JFK: The Director's Cut Oliver Stone

As the 40th anniversary of Jack Kennedy's assassination rolls around, the gov'ment and numerous media organisations cling to the assertion that Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed a lone gunman. Professional shit-disturber Oliver Stone, of course, has another story to tell; actually, he has a few stories. Stone's three-and-a-half-hour assassination treatise —now 17 minutes longer than the 1991 theatrical release — is a conspiracy nut's wet dream, tossing tons of different theories together in a manner far closer to Fox News' motto, "we report, you decide," than that rightwing cable outlet could ever manage. The thesis that drives JFK, and which gains new depth thanks to Stone's intelligent commentary track, is that a confluence of the military-industrial complex, oil men and rightwing extremists (and perhaps a few convenient mob henchmen) staged themselves a little coup d'etat. An accompanying 90-minute documentary, "Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy," as well as fantastic "multimedia essays" about newly-released documents and a Q&A session with the military man who provided the basis for Donald Sutherland's conspiratorialist Mr. X, helps sell this argument. But Stone wouldn't trust, say, a delegate from the Dallas assassination convention to tell you something's rotten in Camelot — as we see in the doc, those guys are whackos! So Stone offers then-matinee idol Kevin Costner (particularly trustworthy post-Field of Dreams) as New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison, the only person to ever bring a JFK assignation case to trial, and lets him rope middle America into the director's paranoia. Though a better actor might have ultimately improved the picture, Costner's subversive casting still seems like the right decision, considering the many other on-point performances from the sprawling supporting cast (most notably John Candy, Joe Pesci, and Kevin Bacon).By the time you've absorbed the film and scoured the extras, which include a dozen interesting, but not vital, deleted and extended scenes, you'll likely be as wary as Mulder and start connecting the dots between Clinton's impeachment, the 2000 election and even Arnold's instalment. The power grab stays the same, the bad guys just got more subtle. Plus: trailer, more. (Warner)