and narrated the documentary Grass. Harrelson briefly owned an oxygen bar in West Hollywood called "O2". He is a peace activist and has often spoken publicly against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Harrelson is also a vegan. He now lives in San Jose, Costa Rica.

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The main cast of Cheers after season 7(from left to right): (top) John Ratzenberger, Roger Rees, Woody Harrelson (middle) Rhea Perlman, Ted Danson, Kirstie Alley, George Wendt (bottom) Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth.

Cheers is an American situation comedy television series that ran for eleven seasons from 1982 to 1993. It was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions in association with Paramount Television for NBC, having been created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles. The show is set in the Cheers bar (named for the toast "Cheers") in Boston, Massachusetts, where a group of locals meet to drink and have fun. The show's theme song was written by Judy Hart Angelo and Gary Portnoy and performed by Portnoy; its famous refrain, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" also became the show's tagline.

After premiering on September 30, 1982, it was nearly cancelled during its first season when it ranked dead last in ratings (77th out of a possible 77 shows). However, Cheers eventually became a highly rated television show in the United States, earning a top-ten rating during eight of its eleven seasons, including one season at #1, and spending the bulk of its run on NBC's "Must See Thursday" lineup. Its widely watched series finale was broadcast on May 20, 1993. The show's 273 episodes have been successfully syndicated worldwide, and have earned 26 Emmy Awards from a record 111 nominations. The character Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) was featured in his own successful spin-off, Frasier, which included guest appearances by most of the major Cheers characters.

Cheers maintained an ensemble cast, keeping roughly the same set of characters for the entire run. Numerous secondary characters and love interests for these characters appeared intermittently to complement storylines that generally revolved around this core group.

The table below summarizes the main cast of Cheers.

The character of Sam Malone was originally intended to be a retired football player and was originally supposed to be played by Fred Dryer, but after casting Ted Danson it was decided that a former baseball player (Sam "Mayday" Malone) would be more believable, given Danson's slimmer physique. The character of Cliff Clavin was created for John Ratzenberger after he auditioned for the role of "Norm". While chatting with producers afterwards, he asked if they were going to include a "bar know-it-all", the part which he eventually played. "Norm" ended up being played by George Wendt, who's day job was an accountant but was a regular fixture in the bar. Kirstie Alley joined the cast when Shelley Long left, and Woody Harrelson joined when Nicholas Colasanto died. Danson, George Wendt, and Rhea Perlman were the only actors to appear in every episode of the series.

Although Cheers operated largely around that main ensemble cast, guest stars did occasionally supplement them. Notable repeat guests included Jay Thomas as Eddie LeBec, Dan Hedaya as Nick Tortelli, Jean Kasem as Loretta Tortelli, Roger Rees as Robin Colcord, Tom Skerritt as Evan Drake, and Harry Anderson as Harry 'The Hat' Gittes. Other celebrities guest-starred in single episodes as themselves throughout the series. Some sports figures appeared on the show with a connection to Boston or Sam's former team, the Red Sox, such as Luis Tiant, Wade Boggs, and Kevin McHale (star player of the Boston Celtics). Some television stars also made guest appearances as themselves such as Alex Trebek, Arsenio Hall, Dick Cavett, and Johnny Carson. Some political figures even made appearances on Cheers such as then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral William J. Crowe, former Colorado Senator Gary Hart, then-Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill, Senator John Kerry, then-Governor Michael Dukakis, and then-Mayor of Boston Raymond Flynn (the last four of whom all represented Cheers' home state and city). Musician Harry Connick, Jr. appeared in an episode as Woody's cousin and plays a song from his Grammy winning album We Are in Love (c. 1991). John Cleese won an Emmy for his guest appearance as "Dr. Simon Finch-Royce" in the fifth season episode, "Simon Says". Emma Thompson guest starred as Nanny Gee/Nanette Guzman, a famous singing nanny and Frasier's ex-wife. Christopher Lloyd guest starred as a tortured artist who wanted to paint Diane. John Mahoney once appeared as an inept jingle writer, which included a brief conversation with Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer), whose father he would later play on the spin-off Frasier. In Cheers Frasier said that his father was dead but in the show Frasier his mother is dead and he lives with his father. This was mentioned in the 16th episode of the second season of Frasier, where Sam visited Seattle. Frasier explained, that they had had a fight with his father. Sam also says that Frasier never mentioned he had a brother. Sam continues to joke that he often had to tune Frasier out, and might just have missed it. Peri Gilpin who later played Roz Doyle on Frasier also appeared in one episode of Cheers, in its 11th season, as Holly Matheson, a reporter who interviews Woody. The Righteous Brothers, Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley, also guest starred in different episodes.

Paul Willson, who played the recurring barfly character of "Paul", made early appearances in the first season as "Glen", was credited as "Gregg", and also appeared in the show as a character named "Tom". Thomas Babson played "Tom", a law student often mocked by "Cliff Clavin", for continually failing to pass the Boston Bar exam. "Al", played by Al Rosen, appeared in 38 episodes, and was known for his surly quips. Rhea Perlman's father Philip Perlman played the role of "Phil".

The concept for Cheers was the end result of a long consideration process. The original idea was a group of workers who interacted like a family, hoping to be similar to The Mary Tyler Moore Show. They considered making an American version of the British Fawlty Towers centered around a hotel or an inn. When the creators settled on a bar as their setting the show began to resemble the radio show Duffy's Tavern. They liked the idea of a tavern as it provided a continuous stream of new people arriving, giving them a constant supply of characters.

After choosing a plot, the three had to choose a location. Early discussions centered around Barstow, California, then Kansas City, Missouri. They eventually turned to the East Coast and Boston. The Bull & Finch Pub in Boston that Cheers was styled after was originally chosen from a phone book. When Glen Charles asked the owner to shoot initial exterior and interior shots the owner agreed, charging $1. He has since gone on to make millions, licensing the pub's image and selling a variety of Cheers memorabilia, making the Bull & Finch the 42nd busiest outlet in the American food and beverage industry in 1997. Coincidentally, during the casting of Shelley Long (who was in Boston at the time filming A Small Circle of Friends), Long remarked that the bar in the script resembled a bar she had come upon in Boston, which turned out to be the Bull & Finch.

Most Cheers episodes were shot before a live studio audience on Paramount Stage 25, generally on Tuesday nights. Scripts for a new episode were issued the Wednesday before for a read-through, Friday was rehearsal day, and final scripts were issued on Monday. Nearly 100 crewmembers were involved in the shooting of any given episode. Burrows, who directed most episodes, insisted on shooting on film rather than videotape. He was also noted for using motion in his directorial style, trying to always keep characters moving rather than standing still.

The crew of Cheers numbered in the hundreds; as such, this section only provides a brief summary of the many crewmembers for the show. The three creators — James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles — stayed on throughout the series as executive producers along with Tom Palmer. In fact, the two Charles brothers kept offices on Paramount's lot for the duration of the Cheers run. In the final seasons, however, they handed over much of the show to Burrows. Burrows is regarded as being a factor in the show's longevity, directing 243 of the episodes and supervising the show's production. David Angell was also a part of the crew from the start, writing many Cheers episodes. The show was often noted for its writing, which most credit, along with other production factors and the ensemble cast, for the show's success.

Over its eleven-season run, Cheers and its cast and crew earned many awards. Cheers earned a record 111 Emmy nominations, with a total of 26 wins. In addition, Cheers has earned 31 Golden Globe nominations, with a total of six wins. All ten of the actors who were regulars on the series received Emmy nominations for their roles. Cheers won the Golden Globe for "Best TV-Series - Comedy/Musical" in 1991 and the Emmy for "Outstanding Comedy Series" in 1983, 1984, 1989 and 1991. Cheers was presented with the "Legend Award" at the 2006 TV Land Awards, with many surviving cast members attending the event.

The following table summarizes awards won by the Cheers cast and crew.

Nearly all of Cheers took place in the front room of the bar, but they often went into the rear pool room or the bar's office. Cheers didn't show any action outside the bar until the first episode of the second season, which took the action to Diane's apartment. Cheers had some running gags, such as Norm arriving in the bar greeted by a loud "Norm!" Early episodes generally followed Sam's antics with his various women, following a variety of romantic comedy clichés to get out of whatever relationship troubles he was in for each episode. As the show progressed and Sam got into more serious relationships the general tone switched to comedy on Sam settling down into a monogamous lifestyle. Throughout the series, larger story arcs began to develop that spanned multiple episodes or seasons interspersed with smaller themes and one-off episodes.

The show's main theme in its early seasons was the romance between the intellectual waitress Diane Chambers and bar owner Sam Malone, a former major league baseball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and a recovering alcoholic. After Long left the show, the focus shifted to Sam's new relationship with neurotic corporate climber Rebecca. Both relationships featured multi-episode "will they or won't they" sexual tension that drew viewers in. After Sam and Diane's courtship was consummated, the show's popularity grew greatly and subsequent TV shows now very commonly have such "will they or won't they" tensions between opposites.

Social class was a subtext of the show. The "upper class" - represented by characters like Diane Chambers, Frasier Crane, Lilith Sternin and (initially) Rebecca Howe — rubbed shoulders with middle and working class characters — Sam Malone, Carla Tortelli, Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin. An extreme example of this was the relationship between Woody Boyd and millionaire's daughter Kelly Gaines. Many viewers enjoyed Cheers in part because of this focus on character development in addition to plot development.

Feminism and the role of women were also recurring themes throughout the show, with some seeing each of the major female characters as a flawed feminist in her own way. Diane was a vocal feminist, but Sam was the epitome of everything she hated: a womanizer and a male chauvinist. Their relationship led Diane to several diatribes on Sam's promiscuity, while Carla merely insulted people. Carla was respected because of her power, while Diane was ignored as she commanded little respect. Rebecca was a stereotypical ambitious and golddigging woman, seeking relationships with her superiors at the Lillian Corporation, most notably Robin Colcord, to gain promotions or raises. However, she encountered a glass ceiling and ended the show by marrying a plumber rather than a rich businessman.

Homosexuality was dealt with from the very first season, a rare move for American network television in the early 1980s. In the first season episode "The Boys In The Bar" (after the 1970s film The Boys in the Band) a friend and former teammate of Sam's comes out in his autobiography. Some of the male regulars pressure Sam to take action to ensure that Cheers does not become a gay bar. The episode won a GLAAD Media Award, and the script's writers, Ken Levine & David Isaacs, were nominated for an Emmy Award for their writing. Harvey Fierstein would later appear in the 1990s as "Mark Newberger", Rebecca's old high school sweetheart who is gay. Finally, the final episode included a gay man who gets into trouble with his boyfriend (played by Anthony Heald) after agreeing to pose as Diane's husband.

Addiction also plays a role in Cheers, almost exclusively through Sam, although some critics believed the issue was never really developed. Sam was a recovering alcoholic who ended up buying a bar after his baseball career was ruined by his drinking. Frasier also has a notable bout of drinking in the fourth season episode "The Triangle", while Woody develops a gambling problem in the seventh season's "Call Me Irresponsible". Some critics believe Sam was a generally addictive personality who had largely conquered his alcoholism but was still a sexual addict, shown through his womanizing.

Cheers obviously had several owners before Sam, as the bar was opened in 1889 (The "Est. 1895" on the bar's sign is a made-up date chosen by Carla for numerological purposes as revealed in the 8th season episode "The Stork Brings a Crane"). In the second episode, "Sam's Women", Norm tells a customer looking for the owner of Cheers that the man he thought was the owner has been replaced, and his replacement was replaced by Sam. Then in a later episode Gus O'Mally, who sold the bar to Sam, comes back from Arizona for one night and helps run the bar.

The biggest storyline surrounding the ownership of Cheers begins in the fifth season finale, "I Do, Adieu", when Sam and Diane part ways, Shelley Long leaves the regular cast, and Sam leaves to attempt circumnavigating the Earth. Before he leaves, Sam sells Cheers to the Lillian Corporation. Sam returns in the sixth season premiere, "Home is the Sailor", having sunk his boat, to find the bar under the new management of Rebecca Howe. He begs for his job back and is hired by Rebecca as a bartender. In the seventh season premiere, "How to Recede in Business", Rebecca is fired and Sam is promoted to manager. Rebecca is allowed to keep a job at Lillian vaguely similar to what she had before, but only after Sam had Rebecca "agree" (in absentia) to a long list of demands that the corporation had for her.

From there Sam would occasionally attempt to buy the bar back with schemes that usually involved wealthy executive Robin Colcord. Cheers did eventually end up back in Sam's hands in the eighth season finale, when it was sold back to him for eighty-five cents by the Lillian Corporation after he alerted the company of Colcord's insider trading. Fired by the corporation over her keeping quiet, Rebecca earns back a hostess/office manager job from Sam.

Aside from the storylines that spanned across the series, Cheers had several themes that followed no storylines but that recurred throughout the series. There was a heated rivalry between Cheers and the rival bar, Gary's Olde Towne Tavern since fourth season episode "From Beer to Eternity". Starting with the sixth season one episode of every season depicted some wager between Sam and Gary, which resulted in either a sports competition or a battle of wits that devolved into complex practical jokes. Aside from the very first and very last "Bar Wars" episodes, the Cheers gang almost always lost to Gary's superior ingenuity, though they managed to trick him into missing the annual Bloody Mary contest in one episode. Another episode had Sam collaborating with Gary's to get revenge on his co-workers on a prior practical joke. Sam also had a long-running feud with the management of the upscale restaurant situated directly above the bar, Melville's. The restaurant's management found the bar's clientele decidedly uncouth, while Sam regarded the restaurant as snobbish (despite the fact that customers often drifted between the two businesses via a prominent staircase). This conflict escalated in later seasons, when Melville's came under the ownership of John Allen Hill (Keene Curtis), and it emerged that Sam did not technically own the bar's poolroom and bathrooms. Sam subsequently was forced to pay rent for them and often found himself at the mercy of Hill's tyranny. Rebecca eventually bought the back section from Hill, making her and Sam partners in managing the bar.

Norm Peterson continually searched for gainful employment as an accountant but spent most of the series unemployed, thereby explaining his constant presence in Cheers at the same stool. The face of his wife, Vera, was never fully seen onscreen, despite a few fleeting appearances and a couple of vocal cameos. She first appeared shortly in the fifth season episode "Thanksgiving Orphans" with her whole face being covered in cake. Cliff Clavin seemed unable to shake the constant presence of his mother, Esther Clavin (Frances Sternhagen). Though she did not appear in every episode, he would refer to her quite often, mostly as both an emotional burden and a smothering parent. Her first onscreen appearance was in the fifth season. Carla Tortelli carried a reputation of being both highly fertile and matrimonially inept. The last husband she had on the show, Eddie LeBec, was a washed-up ice hockey goaltender who ended up dying in an ice show accident involving a zamboni. Carla later discovered that Eddie had cheated on her, marrying another woman after impregnating her. Carla's sleazy first husband, Nick Tortelli, also made frequent appearances, mostly to torment Carla with a new custody battle or legal scam that grew out of their divorce. Carla's eight children (four of whom were "born" during the show's run) were also notoriously ill-behaved, save Lud, who was sired by a prominent academician.

Cheers was critically acclaimed in its first season, though it landed a disappointing 74th out of only 74 shows in that year's ratings. This critical support, coupled with early success at the Emmys and the support of the president of NBC's entertainment division Brandon Tartikoff, is thought to be the main reason for the show's survival and eventual success. The cast themselves went across the country on various talk shows to try to further promote the series after its first season. With the growing popularity of Family Ties which ran in the slot ahead of Cheers from January 1984 until Family Ties was moved to Sundays in 1987 and the placement of The Cosby Show in front of both at the start of their third season (1984), the line-up became a runaway ratings success that NBC eventually dubbed "Must See Thursday". The next season, Cheers ratings increased dramatically after Woody Boyd became a regular character as well. By its final season Cheers had a run of eight consecutive seasons in the Top Ten of the Nielsen ratings. Some critics now use Frasier and Cheers as a model of a successful spin-off for a character from an already successful series to compare to modern spin-offs.

NBC dedicated a whole night to the final episode of Cheers. The show began with a "pregame" show hosted by Bob Costas, followed by the final 98-minute episode itself. NBC affiliates then aired tributes to Cheers during their local newscasts, and the night concluded with a special Tonight Show broadcast live from the Bull & Finch Pub. Although the episode fell short of its hyped ratings predictions to become the most-watched television episode, it was the most watched show that year, bringing in 80.4 million viewers (64 percent of all viewers that night), and ranked 11th all time in entertainment programming. The episode originally aired in the usual Cheers spot of Thursday night and was then rebroadcast on Sunday. Some estimate that while the original broadcast did not outperform the M*A*S*H finale, the combined non-repeating audiences for the Thursday and Sunday showings did. Toasting Cheers also notes that television had greatly changed between the M*A*S*H and Cheers finales, leaving Cheers with a broader array of competition for ratings.

Some of the actors and actresses from Cheers brought their characters into other television shows, either in a guest appearance or in a new spin-off. The most successful Cheers spin-off was the show Frasier which directly followed Frasier Crane after he moved back to Seattle, Washington (on the other end of Interstate 90) to live with his recently-disabled father and to host a call-in radio show. Frasier was originally supposed to be a small disliked character who only existed to further Diane and Sam's relationship, but Kelsey Grammer's acting turned what were supposed to be unfunny lines into comedy the audience enjoyed. Sam, Diane and Woody all had individual crossover appearances on Frasier where they came to visit Frasier, and his ex-wife Lilith was a constant supporting character throughout Frasier. Cliff, Norm, Carla, and two of Cheers' regular background barflies Paul and Phil, had a crossover together in the Frasier episode "Cheerful Goodbyes". In that episode, Frasier, on a trip to Boston, meets the Cheers gang (though not at Cheers itself) and Cliff thinks Frasier has flown out specifically for his (Cliff's) retirement party, which Frasier ends up attending. Rebecca Howe is the only Cheers regular aside from Coach (whose actor, Nicholas Colasanto, had died, after which the character died in the series) to not appear on Frasier. Frasier was on the air for as many seasons as Cheers, going off the air in 2004 after an eleven-season run. Although Frasier was the most successful spin-off, The Tortellis was the first series to spin off from Cheers, premiering in 1987. The show featured Carla's ex-husband Nick Tortelli and his wife Loretta, but was canceled after 13 episodes and drew protests for its stereotypical depictions of Italian Americans.

In addition to direct spin-offs, several Cheers characters had guest appearance crossovers with other shows. In The Simpsons episode "Fear of Flying", Homer stumbles into a Cheers-like bar after being kicked out of Moe's. Most of the central cast appears in the episode, including Frasier (though ironically, Frasier does not speak, as Grammer already had a recurring role on The Simpsons as Sideshow Bob). The tagline for Moe's Tavern, "Where nobody knows your name", is also a reference to the theme song of Cheers. Characters also had crossovers with Wings—which was created by Cheers producers–writers—and St. Elsewhere in a somewhat rare comedy–drama crossover. The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine character Morn, who remained mostly at Quark's Bar, is named (as an anagram) for Norm Peterson. The bar and its patrons were also featured in two Disney specials, a scene in The Wonderful World of Disney TV special Mickey's 60th Birthday, and The Magical World of Disney 's Disneyland 35th Anniversaray Special, in which Woody recounts an adventure his young self had on The Haunted Mansion. The opening sequence and theme song has become iconic of the series, leading to parody such as on The Simpsons' episode "Flaming Moe's". The Simpsons series as also used "Cheers" Opening sequence in the couch gag of the eleventh episode of the twentieth season, along with other famous sitcoms.

In the Seinfeld episode "The Ticket", Ted Danson's salary per episode of Cheers comes up as a point of debate between Jerry and George. Additionally, George Wendt appears as himself on a talk show in the episode "The Trip." George Costanza gives him advice on how to improve "Cheers", but George Wendt makes fun of him for it on the air.

Cheers was perhaps the first major non-science fiction TV series to have an important licensing campaign since I Love Lucy. The show lent itself naturally to the development of "Cheers" bar-related merchandise, culminating in the development of a chain of "Cheers" themed pubs. Paramount's licensing group, led by Tom McGrath, developed the "Cheers" pub concept initially in partnership with Host Marriott which placed "Cheers" themed pubs in 24+ airports around the world. Boston boasts the original Cheers bar, historically known to generations of Boston insiders as the Bull and Finch, as well as a Cheers restaurant in the Faneuil Hall marketplace and Sam's Place, a spin-off sports bar concept also located at Faneuil Hall. The theme song to the show was licensed to a Canadian restaurant, Kelsey's.

Cheers grew in popularity as it aired on American television and entered into syndication. When the show went off the air in 1993, Cheers was syndicated in 38 countries with 179 American television markets and 83 million viewers. Then, after going off the air, Cheers entered a long, successful, and continuing syndication run on Nick at Nite. While the quality of some earlier footage of Cheers had begun to degrade, it underwent a careful restoration in 2001 due to its continued success. Notably, a Cheers rerun replaced Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos on Australia's Nine Network. The latter was cancelled mid-episode on its only broadcast by Kerry Packer, who pulled the plug after a phone call. Cheers was aired by NCRV in the Netherlands. After the last episode, NCRV simply began re-airing the series, and then again, thus airing the show three times in a row, showing an episode nightly.

Paramount Home Entertainment and CBS DVD have released all 11 seasons of Cheers on DVD in Region 1. In Regions 2 and 4, only the first 6 seasons have been released on DVD.

Kelsey Grammer was arguably the most successful with his spin-off Frasier, which lasted for the same eleven-season run Cheers had, as well as a recurring guest role on The Simpsons as Sideshow Bob. By the final season of Frasier, Grammer had become the highest paid actor on television, earning about $1.6 million an episode. Woody Harrelson has also had a successful career following Cheers, including appearances in a number of notable films that have established him as a box-office draw, such as White Men Can't Jump, Indecent Proposal, Kingpin and No Country for Old Men. He also earned an Academy Award nomination in 1997 for The People vs. Larry Flynt.

Ted Danson, who had been the highest paid Cheers cast member earning $450,000 an episode in the final season, has starred in the successful sitcom Becker as well as the unsuccessful sitcoms Ink and Help Me Help You and currently appears in the successful drama series Damages. He has starred in a number of movies, including Cousins, Three Men and a Baby and Made in America. Ted and his wife (actress Mary Steenburgen) regularly play themselves on Curb Your Enthusiasm as Larry David's friends.

John Ratzenberger has voice acted in all of Pixar's computer-animated feature films and currently hosts the Travel Channel show Made in America. On Made in America he travels around the U.S. showing the stories of small towns and the goods they produce. Coincidentally, Ted Danson starred in a film also called Made in America. Ratzenberger is heavily involved in a charity known as the Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation, which encourages children to get involved with tinkering and mechanical work, as well as to encourage schools to resurrect Industrial Arts programs. He also was on Dancing with the Stars.

Bebe Neuwirth has gone on to star in numerous Broadway musicals, most notably the mid-90's Chicago revival, earning two Tony Awards for her work, and co-star in numerous successful films. She also did voice work for All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 and All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series.

Kirstie Alley starred in the TV series Veronica's Closet as well as numerous miniseries and film roles.

Although some believe Shelley Long leaving the show was a bad career move, she has gone on to star in several television and film roles, notably The Brady Bunch Movie and its sequels.

In addition to continuing careers after Cheers, some of the cast members have had personal problems. In 2004, Shelley Long grew depressed after divorcing her husband of 23 years and appears to have attempted suicide by overdosing on drugs. Kirstie Alley gained a significant amount of weight after Cheers, which somewhat affected her career. She went on to write and star in a sitcom partly based on her life and weight gain, Fat Actress. She formerly was a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig.

The Host Marriott Corporation installed 46 bars modeled after Cheers in their hotel and airport lounges. Paramount Pictures licensed the characters and details of the show, allowing the bars to have fake memorabilia such as Sam Malone's supposed jersey while playing for the Red Sox. Among the details Marriott included were two robots, "Bob" and "Hank", one of which was heavy (resembling Norm Peterson), with the other wearing a postal uniform (Cliff Clavin).

Ratzenberger and Wendt filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against Paramount in 1993 (around the time that Viacom purchased Paramount), claiming that the company was illegally licensing and earning off their images without their permission. Ratzenberger and Wendt claimed that Paramount could not earn off their images simply because the robots are dressed like the characters over which Paramount still holds rights. The case was dismissed by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge in 1996, though a federal judge reinstated the case in the Los Angeles court. Paramount tried to bring the case before the Supreme Court of the United States but the court refused to hear the case, instead merely reaffirming the ruling to reinstate the case in the Superior Court. Some believe the case could have had significant implications in Hollywood, as its outcome would have determined whether rights over a character imply rights to reproduce the actor's image with or without his or her permission, so long as the image is of the actor as the character. Rather, Paramount settled with the two before a ruling in the suit was delivered.

The first year of the show took place entirely within the confines of the bar. (The first location outside the bar ever seen was Diane's apartment.) When the series became a hit, the characters started venturing further afield, first to other sets and eventually to an occasional exterior location. The exterior location shots of the bar were actually of the Bull & Finch Pub, located directly north of the Boston Public Garden, which has become a tourist attraction because of its association with the series and draws in nearly a million visitors annually. It has since been renamed Cheers Beacon Hill, though its interior is different from the TV bar. To further capitalize on the show's popularity, another bar, Cheers Faneuil Hall, was built to be a replica of the show's set to provide tourists with a bar whose interior was closer to the one they saw on TV. It is near Faneuil Hall, about a mile from the Bull & Finch Pub. The official Cheers site is www.cheersboston.com. In 1997 Europe's first officially licensed Cheers bar opened in London's Regent's Street W1. Like Cheers Faneuil Hall, Cheers London is an exact replica of the set. The gala opening was attended by James Burrows and cast members George Wendt and John Ratzenberger. The actual bar set was on display at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum until the museum’s closing in early 2006.

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A Scanner Darkly (film)

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A Scanner Darkly is a 2006 film directed by Richard Linklater based on the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick. The film tells the story of identity and deception in a near-future dystopia constantly monitored by intensive high-technology police surveillance in the midst of a drug addiction epidemic. To give the film its distinct look, the movie was filmed digitally and then animated using interpolated rotoscope over the original footage.

The film was written and directed by Linklater, and stars Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey, Jr., and Rory Cochrane. Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney are among the film's executive producers. A Scanner Darkly was released in July 2006 in limited release, and then widely released later that month. The film was screened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and the 2006 Seattle International Film Festival, and nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form in 2007.

In the future "seven years from now," America has lost the war on drugs. A highly addictive and debilitating illegal drug called Substance D, made from a small blue flower, has swept across the country. In response, the government develops an invasive, high-tech surveillance system and puts in place a network of informants and undercover agents.

Bob Arctor (Reeves) is an undercover agent assigned to immerse himself in the drug underworld and infiltrate the drug supply chain. Arctor and his housemates, Ernie Luckman (Harrelson) and James Barris (Downey Jr.), live in a suburban tract house in a poor Anaheim, California neighborhood. They are heavy drug users, and they pass their days by taking drugs and having long, drug-inspired conversations.

When Arctor is at the police station, he is codenamed Fred, and hides his identity from his fellow police officers by wearing a high-tech scramble suit that changes every aspect of the wearer's appearance. Arctor's superior officer, Hank, like all other undercover officers at the station, also wears a scramble suit.

While posing as a drug user, Arctor becomes addicted to Substance D, a powerful psychoactive drug which causes a dreamy state of intoxication and bizarre hallucinations; chronic users may develop a split personality, cognitive problems, and severe paranoia. Arctor befriends an attractive young woman named Donna Hawthorne (Ryder), a user of cocaine, Arctor's supplier of Substance D, and part of the drug scene. Arctor hopes to buy so much Substance D from Hawthorne that she is forced to introduce him to her supplier, but Arctor develops romantic feelings for her. However, Hawthorne refuses Arctor's sexual advances and Arctor's housemates question the true nature of their relationship. Barris implies to longtime friend and near-insane Substance D addict Charles Freck (Cochrane) that he has made advances toward Donna only to be refused, and suggests that Freck supply her with cocaine in order to attract her attention away from Arctor and convince her to lower her drug prices.

Hank orders Fred to step up surveillance on the members of the Arctor household. Hank assumes Fred is one of the drug users in the Arctor household, but does not know which one, and actually orders Fred to focus the surveillance on Arctor. In the meantime, the household members are extremely paranoid that the police have bugged their home and are watching their every move. The paranoia reaches extreme levels, and Arctor seems to become wrapped up in the concern of his housemates, even forgetting that he is the undercover agent spying on his justifiably paranoid friends. Meanwhile, Arctor's housemate Barris (Downey Jr.) secretly contacts the police and tells them he suspects Hawthorne and Arctor are part of a terrorist organization. Barris unknowingly tells this to Arctor himself at the police station while Arctor is wearing his scramble suit (i.e. in his job as Fred).

Due to Arctor's heavy use of Substance D, he apparently develops cognitive problems which stop the two hemispheres of his brain from communicating with each other, and as a result he is receiving two different sets of information that are in conflict. As a result, Arctor is no longer able to distinguish between his roles as a drug user and undercover policeman, which makes him incapable of performing his job. Hank reprimands Arctor for becoming addicted to Substance D while undercover, and warns him that he will be disciplined.

After Barris supplies information to the police on the terrorist organization that Hawthorne and Arctor supposedly belong to--including a recording that Hank immediately recognizes as fake, synthesized on a computer--Hank orders Barris held on charges of providing false information to the police, which he assures Barris is "merely a cover" to protect him while the information is evaluated. After Barris' arrest, Hank reveals to Fred that he has figured out, through the process of elimination, his true identity, and that his identity is indeed Arctor. Arctor is surprised to learn his own true identity and he begins to act extremely confused and disoriented. Hank then informs Arctor that the whole point of the surveillance was to catch Barris, not Arctor himself; the police suspected Barris of being involved in the Substance D ring, and they were setting him up by driving up his paranoia level until Barris cracked and tried to cover his tracks with the false info. While a disturbed Arctor begins to break down, Hank phones Donna and asks her to take Arctor to New Path, a corporation that runs a series of rehabilitation clinics. After Arctor leaves the office, Hank heads to the lockers to remove his scramble suit, and his true identity is revealed to be Donna Hawthorne.

At New Path, Arctor experiences the severe symptoms of Substance D withdrawal. As part of the rehabilitation program, Arctor is renamed Bruce and put through psychological reconditioning treatments. Arctor has serious brain damage from his withdrawal from Substance D.

Sometime later Donna, using the name Audrey, has a conversation with another officer named Mike (seen undercover as an orderly at New Path), in which both reveal that New Path is responsible for the manufacture and distribution of Substance D. Donna/Audrey was part of a greater police operation to infiltrate New Path, and Arctor had been selected, without his knowledge or consent, to carry out the sting. It is revealed that the police had intended for Arctor to become addicted to Substance D; his well-being was sacrificed so that he might enter a rehabilitation center unnoticed as a real addict in order to find conclusive proof of New Path's crimes. They are dubious if there is still enough of Arctor left to find the evidence.

To continue his rehabilitation, New Path sends Arctor to work at an isolated New Path corn farming prison. Arctor spots rows of blue flowers hidden between rows of corn. These flowers, referenced throughout the film, are the source of Substance D. As the film ends, Arctor hides one of the blue flowers in his boot, so that when he returns to the New Path clinic during Thanksgiving he can give it to his "friends" - undercover police agents.

The end credits feature an abridged version of the afterword of Philip K. Dick's novel, in which Dick lists people he knew who have suffered serious permanent physical or mental damage (brain damage, psychosis, pancreatic trauma, etc.) or death as a result of drug use. Dick includes his own name on the list, as "Phil," a victim of permanent pancreatic damage. Linklater adds another name to the credits and dedicates the film to the memory of Louis Mackey. Mackey was an influential philosophy professor at the University of Texas at Austin; he had appeared in two of Linklater's previous films. He died in 2004.

Alex Jones and ADV Films' Jason Douglas make cameo appearances in the film.

Originally, Richard Linklater toyed with adapting the Philip K. Dick novel Ubik but stopped early on because he was unable to obtain the rights and he "couldn't quite crack it." He began thinking about A Scanner Darkly, another Dick novel while talking to producer Tommy Pallotta during the making of Waking Life. Linklater liked A Scanner Darkly more than Ubik and felt that he could make a film out of it. According to Linklater, the challenge was capturing "the humor and exuberance of the book but not let go of the sad and tragic." Linklater was not interested in turning the book into a big budget action thriller as had been done in the past because he felt that A Scanner Darkly was "about these guys and what they're all doing in their alternative world and what's going through their minds is really what keeps the story moving." He wanted to keep the budget under $10 million so that he could have more creative control, remain faithful to the book, and make it an animated film.

After completing School of Rock, Linklater told Pallotta that he wanted to make A Scanner Darkly next. It was important to him that Dick's estate approve his film. Pallotta wrote a personal appeal and pitched a faithful adaptation of the novel to Russ Galen, the Philip K. Dick estate's literary agent who shared it with the late author's two daughters (Laura Leslie and Isa Hackett) who own and operate their father's trust. Dick's daughters weren't too keen on "a cartoon version" of A Scanner Darkly. After high profile adaptations, Minority Report and Paycheck, they took a more proactive role in evaluating every film proposal, including unusual projects like Linklater's. They read Linklater's screenplay and then met with him to discuss their respective visions of A Scanner Darkly. They felt that it was one of their father's most personal stories and liked that Linklater wasn't going to treat the drug aspects lightly, that he wanted to set it in the near future and make it right away.

For the dual roles of Bob Arctor and Fred, Linklater thought of Keanu Reeves, but figured that the actor would be burnt out from making another science fiction film after making The Matrix trilogy. Robert Downey Jr. was attracted to the film when he heard Reeves was going to star and Linklater to direct. He thought that the script was the strangest one he had ever read. Linklater wrote the role of Freck with Rory Cochrane in mind. The actor was interested but didn't want to re-create his role in Dazed and Confused. Both Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder agreed to appear in the film based on the script. Both Reeves and Ryder agreed to work for the Screen Actors Guild scale rate plus any back-end profits. Alex Jones also starred in an alleged cameo of himself for 40 seconds in the film.

Linklater assembled the cast for two weeks of rehearsals in Austin, Texas before principal photography began in order to fine-tune the script. The result was a fusion of Linklater's writing, the novel and the actors' input. To prepare for their respective roles, Cochrane came up with his character five minutes before he got on the elevator to work; Downey Jr. memorized his dialogue by writing it all out in run-on sentences, studying them and then converting them to acronyms; and Reeves relied on the book, marking down each scene in the screenplay to the corresponding page.

Principal photography began on May 17, 2004 and lasted six weeks. Arctor's house was located on Eric Circle in Southeast Austin. The previous tenants had left a month prior to filming and left the place in such a state that production designer Bruce Curtis had to make little modifications so that it looked like a run-down home. The filmmakers had looked at 60 houses before settling on this one. Linklater shot a lot of exteriors in Anaheim, California and then composited them into the Austin footage in post-production. Because everything would be animated over later, makeup, lighting and visible equipment, like boom mics, were less of a concern. However, cinematographer Shane Kelly carefully composed shots and used a color palette with the animators in mind. Sometimes, they would show up to tell Kelly what they needed.

Because the movie was being shot on film and then animated, occasionally actors forgot they would later be animated as they worked through a scene. Robert Downey Jr. noted that he completely forgot the scene would later be animated as he worked through several takes in order to produce the smoke ring that would be featured in Barris' first closeup shot.

Dick's daughters visited the set during filming and spoke with the principal cast and crew members who made the two women feel like they were a part of the production. Extensive on-set footage of the filming of A Scanner Darkly was featured in a UK documentary about Richard Linklater directed by Irshad Ashraf and broadcast on Channel 4 in December 2004.

After principal photography was finished, the film was transferred to Quicktime for a 15-month animation process: interpolated-rotoscoping. A Scanner Darkly was filmed digitally using the Panasonic AG-DVX100 and then animated with Rotoshop, a proprietary graphics editing program created by Bob Sabiston. Rotoshop uses an animation technique called interpolated rotoscope, which was previously used in Linklater's film Waking Life. Linklater discussed the ideas and inspiration behind his use of rotoscoping in a UK documentary about him in 2004, linking it to his personal experiences of lucid dreaming. Rotoscoping in traditional cel animation originally involved tracing over film frame-by-frame. This is similar in some respects to the rotoscope style of filmmaker Ralph Bakshi. Rotoshop animation, however, makes use of vector keyframes, and interpolates the in-between frames automatically.

The animation phase was a trying process for Linklater who said, "I know how to make a movie, but I don't really know how to handle the animation." He had gone the animation route because he felt that there was very little animation targeted for adults. Each minute of animation required 350 hours of work with 50 animators working full-time every day.

Originally, the film was supposed to be released in September 2005. Most of the animators were hired locally with only a few of the 30 people having movie-making experience. Six weeks into the animation process, only a few animated sequences were close to being completed while Linklater was off making Bad News Bears. Sabiston had divided the animators into five teams and split the work amongst them. However, there was poor communication between the teams and the uniform animation style that Linklater wanted was not being implemented. After almost two months some animators were still learning the software and Linklater became frustrated with the lack of progress.

Animation and training for the 30 new artists had begun October 28, 2004. In late November, Mark Gill, head of Warner Independent Pictures, asked for a status report. There were no finished sequences as the majority of animators were still learning to implement the film's highly-detailed style. Under pressure, some animators worked 18-hour days for two weeks in order to produce a trailer and this seemed to appease Gill and Linklater. Sabiston and his team were falling behind on the studio's 6-month animation schedule and asked that the schedule be extended to a year and that the 2 million dollar animation budget be enlarged accordingly. This created tension and in January 2005, while Sabiston and his four-person core team were strategizing at a local cafe, Pallotta changed the locks and seized their workstations, replacing them with two local artists, Jason Archer and Paul Beck. Sabiston's four team leaders Patrick Thornton, Randy Cole, Katy O'Connor and Jennifer Drummond subsequently received the credit "additional animation" in the film, despite having worked six-months previously designing the general look of the animation as well as the scramble suit, hiring and training animators, and 3D compositing.

A test screening was scheduled for December 2005 and went reasonably well. A revised release date was set for March 31, 2006, but Gill felt that there would not be enough time to mount a proper promotional campaign and the date was pushed back to July 7, putting the film up against Pixar's Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

The score (more than an hour's worth is in the film) was provided by Austin, Texas-based composer Graham Reynolds. Linklater approached Reynolds in 2003 after a club performance and suggested Reynolds create the score for A Scanner Darkly. Linklater and Reynolds had worked previously on Live from Shiva's Dance Floor, a 20 minute short featuring Timothy "Speed" Levitch.

The composition and recording process took over one and a half years (the unusual time allotment was due to the film's time-consuming animation process) and was done in Reynolds' east Austin home, in his bedroom. This is not a synthesized score; all the instruments except electric guitar and bass were acoustic, though many were transformed through effects. The film also includes clips of five Radiohead songs — "Fog," "Skttrbrain (Four Tet Mix)," "The Amazing Sounds of Orgy," "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors," (although the last two appear uncredited) — and one Thom Yorke solo song, "Black Swan." An early test screening featured an all-Radiohead soundtrack.

The album is available from Lakeshore Records and includes the score by Graham Reynolds featuring the Golden Arm Trio. Additionally, the CD includes exclusive remixes of Graham's music by DJ Spooky and Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto). After finishing the film, Reynolds set to work on remixing the surround sound music into stereo. He then selected 44 minutes out of the film score in order to craft a listening CD while attempting to retain some feel of the arc of the film. Some of the shorter cues were assembled into longer CD tracks.

Having never been intended for mainstream audiences, the film opened in seventeen theaters and grossed $391,672 for a per-theater average of $23,039. The film saw some expansion in later weeks but did not earn back its $8.7 million production budget: it grossed $5.5 million in the U.S.A. and $2.1 million elsewhere . While this was far from a smash hit (and was a small gross compared to several of the starring actors' past releases), the film fared quite well in limited release, especially considering the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in the same weekend, and fared much better than director Richard Linklater's other feature, Fast Food Nation, released the same year.

A Scanner Darkly opened on July 7, 2006 to generally positive reviews. Mark Samuels of Total Film awarded the film four stars (out of five), calling it "bold, humorous, and visually striking" and saying "it’s refreshing to see a director treat one of works with such respect." Kim Newman of Empire magazine also gave the film four stars out of five, saying, "its intelligence makes it near-essential viewing." Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times found the film "engrossing" and wrote that "the brilliance of is how it suggests, without bombast or fanfare, the ways in which the real world has come to resemble the dark world of comic books." Similarly, Matthew Turner of ViewLondon, believing the film to be "engaging" and "beautifully animated," also praised the film for its "superb performances" and original, thought-provoking screenplay.

However, several critics were distanced by the film's content and thematic elements. James Berardinelli awarded the film two and a half stars (out of four), noting that the film suffers from an "inability to draw in the viewer." He also noted that the film "is not involving on an emotional level" and that the general theme of the film is "well-trodden." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly was also unimpressed, awarding the film a final rating of "C-," writing that the film is "more fun to think about than is to experience." He also found the film to follow a confusing narrative and that the storyline "goes nowhere." The film holds a 67% "Fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

The DVD was released in North America on December 19, 2006 and in the UK on January 22, 2007. The following extras are included: the theatrical trailer; "Weight of the Line," an animation tales feature; "One Summer in Austin," a short documentary on the filming of the movie; and audio commentary from actor Keanu Reeves, director Richard Linklater, producer Tommy Pallotta, author Jonathan Lethem, and Phillip K. Dick's daughter, Isa Dick Hackett.

It was released on HD DVD and Blu-ray on April 10, 2007.

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The People vs. Larry Flynt


The People vs. Larry Flynt is a 1996 film directed by Miloš Forman about the rise of pornographic magazine publisher and editor Larry Flynt, and his subsequent clash with the law. The film stars Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love and Edward Norton.

The movie was written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. It covers Flynt's life from his impoverished upbringing in Kentucky to his court battle with Reverend Jerry Falwell, and is based in part on the U.S. Supreme Court case Hustler Magazine v. Falwell.

The film begins by showing young Larry Flynt (Cody Block) at the age of ten, as selling moonshine in an Appalachian region of Kentucky. The narrative then advances 20 years. Flynt (played by Woody Harrelson) and his younger brother, Jimmy (played by Brett Harrelson, Woody Harrelson's younger brother) run a Hustler Go-Go club in Cincinnati. With profits down, Flynt decides to publish a "newsletter" for his club - the first Hustler magazine, full of nude pictures of women working at the club, in the hopes of attracting customers. The newsletter soon becomes a full-fledged magazine, but sales are weak. It's only after Hustler publishes nude pictures of former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis that sales take off, partially due to all the publicity surrounding the photos.

Flynt, a habitual womanizer, becomes particularly smitten with Althea Leasure (Courtney Love), a runaway-turned-stripper who works at one of his dance clubs. With help from Althea and Jimmy, Flynt makes a fortune off his sales of Hustler and other business activities.

With all his success, naturally, comes enemies - as he finds himself a hated figure of conservative, anti-pornography activists. He argues with the activists, one of a number of themes the film explores; in one scene, he argues that murder is illegal, but if you take a picture of it you may get your name in Time Magazine or maybe win a Pulitzer Prize. However, he continues, sex is legal, but if you take a picture of that act, you can go to jail.

Flynt becomes involved in several prominent court cases, and befriends a young, whip-smart lawyer, Alan Isaacman (Edward Norton). Flynt loses a smut peddling court decision in Cincinnati, but escapes jail time when the case is thrown out on a technicality, thereby beginning his long clash with the legal system. (The real Larry Flynt plays the presiding judge in a cameo appearance.) Ruth Carter Stapleton (Donna Hanover), a Christian activist and sister of President Jimmy Carter, seeks out Flynt and urges him to give his life to Jesus. Flynt seems moved and starts letting his newfound religion influence everything in his life, including Hustler content, much to the chagrin of staffers and Althea alike.

During another trial in Georgia, Flynt and Isaacman are both shot by a man with a rifle while they walk outside a courthouse (in reality the lawyer who was shot along side of Flynt was local attorney Gene Reeves Jr. rather than Isaacman). Serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin claims to been the man who shot Flynt and Reeves, the man on whom Isaacman is based in this portion of the film. Franklin claims to have targeted Flynt because Hustler published photos of interracial sex acts, but whether all or any of his story is true is unclear. Isaacman recovers, but Flynt is paralyzed from the waist down. Wishing he was dead, Flynt renounces God. Because of the pain, he moves to Beverly Hills and spirals down into severe depression and drug use. During this time, Althea begins to dabble in Flynt's pain medications, eventually becoming hooked on painkillers and morphine.

Flynt undergoes surgery to deaden several nerves, and as a result of it, feels rejuvenated. He returns to an active role with the publication. In Flynt's absence, Althea and Jimmy run Hustler, taking away any Christian influence in its content.

Flynt is soon in court again, however, and is told to provide his source regarding a video tape of a drug deal. During his ever-increasing courtroom antics, Flynt fires Isaacman on the spot, then throws an orange at the judge, all the while refusing to name his source. Flynt is sent to a psychiatric ward, where he sinks into depression again.

Before going to the psychiatric ward, Flynt publishes a satirical parody ad where famous evangelical minister Jerry Falwell (Richard Paul) "speaks about his first time," and tells of a sexual encounter with his mother. Falwell sues for libel and inflicting emotional distress. Flynt countersues for copyright infringement (because Falwell copied his ad). Everything ends up in court, attracting the attention of the media. The jury's decision is a mixed one, as Flynt is found guilty of inflicting emotional distress, but not libel.

By 1983, Althea has contracted HIV, which proceeds to full-blown AIDS. Flynt finds her dead in the bathtub, having drowned (possibly as the result of an overdose, though this is unclear). With his true love gone, Flynt presses Isaacman to appeal the Falwell decision to the Supreme Court of the United States. Isaacman refuses, saying Flynt's courtroom antics humiliate him. Flynt pleads with him, saying that he "wants to be remembered for something meaningful." Isaacman agrees and argues the "emotional distress" decision in front of the Supreme Court, in a case the media nickname "God versus the Devil" (actually Hustler Magazine v. Falwell in 1988). While Flynt is uncharacteristically quiet in the courtroom, Isaacman argues the case and wins, with the court overturning the original verdict in a unanimous decision.

The film culminates with Flynt's victory; after the trial is over, Flynt is shown wistfully watching old tapes of a healthy Althea.

The film was well received by critics, garnering 87% positive reviews, according to the meter on Rotten Tomatoes. Rolling Stone, USA Today and Newsday all hailed it as the best film of 1996. Matacritic gave 79 based on 24 reviews. USA Today says that "Forman finesess the story's grimmer aspects as he did in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and his ability to swich moves on a dime remains unsurpassed". The New York Times called it a "triumph" and said that "A blazing, unlikely triumph about a man who's nobody's idea of a movie hero. Smart, funny, shameless entertainment and perfectly serious". Newsweek praised Courtney Love's performance. Time Magazine said that the film "Jogs from one incident to the next, amazing information and disspensing attitude, but rarely creating real characters. That supposed to be director Milos Forman's forté; here, though, nearly everyone is an enemy or a stooge".

The film received accolades for Forman and Harrelson, as well as for Courtney Love, featured in her first substantial acting role. Love and Harrelson both received Golden Globe nominations for their work, while Harrelson received a nomination for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Miloš Forman also received a nomination, for Best Director. The film won the Golden Bear for best picture at the 1997 Berlin International Film Festival.

Flynt's many detractors accused the filmmakers of glorifying him. Feminists in particular said the movie portrayed Hustler as a typical "girlie" magazine, while in fact it is much stronger (and to their mind more objectionable) fare than such magazines as Playboy.

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Natural Born Killers

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Natural Born Killers is a 1994 satirical crime film directed by Oliver Stone about two mass murderers and the media coverage given to them. It stars Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, and features appearances by Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Downey, Jr., Tom Sizemore, and Tommy Lee Jones. It is based on a screenplay by Quentin Tarantino that was heavily revised by Stone with writer Dave Veloz and associate producer Richard Rutowski.

The film opens with Mickey Knox (Woody Harrelson) and his wife Mallory (Juliette Lewis) in a roadside café. The pair are initially seen to be normal customers, with Mickey buying Key Lime pie and Mallory dancing to rock 'n' roll on the jukebox. A group of rednecks arrive and one of them begins dancing and flirting with Mallory. She encourages him for a moment, and then, without provocation, attacks him by smashing his beer bottle as he drinks from it. A fistfight breaks out between the two, with Mallory beating the larger man beyond recognition. When the redneck's friend attempts to intervene, Mickey stabs him to death. Mickey and Mallory then proceed to massacre the café's patrons, culminating in a morbid game of Eeny-Meeny-Miney-Moe to decide who lives and who dies. After executing their final victim, the couple laugh at the sole survivor and make sure he remembers their names before they embrace and declare their undying love, as fireworks go off in the background.

After the title sequence, Mickey and Mallory are shown in a desert at nighttime. Mallory tells Mickey about her vision of him riding a red horse, and then she thinks back to when they first met. A flashback sequence shows Mickey as a deliveryman who delivered some beef to the house where Mallory lived with her physically, sexually and psychologically abusive father (Rodney Dangerfield), her clueless mother, and Kevin (her younger brother). The disturbing scene is portrayed as a 1950s-type sitcom with a canned laughter track, the "audience" laughing hardest when Mallory is subjected to lewd comments and hints of molestation by her repulsive father. When Mickey arrives, he instantly falls in love with Mallory, and she with him, and he whisks her away on a date, stealing her father's car in the process. Mickey is arrested and imprisoned for grand theft auto, but he subsequently escapes during a tornado and returns to Mallory's house. The two kill her father by drowning him in the aquarium, and burn her mother alive in bed. They spare her ten-year-old brother, with Mallory telling him that he is free. They leave the house to the sound of rapturous applause from the 'audience'.

Mickey and Mallory then get 'married' on the side of a bridge, with Mickey cutting both of their hands, and letting their blood intermingle to signify their unbreakable union (a car full of drunks yells at them and Mickey looks angry, but then says "I'm not going to murder anyone on our wedding day"). They drive through a small town, and arrive at a motel for the night. Watching TV for a while, they then begin to have sex, but Mallory notices that something is distracting Mickey. It is revealed that there is a female hostage tied up in the corner of the room. Furious with Mickey's notion that they have a threesome, Mallory storms out. She drives to a nearby garage, where she begins to flirt with the mechanic (Balthazar Getty). They begin to have sex on the hood of a car, but Mallory is angered by his over-aggressive cunnilingus and shoots him to death. Meanwhile, in the motel, Mickey rapes and murders the hostage.

The pair then continue their killing-spree (which bears several parallels to Bonnie and Clyde and the Starkweather-Fugate case), slaughtering their way across the southwestern United States and ultimately claiming fifty-two victims. Following them are two characters who see the murderers as a chance to acquire fame and glory for themselves. The first is a policeman, Detective Jack Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore), who seems particularly fascinated by Mallory. Scagnetti is already a well-known personality, a published author, whose book Scagnetti on Scagnetti is a best-seller amongst law enforcement. Scagnetti has a lifelong obsession with mass murderers after seeing his mother shot and killed by Charles Whitman when he was five, and hopes to achieve hero status by capturing the pair (preferably when there are television cameras around to capture the action). Despite his heroic facade, he is later shown to be a very disturbed man, strangling a teenaged prostitute just to see what it feels like to be a killer. The second pursuer of the killers is journalist Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.), who hosts a show called American Maniacs, profiling serial killers and mass murderers in a disgustingly sensationalist way. Various clips of his program on Mickey and Mallory are shown, with Gale acting outraged on-screen as he details the pair's crimes, although off-air he clearly regards their crimes as a fantastic way of boosting his show's ratings. Indeed, it is Gale who is primarily responsible for elevating Mickey and Mallory to hero status, with his show featuring interviews with people around the world expressing their admiration for the mass killers as if they were film stars.

Meanwhile, Mickey and Mallory become lost in the desert and are taken in by a Navajo man (Russell Means), and his grandson. After the duo fall asleep, the Native American, hoping to expel or ease the demon he perceives in Mickey, begins chanting beside the fire, invoking nightmares in Mickey about his abusive parents. Mickey wakes up in a rage and shoots the old man before he realizes what he is doing. Mallory and Mickey are both traumatized, marking the first time the couple feel guilty for a murder. Mallory exclaims, "You killed life!", implying the Indian was more worthy of living than their previous victims. While fleeing from the scene through the desert, they stray into a field of rattlesnakes and are both bitten.

They drive to a drugstore to find snakebite antidote, but the pharmacist sets off the silent alarm before Mickey kills him, and the police arrive before Mickey and Mallory can escape. Mallory is captured immediately, and is subsequently beaten by the police. A gunfight breaks out between Mickey and the other police, until Scagnetti arrives. He tells Mickey that unless he surrenders, he'll cut Mallory's breasts off. Mickey agrees, and gives up his gun, but he then attacks Scagnetti with a knife. The police taser him, and the scene ends with Mickey being beaten by a group of policemen and -women.

The film picks up one year later. The homicidal couple have been imprisoned, but are due to be shipped to a mental hospital after being declared insane. Scagnetti arrives at the prison and meets up with Warden Dwight McClusky (Tommy Lee Jones) and the two devise a plan to get rid of Mickey and Mallory: McClusky will arrange for Scagnetti to be the driver for the Knoxes' transfer. Alone with the pair during transport, Scagnetti will shoot and kill them, then claim that they tried to escape. Gale, also at the prison, persuades Mickey to agree to a live interview to air immediately after the Super Bowl, the night before he is to be shipped to the mental institute. At this time, Mallory is held in solitary confinement elsewhere in the prison, awaiting her transport to the mental hospital.

As planned, Mickey is interviewed by Gale. He gives a speech about how murder is a natural component of existence, describes enlightenment through murder and declares himself a "natural born killer." His words inspire the other inmates (who are watching the interview on TV in the D Wing recreation room) and incite them to riot.

Upon hearing of the riot outbreak, Warden McClusky orders the interview terminated over Gale's violent protests and heads to the control room, leaving Mickey alone with Gale, the film crew and several guards. Using a lengthy joke complete with hand gestures as a diversion, Mickey elbow-smashes a guard in the face and grabs his shotgun. Mickey kills all but two of the guards, whilst several of Gale's crew are also killed. Mickey then takes the survivors hostage, leading them through the prison riot to find Mallory. Gale follows, giving a live television report as people are being beaten and slaughtered all around him. Throughout the prison, the inmates subdue, torture, and/or murder prison guards and inmate informants.

After being rescued by a mysterious prisoner named Owen (Arliss Howard), Mickey, Mallory and Gale encounter Warden McClusky and a heavily armed posse of guards. They take cover in a blood-splattered shower room. As Mickey and Mallory discuss how much they love one another, Gale calls his wife and tells her he is leaving her. He then calls his mistress to tell her he will see her later, but she dumps him over the phone. Obsessed with killing Mickey and Mallory, McClusky threatens to storm the shower room, despite the protests of his guards who insist that there are more pressing problems to which they must attend, namely the hundreds of other rioting inmates heading their way. McClusky however is determined to destroy Mickey and Mallory at any cost.

Having devised a plan of escape, Mickey and Mallory, together with Owen, Gale and a final surviving hostage guard emerge from the shower, Gale's camera still capturing everything. Mickey tells McClusky that if he attempts anything, both Gale and the guard will be killed live on air. McClusky is thus powerless to stop the prisoners walking out the front door, shouting threats in frustration and no little spray of spittle. After Mickey and Mallory flee, McClusky and his guards are massacred by hordes of inmates who burst into the area, trapping McClusky and the guards against a locked gate. They proceed to tear McClusky apart, literally ripping his head off and displaying it on a spike (director's cut only).

After the escape, Owen is never seen or mentioned again. Mickey and Mallory have stolen a van and killed the final guard, dumping his body out of the van while being chased by police officers. Escaping to a rural location, they give a final interview to Wayne Gale before--much to his surprise and horror--they tell him he has to die. Gale attempts various arguments to convince them not to kill him, finally appealing to their trademark practice of leaving one witness to tell the tale. Mallory gestures to his still-rolling camera as she and Mickey inform him are leaving a witness to tell the tale--his camera. Gale finally accepts his fate and extends his arms as if on a cross as they execute him by shooting him numerous times with shotguns, while his unattended camera films the whole incident. They then walk away, leaving the body behind and the camera still filming.

As the closing credits roll, the couple are shown several years later in an RV, with Mickey driving and Mallory (who is pregnant) watching their two children play.

Natural Born Killers was based upon a screenplay written by Quentin Tarantino in which a married couple suddenly decide to go on a killing spree. Tarantino had sold his script to producers Jane Hamsher and Don Murphy for $10,000 after he had tried, and failed, to direct it himself for $500,000. Hamsher and Murphy subsequently sold the screenplay to Warner Bros. Around the same time, Oliver Stone was made aware of the script. He was keen to find something more straightforward than his previous production, Heaven & Earth; a difficult shoot which had left him exhausted, and he felt that Natural Born Killers could be what he was looking for.

Initially, when producers Jane Hamsher and Don Murphy had first brought the script to Stone's attention, he had seen it as an action movie; "something Arnold Schwarzenegger would be proud of." As the project developed however, incidents such as the O.J. Simpson case, the Menendez brothers case, the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan incident, the Rodney King incident and the Branch Davidian attack all took place. Stone came to feel that the media was heavily involved in the outcome of all of these cases, and that the media had become an all-pervasive entity which marketed violence and suffering for the good of ratings. As such, he changed the tone of the movie from one of simple action to a satiric critique of the media in general.

During preproduction, to prepare for the role of Wayne Gale, Robert Downey Jr. spent time with Australian TV shock-king Steve Dunleavy. Also during preproduction, Stone tried to convince actress Juliette Lewis to bulk up for the role of Mallory so that she looked tougher, but she refused, saying she wanted the character to look like a pushover, not like a female bodybuilder.

The entire film took only 56 days to shoot, but the editing process went on for 11 months, with the final film containing almost 3,000 cuts (most films have 600-700).

Filming locations included the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge just west of Taos, New Mexico, where the wedding scene was filmed, and Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, where the prison riot was filmed. In Stateville, 80% of the prisoners were there for violent crimes. For the first two weeks on location at the prison, the extras were actual inmates with rubber weapons. For the subsequent two weeks, 200 extras were needed because the Stateville inmates were on lockdown. According to Tom Sizemore, during filming on the prison set, Stone would play African tribal music at full blast between takes to keep the frantic energy up. Whilst shooting the POV scene where Mallory runs into the wire mesh, director of photography Robert Richardson broke his finger, and the replacement cameraman cut his eye. According to Oliver Stone, he wasn’t too popular with the camera department on set that day. For the scenes involving rear projection, the projected footage was shot prior to principal photography, then edited together, and projected onto the stage, behind the live actors. For example, when Mallory drives past a building and flames are projected onto the wall, this was shot live using footage projected onto the facade of a real building.

The famous Coca-Cola polar bear ad is seen twice during the movie. According to Stone, Coca-Cola approved the use of the ad without having a full idea of what the movie was about. When they saw the completed film, they were furious.

The soundtrack for the film was produced by Stone and Trent Reznor, who reportedly watched the film over 50 times to "get in the mood". When putting together the music for the film, Stone and Reznor both wanted to get Snoop Dogg involved, but Warner wouldn't allow it, as Snoop was on trial for murder at the time.

Natural Born Killers is shot and edited in a frenzied and psychedelic style consisting of black and white, animation, and other unusual color schemes, and employing a wide range of camera angles, filters, lenses and special effects. Much of the movie is told via parodies of television shows, including a scene presented in the style of a sitcom about a dysfunctional family. Commercials which were commonly on the air at the time of the film's release make brief, intermittent appearances. In his DVD Director's commentary, Oliver Stone goes into great detail about the look of the film, explaining scene by scene why a particular look was chosen for a particular scene. A selection of quotations from that commentary can be found at the IMDb FAQ for the film, located here.

Stone considered Natural Born Killers his road film, specifically naming Bonnie and Clyde as a source of inspiration. The famous death scene in Bonnie and Clyde used innovative editing techniques provided by multiple cameras shot from different angles at different speeds; this sporadic interchange between fast-paced and slow-motion editing that concludes Arthur Penn's film is used throughout the entirety of Natural Born Killers.

Television frequently appears in the film, including real television sets and television images that play on the sky, windows, or the sides of passing buildings. Furthermore, the story is often told via TV programmes, and the characters think about their own stories through the filter of TV. One example is Mallory's flashback to her first meeting with Mickey, which is presented as an episode of a sitcom called I Love Mallory (obviously a spoof of the real sitcom I Love Lucy), in which Mallory's abusive home life is played out to the canned laughter and "aw shucks" attitude of 1950s sitcoms. Much of the pair's violence is only shown as replayed or recreated on television. During the prison interview, Mickey is shown talking on a little television in an idealized 1950s Leave it to Beaver-type living room, and on the prison television in the canteen. The last scene of the film flicks away from Mickey and Mallory as if the viewer has begun to flip channels. It flicks through a variety of images including the O.J. Simpson trial, the Menendez brothers trial, and the burning Branch Davidian compound. Intermittent breaks from the film show popular commercials from the 1990s, thus making a direct relation between the diegetic (fictional) audience and the cinematic audience. By challenging the mass media throughout the film, Mickey and Mallory represent the idolized products of a society of spectacle; by including glimpses of real life angry and violent celebrities, Stone concludes the film as a modern satire on the mass media's exploitation of violence. As Mickey and Mallory literally walk out of the media's frame at the end of the film, it suggests that only a teleological advanced being can transcend the created establishments that influence common Americans.

The story of Frankenstein is referenced twice. Firstly, when Warden McClusky is explaining to Jack Scagnetti that they plan to have Mickey and Mallory undergo electroshock therapy, footage of Frankenstein is shown. Subsequently, explaining why he's going to shoot Wayne Gale, Mickey says "Frankenstein had to kill Dr. Frankenstein," implying that Gale is in some way responsible for Mickey's creation.

Snakes reappear throughout the film. One of the first images in the film is of a rattlesnake. The couple later exchange wedding rings of intertwined snakes, and Mickey has a tattoo of two snakes forming a heart on his chest. When Mickey is attempting to escape from prison during the tornado, it is a snake which aids him, by snapping at the horse pursuing him, thus allowing him to make a clean getaway. When Mallory and Mickey cut themselves on the bridge to show their love for one another, their blood becomes animated and changes into a red and green snake, entwined and hissing. There are also recurring shots of a seven headed dragon, like the one depicted in the Book of Revelation. In the couple's car, there is a toy snake. Mickey and Mallory first meet a real snake at the Navajo's: a rattlesnake is coiled in the corner, a scene which Mickey recalls with fondness and admiration in his prison interview. The Navajo tells a story in his native tongue about a woman who was shocked that a snake she'd rescued from freezing to death had bitten her, to which the snake replies, "Look bitch, you knew I was a snake." Mickey and Mallory are then bitten whilst walking through a field of rattlesnakes, which leads them to the drug store (above which can be seen a neon sign of the Caduceus of Mercury). According to Oliver Stone, snakes represent wisdom and knowledge in the film; on his DVD commentary, he refers to the snake as "a creature of knowledge," and he points out that every time Mickey encounters a snake directly, he learns something from it. This is in tandem with Buddhist beliefs (Oliver Stone converted to Buddhism after Vietnam), where snakes have always been seen as symbolic of wisdom and knowledge.

Mickey repeatedly uses nature and evolution to justify his killings, saying that "The wolf don't know why he's a wolf, the deer don't know why he's a deer. God just made 'em that way." He explains that he is the next step in human evolution, concluding that he's a "natural born killer". Shots of nature open the film and reoccur throughout (particularly wolves), both on television and in reality, often with a violent or disturbing undertones (a shot of an insect eating another insect is seen several times for example).

Yin and Yang, an ancient symbol of moral equivalence appear more than once. Mickey and Mallory have Yin and Yang tattoos on opposite arms. Mickey's tattoo is opposite and below another tattoo of the face of Christ. Mallory's tattoo is opposite and above a tattoo of a scorpion. Mickey's left earring is a Yin Yang. During Mickey's television interview he suggests that he and Mallory are "dark and light", compatible only with one another, as they function as a single force, intending to destroy the "demons" of mass media, corrupt law enforcement and the commonalty's obsession with violence.

A glowing lime green light is used throughout the film, symbolizing the sickness in Mickey's mind. It first appears in the film's opening sequence, as lights in the diner jukebox. Green is also present in the key lime pie Mickey orders. It appears again when Mallory kills a gas station attendant, and absorbs almost the entire screen during the drug store sequence. Lime green lights are last seen in the shower room in the prison, as Mickey and Mallory make their plans for a final escape.

The number 666 is also seen in certain areas of the film - for example Route 666 is featured in one of Wayne Gale's shows, and there is a brief glimpse in the first scene of a diner patron, who will later appear in the prison riot scene as Owen (Arliss Howard), holding a newspaper with the headline "666 Death".

NOTE: A common error made in relation to the Director's Cut of this film is that it contains the deleted scenes from the original DVD (such as the court room scene with Ashley Judd and Rachel Ticotin, the Denis Leary scene, the extended Steven Wright scene, and the alternative ending - all described below). However, the official Director's Cut contains only four minutes of reinstated footage, and none of the deleted scenes from the DVD have been restored to the film.

In its opening weekend, the film grossed a total of $11,166,687 in 1,510 theaters. As of January 12, 2007, the film has grossed a total of $50,282,766 domestically, compared to its $34 million budget. In the UK, it grossed £3,923,239 during its theatrical run.

The film had a mixed critical response. As of November 26, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes records an average response of 52%, based on 29 reviews. However, Metacritic records a score of 74 out of 100 based on 20 reviews.

Other critics however, found the film unsuccessful in its aims. Hal Hinson of The Washington Post claimed that "Stone's sensibility is white-hot and personal. As much as he'd like us to believe that his camera is turned outward on the culture, it's vividly clear that he can't resist turning it inward on himself. This wouldn't be so troublesome if Stone didn't confuse the public and the private." Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote, "for all its surface passions, Natural Born Killers never digs deep enough to touch the madness of such events, or even to send them up in any surprising way. Mr. Stone's vision is impassioned, alarming, visually inventive, characteristically overpowering. But it's no match for the awful truth." James Berardinelli gave the film a negative review, but his dislike of the film was different than most of the unflattering reviews from other critics, who tended to focus on the film's decrying of violence and the media while sensationalizing both of those elements. Berardinelli said that the film "hit the bullseye" as a satire of America's lust for bloodshed, but repeated this argument so often and so loudly that it became unbearable.

When the film was first handed in to the MPAA, they told Stone they would give it an NC-17 unless he cut it. As such, Stone toned down the violence by cutting approximately four minutes of footage, and the MPAA re-rated the film as an R. The original cut is now available on DVD.

The film was banned completely in Ireland.

The UK home video release was delayed due to the Dunblane massacre in Scotland.

Stone has continually maintained that the film is a satire on how serial killers are adored by the media for their horrific actions and that those who claim that the violence in the movie itself is a cause of societal violence miss the point of the movie.

Entertainment Weekly ranked the film as the 8th Most Controversial Movie Ever.

The soundtrack was released August 23, 1994 by Interscope Records.

Tracks 10, 13, 18, 21, 23, 25 are assembled from various recordings and dialogue from the film.

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Source : Wikipedia