Videophiled: Oliver Stone’s ultimate ‘JFK’ collection

JFK 50th Commemorative Ultimate Collector’s Edition (Warner, Blu-ray) – Say what you want to about Oliver Stone, America’s pop historian auteur knows how to court controversy. His 1991 epic conspiracy drama tosses plenty of theories around as facts and turns one man’s conspiracy theory into “the answer” with such assuredness that it may have convinced an entire generation. It is an entertaining theory, to be sure, and he makes an entertaining film of it with the help of a massive cast (Kevin Costner as Texas D.A. Jim Garrison, Sissy Spacek as his wife, Joe Pesci, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland, Walter Matthau, Vincent D’Onofrio, Michael Rooker, John Candy, Sally Kirkland, Ed Asner, Laurie Metcalf, and Tomas Milian), many of them delivering sideshow style performances. The director’s cut adds 17 minutes and more characters (including ones played by John Laroquette and Ron Rifkin) than the original theatrical version and has pretty much become the official edition.

It’s been out in numerous editions on DVD and Blu-ray already, but the 50 year commemoration of the assassination of John F. Kennedy pretty much guaranteed a new edition and this one quite a box. It’s got all the supplements of the previous Blu-ray and 2-Disc DVD Special Edition (commentary by director Oliver Stone, twelve extended/deleted scenes and an alternate ending with optional commentary by Stone, and the 1992 documentary feature Beyond JFK: A Question of Conspiracy, co-directed by two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple) plus three bonus documentaries: the new JFK Remembered: 50 Years Later (directed by Robert Kline), the 1965 John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums (directed by Bruce Herschensohn), and JFK: To the Brink (a chapter from Stone’s Showtime series Untold History of the United States).

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