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JFK

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    71
    from 1 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • JFK drama & 4K Director's Cut shine, packed with new insights & top tech.

    JFK 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    81
  • Shout Select's Collector's Edition of JFK boasts director-approved 4K and 1080p transfers, a first-time Blu-ray theatrical cut, and unique packaging, highlighting Richardson's diverse filming techniques and exceptional image quality.

  • Audio
    76
  • Shout's release offers a superior DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround and original 2.0 mix, showcasing Williams's score with clarity and dynamic separation, alongside clear dialogues and impactful sound effects, a first with its English stereo track.

  • Extra
    81
  • Shout's JFK release features six new interviews, ports over most bonus materials except 'Beyond JFK' doc, includes 4K and Blu-ray cuts, and fresh insights from the crew, maintaining technical and historical richness.

  • Movie
    81
  • Oliver Stone's JFK sparked intense debate pre-release, inciting back-and-forth over its accuracy & portrayal of conspiracy theories. Stone aimed to present a conspiracy theory about Kennedy's assassination, stirring controversy and discussion on historical interpretation.

    Video: 81

    Shout Select's release of "JFK" on 4K UHD marks a significant achievement in the presentation of this iconic film, presenting a meticulously sourced transfer from the original camera negative, director-approved and encapsulated within a robust collector's edition packaging. This edition features the 205-minute Director’s Cut (DC) in an exceptional 4K UHD BD-100 disc, boasting approximately 90 GB of data, adorned with the benefits of Dolby Vision and HDR10 compatibility. Noteworthy is the inclusion of the Theatrical Cut (TC), a 189-minute version making its debut on Blu-ray, presented in a definitive 1080p transfer, contrasting previous releases that had never adventured past lower-definition formats in specific regions. The attention to the historical lineage of transfer quality and format availability attests to Shout Select's commitment to elevating the viewing experience with modern technological advancements.

    Diving into the technical virtuosity with which "JFK" was originally shot, the film utilized a staggering array of shooting formats and film stocks, orchestrated under the deft hands of cinematographer Robert Richardson. The usage spanned seven cameras, 14 film stocks, and incorporated both colour and black & white footage to create a tapestry of visuals that distinguish JFK's narrative complexity. The variety in visual texture, from sharp day and night scenes achieved through Eastman EXR 5248 film to the grainy character of Super 8 blow-ups, has been preserved and transitioned into the digital realm with remarkable fidelity. Shout Select's transfers have maintained and respected these inherent visuals, providing a stable grain structure and outstanding color delineation, even amidst the challenge of transferring such varied source material.

    Taking advantage of HDR enhancement, the 2160p transfer on the 4K UHD edition exhibits unparalleled gamma levels and colour hue detail, presenting a version of "JFK" that likely surpasses all prior home video presentations in visual clarity and integrity. This is particularly evident when comparing grain handling across different formats included within the film, where archival footage features prominently yet does not detract from the overall high-quality presentation. Furthermore, comparisons to previous releases demonstrate a palpable leap in video bitrate, with the 4K UHD showcasing an impressive mean video bitrate significantly higher than those of earlier transfers. This meticulous attention to both original shooting techniques and contemporary transfer technology underscores an edition of "JFK" that not only respects but elevates the source material for an optimum home viewing experience.

    Audio: 76

    Shout's release of "JFK" on 4K UHD Blu-ray enhances the auditory experience of the film by including both a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround remix and the original 2.0 Stereo mix, a notable upgrade over previous releases which lacked this stereo option. This inclusion marks a significant improvement, particularly for purists seeking an authentic audio experience reminiscent of the film's original presentation. The fidelity of these mixes is impressive, with the 5.1 Surround remix offering a robust average bitrate of 3859 kbps (24-bit) on the Theatrical Cut (TC) and even greater clarity on the Director's Cut (DC) at 4119 kbps (24-bit). The stereo mixes also stand out with an average bitrate of around 2020 kbps (24-bit), ensuring that every detail in John Williams' varied score is audible, from the solitary piano notes to the brassy vigor of trumpets, enveloping viewers in aural excellence that complements the visual splendor of the film.

    Dialogue clarity is another standout feature, with Southern accents rendered crisply, ensuring that every word is understandable, enhancing the emotional impact and realism of the film. The meticulous attention to audio detail also extends to sound effects, where gunshots and explosions extend convincidly across the soundscape, further immersing the audience in the film's dramatic moments. Notably, Williams' score benefits immensely from this treatment; themes are meticulously separated across channels, creating an immersive environment that showcases the complexity and depth of his composition, particularly in tracks such as "The Conspirators," where intricate layers of sound are delivered with palpable tension.

    Moreover, Shout's consideration for inclusivity and accuracy is evident in their provision of optional English SDH subtitles, which are nearly flawless, ensuring that even those requiring subtitles can fully enjoy the film's rich auditory tapestry. The technical proficiency demonstrated in delivering these high-quality audio mixes reaffirms the Blu-ray edition of "JFK" as a definitive version for audiophiles and cinephiles alike, providing an unmatched listening experience that mirrors the director's original intent and enriches the overall viewing experience.

    Extra: 81

    The 4K UHD Blu-Ray release of "JFK" presents a comprehensive collection of extras, catering to film historians and aficionados alike. Shout! Factory has conscientiously compiled a treasure trove of materials, including six recent interviews with key crew members that shed light on both the technical and creative decisions behind the film. While it preserves the majority of bonus content from previous releases, it notably omits the documentary "Beyond 'JFK': The Question of Conspiracy." This could be a slight letdown for completists. Nonetheless, the new interviews with Oliver Stone and other crew members offer fresh perspectives on the film's legacy and the JFK assassination. Additionally, the inclusion of deleted scenes, an update on assassination documents, and a compelling feature on Fletcher Prouty provides a well-rounded view. The presentation quality is consistent, with most extras upconverted to 1080p, ensuring a visually pleasing experience even for content not originally produced in high definition.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • NEW One Person Can Make a Difference – Oliver Stone on JFK: Stone discusses the legacy of JFK and its impact.
    • NEW Stone Bold – Cinematographer Robert Richardson on JFK: Richardson shares insights into the cinematographic choices for JFK.
    • NEW Brave New Worlds – Editor Hank Corwin on JFK: Corwin talks about his editing work and discoveries for JFK.
    • NEW Supporting the Vision – Co-Producer Clayton Townsend on JFK: Townsend recalls the research and production challenges.
    • NEW Re-Creating the Unthinkable – Special Makeup Effects Artist Gordon J. Smith on JFK: Smith delves into the challenges of recreating JFK's likeness.
    • NEW The Delicate Hands of Time – Dallas Location Manager Patty Doherty Hesson on JFK: Hesson recounts logistical issues while filming.
    • Deleted/Extended Scenes and Alternate Ending: A collection of excised content with optional director commentary.
    • Assassination Update - The New Documents: A summary of declassified information connecting to JFK.
    • Meet Mr. X: The Personality and Thoughts of Fletcher Prouty: An interview offering insights into Prouty's views.
    • NEW Still Gallery: A compilation of photographs from the JFK production.
    • Theatrical Trailer: The original Warners' trailer for JFK.

    Movie: 81

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation of "JFK" brings Oliver Stone's controversial and compelling exploration of President Kennedy's assassination into sharp relief, showcasing an engaging meld of fact and speculative fiction. Stone's adaptation of Jim Garrison's "On the Trail of Assassins" has been a point of contention amongst critics, pro-conspiracy writers, and the mainstream media since its inception, with arguments revolving around the film's factual accuracy and Stone's portrayal of Garrison, played by Kevin Costner. Despite the disputes, the movie aims not only to present a version of events that suggest a conspiracy but also to rehabilitate Garrison's tarnished image, using his investigation as a backbone for a broader inquiry into the truth behind JFK's murder.

    As the narrative unfolds, Stone employs Garrison's prosecutorial journey as a lens through which the audience is immersed in the intricate tableau of New Orleans and the pivotal moments in Dallas, suggesting a network of activities involving Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones), David Ferrie (Joe Pesci), and Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) leading up to the assassination. Critics who accuse Stone of blending fact with conjecture miss the balance the film strives for, juxtaposing the Warren Commission's findings against a mosaic of eyewitness accounts and alternate perspectives. This cinematic choice doesn't so much muddy the waters as it offers an array nuanced interpretations and historical possibilities, inviting viewers to question the official narrative.

    The technical detailing in "JFK's" 4K UHD presentation heightens the immersion, bringing viewers closer to Stone’s envisioned reality with striking clarity. From the vivid reenactments to the meticulous reconstruction of events, each element serves to reinforce the film as both an investigative piece and a hypothetical examination of what might have transpired. This version not only enhances the visual experience but ensures that "JFK" remains a compelling study of one of America's most debated historical events, remaining just as relevant and provocative today as at its release.

    Total: 71

    Oliver Stone's "JFK" emerges once more in a definitive 4K UHD Blu-Ray presentation, offering both aficionados and first-timers an unparalleled viewing experience. This historical drama, which delves into the intricacies and theories surrounding President Kennedy's assassination, proves itself to be a cinematic masterpiece that's both compelling and thought-provoking. The Director's Cut presented in this Shout Select edition boasts unaltered colors that remain true to its original cinematic release, coupled with a first-rate digital grade that elevates the visual experience. The sound quality is commendable as well, with the inclusion of the original stereo audio track on Blu-ray for the first time, alongside another exceptional lossless audio track. Together, these aspects ensure that every whisper of dialogue and dramatic score cue is crystal clear.

    Additionally, the set is enriched with a selection of new interviews. Though brief, they provide valuable insights and complement the main feature well, offering a deeper understanding of the film's production and impact. The fact that the package focuses solely on the Director's Cut, while offering the theatrical version in 1080p, might be a slight letdown for purists who favor the latter. However, this choice does not detract from the overall excellence of the release.

    In conclusion, this 4K UHD release of "JFK" by Shout Select is an indispensable addition to any film enthusiast's collection. Its technical impeccacies, from the vividness of its colors to the clarity of its audio presentation, highlight the timeless relevance of the film's narrative and Stone's directorial prowess. Coupled with informative extras, this four-disc set not only brings a pivotal moment in American history back to life but also serves as a poignant reminder of cinema's power to influence and provoke thought. An exemplary release that garners our highest recommendation.