'11.22.63' [Mini-Series] [Blu-ray]
(James Franco, Sarah Gadon, Cherry Jones, Lucy Fry, et al / 2-Disc Blu-ray+Digital HD / NR / 2016 / Warner Home Video)
Overview: '11.22.63' hurtles viewers deep into the unpredictable darkness of the American dream. James Franco stars as Jake Epping, a high school teacher at a loss with his life, who wants to make a difference and do something meaningful. Encouraged by his ailing friend (Chris Cooper), Jake journeys back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Blu-ray Verdict: What If? Would you rewrite history if you could? That's how Stephen King drew us in with his novel, "11/22/63" and now we have the chance to explore some of those "What If's." '11.22.63 - The Mini-Series' is a 9 episode event helmed by producers JJ Abrams and Bridget Carpenter, who attempt to bring one of the most iconic moments of American history to the small screen.
'11.22.63' sends back in time Jake Epping (James Franco) to the year 1960 with one goal in mind: to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. History books tell us that Lee Harvey Oswald was responsible for his death, but nobody is certain whether Oswald was acting alone, or if he is even the one who pulled the trigger. Stephen King, whose novel the show is adapted from, puts this historical hypothesis into question, while bringing to light other theories about what really happened on that day.
Perfectly cast and cleverly directed, '11.22.63' is the show of the year, and it would be getting the true attention that it deserves if it weren't for Hulu's monopoly on its release! But now on here on Blu-ray and Digital HD, spend your hard earned pennies on this brilliant release, settle in on a weekend, and binge watch like you have never binge watched anything before!
Anyway, and back on track, technically speaking, the show is brilliant. If Stephen King's byline isn't enough to sell you, J.J. Abrams, producer and writer of the highest grossing film of 2015, (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) made the whole thing happen. In addition, nearly every episode is directed by a different critically acclaimed director, making each week even more unique and exciting. Franco even directed one episode himself, continuing to show how he very well may be "the most interesting man in the world" (read his feature in Rolling Stone if you're not convinced).
Franco is joined on-screen by Canadian actress and rising star Sarah Gadon (Sadie Dunhill) as Jake Epping's love interest, whom I've been a huge fan of since seeing her in 'Enemy' (2013), one of my all-time favorite movies that I probably talk about way too much. Gadon plays her role perfectly, showcasing a peachy Southern accent that could make any guy fall in love with her. Matched with a script that leaves a lasting impression on you, Franco and Gadon make the 60's look sublime, except for the racism, medical practices, phone booth struggles, and many other time-travel challenges that the show comments on as well.
Regarding my specific movie preferences, I'm a sucker for thoughtful films with beautiful women and well-dressed gentlemen, so '11.22.63' takes the cake and lands a spot among The Newsroom, House of Cards, True Detective, and Entourage as what I consider one of my favorite television shows of all time. My pick for the best of the series is episode 3, but nothing takes your breath away quite like the finale. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
When the Future Fights Back Featurette