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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Italian - Hearing Impaired, Romanian, Bulgarian
  • Deleted scenes - With production audio or director commentary
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - Director Oliver Stone
  • 2 Featurette - Meet Mr. X: The Personality and Thoughts of Fletcher Prouty, Assassination Update - The New Documents
  • DVD-ROM features
  • Web access


Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 198 mins . M15+ . PAL


Three years after the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy, disillusioned District Attorney Jim Garrison assembles a case which outlines a very likely hushed up conspiracy to kill the popular president. Although all the government endorsed surface evidence pointed to Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman, Garrison reveals layer after layer of cover-ups and connections between the government, Cubans, the military and big businessmen.

You might already know how this story turns out, but trust me, this movie will make you think twice about what you know.

Only Oliver Stone could get away with creating a film such as JFK. He takes (perhaps reluctantly accepted) historical fact of one of the most discussed events in history and then presents us with a combination of alternative views on how it may have really happened, released to critical and theatrical acclaim. All too often we are force-fed films that either leave a bad taste in our mouth or worse yet, make no impression on us at all. JFK succeeds in taking an over-discussed subject, Oliver Stone-ing it, and serving it back up for our consumption once again. Somehow, as is common with his work, the end result leaves us feeling a better person for having taking the time to view it.

With stunning deftness, Stone has assembled different stocks, archival footage and re-created scenes to generate a semi-documentary style that builds up palpable tension over and over again. In 198 minutes there are a large number of moments which are almost self contained movies in themselves, such is the completeness, length and enthralling nature of the subject. Considering that most of us would know what happened that day, in one way or another, how he manages to lay out before us the oft presented facts in a manner which makes us view it as though he is revealing the facts of the assassination for the very first time is simply amazing and shows a director in complete mastery of his craft.

Equally incredible is the cast, which is a non-stop parade of names stepping in and out of the story in mostly against type roles. Although the effect is at first a little disconcerting because it forces you to say "Hey, that's so-and-so…" and momentarily distracts you from the film, to their credit, everyone puts in a sterling performance and keeps you glued to the screen hanging on their every word.

JFK can do nothing wrong for the person after entertainment, information and speculation. It simply serves all this up by the bag full, and whatever your take on the events as gleaned from various sources, makes you realize that someone is hiding something from the public.


Oliver Stone movies are always interesting to watch, especially when he creates montages with various stocks and filters. With scenes that border on moving artwork, the unforgiving nature of dvd that can best highlight his work could also be its worst enemy. Through some good work though, what we have here is a transfer that does most things right with only one minor hiccup. Depending on the location in time of the story, the colour palette shifts from warm to cool, but always looks great. Depending on the style used, shadow detail varies from high in the naturally lit and coloured scenes, to thick blacks with low detail in the more heavily filtered segments. The print for JFK seems very clean, with barely a noticeable blemish, and the only real negative aspect is the minimal aliasing scattered throughout and the some slight edge-enhancement.


When you are presented with a film as "talky" as JFK, you hope and pray that due attention has been paid to the audio so as not to be a struggle to discern dialogue, nor induce fatigue from the effort needed to listen intently over three hours. Thankfully, this dvd succeeds in this regard, and remains relatively transparent in performing it's duties. While devoid of any moments which stand out, the general soundfield is quite good with nice moments which engage the surrounds for support, but generally anchors most activity to the front channels and the dialogue firmly and clearly to the center channel. Stone's trademark use of low frequencies is represented well during key dramatic moments, adding extra impact to the scenes showing "the shot heard around the world" and the fantastic score by John Williams punctuates the story perfectly.


There's no doubt that this is where the whole package is given that little nudge in the value for money stakes, going from "must SEE" dvd to "must BUY" dvd. Starting with Disc 1, which contains the film itself, the first bonus is the 17 minutes of extra footage edited back into the movie by Oliver Stone. Not a bad start, ey? Next, we have a commentary from the big lug himself, and I'd be happy even if that was all we got. Stone's commentary is one of the more interesting I've listened to, adding to the information revealed during the film and sometimes describing what was documented and what he speculated.

Onto Disc 2, we start with around an hour of Deleted/Extended. These have the option of viewing with either production audio, or commentary by Stone. There's plenty to look at here, and because some are extended scenes, there's some doubling up of material you see in the finished film. I'd can see why some had been removed, as they might have taken the conspiracy angle a little too far into kooksville (but still not totally unbelievable to some, including Stone) but most of the material is very interesting.

Another good extra is the 10 minute video "Meet Mr. X: The Personality and Thoughts of Fletcher Prouty", the real life Mr. X played by Donald Sutherland in the film. The addition of this footage shows some real thought and consideration for the viewer. This extras runs straight into another longer segment "Assassination Update - The New Documents", which discusses the release of new information and again shows the same consideration for expanding and enhancing the quality of the JFK viewing experience.

Finally, the second disc finishes off with a theatrical trailer and some web-enabled content for your PC-DVD. So, there's a little bit for everyone in there, and as a package it shouldn't disappoint anyone after some extra information to follow up on.


Simply an absolutely riveting story. It had my total undivided attention for the whole three hours and could be repackaged as a documentary on "what could have happened" with ease. Watched with an open mind, the facts and speculation as presented will at least force you to question what you may have accepted about events that occurred. At worst, if you're a little too open minded and eagerly accept conspiracy theories as gospel, you'll think you've found the smoking gun in the Kennedy assassination cover-up.

With a very complementary package of extras which serve to extended the experience of JFK, I have no problem in recommending you add this dvd to your collection.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=492
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      And I quote...
    "psstt...do you know who killed Kennedy? Oliver Stone does, and he wants to share the secret with you...but keep it quiet...I think someone's listening..."
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB930
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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