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JFK (1991)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Oliver Stone Rating:8.4/10 (52 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by chrwhite on June 3rd, 2004:Find all reviews by chrwhite
Love him or hate him, agree with his theories or disagree, it's hard to argue that Oliver Stone provides interesting and insightful commentaries for his movies. None moreso than JFK, in my opinion. He doesn't let up for the nearly 200 minute running time. He consults his script, provides fascinating background on the production as well as the historical event and context behind the movie, points out changes he made for dramatic reasons, and even acknowledges the criticisms leveled against him. Does he come off as a bit smug or arrogant? A little, but I can forgive him for that due to the amount of information he provides, and the obvious passion he has for the material. This is my favorite commentary track, and the only one I've listened to more than once.
Reviewed by The Cubist on November 10th, 2005:Find all reviews by The Cubist
Stone goes into detail about his theories on who killed Kennedy and explains the “facts” he used to support his thesis. For people not familiar with all of the characters in this drama, the director points out who everyone is and their role in the assassination. He also cites scenes where he took obvious dramatic license to prove a point. Stone admits that he doesn’t have all the answers—just clues and intuitions. It’s another candid commentary from the man and a must-listen for fans of the filmmaker and the film.
Reviewed by Hoiles on December 18th, 2007:Find all reviews by Hoiles
Stone delves deeply into the film. From his own personal views, to the decisions he makes to alter (or add on to) certain aspects of the story, to the actors, to his personal interaction with many of the people depicted in the film. All in all it is 3 hours where it feels like you are picking his brain on all things involved in the film. Great commentary.
Reviewed by Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr on July 11th, 2008:Find all reviews by Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr
This commentary finds Stone in a more reflective mood than usual as he remembers the challenge of making such a complex and involved film (and whatever you think of his take on the Kennedy Assassination you can't help but admire JFK as a remarkable piece of film-making). This is clearly a heartfelt film and, despite its huge scale, a very personal one, so we're faced with a much less belligerent Stone than usual, one who is proud of his "E.T. scene" and seems almost embarrassed (no, really) by the inclusion of what he calls "my Norman Rockwell moment".
Undaunted by the three-hour plus running time, Stone remains fresh and focussed throughout making this another essential listen.
[It should also be noted that to all intents and purposes the commentary continues in the lengthy Deleted Scenes Section on Disc 2...]
Reviewed by Buldrebisk on April 18th, 2009:Find all reviews by Buldrebisk
Oliver Stone is a great filmmaker, and JFK is one of my all time favorite movies. And I hope the commentary would be good. But I was a little disappointed. I’ve read that he makes a lot of changes from reality to make his case seem more convincing. To my surprise Stone points them out and has no problems with them, even though some changes are really not okay with a movie that goes to such a great extent to show reality.

Frequently he says stuff like; ”I don’t know if he actually said that” and ”There is no known record of them actually meeting, but they could have”. This kind of pisses me off since it lowers the credibility of the movie. There is plenty of evidence and witnesses to make this case interesting so to fabricate more just to make it dramatic is just shameful. I don’t mind him talking about it, I mind him doing it.

But there is enough truth in the movie, and Stone is there to tell all the names and numbers of witnesses and how they really were if he met them. But I think he was too passive in this commentary. As powerful as the movie is in its conviction, I would have thought Stone to be more aggressive and angry about not enough people getting to know the truth, and that the government still keep hiding the facts. Good commentary, but a little lacking. 6/10
Reviewed by Mr Bungle on May 22nd, 2015:Find all reviews by Mr Bungle
Top notch commentary from Oliver Stone is as powerful as the movie. Sometimes Stone can get a little bit quiet during some of his other commentaries, but for JFK he babbles on almost constantly for 189 minutes.
Reviewed by iwantmytvm on September 2nd, 2020:Find all reviews by iwantmytvm
The previous reviews touch on all of the highlights and elements that make this commentary a great one, or characterize its tone. Stone is passionate and knowledgeable about the subject matter, of course. He does offer some production insights but more than shooting anecdotes, this commentary supplements and enhances the information in the film. Stone calls this film his Godfather, with Nixon being his Godfather 2. He does fall into silence a bit more often towards the end of the film, but the directors cut is 205 minutes and the film itself is so compelling, that all is forgiven.
Reviewed by grimjack on March 28th, 2024:Find all reviews by grimjack
A previous reviewer said Stone seemed more Reflective than in other commentaries, and that precisely sums up what I was thinking too but did not find the words for. Towards the end he seems saddened about how he felt at the time of the shooting, the trial, and completing the film. During the historical breakdowns he seems bothered by how many inconsistencies were never explained, and how the commission did not seem to want to hide them so no one would question. In the beginning he seemed both jaded remembering the difficulties of shooting it and then proud of what he accomplished in a relatively short period of time.

The whole track is great, and definitely worth listening to whether you are interested in the history, about making film, or just the various conspiracy theories in general. Throughout Stone talks about different theories and why he dismisses them as unlikely. He gives us questions that he does not have answers to.

And because this track was recorded years after the film, he goes into detail about things he was criticized for showing, and explains both why, and what he was trying to give us viewers.

This is a really excellent listen!