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Commentaries on this disc:
Director Oliver Stone
Rating:8.4/10 (51 votes) [
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Reviewed by chrwhite on June 3rd, 2004
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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