HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
Ip Man 4: The Finale
Card, The
Bloodshot
Intruder, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
   
 
  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 816 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: