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JFK- Thoughts?

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Showing 1-25 of 152 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 20, 2012 7:20:39 PM PDT
So apparently for some reason this movie caused a lot of controversy, but personally, I think it might be Oliver Stone's best film. Sure it's not the best history lesson, but it's absolutely perfect filmmaking.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2012 9:42:33 AM PDT
I thought it was far better than Hannible Montana but I also thought it was too long. Maybe they could have cut down on some of the courtroom scenes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2012 9:56:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 8, 2012 9:56:19 AM PDT
I enjoyed it more than The Silence of the Lambs as well, but it still wasn't my choice for Best Picture.

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 10:01:28 AM PDT
"Back and to the left"
326,000,000 Google results

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 10:06:41 AM PDT
D. Larson says:
JFK? I think Jobs For Kids is a great program! Newt was right, give 'em all mops and put 'em to work!

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 10:57:54 AM PDT
Great movie.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2012 10:06:48 AM PDT
It is a movie that will never go away. It will be talked about for years. More so than Man Canidate and the like. There is evidence that Oswald worked for the FBI.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2012 7:44:21 PM PDT
BackToGood says:
It's my pick for Stone's best film. Regardless of the "historical" content, it's hugely entertaining. Draws you in from the first scene and never lets go. Pretty impressive for a 3-hour movie!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2012 9:02:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 29, 2012 12:59:04 AM PDT
Jonathan says:
D. L.,
re: "0 of 3 people think" your post doesn't add to the thread.

Their sarcasm detectors must be broken. This is serious business here. And oh so timely. Mustn't joke around topics related to political movies.

Posted on Aug 28, 2012 9:30:27 PM PDT
Mike Gordan says:
It's interesting to note that everyone around here is calling this film ''great,'' saying that JFK is quite possibly Oliver Stone's best movie. If I were to take that statement and make it more definitive, then it'd make perfect sense; clearly, the film was 100% appropriate for Oliver Stone's brand of filmmaking.

Though I wouldn't call it great, it is the only film of his that I bother to return to every now and then.

Posted on Aug 28, 2012 10:18:49 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
Who called it "great" other than R. Duncan ? Hardly "everyone". It's pretty good. I liked 'Nixon' better (the film, not the man).
It did inspire a "great" 2-part Seinfeld episode, which I'm "thankful" for... man, we have to come together as a society and stop the needless exploitation of "quotes marks"!

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 12:15:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 29, 2012 12:18:52 AM PDT
I thought the casting of Anthony Hopkins absolutely ruined NIXON. He was so inappropriate for the role that I couldn't pay attention to the writing. There were a number of good character actors who might have made a better Nixon. Lane Smith, for one, looked enought like him not to be a distraction. Though Hopkins didn't play it for laughs, I much prefer Dan Aykroyd. Aykroyd captured the real Nixon, the real essence of Nixon's twisted character far better than Hopkins. However, the best Nixon EVER was Philip Baker Hall. It was a magnificent performance as Nixon in the Robert Altman film, SECRET HONOR. Get this film, watch it and you'll thank me forever.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2012 12:51:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 29, 2012 1:03:05 AM PDT
Jonathan says:
Philip Baker Hall was indeed magnificent. 'Secret Honor' however, I thought was lousy as a movie. Canned theater, no discernible talent or taste behind the camera.

Hopkins may not have been ideal, but to say he ruined the whole movie, and an SNL sketch caricature captured the real Nixon better, well... there's one opinion I hadn't heard before.
How do you think Josh Brolin's performance as George W. compared with Will Ferrell's?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2012 1:47:51 AM PDT
Jonathan says:

Since we have it in the Movie game now, I've been meaning to ask you anyway... do you have any thoughts on 'In The Line of Fire'? I believe it's the only other Hollywood feature that shows the Zapruder film.

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 2:07:26 AM PDT
D. Robinson says:
It's been a while since I saw it, but I remember the courtroom scenes were interesting at least. The rest of it, I don't know... Tommy Lee Jones and Joe Pesci as gay lovers or something? I don't recall it as a film that knew what kind of film it wanted to be.

To Mr. Baker, I enjoyed In The Line of Fire, enjoyable performances by Eastwood and Malkovich.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2012 2:30:36 AM PDT
Jonathan says:
D. R., yep, I'm not usually a fan of Malkovich playing a baddie, liking it better when he plays against type, but that was probably his best chilling performance.
Decent thriller from the director of 'Das Boot'. And Eastwood noodling on the piano is always a welcome sight.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2012 4:07:23 AM PDT
Jonathan: I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard it's very good.

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 5:23:21 AM PDT
Quexos says:
JFK is the best edited film I've ever seen. Plausibility aside, its a fast 3+ hours, which is a rarity...very entertaining and pretty much the entire cast nails it.
Joan Allen was the most memorable aspect from Stone's Nixon; Hopkins was a tad distracting though he put up a strong effort as usual.

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 5:26:55 AM PDT
Jerry: According to your story, Hernandez passes you and starts walking up the ramp. Then you say you were struck on the right temple. The spit then proceeds to ricochet off the temple, striking Newman between the third and fourth rib. The spit then came off the rib turned and hit Newman in the right wrist, causing him to drop his baseball cap. The spit then splashed off the wrist, pauses - in mid air, mind you - makes a left turn and lands on Newman's left thigh. That is one magic loogie.

Jerry: I'm saying that the spit could not have come from behind, that there had to have been a second spitter, behind the bushes on the gravelly road. If the spitter was behind you as you claim, that would've caused your head to pitch forward.
Elaine: So the spit could've only come from the front and to the right.
Jerry: But that's not what they would have you believe.
Newman: I'm leavin.' Jerry's a nut!
Kramer: [to Newman] Wait, wait, wait.
Jerry: The sad thing is that we may never know the real truth.

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 6:52:28 AM PDT
MTK says:
JFK was one of Oliver Stone's best. The collection of actors in JFK was a real treat to watch (helping create the famous "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon game). Everyone was memorable-- particularly Ed Asner, Tommy Lee Jones and Sissy Spacek. The remarkable thing was it wasn't just a cameo festival like Cannonball was a true group effort.

I recently read in Roger Ebert's book "The Great Movies" that the film was not particularly historically accurate and tended to let Stone indulge his conspiracy theory ideas a bit too much-- but its real feat was capturing the feel of that day in 1962 and the chaos surrounding the tragedy. He evoked the 60's like few other directors could. I remember loving it-- and being realy disappointed at "Nixon" in contrast.

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 8:44:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 29, 2012 8:48:35 AM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
Inspired by this thread, I took off the shelf my copy of the Director's Cut of the film for the first time in many years. It's still an amazing film, and a brave one, too. While there is really no way to determine whether Stone's movie portrays the truth of JFK's assassination, I have never been a believer in the One Bullet Theory. It defies belief. I do think there was a shooter the behind the fence and he was the one who delivered the final and fatal shot to the President. Oswald may or may not have been one of the shooters - the evidence doesn't completely persuade for either side - but I do believe there was a conspiracy of some kind behind the whole crime.

Throughout seventies and eighties I was fascinated by the assassination and read many books, pro and con. On this most recent viewing of Stone's movie, I noticed I was rather removed from the whole controversy and focused on the film as a film. I got an impression I don't remember ever reading about the movie before or having thought this is the past. It seemed to me that Stone was subtly undermining each aspect of the various theories he was presenting as they appeared. Stone probably didn't really do that, given what we know about his beliefs concerning the assassination, but that's the way it struck me this time. Hopefully, the next time I watch the film it won't, because I think it misrepresents Stone's intentions.

(I love it when I disagree with myself. The arguments can get intense!)

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 10:01:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 29, 2012 11:02:15 AM PDT
KinksRock says:
Personally, I preferred NIXON because, whenever I thought that film was too over-the-top, it turned out that whatever it was was true. For instance, I thought the scene where Nixon went to the Lincoln Memorial was just too ridiculous. How stupid would it be for Nixon to go down there to talk to protesters to try to get them to talk about football? Well, it really happened!

Too much of JFK is fiction and speculation. The guy who wrote the book it is based on has a terrible reputation. Is the film well-made? Absolutely, no question. And if you have to just evaluate it as film-making, not history-telling, I have to give the film high marks.

Same with MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, for which Stone wrote the script to the movie. The film deviates too much from the source material. Is it compelling? Yes. Is it true? No.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2012 10:25:28 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 29, 2012 10:25:39 AM PDT
MTK says:
Oliver Stone sure knows how to acentuate the most outrageous elements in any story. Recall he also wrote the screenplay for"Scarface"! How well does that represent the Cuban-American story of the early 80's? A bit over the top, but thrilling and entertaining.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2012 12:38:42 PM PDT
W.T. Keeton says:
In terms of historical accuracy alone, Stone's best is "World Trade Center". About the biggest departure from reality was changing a black Marine (the one who said he was called by God to travel to NYC, where he discovered the trapped firefighters whom the film revolved around) into a white guy. Other than that, even most of the dialogue was taken from direct quotes in interviews.

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 8:30:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 29, 2012 8:34:37 PM PDT

I don't believe SECRET HONOR was "lousy as a movie." Granted, it's not especially cinematic, but I would not have used the term "canned theater." However, I'll grant you that it is a one-man performace filmed on a single set. Not a lot you can do there to make the movie move. I saw Philip Baker Hall perform this play at a small theatre in Hollywood. He was also wonderful in that production but the film version did open up the play just a bit so it didn't seem so claustrophobic. You may not be a Robert Altman fan, as many are not, but as for me, anytime Altman is behind the camera, there is ample talent there.

I had a whole lifetime with Richard Nixon. He opened his first law office one block from where I grew up. My folks shopped at his parents' store in Whittier. I spent all of my childhood hearing and reading stories about Nixon. When I was old enough to understand what was going on, I had no choice but to pay close attention to Nixon for the rest of his life. When Aykroyd started doing his impression of Nixon, I felt he was psychologically dead on. All the twisted demons emerged. Nixon was Dorian Grey and Aykroyd was the painting (in Technicolor, no less). His demons emerged on the surface where all could be seen. (It was not unlike Woody Allen being forced to wear his underwear on the outside.) This obviously plugged in very precisely to my picture of Richard Nixon. I understand that other people didn't necessarily see him the way I did, but we are talking about my perception of Nixon. So, on the other hand, I got absolutely nothing from Hopkins, nothing of who Nixon was. I do believe that Hopkins was able to memorize his lines in the script, but that's as deep as it went. To this day, I cannot understand why he was cast. It was all the more shocking considering that this man, this great actor, provided one of the most intelligent, nuanced and deeply moving performaces I've ever seen in REMAINS OF THE DAY. As for ruining the entire film, let me be clear. The absolutely wrong casting of Hopkins as Richard Nixon ruined the film for me. I can only speak for myself on this point and not for others, but as the title might suggest, the film is about Nixon, and if I can't accept Hopkins as Nixon, regardless of what else of value the film might offer, for me it was spoiled beyond repair.

I haven't seen Will Farrell's performance as George Bush.

My apolgies to all for jumping the rails here. Back to the subject of Oliver Stone's JFK when next we meet.
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Discussion in:  Movie forum
Participants:  26
Total posts:  152
Initial post:  May 20, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 26, 2012

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