Blu-Ray Review – Parkland (2013)


Parkland must be a serious contender for the most pointless film of 2013, and one which wastes the most talent. It’s a truly unremarkable reconstruction of the JFK assassination on November 23rd 1963 and the aftermath in Dallas. It’s also dangerously naïve and a total white wash which happened with a good majority of the programming to mark the 50th anniversary.

The most noteworthy aspect of the film is its cast, which if it were any other film, would be a dream cast. Billy Bob Thornton plays the lead secret service man in charge. Paul Giamatti plays Zapruder – who shot the most famous amateur film ever made – and gives the film’s shining light. The cast also includes Jackie Earle Haley, Colin Hanks, Marcia Day, Ron Livingston and Zac Efron who is vastly becoming a decent actor. However, the script is so clean and lacks any edge that the whole cast, with the exception of Giamatti; seem to have shown up in their best cardboard suits.

Now onto the most pressing matter: it’s so by the book that there is no mention of conspiracy even though it’s quite clear Oswald did not act alone as the film claims. Oswald just simply couldn’t have shot Kennedy – he firstly wasn’t a very good shot and let’s not even go into that magic bullet. The great majority of the public believe there was wider conspiracy and there is overwhelming evidence that points in that direction.

The film however is a very accurate depiction of the medics trying to save President Kennedy’s life and some of the confusion after his death. It was also made on a relatively small budget and some of the casting choices; especially the actress who plays Jackie Kennedy because she looks far too young and too modern. The casting choice of Oswald is very problematic as well; he looks the part but sounds nothing like him – but hey, not everyone is Gary Oldman. Pretty much like Kennedy’s arrival at the hospital it takes its name from it’s dead on arrival. 

Ian Schultz

Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 15
Koch Media
DVD/BD Release Date:
31st March 2014 (UK)
Peter Landesman
Zac Efron, James Badge Dale, Billy Bob Thornton, Marcia Gay Harden, Ron Livingston, Paul Giamatti
Buy: Parkland – The JFK Assassination Story [DVD] or [Blu-ray]

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