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JFK - Director's Cut [Blu-ray]


(Oliver Stone, 1991)



Reissued January 4th, 2011 at a cheaper price!:


Review by Gary Tooze


Studio: Warner

Video: Warner



Region: FREE

Feature Runtime: 3:25:49

Chapters: 88

Feature film disc size: 37.5 Gig

One single-layered Blu-ray

Case: Book-style Blu-ray case

Release date: November 11th, 2008



Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: VC-1



English: TrueHD 5.1, English: 5.1

Feature: English, French and none


Audio commentary by director Oliver Stone (in 2.0 channel)
"Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy" (1:30:01 SD, 1.33)
12 deleted and extended scenes/alternate ending with optional director commentary (54:55)
"Assassination Updated" (29:40)

"Meet Mr. X: The Personality and Thoughts of Fletcher Prouty"(11:01)


Product Description: Oliver Stone’s powerful film about the shots heard round the world and the mystery enshrouding them is one of the most provocative movies of our time. Aside from its box-office success, critical acclaim and awards, it played a major role in the national debate leading to passage of the 1992 Assassination Materials Disclosure Act. Nominated for 8 Academy Awards and winner of two...



The Film:

Oliver's Stone's "JFK" builds up an overwhelming head of urgency that all comes rushing out at the end of the film, in a tumbling, angry, almost piteous monologue - the whole obsessive weight of Jim Garrison's conviction that there was a conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy. With the words come images, faces, names, snatches of dialogue, flashbacks to the evidence, all marshaled to support his conclusion that the murder of JFK was not the work of one man.


Well, do you know anyone who believes Lee Harvey Oswald acted all by himself in killing Kennedy? I don't. I've been reading the books and articles for the last 25 years, and I've not found a single convincing defense of the Warren Commission report, which arrived at that reassuring conclusion. It's impossible to believe the Warren report because the physical evidence makes its key conclusion impossible: One man with one rifle could not physically have caused what happened on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas. If one man could not have, then there must have been two. Therefore, there was a conspiracy...

Excerpt from JRoger Ebert at the Chicago Sun Times located HERE



Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

This is a very impressive Blu-ray image - especially considering the film is now 18+ years old. Detail is very strong while colors are a shade muted. Some scenes can tend to look a bit glossy and this may be a factor of the VC-1 encode - frequently utilized by Warner. We've seen better contrast but it's not fatal. Stone's common use of vintage newsreel and faux 'similar' comes through as intended. The feature size is a gimongous 37.5 Gig on the dual-layered Blu-ray - probably more related to the 3.5 hour long film. There is no DNR or edge enhancements that I could ascertain. There is some noise and sporadically visible grain. You may click on the screen grabs to see the full 1080 resolution. It looks much crisper than I was anticipating. This transfer is akin to Stone's Nixon which we also endorse for visual quality. This is the 'Director's Cut' - some 16 minutes longer than the theatrical version.


















Audio & Music:  
TrueHD 5.1 is competent but the film is almost solely dialogue driven beyond John Williams original score and the brief interludes of N'awlins music we hear.  There are optional subtitles offered only in
English or French.

Nothing new but still fabulous supplements starting with Stone's mesmerizing commentary. I've heard it three times now and it seems better with repetition. Certainly I can't see this being improved upon and it's great that it is still included. We still have "Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy" running 1.5 hours (almost exactly! - a conspiracy?), Twelve deleted and extended scenes/alternate ending with optional commentary by Stone. These last almost an hour long and are more supportive for the conspiracy buffs extending those continued hypothesis. Two featurettes - 30 minutes of "Assassination Updated" relating some new material since the original releases of the film and the interesting/amusing "Meet Mr. X: The Personality and Thoughts of Fletcher Prouty" for a, too short, 11 minutes.



Bottom line:
I don't think you have to take JFK as verbatim to admit that this is one of the most thought-provoking political dramas ever made. Warner have come through with a complete package offering a justifiable cavalcade on digital of Stone's mammoth project. The
Blu-ray image and audio are as good as one might expect and there is no real reason to complain
. This is quite a film experience and one that we give a full recommendation in this new format.

Gary Tooze

November 12th, 2008




Reissued January 4th, 2011 at a cheaper price!:

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze








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