Too long. Its too damn long. 3 hours. Like I have said before, a movie should not be 3 hours long unless it is Lord of the Rings.
Within the first minute, you can tell its going to be American as we have the classic trumpets and drums that is often associated with America. We also have a president’s speech over the top of the music which indicates that this movie is all about presidents even though we kind of got that from the movie being called ‘JFK’.
Another couple of minutes in, we get a little history lesson on JFK which was a good idea as some people watching, myself included, might not know that much about Kenney. It also sets the tone for the movie as it is a mixture of archive footage and performed footage.
The whole movie has a certain style about it. The colours are off slightly, like they’ve been blended in with black and white. There is also a slight glow to the film. The off-colour and glow give it a very nostalgic feel, making the audience feel like they’re definitely watching a piece of history.
Its got Crazy Gary Oldman in it who’s being his normal Crazy Gary Oldman self! Not that I’m complaining, he’s a fantastic actor who can do crazy very well, hence Crazy Gary Oldman.
‘They’ find a gun in Crazy Gary Oldman’s place and go ‘aha! This is the weapon!’ and a woman goes ‘well, that wraps the case up’ and the bad guy from Jurassic Park says ‘anyone can get a gun in Texas!’ It was funny when I watched it, probably not so much when I type it lol. However, it is the one thing I hate about America is how freely one can buy a gun. Its unnecessary.
Oliver Stone [the director] uses a great technique which is what I think all historical movies should do; use a mixture of archive footage and performed footage THROUGHOUT the movie, not just at the beginning. When a character is telling a story or they’re watching TV, its always a mixture of real and performed footage which constantly reminds the audience that this is real, this actually happened and this is what was said and done and so forth. Most historical movies do the archive footage only at the beginning to show everyone it’s a true story but this does it throughout and I really liked it.
When a character is telling a story, producing a theory or reading something, it cuts from them to what they’re reading/saying. For instance, Garrison [Kevin Costner] is reading the Warren Report in his head and we cut to the actual court hearings so we get a visual. This technique is fantastic for when someone is making a big speech or telling a long story. An audience will get restless if we just see a man talking for five minutes, we need to see something else for a while and its even better when its what the person is actually talking about. Especially, when they’re talking about quite complicated stuff and keep throwing names in and you can’t remember which character is which. When you’re watching a movie, it’s the visuals that help the story. I can’t remember Tommy Lee Jones’s character’s name but I know that when they’re talking about someone and then suddenly there’s a clip of Tommy Lee Jones I understand who they mean now. It just helps us simpletons!
Speaking of Tommy Lee Jones, he’s gay in this film, smokes a lot and has this weird grey afro thing going on which actually looks kind of cool. Anyways, he’s awesome like Crazy Gary Oldman and makes every scene he’s in worth watching. Espeically as Tommy Lee Jones is gay with Kevin Bacon which is by far one of the weirdest, coolest things I think I’ve ever typed!
I felt that there was no need to know about Garrison’s family life. I felt it to be very unnecessary and pointless. I know that its supposed to give the character more depth but I honestly couldn’t give a shit. The other characters didn’t have families we needed to know about and neither did Garrison. It also would of made the movie soooo much shorter!!
“Politics is power, nothing more.” Damn right.
I totally lost interest in the movie at about the 2hr mark. It’s a good movie and all but I just started going on my mum’s laptop and checking my Café World café on Facebook [yes, I am that cool ^_-]. Then the finale came and that was interesting for about a couple of minutes then Garrison’s speech dragged on and I was back on Facebook.
It’s a good movie that uses archive footage amazingly. Buts its too damn long! 3hr 34min for a drama is too damn freaking long! Directors, you’ve got to let scenes go! Let them go!