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JFK: A New World Order – Commemorative Documentary Series (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

July 16, 2013 by  



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An insightful documentary series on the life and career of President John F. Kennedy and the amount of extra bonus footage makes “JFK: A New World Order” worth owning!  Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2013 Cine I Matic, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: JFK: A New World Order – Commemorative Documentary Series

FILM RELEASE: 2013

DURATION: 6 Hrs. and 35 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 1:85:1 Widescreen, Dolby Digital English 2.0

COMPANY: Mill Creek Entertainment

RATED: TV PG

Release Date: May 14, 2013

Director: Jason Spafford

Writer: David Swirnoff

Edited by Titleset Studio, Cine-O-Matic

Executive Producers: Ian Warfield, Jeff Hayne

Producers: Jason Spafford, David Swirnoff, Brian Dehler

Starring:

Narration by Gordy Burdo

Tim Rosenfield

Wy Spano

Peter Edelman

Insightful and comprehensive, this documentary series is an in-depth chronicle of John F. Kennedy’s life from barely surviving birth to the years leading up to his decision to enter politics to the tragic events in Dallas on November 22, 1963 to the legacy he created.  Journey through the pivotal moments that created one of America s most beloved, influential and controversial figures through interviews with historians and archival footage that commemorate the man and the myth that is John F. Kennedy.

The 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

While there are countless documentaries on John F. Kennedy’s past, focusing on his upbringing and family but also retrospectives of his life leading up to his death, there are moments of JFK’s career in politics that have not been given a lot of time to be focused on.

With the release of “JFK: A New World Order”, the following documentary series is an in-depth chronicle of John F. Kennedy’s life, his entry to politics but also the life known as “Camelot” to his death and funeral service.

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of former president John F. Kennedy’s death, Mill Creek Entertainment will be releasing an exclusive, historical documentary – “JFK: A New World Order”.  An eight part commemorative documentary series which also comes with an additional three hours of bonus content and will be released with both the Blu-ray and DVD version of the documentary series.

The documentary features narration by Gordy Burdo, historian Tim Rosenfield, Wy Spano and Peter Edelman.

The following eight topics are covered in “JFK: A New World Order”:

  • Early YearsFrom John F. Kennedy’s military service to becoming a politician.
  • For All to See – The 1960 Presidential Election and the obstacles JFK faced due his age, his religion and family challenges.
  • New Frontier – The challenges faced by President Kennedy during his first few years as President.
  • Doomsday Averted – The Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
  • A Wall of Words – The origin of the tensions between the United States and Soviets over the City of Berlin.
  • War Within & Without Part 1 – President Kennedy on the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • War Within & Without Part 2 – The events in Southeast Asia and America’s war in Vietnam.
  • Camelot and Beyond – President Kennedy’s declining health that was not known to the public at the time, his digressions as a man, the myth of Camelot, the assassination of President Kennedy and his lasting legacy.

VIDEO:

“JFK: A New World Order” is presented in 1080p High Definition.  As one can expect from a documentary, older archived news footage differs depending on its source but for most of the footage, they are in good condition, as with the archived photos used.  Modern footage with the interviews with historians are shot digitally and look fantastic!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“JFK: A New World Order” is presented in Dolby Digital English 2.0.  While audio also differs depending on the older archived source, the audio is clear with minimal hiss and I don’t recall any negative distortion.  Interviews with the historians are clear and understandable.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“JFK: A New World Order” come with the following special features on DVD:

  • Kennedy vs. Nixon Presidential Debate – (58:40) The actual presidential debate between John F. Kennedy vs. Richard M. Nixon moderated by NBC’s Frank Mc Gee.
  • Assassination of President John F. Kennedy – (20:46) An older black and white news program about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy from the ’60s.
  • Funeral Service of President John F. Kennedy – (43:03) Footage of the funeral service in color.
  • Vietnam! Vietnam! by John Ford – (57:58) A late 60’s documentary produced by John Ford and narrated by Charlton Heston on the Vietnam War.

EXTRAS:

“JFK: A New World Order” comes with a Blu-ray and DVD for the documentary series and an extra DVD with bonus features.

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When it comes to John F. Kennedy, I may not be an erudite to his political career but I have watched many documentaries, read many books and I happen to have a good collection of John F. Kennedy memorabilia that I have acquired over the years.

His speeches have been inspiring, the mythology of Camelot was fascinating and his life growing up as part of the Kennedy family to his marriage to Jacqueline and the various rumors that have persisted 50 years after his death have led us to see a different side of JFK, that many media did not acknowledge at the time.

I feel that today, many of us do not see John F. Kennedy as a perfect man, nor a perfect President but we do acknowledge his courage, his charisma and also what he accomplished during his time as President.

Watching “JFK: A New World Order”, I found this documentary to be quite fascinating because it’s not a documentary that is meant to be biased or one-sided.  Narrated by Gordy Burdo and featuring historians such as Tim Rosenfield, Wy Spano and Peter Edelman, we are given a look back into the past of how people and media reacted but also commentary that is more modern when it comes to evaluating John F. Kennedy’s political career posthumously.

While so many documentaries try to capture the life of the Kennedy family and John F. Kennedy’s rise from military service and his transition to politics thanks to his father’s influence, too much is focused on the challenge of family and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

But what about the challenges he faced earlier in his political career, the space program, his problems with the CIA, problems in Cuba and the tensions between the Americans and the Soviets.  “JFK: A New World Order” spends time on the challenges, the success and failures of John F. Kennedy but to remind people that he was a man who was not perfect.  From declining health, problems in his personal life let alone a superstar side that people are not aware between JFK and celebrities, the fact is that times were different then than they are now.

Watching “JFK: A New World Order”, I was unaware of John F. Kennedy’s challenges in his first year in office, let alone the criticism he endured for being a Kennedy and his father’s power over people. But I also liked how the historians didn’t play up to the bias of people towards JFK.   One of the primary talking figures in the documentary is historian Tim Rosenfield who is good at reminding people of perception then and perception now are completely different.  But also acknowledging that despite how bad things were looking for his presidency, people were more apt to forgive the president and he had one of the highest public opinion ratings of any U.S. President.

But also exploring the fact that if JFK was not assassinated, he may have been in a wheel chair.  Not many people were aware of how bad Kennedy’s health was throughout his life.  He has been hospitalized three dozen times, he was given last rites three times  due to adrenal failure, auto-immune issues and more.

I also found it interesting for Rosenfield to bring up the fact that what if Kennedy did not wear his back brace after the first shot.  I have read how people felt that the back brace that kept him up (as Kennedy had suffered back problems since 1938), may have contributed to his death.  Usually documentaries tend to shy from the what-if’s but actually I was glad to see Rosenfield bring it up.

“JFK: A New World Order” touches upon American and Soviet tensions but also what happened in Cuba.  A good amount of information for those wanting to know about the challenges Kennedy faced when he first entered office and the problems that the CIA had caused for him and leading to the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis.

While I felt quite positive about the overall documentary series, the only thing I wish there was more of, was seeing more historians involved.  While Tim Rosenfield is a historian that is well-versed in the career of John F. Kennedy, I tend to like diversity in amount of time given to various historians not just one historian.  But of course, that is subjective and my own opinion!

As for the Blu-ray release, you get a Blu-ray and a DVD version of the documentary series plus an extra DVD with bonus features including the important Kennedy vs. Nixon debate, an older documentary about President Kennedy’s assassination and also straight news footage from the funeral service of President John F. Kennedy and John Ford’s “Vietnam! Vietnam!”.  How I would have loved if the full monumental speeches by President Kenendy was included on this Blu-ray/DVD release but you still get over 3 hours of content for the documentary and an additional 3+ hours for the bonus features.

Overall, “JFK: A New World Order” was an informative and also a new modern look at President John F. Kennedy’s political career and his life. It helps that the series breaks down certain accomplishments (and also failures) of the President but the documentary remains unbiased by showing JFK as a human being and not perfect by any means.

An insightful documentary series on the life and career of President John F. Kennedy and the amount of extra bonus footage makes “JFK: A New World Order” worth owning!

Recommended!

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