HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Vicious Fun
Unearth
Circumstantial Pleasures
Tyger Tyger
Filmmaker's House, The
Man Standing Next, The
Rock, Paper and Scissors
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
   
 
Newest Articles
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
   
 
  JFK Smells Like A Conspiracy
Year: 1991
Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Kevin Costner, Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Oldman, Michael Rooker, Jay O. Sanders, Sissy Spacek, Joe Pesci, Edward Asner, Jack Lemmon, Donald Sutherland, John Candy, Vincent D'Onofrio, Walter Matthau, Tomas Milian, Wayne Knight
Genre: HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: President John F. Kennedy's term in office had so much promise that it is tempting to wonder what if he had not been assassinated? Would America, would the world, be a lot different? But assassinated he was, on November the 22nd 1963, and for then-New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) he as with every other person alive on that day remembers where he was when he heard the dreadful news. He was in his office, and one of his staff informed him, whereupon he left to attend the nearest bar and watch the news on television, though he was ashamed to hear some of those cheering and clapping, as if Kennedy got what he deserved. But the case would be an obsession...

Not only an obsession with Garrison, but the entire nation, not to mention many of those around the world, the conspiracy theory that it was not lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) who murdered the President, but a shadowy cabal of his political enemies who arranged a decisive end to his policies of reform. From the counterculture, where, say, comedian Bill Hicks' routines on the subject guaranteed interest from the hip and happening, to the mainstream, where Clint Eastwood was trying to prevent another assassination in fiction with In the Line of Fire, the nineties was when the JFK murder plot came of age, and nowhere more than director Oliver Stone's account JFK.

It was a big hit just as questioning authority went mainstream too, often in pop culture like The X-Files, and parapolitics mixed with UFO yarns as the practice and study of conspiracy theories moved from the province of the left to the right wing. Stone was assuredly on the left, but his interest in the JFK saga, still unresolved even after all this time, sparked an insurrection in the head which would see Governments of all stripes, no matter how benevolent their actions, judged with deep suspicion, and now any questioning of the paranoia and cynicism was a social no-no instead of any questioning of the motives of the powers that be. Therefore, this movie had a lot to answer for.

There were plenty of critics, movie critics as well as political critics, who found fault with what even Stone admitted was a version of the facts that employed some economy and imagination, no matter how dedicated to the truth it appeared to be. For most of its three-hour plus running time it resembled less a detective story, as Garrison gathered his evidence against the authorities, and more a lecture, ignoring what now looks difficult to overlook, which is that the further down the rabbit hole of opposing theories you travelled, the less likely you were to make sense of the abundance of contradictory detail. Stone included much that was held up as dubious from the official version, from the changing of eye witness testimony in The Warren Report to the illogicality of the "magic bullet" that supposedly managed to change direction multiple times to hit both Kennedy and the local Governor.

Imagine you settle down to watch a Western and the hero in the white hat is gunned down in the opening titles, leaving a long grieving process and futile investigation into how this could have possibly happened, then that was more or less what was on offer with JFK. This gathering of evidence was presented by a galaxy of stars in supporting roles, with Tommy Lee Jones as the man who actually was on trial, though good luck working out what for exactly as he was more an excuse for movie Garrison to stage his takedown of the official conclusion. It was this sequence, the last act of a long film, that demonstrated why Stone was so revered: agree with his findings or not, this was a bravura example of his craft that illustrated him at his best. The rest of it was a lot less impressive, a barrage of information and information shortcuts intercut with Garrison being hectored by his screen wife (Sissy Spacek) who you begin to think has a point. But Stone didn't clear things up so much as muddy the waters of a mystery that was incredibly opaque to begin with. Music by John Williams.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1268 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Oliver Stone  (1946 - )

Didactic, aggressive and in-your-face American writer-director who, after directing a couple of horrors (Seizure and The Hand) and writing Midnight Express and Scarface, settled into his own brand of political state-of-the-nation films like Salvador, the Oscar-winning Platoon, Wall Street, Talk Radio, JFK, Natural Born Killers and Nixon. Slightly out of character were The Doors and U-Turn: respectively, a celebration of the late sixties and a sweaty thriller. In 2004 he experienced his biggest flop with Alexander, a historical epic, but followed it with the reverent World Trade Center and a biopic of then just-leaving President George W. Bush. A belated sequel to Wall Street and gangster movie Savages were next. Say what you like, he has made his mark and loads of people have an opinion on him.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: