DVD Review: Parkland

What was everyone else doing?

Much like Bobby, a film about John F Kennedy's younger brother's assassination, Parkland follows a similar formula where it follows the lives of random citizens on that day.

Only unlike Bobby, these citizens are a lot less random in relevance to the story. We see the nurses and doctors at Parkland Hospital that fought to save him, (Marcia Gay Harden, Colin Hanks, Zac Efron) CIA employees in Washington trying to make sense of what's happening (Ron Livingston, David Harbour) Abraham Zapruder, (Paul Giamatti) a photographer who caught the shooting on film. Local government employees in Dallas (Billy Bob Thorton, Paul Sparks) and the shooter's brother, Robert Oswald. (James Badge Dale) Tom Welling, Jacki Weaver, Mark Duplass and Jackie Earl Haley also have small parts.

They have a great, extensive cast, but this film doesn't seem to know what it wants to be, so it can't really devote a lot of meaty material to its actors. It doesn't wade into conspiracy territory completely, though it does show Ron Livingston's character getting very shady. It also tries a bit too hard with its camera trickery. For instance, Jackie Kennedy is in several shots at the beginning, but the director goes to painstaking lengths not to focus on her face for long. The back of her head, her hands, arms, anything but her face. Then there's the pivotal moment our characters see Zapruder's footage for the first time. They chose to show it as a reflection from Zapruder's eye glasses instead of actually showing the footage. (Though we've all probably seen it any how) 

The film is very engaging and intense to start, but when it ends, it feels unfinished. Like there was more to say, and they didn't know where to stop. While I liked parts of this very much, overall, it just didn't seem to come together.

Recommended: Yes/No. Not the greatest film, but a decent enough watch.

Grade: C+

Memorable quote: "This might be the biggest fuck up in the history of US law enforcement." - Gordon Shanklin (David Harbour)



10 comments:

  1. I remember when this was released...pretty much direct to video, and I thought about renting it on RedBox but didn't. I forgot about that until this post. What movie is this again?

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    1. lol I wrote this review in early September and it's just been sitting in my drafts. Figured I'd throw it out there. I don't remember much either.

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  2. You wrote a really thoughtful review about a movie that sounds like it could have used a little more thought!

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  3. I think I might be one of a select few that saw Bobby in the theater, but I recall thinking it was a pretty cool idea to talk about that day.

    This sounds interesting, but I wonder how distracting all those famous people are. Oh, and Duplass is in it. So f--k this.

    I'm still mad at him.

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    1. lol he doesn't ax anyone in this. I really like Bobby, still do. I didn't find the actors distracting here, the story was just boring.

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  4. Never saw this one, but it doesn't sound like I missed much.

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    1. You didn't. I've mostly forgotten about it since I reviewed this.

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  5. I think I actually saw this on TV...it didn't make much of an impression

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    1. I don't think it made much of an impression on anyone.

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