Kevin Costner

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Year: 1991
Directed By: Kevin Reynolds
Written By: Pen Densham and John Watson

RYAN’S REVIEW

Now to a more serious Robin Hood film. One I am quite fond of despite how much fun Mel Brooks had with it in his comical rendition. I enjoy Men in Tights as much as anyone but I don’t think it bears any credence to the merit of this film. I was an imaginative seven year old when this movie came out and it was an instant hit with me. I loved the chivalry and swordplay. I was specifically taken with the forest village and the battle with flaming arrows. Maybe it’s the kid that still lingers in the back of my mind but I still love this movie.

This is such a fun and exciting chapter in the never ending Robin Hood saga. There are already countless films dedicated to the character and yet another due in the next year or so. This one is far and away my favorite though. I never saw the Russell Crowe version in 2010 despite how much of a fan I am of Crowe. I think the reason was I didn’t want anything threatening my opinion of this film, because this is the one I know. This one has Morgan Freeman wielding a scimitar, this one has exceptional battle scenes, and this one has a bad guy that doesn’t get enough credit.

I was deeply sadden to hear the recent news of Alan Rickman‘s passing. He was such a talented and incredible actor. My favorite of his roles is undoubtedly that of Dr. Lazarus from Galaxy Quest, a silly movie but one he gave me plenty of laughs with. Personally, I think his Sheriff of Nottingham is a close second to one of his best roles. He kills it as a bad guy and he carries this movie on his shoulders. Yes Hans Gruber and Professor Snape are the popular choices for naming his best work and I would never challenge those roles. Yet, I love him in some of the overlooked things. In this movie he plays a great bad guy. The type of bad guy that cuts your heart out with a spoon, because it would hurt more. The type of bad guy that kills his number one henchman and cousin, because he is tired of hearing him bitch. The type of bad guy that uses gory torture punishments as flirtatious small talk when trying to woo a Lady. He’s the type of bad guy that demands your respect because you never know what he might do next. That’s Alan Rickman and if you give this movie nothing else you should give his performance your respect because that man knew how to be pull off bad guy.

It’s worth mentioning that said number one henchman and cousin was played by none other than Michael Wincott. That guy was born to play bad guys and has an evil and sinister facial structure that makes him perfect for such parts. I’m not going to ramble on about Wincott I simply think it is worth mentioning he is perfectly cast in this film in the henchman role and his presence makes Rickman an even better bad guy.

I suppose I wouldn’t be doing my due diligence if I didn’t discuss Kevin Costner. He is Robin Hood after all but while Rickman is sinister and legit I think Costner comes off as kind of cheesy. I like Costner in this part but I think he is easily overshadowed by many of his costars. As Robin Hood in this film he didn’t speak with an English accent but he did teach guerrilla warfare to the homeless and outlawed. That’s pretty cool if nothing else, and it obviously worked out well because they built a magnificent tree village.

Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood is cooler in fact because his right hand man is Azeem, played by a much younger but still old Morgan Freeman. As the sage of wisdom and wielder of the intimidating scimitar Freeman is as badass as he ever was throughout his career. Azeem can fashion tools and weapons, deliver babies, and scare witches before dispatching them. Is there a better man to have at your side whose sworn an oath to you? Achoo may have been pretty cool with his backwards Robin hat but he could never hope to have any validity in mocking Azeem. The man was just too much of a badass.

My brother and I play golf rather often, though neither of us are really any good. When we slice into the wooded area the same line is screamed by one of the two of us regardless who is at fault. “Too the trees!!!” is said multiple times on every outing and it’s this film that inspires that line ringing in my mind on a regular basis. It is fitting though because I appreciate a regular reference to such an awesome scene. The battle at the tree village is so ahead of its time and it came before so many others you must understand. This movie preceded Braveheart, as well as plenty of other films that offer great medieval warfare.  If there is no other reason to get behind this movie it is this battle. The one that rushes a wave of fur clad warriors on foot and follows with a volley of flaming arrows into the tree village. The only thing I remember being half so cool as a kid was Madmardigan in Willow and He-Man.

The early 90s were a time when it was the cool move to cast Christian Slater in a supporting role. I get it because there is a time and a place for nearly everything. I tend to think his role has always been a bit too much though. This movie does a really good job actually of depicting life during feudalism, but Will Scarlett’s opinions just sully the whole thing. He’s the bastard of House Locksley and thinks this entitles him to something. Nobody likes a guy who doesn’t know his place in the world.

I was a history student in college but admittedly never studied much of medieval history. I have always found it fascinating and the era has made for some of my favorite movies both as a kid and as an adult. I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones, the books not the butchering show, and I have read them multiple times in anticipation of the next installment, The Winds of Winter. Having read these stories so much I have become very acquainted with the customs of the time period. Even though the series is fiction it is so historical in itself that I trust plenty of it when it comes to the customs and style of the time period. In this movie without going into explanation it accurately depicts many of the same customs and practices that can be found in Game of Thrones. With the exception of Will Scarlet and his whining. The audacity this illegitimate son has to consider himself a rival of the true born heir would make the Lords of the Seven Kingdoms shudder.

This movie has a special place in my heart, as all movies that influenced my fledgling imagination as a child do. This one is way up there because in my mind I would recreate that battle in the tree village over and over again in different scenarios. As a kid my imagination was the only escape I had from the family that was dramatically breaking apart around me. Movies were what got me through those troubling times because they inspired the world I created to hide away in. That makes this movie especially more important to me but I think it is good enough for anyone regardless. If you haven’t seen this movie then it is easily worth your time. Audiences love the Robin Hood story and this one was as good as any of the adaptations have been.

NEXT MOVIE: Robocop (1987)

 

 

 

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Draft Day

Year: 2014
Directed By: Ivan Reitman
Written By: Scott Rothman and Rajiv Joseph

RYAN’S REVIEW

I have plenty of passions, but not many that run as deep as my passion for the NFL. Like any NFL fan, one of my favorite days of the year is here. The NFL Draft, for many of us, offers some of the most exciting days of the year. An event all fans spend weeks and months anticipating and putting so much hope into. What makes it all so exciting it that despite what all the “experts” say in the days leading up to it, when the clock starts nobody knows what will happen. There are always surprises on draft day and it’s a day during the year when anything can happen. It just so happens to be a happy coincidence that this year there is a corresponding movie I can review in correlation with the magical day, which is actually a three day event. I liked this movie enough to add it to our collection and write about it so what better opportunity than on the day of?

This movie is a bit of a stretch for a football fan but I tend to overlook the exaggerated nature of how it portrays the draft because there is so much to like about it. Number one, it’s about the Browns. I’m not a Browns fan, but I specifically like Browns fans. I have been watching the NFL for over ten years now and only once have I ever seen that team have a good season. I am from the south, where by all obvious reasons I should never come across fans of such a pathetic franchise hundreds of miles away. Yet, despite this, I find that I run into them all the time. If I lived in a place like Cleveland, or even just in Ohio or the surrounding states it would make sense but I don’t. When I meet Browns fans I feel like it says something about the character of the person. Browns fans are loyal; they keep pulling for their team despite the lack of success. I once hired a guy with no qualifications and a piss poor track record simply because he was a Browns fan. Years later that man still works for me and despite everything he does a damn good job and I enjoy working with him. The Browns may suck, but their fans are the real deal. For anybody that doesn’t know, the Browns are legit, and despite their lack of success they are a significant franchise with passionate fans.

One of the things that make the draft so interesting is the desperate decisions some teams will make when they are on the clock and their options are limited. These teams will do the craziest things for unproven players with no idea how they will transition to the next level. Another news flash for people who don’t know, the analyst don’t know anything either. Despite all the footage they watch and the time they put into it they’re guessing, and when you bank on a guess you are making a critical mistake. See, that’s what makes football so much fun, because nobody really knows. It’s a never ending game of possibility, where nobody really knows what will happen and all the know-it-all’s can do nothing but sit there and watch while history unfolds. Sometimes they are right but it’s always just a guessing game and more often than not it’s just a surprise. Surprises can make life interesting. For me, the surprises in football make it so.

This movie showcases those surprises, and it grasps all the intensity involved. The draft is intense because the clock is ticking and nobody knows what will happen next. As this movie shows, we don’t know what to expect next even in a movie about the draft. As the GM of the Browns Kevin Costner is holding all the cards and nobody knows what he is laying down until all the chips are accounted for. I think the surprises in this movie do the draft justice; it’s not accurate because some of the trades are far too outlandish to ever happen. No NFL team would ever trade so many number one picks, or number two picks for that matter. It’s not that big of a deal when the movie continues to be fun despite the exaggeration though.

This movie is also good for being user friendly to non-football fans. I like the way it shows all the stadiums when teams are introduced and it puts the team name on the screen as well. Not only that but if you had never seen a football game in your life I think after seeing this movie you would at least understand how the NFL draft worked. It would give you unrealistic expectations about what kind of trades might happen on draft day but at least you would know what was going on. There is a lot of silly crap in this movie that I excuse in the scope of it being about football but it does bring the movie down. The mother’s determination to give her son a hard time on the day of the draft is ridiculous, especially for a woman who lived a football life. Not only that but of all days GM Costner also needs another issue to stress about with his girlfriend finding out she is pregnant. Those little unnecessary elements of drama typically annoy me but I overlook them in this case.

I really like the cast of this film. The feel good sports role has become a pinch hitter for Kevin Costner these days when he isn’t pulling a Liam Neeson move and making silly action movies. He’s great in this kind of part though, a believable guy who people like to like. I think he fits the bill for a NFL GM under the pressure of making his boss, coaches, and fans happy all at the same time. I love Denis Leary as the football coach. I am a big fan of Leary and specifically think the energy he brings to all of his roles is perfect for the part of a NFL coach. I’ve never been a big fan of Jennifer Garner but find her surprisingly good in this movie. She plays a no nonsense football woman who doesn’t sully the film with unnecessary drama over being pregnant. This is easily one of my favorite performances from an actress I’ve never been too high on. I mentioned in our review of Monster’s Ball that I thought Sean Combs/Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy/whatever he is calling himself these days, had a lot to offer an actor. I think this role is too easy for a guy like him but he is perfectly suited for the role of sports agent.  I think he is in fact an outstanding actor when given the opportunity and is probably capable of much more.

In the role of Vontae Mack they cast Chadwick Boseman who is an up and coming actor who will soon be a household name. I liked him in this movie but I am more interested in his future as an actor. Boseman will be seen on screen next summer in Captain America: Civil War when Marvel introduces a new character to their universe. Boseman is signed on to play Black Panther for Marvel. We will first see him in Cap 3 which will follow the Marvel Civil War storyline before he gets his own stand alone film in the years that follow. As a side note, another exciting character introduced in that same film will be a brand new Spiderman created by Marvel in conjunction with Sony.

No football movie is legit without a few cameos from real life football personalities and this movie doesn’t short change us in that regard. They have all the big time people on hand in this movie making cameos. Former players like Deion Sanders and Ray Lewis make cameos as themselves and current player Arian Foster actually plays a part in the movie as the running back and his father is played by former player turned actor Terry Crews. Last but not least, this movie about the Browns does feature a cameo from the franchise’s most famous player, Jim Brown.  “Draft specialists” like Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock make cameos to play their guessing games in the movie, like they do in real life. Other notable cameos from big time NFL people are Commissioner Rodger Goddell, Super Bowl winning coach turned analyst Jon Gruden, and one of my personal heroes, sport writer Mike Florio. I don’t actually recall seeing Florio in the movie but noticed his name in the credits and feel compelled to mention him. For football fans who don’t know, ProFootballTalk.com is Florio’s site and I have relied on it for the majority of my NFL info for years now. Great writer with an impressive knowledge of the game and interesting take on NFL news.

This film is rated R and I believe that to specifically be for a single use of the F word. There is some language throughout but hardly enough to garner an R rating, until that one particular universal obscenity near the end of the movie. This makes no matter to me but I find it a bit asinine. I would rather the film be rated R and stay true to the football world than be a watered down version of the real thing. This is still a watered down version of the real thing in many cases though but I still prefer it to have the edge that little bit of profanity gives it.

I overlook quite a bit in this movie simply because it centers on something I’m always excited about. That being said I’ll admit I did not expect to like it and found it to be a pleasant surprise. This is the kind of feel good movie that is perfect to kill time with and I would recommend it to anybody. If you are a football fan it’s right up your alley but even for people who don’t watch football I think there is a lot to like about this one. This movie is easily worth anybody’s time. Although, don’t let it give you false ideas about the Browns. I may love the people that pull for them but their team does them no favors and regularly blunders in the draft. This year they have two first round picks but they had two picks last year too and spent one of them on a QB everyone was steering clear of and ended up in rehab within the year. The problem with the Browns starts and stops with management. There is no consistency and too much impatience. Nevertheless that is a tangent better left alone. Check out this movie if you get a chance but, more importantly, make sure to tune in tonight for the real action.

A Perfect World

Year: 1993
Directed By: Clint Eastwood
Written By: John Lee Hancock

RYAN’S REVIEW

This movie distinctly reminds me of my brother and our youth. It was a movie he liked a lot and for some reason I associated it with him and the feeling I had in looking up to him as a child. I like this movie but it’s not one I really love or identify with. It made its way into the collection in the same way that plenty of movies that truthfully don’t belong have made it in. Amazon Prime suggested it to me with its nice low price and fancy no shipping cost. I looked at it and I thought of my brother, pressed the order button and now it has it’s own place on the shelf.

Now, looking back I think this is interesting because it was a Clint Eastwood film I really liked before I had come to the realization that Clint Eastwood was a fantastic filmmaker. Of course Clint Eastwood has been making great movies for my entire lifetime but I never bought into his tough guy image until Gran Torino . By that time (2008) I was just late to a party that everyone had already had a great time at. I have watched and enjoyed many Eastwood films since coming to the realization he deserved my respect, but this one stands out as one that I appreciated without knowing he was the man at the helm.

Clint Eastwood is a truly gifted director but I have not always been his biggest fan as an actor. Specifically during the time this movie came out I saw him as nothing more than a cliché. The ever grisly and hard faced cowboy. Which is exactly what he is in this film as the wise and experienced Texas Ranger. He does his thing in this movie and there is nothing wrong with his performance but I don’t think there is anything exceptional about it either. If anything it’s a performance that only serviced to harden my stance that he was nothing more than a cliché.

I think the strength of this film is in the performance of Kevin Costner. I was not a big fan of Costner either in the 90s either but I do believe in giving credit where it is due. Costner played a really great part as the quietly intelligent criminal that befriends the little boy and becomes the father figure he himself never had. Costner had great chemistry with the young actor who played Phillip/Buzz, T.J. Lowther.

I like the themes of the movie that even bad people can be good, but in the end they are still bad guys. Butch wins us over by becoming a father figure to Buzz and developing a bond with him that warms our hearts. Yet before it is all over he reminds us why he is a bad guy. It’s chilling when he becomes full on criminal again. So much so that even Buzz, who has grown to love him, won’t stand by and allow it to go on. Butch may have been really intelligent and had a soft heart for kids, but he was a violent and dangerous man all the same.

One interesting factoid about this film is that it references JFK coming to Dallas. Of course JFK was ultimately assassinated in Dallas and it could easily be misunderstood as this movie taking place right before that fateful trip.  It does not however, the movie references too many campaigns and the election year was in 1962 while JFK was killed in 63. I don’t think the year of the setting is actually said in the film but it had to have taken place before November of 1962. I was disappointed to find this out because when I was watching it I felt like it was about something that took place in Texas just weeks before the President was killed. The kind of thing that might have happened. The kind of thing that nobody would really know much about or ever even remember. The kind of crazy story that happens all over the world all the time and gets passed over in the aggressive rush of progressive time. The world keeps on turning and people move on and forget it ever happened. It still is that type of story, it just doesn’t rest in the shadow of such a great American tragedy.

I like this movie but I don’t love it. I think it lives up to the standards of it’s filmmaker’s quality and ability but beyond that it’s not one I expect to find myself talking people into. It’s a cool movie but I wouldn’t suggest going out of your way to see it. This movie would be great for Clint Eastwood and/or Kevin Costner fans but otherwise it will be one I imagine is largely forgotten in time.

NEXT MOVIE: Phantoms (1998)

Man of Steel

Amber and I had the opportunity to get out to the movie theater today for the first time all summer.  We haven’t had the chance to see many summer blockbusters yet but this weekend this movie was an easy choice.  I’m not going to go too far into it right now other than to tell you that it was worth it and it was awesome. Of course it was right? Warner Brothers knew what they were doing when they put Christopher Nolan in charge and when this is all said and done I think it will have paid off handsomely

I expected this movie to be good. I have the utmost respect for Christopher Nolan and David Goyer both, I think Zack Snyder is an OK director but regardless what I think his future is a lot brighter now. I think you can clearly see Nolan’s influence in this film and that is a great thing.  Henry Cavill impressed me, Kevin Costner impressed me, and Christopher Meloni really impressed me.  I thought Michael Shannon was every bit as good as I expected and of course Russell Crowe always brings it, he brought a lot to this film.  Amy Adams was OK, Laurence Fishburne has gained a lot of weight, and it’s a sad and unfortunate reality that Diane Lane has aged enough to play the role she had in this movie(she is still a gorgeous woman and she was great in the movie but I will miss her youth). I have never seen Antje Traue in anything else, but as Faora she was a complete and utter badass.  Now this isn’t enough about any of these people.  They all deserve more here but all that will come in time. I am already reserving a spot on the movie rack for this movie and can’t wait to see it again and give it a better review.

A lot hinges on the success of this movie.  More or less this movie represents the future of films about DC Comic characters.  Warner Brothers owns the rights to these people and they have got to be interested in one-upping Disney and what they did with The Avengers.  This movie is the first step in what will ultimately be a goal of making an equally successful Justice League movie.  Along the way we should see films about The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and the inevitable next Batman reboot. These movies will be on a new platform and set up to all tie together, or at least that should be what is done.  In the end we will hopefully see something really incredible in Warner Brothers answer to The Avengers. This was an awesome movie and a nice step in the right direction.  If you are on the fence about it at all let me erase any doubts you have and please share your own thoughts on the film.  I will give it a much deeper review when we buy it, until then let me insist that this is a movie worth seeing in the theater and encourage you to get out there and see it for yourself.

JFK

Year: 1991
Directed By: Oliver Stone
Written By: Oliver Stone and Zachary Skylar.  Based on books by Jim Garrison and Jim Marrs.

RYAN’S REVIEW

In my early years of being a serious movie fan Oliver Stone was my absolute and unopposed favorite filmmaker. There were others I loved but none I thought had the talent or brilliance of Stone.  He had made the movie that today still stands as my favorite of all time and his body of work was impeccable as far as I was concerned.  Stone did more than make great movies; he made epic stories that were woven together with great acting, intelligent scripts, and incredible editing.  This movie was part of what I thought made him so great.  This movie is perfectly put together and will undoubtedly convince any unaware viewer that Lee Harvey Oswald was not only not an assassin but possibly some very important man involved in the greater and deadlier game of high end politics and conspiracy.  Having done extensive research on the matter I can all but guarantee that is not the case but that does not take anything away from this movie.  This movie is 100% fiction, but that does not change the fact that it is both a significant film and a true work of art.

First and foremost, as far as any conspiracy theory goes, it is important to know two things.  Number one being that Jim Garrison was not the character Kevin Costner portrayed in the film.  He was a bully and borderline madman who was not fighting for justice but simply stirring up trouble.  Secondly, Lee Harvey Oswald was neither a government agent, nor any kind of patriot as the movie will lead you to believe.  He was not a patsy; he was a nobody that changed the world by doing something big.  Oswald was a sad and pathetic man that hated this country as much as he hated his life.  What he did he did on his own, and there is enough evidence to that effect to prove it beyond any reasonable doubt. Oswald was an interesting person, as all sad and slightly unhinged people are but the fact of the matter was he was a nut job.  Plain and simple crazy is all he was and anybody that thinks otherwise simply needs to do their own research and quit listening to conspiracy buffs. Yes the circumstances of his life, and death, can easily lead people to the conclusion that there must be more to the story but there isn’t.  He did it, we know he did it, and a conspiracy on the level this movie implies is simply not possible.  Michael Rooker’s character said it best in the movie when he pointed out they were building an investigation into a conspiracy involving all levels of government, the mob, and military yet they could not keep a secret among 12 people in their own office.  People talk, a secret on this level could never be kept. Especially 50 years later.  I know there are undoubtedly many secrets the government has from us as citizens but one thing to keep in mind is that we learn many of them as time goes on.  Today we know who Deep Throat was, we know FDR secretly manipulated events to lead us into WWII, we know that the U.S.S. Maine wasn’t sunk by enemies; we know that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was overblown to lead us into war, and the list goes on and on.  These secrets are revealed when the history books are written yet conspiracy buffs will have you believe that this major conglomerate of conspirators have managed to keep this one secret even until today.  I am simply telling you it isn’t there.  Occam’s razor applies in this case.  Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK, and things are not as dramatic and exciting as we would like to build them up in our mind.

This movie makes a really big deal about the “magic bullet” and that is what I hear most people mention when they insist there had to be a conspiracy.  The “magic bullet” does present a convincing argument but only because the facts are never all on the table.  This bullet didn’t make dramatic turns in midair or stop and start again.  It was simply one shot that traveled on a straight line and passed through both Kennedy and Connally.  What you don’t see in this movie or hear from conspiracy buffs is that the vehicle Kennedy and Connally were riding in was not typical.  It was built differently than most in which the front seat was lower and to the left of the back.  The bullet was a post Geneva Convention bullet that was specifically designed to pass through the body. There are plenty of diagrams online and in conspiracy books that will show you this strange pattern that no bullet could possible travel but they never take into account how the car was built or the exact positions of the passengers.  I have seen the true diagram in both the Warren Report, and in a very good book by Gerald Posner  called “Case Closed.” It’s not as dramatic as some would have you believe and it doesn’t leave much room for doubt if you understand the true circumstances of the shot.

Another important part of the conspiracy theory to consider is Jack Ruby, played incredibly in this film by Brian Doyle-Murray, brother of Bill Murray.  There is absolutely no room for Jack Ruby to have been involved in any conspiracy.  Not only is there documented evidence that proves his crossing paths with Oswald before he killed him was coincidental, but Ruby did not attempt to kill Oswald. This movie would have you believe that Ruby was a button man for the mob making a hit on Oswald when he shot him but that simply isn’t the case.  Ruby is on record saying that he never actually intended to kill Oswald, only hurt him badly and this is obvious.  If Ruby was in fact out to kill Oswald why shoot him in the stomach? He shot him in the stomach in an effort to put him in a world of pain, but if he had truly intended to kill him he would have shot him in the head or chest.  Ruby was a small time nightclub owner/snitch who would not have been the choice for this type of kill if it was a planned hit.  Ruby was deeply upset over the death of JFK and the effect it would have on his beautiful wife and children.  When he coincidentally showed up right as Oswald was being led out he saw a smirk on his face he couldn’t live with. Pulling his gun and shooting Oswald was nothing more than a simple crime of passion.  I said that Ruby crossing paths with Oswald was coincidental because it was.  There is documented evidence that proves Ruby was across the street wiring money by way of Western Union only minutes before he shot Oswald.  He literally only had enough time to walk back across the street and be there at the right moment.  Had it been a planned hit this is not how it would have happened.  Not only that, but Oswald should have been long gone by the time Ruby reached the parking garage anyway.  He wanted a different sweater or something before being led out and in the time it took to get one Ruby had wired his money and was coming back.  Executions aren’t done this way and if it was set up then Jack Ruby was the luckiest assassin of all time, and that just isn’t the case.

What this movie does a great job of is convincing you that there absolutely had to be a conspiracy.  Oliver Stone may have been a great filmmaker but he has always had something personal invested in his movies.  He has an agenda and in this case it was to convince us that there was a conspiracy regardless of whether there was any truth to it.  In fact many of the things that Stone has in this movie aren’t false, yet they aren’t based on any credible evidence.  Most of the interviews taken and quoted were from people who either changed their story later or eventually came out with the truth of the matter.  For example, the character played by Kevin Bacon, Willie O’Keefe.  There was no Willie O’Keefe; he is based off a combination of real life people who had no credibility.  Most notably he is based on a man named Perry Russo, one of the key witnesses against Claw Shaw in the real trial.  Russo was lying though, and in order to get the testimony he wanted Jim Garrison in real life both drugged and hypnotized Russo. As I said earlier though, the real Jim Garrison was not the person we saw Kevin Costner play in the movie.  The real Jim Garrison was a bit unhinged and a little crazy.  In the case of David Ferrie, played brilliantly by Joe Pesci in the film, the movie would have us believe he was murdered to keep him quiet.  In real life things were much different.  David Ferrie was a sickly man already, and it is said that the pressure put on him by the offices of Jim Garrison was what finally put him on his death bed.  He was hounded day and night by the offices of Garrison and became very paranoid and apprehensive.  The stress proved to be more than he could handle, he died shortly after the news of his involvement in Garrison’s investigation broke. There have been reports that he was in the CIA but all reports have been conflicting. The conspiracy theories that sprang up in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination eventually took on a life of their own.  It’s a school of thought that is still growing today and it has always called all kinds of people out of the wood work seeking their five minutes of fame with “new information.”

Despite any truth or accuracy as to the content of this film it is still one worth your time.  It’s a significant movie because it convinced so many people with its message that the case was actually re-opened by the government.  What did the government find in that investigation? Nothing, new evidence was released and scheduled for eventual release but nothing was uncovered to change what we already know.  Still, when a movie is powerful enough to call for government action it’s something worth remembering.

So while its message is way off base it’s still an incredible movie.  The cast is so large it would take me forever to go through everybody involved but I will say they all did a terrific job.  Gary Oldman might as well have actually been Lee Harvey Oswald he fit the part so well.  Joe Pesci was on the spot as usual, nobody brings intensity to a role quite like him.  Tommy Lee Jones plays a great part but I don’t think it was his best role in an Oliver Stone movie.  John Candy has an incredible cameo that shows he had the potential to be much more than simply a funny guy.  Brian Doyle-Murray was a great choice to play Jack Ruby and he did great. Kevin Costner was a big draw when this movie came out having hit it big the year before with Dances with Wolves.  I have never been a big fan though, and I don’t think he was great in this movie, merely OK.  I probably like him less though because of his obviously forced accent and the fact he played a guy who was quite a bit crazier than he made him out to be.  Sissy Spacek, Wayne Knight, Donald Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Ed Asner, Michael Rooker, and Laurie Metcalf also should be mentioned because each of them brought something to the film on their own.  I also liked seeing both Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in the movie as well, the men were both legends and it is unfortunate that they are not with us today.

I need to stop myself now because I have already said much more than I intended to in this review.  I have of course been very critical of the content of this film and I understand how controversial those opinions may be to the “believers.” Feel free to argue with me if you like but I encourage anybody unsure to simply do their own research and ignore all the people that would have you believe they know something about something that proves there had to be a conspiracy.  Nevertheless this is still an incredible film despite any objections I may have to the conspiracy theory and I can certify that the movie is still well worth your time.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I thought this movie was so amazing and intriguing the first time I watched it. I think we were in college, and being young and naive I believed it for true history. You know the ol’ conspiracy theory stuff. But then, my incredibly smart husband wrote an in depth paper on the assassination of JFK. I listened to him talk about it, watched him read these massive sized books about it until he finally came to the conclusion that there never was a conspiracy at all it a lone gunman doing something crazy and succeeding. Having said all of that, I don’t believe there was a conspiracy, but I do think this a great movie. He sure can make you believe there may have been one.

JFK

NEXT MOVIE: Judgment Night (1993)