Oliver Stone hit a rich vein of form from the mid Eighties through into the early nineties and J.F.K. could be his crowning glory. It's an achievement in itself that he was able to get a workable screenplay together when you consider the sheer magnitude of the subject matter.
I can't imagine many people wanting to dive into this movie's labyrinth of plot, facts and testimonies unless they have a real passion for conspiracies or J.F.K in particular. Talk about riddles inside enigmas wrapped up in mysteries. The advantage you gain from covering the assassination of J.F.K. is that you only need to raise a reasonable doubt in the viewers mind and we have more than enough brought to the table here to practically reopen the investigation. The only question is how much of it can you trust?.
It's clear that Stone himself has a real passion for the subject matter as he rarely leaves any stone unturned (sorry), on each avenue of the investigation. Such intricate detail is given to almost every aspect, but it's unclear where facts end and artistic licence begins.
Kevin Costner portrays New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison as he embarks on a quest to bring the real assassins to justice and nearly buckles himself under the sheer weight and size of everything involved. I'm sure the rabbit hole was far deeper than he ever imagined. "There's a lot of smoke there.....but there's some fire".
Of all the facts revealed here it's often the simple ones that resonate the most, "If Oswald is the shooter, why wait till he turns onto Elm? why not shoot him as he heads down Houston?".
Monstrous deep but if you give it the attention it deserves you will be rewarded with one of the most thought provoking, highly detailed conspiracy theory thrillers ever made.
Intelligent, deep, epic and above all thoroughly captivating.
Warner Brothers have given this move an MPEG-4 AVC encoded, 2.40:1 framed, 1080p transfer onto a 50GB Blu-ray disc of differing quality.
The movie is a blend of many different source elements and visuals styles resulting in a patchwork presentation. Shot with 35, 16 and 8mm film stock all of which provide us with varying degrees of picture quality when processed in 1080 high definition.
The increased clarity and detail over previous standard def versions is easy to see, however this does fall short of other Blu-ray discs in terms of picture sharpness. Film grain is fine and unobtrusive and remains purely filmic until we get to the 16 and 8mm archive/newsreel style footage whether it be actual stock footage or filmed for the movie but this only adds a feeling of realism and gives it that added edge of appearing historic.
Colours often differ too with some scenes having a washed out appearance with overblown contrasting while others appear much more earthy and natural. Skin tones differ from pale to accurate depending on how the colour timing was processed from scene to scene. This is obviously how the director intended the movie to look but as a result we are never going to have a version which will win any awards when it comes to its HD presentation. Black levels are strong with no delineation issues although one or two moments of crush are apparent but these are rare and will only be picked up on by true videophiles.
We do not suffer any digital anomalies or compression artefacts, no problematic edge enhancement or DNR butchery. No banding, aliasing or macro blocking issues to report.
Initially released on Blu-ray in the USA in 2008 with a VC-1 encoded transfer and I would imagine that this MPEG-4 version comes directly from the same master. The print is pristine with no unintended print damage or debris.