Blu-ray Review: Glorious ‘JFK 50th Commemorative Ultimate Collector’s Edition’

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CHICAGO – Oliver Stone reached the peak of his fascination with controversy, history, and epic productions when he made 1991’s “JFK,” arguably the masterpiece of the director of “Platoon,” “Natural Born Killers,” “Nixon,” and many more beloved films. “JFK” is a remarkable cinematic achievement, a movie that has lost none of its power 22 years after its release, looking like something that could come out today, especially now that we’re in the peak of Kennedy mania as we approach the 50th anniversary of his assassination, one of the most important events in American history. Blu-ray rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

Whether or not you believe Stone’s conspiracy-based version of events or not, “JFK” is a masterful film in terms of acting, directing, and every technical element. It is a major accomplishment treated as such in this collector’s edition that includes three other discs besides the Director’s Cut of the film, all feature-length, along with unique physical collectibles.

As if a three-and-a-half hour film isn’t enough (and the now-seemingly-definitive director’s cut of the movie, the only one available in most markets, is the one included here), this edition includes hours of special features and other materials. Highlights include a new documentary called “JFK Remembered: 50 Years Later,” the JFK episode of Oliver Stone’s Showtime series “Untold History of the United States,” and the entire feature film of “PT 109,” the Cliff Robertson 1963 film about Kennedy’s experience in World War II. Physical collectibles indluce reproductions of family and presidential photos, a campaign poster from the 1960 campaign, a copy of Kennedy’s inaugural address, a 32-page book of famous quotes, and a 44-page book about the movie. The limited edition sets arenumbered. It’s truly one of the most remarkable collector sets of the Blu-ray era, so filled with material both cinematic and historical that it could be used as a syllabus for a class on one of our most beloved leaders and how his life and death have been interpeted by Hollywood.

JFK was released on Blu-ray on November 12, 2013
JFK was released on Blu-ray on November 12, 2013
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

The JFK UCE includes the Director’s Cut with 17 additional minutes not seen in theaters and will feature three captivating documentaries – Oliver Stone’s JFK: To the Brink, the insightful look at the JFK presidency that was included in his 2012 Showtime Series, “The Untold History of the United States;” the brand-new JFK Remembered: 50 Years Later from filmmaker Robert Kline; and John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums, a documentary produced by George Stevens, Jr., and written and directed by Bruce Herschensohn, who also composed the music. The film was named one of the Ten Best Films of 1965 by the National Board of Review.

In addition, the JFK UCE includes the feature film drama, PT 109, about Kennedy’s World War II experiences as a skipper in the South Pacific. The JFK UCE also contains commemorative items from the Kennedy Presidential Library: collectible reproductions of family and presidential photos, a campaign poster from the 1960 presidential campaign, and a copy of Kennedy’s historic inaugural address. Lastly, there is a 32-page book of famous quotations, and a 44-page JFK movie photo book.

Special Features:
o JFK: To The Brink – Chapter from Oliver Stone’s “Untold History of the United States ”
o New Documentary — JFK Remembered: 50 Years Later
o Remastered Documentary – John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums
o Feature film — PT 109
o Commentary by Director Oliver Stone
o Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy
o Assassination Update – The New Documents
o Meet Mr. X: The Personality and Thoughts of Fletcher Prouty
o Deleted/extended scenes with commentary by director Oliver Stone (production audio only)
o Theatrical trailer

JFK 50th Commemorative Ultimate Collector’s Edition” was released by Warner Bros. on November 12, 2013. content director Brian Tallerico

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