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on 18 November 2013
This film is, largely, a set of seamlessly woven lies.

For example, Jim Garrison didn't make that closing speech, he didn't even have the integrity or guts to be present when the verdict was read out. A verdict that took the jury 45 minutes to reach. It isn't possible to give this film any more than one star, since it purports to depict history, yet it doesn't. As Bugliosi said, Stone got the place and the date right. The rest he didn't.
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on 24 September 2011
This is a well made, and enjoyable film. The problem is, that people have started to believe it is fact based. It is not, and contains many inaccuracies.

Sadly, Stone himself is said to believe many of the conspiracy theories about the assassination, and saw Jim Garrison as the all American hero.

Jim Garrison was a typical conspiracy theorist. Anyone who did not agree with him, give him the answers he wanted to hear was basically part of the conspiracy, or so it would seem. Clay Shaw was a totally innocent man whose life was ruined by Garrison. The only "evidence" Garrison had against Shaw was that of 26 year old salesman, Perry Russo. His story became more and more embellished each time he told it, until he took a lie detector test, when he then admitted he was not telling the truth. Garrison knew this, when told of it he flew into a rage. He still continued the prosecution nonetheless. It is one of the most blatant miscarriages of justice ever.

Some of the more obvious inaccuracies were:
Oswald, according to the film, had Maggie's draws, i.e. he was a poor shot. Not true, he was a trained marksman, with scores of 48 and 49 out of fifty at 200 yards, firing rapidly. The shot to Kennedy was about 80 yards, he was more than capable of doing it.

In the demonstration of the "Magic Bullet" nonsense in the courtroom, he has Texas governor John Connally sitting facing forward at the time he was shot, if you watch the Zapruder film, it shows clearly when Connally was shot, by the expression on his face, at the time he was turned to his right looking back over his shoulder. Not only that, Kennedy's seat was 3 inches higher than Connally's, Connally's seat was a jump seat, lower and 6 inches in from the side of the car. When you take this into account, the bullet follows a straight line, through Kennedy, into Connally, no twisting and turning in the air, no magic bullet. Tracking it back puts the source directly at the window on the 6th floor of the repository where Oswald was. He fled the building immediately after the shooting.

Costner goes over Kennedy's head movement repeatedly, "Back and to the left". It is claimed this proves the shot came from the side, even though the film also shows his head exploding in that direction. The entrance hole is at the back of the head, a small hole, bone broken inwards.

The list goes on, this is NOT a factual movie, but a Hollywood fictionalised account based upon Garrison's own drivel and another conspiracy nonsense book written by conspiracy nut Jim Marrs.
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on 2 November 2013
arrived 2 days early thanks to proposed royal mail strike and i can confirm that IT IS the directors cut of the film with a stated running time of 205 minutes.
sound is dts hdma 5.1.
subtitles on disc are as follows :-

English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Italian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish

There is also a full complement of extras including commentary deleted and extended scenes a documentary and multimedia essays.
Picture and sound are in my opinion excellent much better than my old 2 disc dvd.
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VINE VOICEon 21 September 2006
Edit: the blu ray upgrade provides significant audio visual enhancement & it also comes with the Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy, which is a ninety minute documentary featuring original interviews and archive footage, which was only previously available in the UK as part of the two VHS set.

JFK, as if you didn't already know, concerns the story of real-life Louisana District Attorney Jim Garrison and his (ultimately unsuccessful) prosecution of Clay Shaw for conspiring in the murder of President John F. Kennedy.

Through an audacious technique of sound and image editing, combining different film stocks and overlapping dialogue, JFK is a powerful piece of cinema that deserves a place in everyone's collection. It is to director Oliver Stone's credit that he keeps the viewer continually engaged with the film through it's three hours and seventeen minutes running length.

The film is not only a significant technical achievement but supremely enjoyable on a purely cinematic level. The cast is uniformly excellent - a special nod of the head to Gary Oldman as Lee Harvey Oswald - and Robert Richardson's cinematography is, as always, gorgeous.

Due to the inflammatory subject matter (a U.S. covert action program designed to assassinate foreign leaders gets blown-back and turned on President Kennedy), this film and those associated with it have often come in for a lot of highly charged invective. Therefore, some background reading is highly recommended; if you only read one book on the Kennedy assassination, make it Oxford historian Anthony Summers' "Kennedy Conspiracy" for an in-depth and reasoned analysis.

In short, this is Oliver Stone's "J'accuse!" -not only one of the best films ever made but also one of the most important.
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on 28 December 2009
When I first saw this film a couple of years back it seemed like one of the greatest things I had ever seen. JFK surely must have been murdered by the government/CIA...or did he?
One thing that I am thankful for is that this film inspired me to go off and find out for myself the facts about that day. And here is where the film goes dreadfully wrong, it plays on some horrendous innaccuracies to paint a very distorted vision. Here are just 3 that will explain...

1) The positions of JFK and Governor Connally in connection with Garrison's magic bullet theory. They were not seated directly in front of each other but rather at different angles. Kennedy leaning with his arm outwards onto the car exterior and Connally slightly inset AND sitting approximately a foot below Kennedy on a booster seat. The bullet therefore continued as it should- through Kennedy's back/throat and into Governor Connally.
2) Kennedy's head does roll back after the fatal shot but only after it goes forward first. Look closely, many videos to reference for this - some even slowing it down to show he goes forward THEN back. Hence, he was shot from the back- no other gunman.
3) The belief that Oswald was no good at wielding a rifle...blatant lie! Records documented from Oswald's military past reveal that not only was he competent rifleman, but an exceptional one. Not quite sure where Stone got that info from.

What is laughable is that Stone implores so many different angles for what could have happened that day yet in reality this happened one way only. I urge you to not watch this film and instead watch a documentary entitled JFK: Beyond Conspiracy, this offers a far more reasonable explanation of events and even goes to some lengths to debunk the half-truths provided in this film. Shame on Oliver Stone for further clouding people's judgement on an event which has reached ludicrous levels of conspiracy nonsense.
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on 20 March 2013
bought as a present, the JFK story is one many people want to watch, I personally cant watch the cardboard acting skills of Kevin Costner hence 3 stars.
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on 19 August 2013
Don't bother to buy this, it has been cut from 206 minutes to 186 minutes, not worth buying if you already have the Director Cut on DVD, the missing footage ruins the film.
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on 16 January 2005
Much has been made of this film, its qualities and its historical accuracy. Even the most ardent defenders of the films point of view (that Kennedy was killed by a monster plot) admit that the film takes a great deal of 'dramatic license'. However few are in doubt about its qualities as a work of cinema. It is superbly directed and its all-star cast deliver as expected. My current distaste for the film stems not from its movies qualities, but from its history.
Like so many other people, JFK was my first introduction to the fascinating and controversial assassination of one of America's greatest presidents. I had heard vague pieces about conspiracy but seeing Oliver Stone's masterfully woven together film (the final courtroom scene in particular) blew me away. I sat down one night to watch the beginning before I went to bed and ended up watching until 04:00, unable to stop. Seeing the photograph being faked, finger prints being taken from Oswald's corpse and of course 'back and to the left' sent shivers down my spine. Purely as a film, one can have no complaints. It is absolutely brilliant.
The history in the film has been heavily questioned. Some simply criticise the film for distorting too much because the pure facts would be more convincing of the conspiracy, while defenders of the lone-gunman theory attacked the film for telling outright lies. I simply had to find out for myself. I became obsessed. The film had convinced me that it was all a monster plot and that Oswald had nothing to do with it. I had become a conspiracy buff. But reading the real facts of the case made me doubt my beliefs. A BBC documentary on the 40th anniversary of the shooting left me clinging to the web of conspiracy by a thread, further research has convinced me that it happened exactly as the Warren Commission said.
It is in this that my (and many others) find fault in the film. The Kennedy assassination is surrounded by myths, falsehoods and rumours. What I find objectionable is that Stone has taken all this 'evidence' and presented it as hard fact. Going into every historical fault in the film is far too time consuming and also irrelevant to this review, but it is necessary to mention a couple of the film's most outrageous claims. In the dramatic courtroom Scene, Kevin Costner details how the 'magic bullet' went up and down, left and right through the President and Governor Connally who were both sat erect, at the same elevation, directly in front of each other and facing forward. This is wrong. Connally was sitting lower than and inboard of the President, turned sharply to the right and Kennedy was hunched forward. The perfect line of sight for the single bullet is turned into the impossible magic bullet. The film also further perpetrates the outright lie that the Zapruder film establishes 5.6 seconds from 1st shot to last. That is also wrong, it establishes roughly 8.3 seconds (the 5.6 second claim comes from conspiracy authors who claimed Oswald could not possibly have fired so early because of a tree blocking his sight, also false).
JFK is undoubtedly one of the great films of the 1990s, - from a cinematic point of view. From a historical point of view it is about as strong as a skyscraper built on mud. Who shot JFK? In my humble opinion, it was Oswald and no one else. Most people disagree, as is their freedom. What you or I personally believe to be the truth is irrelevant. But I feel cheated by this film, as do many who have gone on to study the facts of the case. Watch this film by all means, but before you make the pilgrimage to Dallas and burn the books of Warren Commission, try doing a little reading first, and see the JFK assassination through some other means than the distorted view of Oliver Stone.
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on 22 December 2003
This is one fantastically made film, Stone mixes his own fictional footage with genuine historical footage until you don't know which one is the truth, this powerful movie bombards you with information and will not stop. Throughout the film, Garrison (Costner) and his team put foreward every conspiracy theory known to man (aside from Elvis at the Grassy-Knoll) before deciding on their prefered option and hammering it home in a riveting final court-room scene.
I for one don't believe that Lyndon Johnson was waiting for a call from Clay Shaw saying "Kennedy's been killed and I want my money". Oliver Stone is not a historian and this is not history, as Stone said, this film is merely a counter-myth to the myth that is the Warren Report and that is what it does. One only has to watch the trial scene to realise that the Warren Report was fiction and although Garrison's proposition of a government-planned conspiracy is a little off, it does make you think and that is what a good film should do.
The supporting cast is excellent with Tommy-Lee Jones earning a Best Supporting-Actor Oscar, the music is superb and powerfully atmospheric.
A good buy for anyone who likes to think and an ideal subject for discussion
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on 26 September 2012
the cover of this video was dog eared and worn, the coloured inset was discoloured and torn, in other words i was far from impressed, added to which the film had to be rewound almost completely, i would not purchase from these people again !!!!!
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