Killing Kennedy (Extended) [Blu-Ray]
Director: Nelson McCormick
Cast: Rob Lowe, Will Rothhaar, Jack Noseworthy
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-Ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Based on Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s best seller comes this shocking thriller starring Rob Lowe and Ginnifer Goodwin. As John F. Kennedy (Lowe) rises to become U.S. president, a former Marine grows disillusioned with America. When their paths ultimately cross, the course of history is changed forever as seen in this mesmerizing film about the assassination of JFK — and its chilling aftermath.
‘Killing Kennedy’ tells the story of two very different men who’s drastically different actions and paths would inevitably lead to one of the most shocking and memorable moments in American history. The made-for-TV film was originally broadcast on the National Geographic Channel and is based on the novel by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. The Blu-Ray release offers both the original broadcast version of the film in addition to an extended version. I viewed the extended version which has a running time of just over two minutes more than the broadcast version, thought as it was my first viewing of ‘Killing Kennedy’ I’m afraid I cannot offer any insight into what material was added into this version.
The film is well executed, looks great and features a number of powerful and impressive performances. Rob Lowe does an extraordinary job in his portrayal of JFK, as does Ginnifer Goodwin as the first lady and Will Rothhaar as Oswald. The most surprising performance to me was the impressive portrayal of Bobby Kennedy by none other than Jack Noseworthy who absolutely nailed it. I must admit if I took anything away from this film in particular it is a newfound respect for Noseworthy’s acting capabilities. The film unfortunately jumbles so many elements together, trying to cram numerous years worth of events into a mere hour of time and the result is a bit of a jumbled mess, which unfortunately for folks like me that aren’t overly familiar with all of these events and these men’s lives prior to going in, it really starts to get a little confusing. I can’t help but feel it might have been a far more logical choice to bring this one to the screen as a miniseries, but it has some extraordinary performances and is well done for the most part.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Killing Kennedy’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio in which the film was originally broadcast. The video presentation looks pretty great on this one, holding up yet again with Fox’s noticeable detail and exceptional quality, and it’s always great to see even a release of a made-for-TV film look so detailed, sharp and perfect in almost every way. I’m fairly certain that most will be more than satisfied with the high definition video presentation on this Blu-Ray release.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. As one would expect from a feature like this, there isn’t a whole lot going on most of the time in the rear channels, but the score and a few scenes take advantage of them quite nicely. The dialogue (which is mainly focused in the center channel) is clear and discrete, and everything sounds pretty great for the most part here, if anything better than one might expect from a TV-movie of this sort.
While the Blu-Ray release of ‘Killing Kennedy’ isn’t overflowing with bonus content, it does include a pretty decent amount of very interesting and informative extras. Included is most notably ‘Camelot’s End: The Making of Killing Kennedy’ which is a behind the scenes look at the process of bringing this to the screen and for those interested clocks in at approximately twenty minutes in length. Also included are ‘An Interview with author Bill O’Reilly’ ‘The Kennedy Mystique’ and ‘Virginia is for Lovers: Tourist Commercial’. There is certainly a fairly adequate helping of extras included here in order for those interested to delve deeper into the process of bringing the novel to screen and more.
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘Killing Kennedy’ is now available to own on Blu-Ray & DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.