"JFK 50th Commemorative Ultimate Collector’s Edition"
Oliver Stone's powerful film about the shots heard around the world and the mystery enshrouding them is one of the most provocative movies of our time. In addition to its box-office success, critical acclaim and awards, it played a major role in the national debate leading to passage of the 1992 Assassination Materials Disclosure Act. This controversial winner of two Academy Awards - nominated for a total of eight Oscars including Best Picture - features 17 added minutes not shown theatrically that enrich the mosaic of the turbulent investigation by Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) of President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination. An all-star cast and a top-notch production join Stone in crafting an electrifying screen experience. [/size]
For me the assassination of John F. Kennedy has always been evocatively tragic, fascinatingly interesting and always a very difficult subject. I wasn’t born until six months afterward but its resonating effects still lingered in our home into the years in my early life that would allow me to remember. Part of this is owed to the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. later in the decade. The JFK shooting and the unanswered questions surrounding it still stir up feelings of frustration, disappointment and outrage. To that end I rarely watch films etc. about it and have never seen JFK. When I received the press release for JFK Director’s Cut Ultimate Collector’s Edition I felt that it was time and see it.
C0-writer/Director Oliver Stone’s epic perspective on the assassination of our 35th President is a powerful and broad film with thought provoking, evocative and far reaching scope that speaks to all of us regardless of generational boundaries. At three hours and twenty five minutes its sweeping fact/fiction filled narrative is underscored by superlative performances and engaging drama. Considered one of the most provocative films of our time, in addition to its box-office success and critical acclaim, it captured eight Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor), winning two (Best Cinematography and Film Editing). It also won Oliver Stone a Best Director (Motion Picture, 1992) Golden Globe® and ultimately played a major role in the national debate that lead to passage of the 1992 Assassination Materials Disclosure Act.
Stone directed from a screenplay he wrote with Zachary Sklar and chose an all-star cast including Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman, Sissy Spacek, Jack Lemmon, Joe Pesci, Donald Sutherland, Laurie Metcalf, John Candy, Walter Matthau, Sally Kirkland, and Edward Asner.
The JFK Ultimate Collector’s Edition includes the (Blu-ray) Director’s Cut with 17 additional minutes not seen in theaters and will feature three captivating documentaries:
Oliver Stone’s JFK: To the Brink, (Blu-ray) This documentary is Chapter 6 from the powerful historical series “Untold History of the United States,” a ten-part Showtime Original Series, debuting on Blu-ray October 15 through WBHE. The in-depth, surprising, and totally riveting series, co-written by Stone with Peter Kuznick and Matt Graham, was directed and narrated by Stone. This one-hour segment sheds valuable additional insight into JFK’s presidency during the Bay of Pigs; on the brink of total war during the Cuban Missile Crisis; through early Vietnam; JFK's attempts at peace with Khrushchev; and finally the President’s assassination.
JFK Remembered: 50 Years Later (DVD) 50 years after his assassination on November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy remains as vital and compelling as when he was first elected. This documentary reacquaints us with the first Irish-Catholic president and the youngest in U.S. history, presenting images and personalities frozen in time. From Kennedy's nomination to his election, from his inspiring inaugural address to the Bay of Pigs, from civil rights and racial struggles to space exploration, from the Berlin Wall appearance to his leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy ranks among the great presidents in the history of the United States.
John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums, (DVD - Remastered) This documentary tribute to President Kennedy was named one of the Ten Best Films of the Year by the National Board of Review. Produced by George Stevens Jr. for the United States Information Agency (USIA), it was narrated by Gregory Peck, and written and directed by Bruce Herschensohn, who also composed the music. The film chronicles the thousand days of JFK’s presidency, featuring numerous clips from speeches and an intimate look at Kennedy family life. It was not originally intended for the general public; however, the quality was considered so outstanding that a special act of Congress allowed it to eventually be shown theatrically.
PT 109 (1963 - DVD) Before Kennedy was president, he was a hero in World War II. Based on the book by Robert J. Donovan, this film stars Cliff Robertson as Lieutenant Kennedy. While a young captain of a PT boat in the South Pacific, Kennedy lead his men in a daring rescue of American Marines stranded on a small island inside the area of Japanese control. On another mission, a Japanese destroyer sliced the small boat in half, and miles from the nearest island Kennedy proves himself a hero with his efforts to save his crew.
Lastly JFK Ultimate Collector’s Edition contains a host of commemorative items from the Kennedy Presidential Library: collectible reproductions of family and presidential photos, a campaign poster from the 1960 presidential campaign, a copy of Kennedy’s historic inaugural address, a 32-page book of famous quotations, and a 44-page JFK movie photo book.
JFK Director’s Cut on Blu-ray features 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 16 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 1.7 Mbps.
By choice I would say that JFK isn’t bright or overly colorful. The chromatic palette consists mainly of cooler tones and muted secondary hues with the occasional interjection of primary colors that don’t offer much in the way of visual stimulation. This makes for a rougher visual style that works quite well with the show’s thematic tone. Resolution is excellent but the nature of the photography isn’t always lent to the high gloss definition that provides an infinite sense of depth. There are many instances where detail is clearly resolvable with discerning visual perspective and rich clarity. On the other hand there are times where delineation and sharpness is less tangibly defining. Close ups tend to be good and offer plenty of appreciable refinement in the physical features and weave of the fabric in the clothing worn by the cast. Contrast is stable over the course of the presentation and blacks, while not inky, have good dynamic range and are gradationally satisfying. I didn’t note any distracting signs of video related anomalies and thought that this presentation as a whole was solid.
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel sound is quite good and is presented in a front oriented mix that is highlighted by John Williams’ music score. The orchestrated elements are spread across the front of the room with subtle articulation that blends perfectly with the rest of the soundtrack to create an evenly balanced, multi-dimensional presentation where the music helps drive the story. Excellent directional spacing and imaging across the main three channels enables smaller background sounds within the mix to be detectable. Dialogue is definitively authoritative with excellent clarity and room penetration through the center channel. The soundstage opens up during a handful of sequences and extends the dynamic range nicely. Low frequency detail is sparse but during a handful of sequences has detectable presence. I thought this was a satisfying and appropriate surround mix that hit the high points quite well.
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
•JFK: To The Brink – Chapter from Oliver Stone’s “Untold History of the United States”
•New Documentary -- JFK Remembered: 50 Years Later
•Remastered Documentary – John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums
•Feature film -- PT 109
•Behind the Story
oCommentary by Director Oliver Stone
oBeyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy
oAssassination Update – The New Documents
oMeet Mr. X: The Personality and Thoughts of Fletcher Prouty
•Deleted/extended scenes with commentary by director Oliver Stone (production audio only)
November 22, 2013 will mark 50 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment commemorates this tragic chapter in U.S. history by honoring one of our most influential presidents with the release of this new collection featuring the award-winning motion picture, JFK. Director Oliver Stone’s controversial highly-charged story surrounding the tragedy debuted November 12th as JFK 50th Commemorative Ultimate Collector’s Edition (JFK UCE) on Blu-ray. If you’re a fan this is a must have plain and simple.
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JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package