JFK Movie Review

I get a lot of flack for proclaiming JFK as one of my favorite films ever, but I'm sticking by it. Sure it's long and includes some dubious conjecture, but JFK is one powerful movie, even if you don't believe a word of it in the end. And it's hard to find nothing in the film which you can grab on to.

So give it a chance. November 22, 2003 marks the 40th anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy, and there's no better way to look back than with a screening of Oliver Stone's thoughtful and exhaustive study of Jim Garrison's (Kevin Costner) investigation into the president's assassination. Stone's masterpiece has now been reissued on DVD in Stone's director's cut, with 17 minutes of restored footage that Camelot enthusiasts should find rewarding -- the same version as the previous DVD release. (Included among the restored scenes is a long passage about George DeMohrenschildt, a Nazi sympathizer who befriended Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) and later betrayed him to the Warren Commission. There's more about Bill Broussard's (Michael Rooker) defection, and a scene of Garrison later being accosted in an airport. Extra witnesses are paraded through the final courtroom scene, and, most peculiarly, there's a restored sequence of Garrison's appearance on the gaudy The Jerry Johnson Show, with John Larroquette as the smarmy host.)

There's also a new second disc of material, including the documentary Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy, even more of Stone's deleted and extened scenes, and some updated multimedia about the assassination (notably some recently declassified documents) and some info about "Mr. X" (played by Donald Sutherland in the film) -- revealed to be military man Fletcher Prouty. Stone's commentary to the feature film is so exhaustive and full of data it reaches the point of being dizzying.

Presented in 2.35:1 widescreen and with full Dolby Digital sound, the DVD edition of JFK holds dozens of new secrets waiting to be discovered. The Zapruder film is much more vivid here than on videotape, and when those shots ring out, they echo through the room, a haunting memory of what's gone before. Still, at a running time of 206 minutes, this special edition of JFK may not be for everyone. But at least you don't have to rewind.

Comments

JFK Rating

" Essential "

Rating: R, 1991

Advertisement

More Kevin Costner

'Draft Day' Tries To Break Out Of Sports-Movie Ghetto

American sports films have a notoriously difficult time travelling abroad, mainly because no one else on earth cares quite as much about US baseball, basketball...

Draft Day Movie Review

Essentially this year's Moneyball, but set in American football rather than baseball, this fast-paced drama is brightly made with an especially strong cast. But only...

'3 Days to Kill' Combines Themes of Luc Besson's World

French writer-director-producer Luc Besson has created an entire industry by bringing American stars to Europe and turning them into action heroes in movies that oddly...

3 Days to Kill Movie Review

French filmmaker Luc Besson continues to combine family themes with intense violence (see Taken), but at least this film has a wry sense of humour...

Advertisement

Kevin Costner's 'Field Of Dreams' Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Baseball Game

Kevin Costner spent Father's Day recreating iconic scenes from the 1989 film Field of Dreams in which he starred. The film is celebrating its 25th...

A Week In Movies: Spider-Man Hits London, Aniston Films In LA, Trailers Arrive For Shaun And Earth To Echo, And A Short Film Teases Martin's Trek Home

Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan and director Marc Webb were all in London to walk the red carpet at the world premiere...

'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Shields Off The Competition To Top Box Office

Captain America: The Winter Soldier fought off some pretty serious opposition to maintain its position at the top of the box office, while three newcomers...

'Draft Day' Reviews: 'Moneyball' Is Still The Underdog Sports Film To Watch

The people behind ‘Draft Day’ are probably getting a little bit tired of comparisons to 'Moneyball', the Brad Pitt-starring 2011 hit, but given that the...

Advertisement