Peter Landesman

Parkland

Editor’s note: Kate’s review of Parkland originally ran during this year’s TIFF, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens in limited release. Eventually someone will attend a showing of Peter Landesman’s Parkland and need to be reminded that President John F. Kennedy went to Dallas, Texas in November of 1963, only to be gunned down during a motorcade through streets lined with well-wishers, but the film’s pre-opening credits text that convey that information is an eye-rolling start to a generally inoffensive film. Centered on the moments just before JFK’s assassination until the day the beloved president was buried (the same day, incidentally, his murderer was also laid to rest), Landesman’s film attempts to convey the emotional and historical impact of the death through the stories and perspectives of various people involved in his final hours. A large cast (including such draws as Zac Efron, Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti, and Marcia Gay Harden, in addition to many, many more) gamely take on interesting if not entirely invigorating material and the result is something entirely unfulfilling, though well-intentioned.

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Parkland

Most red-blooded Americans know the story of the JFK assassination, but few know what happened in the dramatic hours immediately after his shooting, as doctors struggled to save his life and the Secret Service attempted to find the man responsible. Though we’ve already seen a few stills, the full trailer for Peter Landesman‘s Parkland puts together a more cohesive look at a day that changed the United States. Through interwoven stories, Parkland focuses on the assassination through the eyes of people helping the president, instead of more prominent figures like the Kennedys themselves. There’s the rookie doctor (Zac Efron) tasked with attempting to save his life and the head nurse (Marcia Gay Harden) who looks pretty resigned to the fact that he won’t be able to do it. Paul Giamatti is Abraham Zapruder, the cameraman with the only footage of the shooting, while Billy Bob Thornton plays a Secret Service agent who is out for the head of whomever did this. Hint: It’s Lee Harvey Oswald (Jeremy Strong). It might be odd to call an assassination drama refreshing, but it’s a welcome change of pace to see a historical drama not tell the same story we’ve seen time and again. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Tom Hanks Headshot

Though he’s best known as an actor, Tom Hanks is a man who contains multitudes, and also has many other hobbies. When he’s not thinking about the moon or studying the great wars, sometimes he produces movies. Heck, he’s even got his own company, Playtone, that’s set up to help him do just that. A since we know what a sucker the man is for 60s history, it should come as no surprise that Variety is reporting Hanks and his Playtone partner, Gary Goetzman, are putting together a new movie that chronicles the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated. From writer/director Peter Landesman, Parkland is set to be an ensemble film that studies the events of the day of Kennedy’s tragic death from multiple angles. Included in its cast of characters is said to be Kennedy’s wife, an FBI agent, a young doctor, a reporter, multiple members of the Secret Service and Kennedy’s staff, Lee Harvey Oswald’s older brother, and an infamous clothing manufacturer with a camera named Abraham Zapruder. Sounds like we’re going to be reporting on the casting of this thing for months.

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The production house is promising a look into a world of spies that has yet to be uncovered by film.

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