Blu-ray Review: 11.22.63

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11.22.63 features a star-studded cast including James Franco (127 Hours, Milk), Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold), Cherry Jones (Erin Brockovich), Lucy Fry (Game of Thrones, Pirates of the Caribbean), George MacKay (Defiance), Daniel Webber (K9), T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy), Kevin J. O’Connor, with Josh Duhamel (Transformers films) and Chris Cooper (American Beauty).  The event series was executive produced by Emmy winner J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lost), Stephen King (The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me), Bridget Carpenter (Friday Night Lights. Parenthood), Bryan Burk (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland).

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. The story transports audiences into the world of 1960s Texas as Jake explores the multiple mysteries surrounding the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald (Daniel Webber). But Jake’s mission faces threats not only from Oswald, but from Sadie (Sarah Gadon), a beautiful librarian he falls in love with, and from the Past itself… which doesn’t want to be changed. And if the Past doesn’t want to be changed, it will push back ­– often violently. With something for everyone, this edge-of-your seat mystery offers an epic and emotional thrill ride.

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At first this series kind of reminded me of Amazing Stories with the whole time traveling idea and how it all worked but it ended up becoming its own impressive beast. There’s a time window inside a closet in a diner that sends Jake back to the 60’s. He is able to come back but each time he returns everything gets reset and he arrives in the same exact time and space. Jake is reluctant at first to do this mission but he does eventually agree to go back and try to stop the JFK assassination but once he arrives he starts getting himself into all kinds of trouble. He talks way too much and gives up info to the wrong people and it ends up coming back to haunt him in more ways than one. There’s also Sadie (Sarah Gadon) who ends up playing a key part to Jake’s own story as everything plays out. The Past also ends up getting in the way and it doesn’t come without consequences and sacrifice. In the end, Jake gets to witness both ways that history could play out and it leaves him with a major decision he has to make. He discovers that changing the past might not be the best thing to do after all and it could make the future even worse.

Okay, I really didn’t know much about 11.22.63 except for the fact that I had watched the trailer before it premiered on Hulu and sadly I passed on it. After all the hype, I have finally gotten the opportunity to watch this event series and it blew me away. The writing was smart and all of the acting was really impressive. James Franco pulls off this dramatic lead perfectly and Sarah Gordon does the same with her character. There’s a lot of chemistry between all of these characters that are just so interesting and fun to watch. Another impressive thing about it is the time traveling factor that is used without relying on big special effects. There’s also the authentic sets and location that allows the viewer to witness the early 1960-1963 and the people from that era. There’s just a whole lotta good about this amazing event series.


The packaging comes with a nice slipcase – the same kind all of the other home video releases like this from WBHE come in. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes series details, an image, and the list of special features. There’s also a flyer inside that includes a list of the episodes with synopsis, original airdates, series cast and credits. Both of the Blu-ray discs feature matching artwork. Inserting each disc, the menu screens were simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, 11.22.63 was a fascinating watch to say the least and it was so much more interesting than I thought it was going to be. There was a moment in the beginning where it reminded me of Amazing Stories with the whole time portal in the diner closet thing going on. The story was smart and thought-provoking and all of the characters were really fun to follow. James Franco is already known for his comedic roles and now he shows that he can not only tackle a dramatic role like this but he succeeds on all levels. It’s a character driven story and a touching one at that. This two-disc Blu-ray set includes all 8 episodes (9 hours) and released on August 9th. I had an absolute blast watching 11.22.63 and it comes highly recommended. This is great storytelling!

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Run Time: 2 Discs / 8 Episodes / 439 Minutes

  1. The Rabbit Hole /The Rabbit Hole Part 2
  2. The Kill Floor
  3. Other Voices, Other Rooms
  4. The Eyes of Texas
  5. The Truth
  6. Happy Birthday, Lee Harvey Oswald
  7. Soldier Boy
  8. The Day in Question

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: There’s one featurette that comes with this two-disc set.

  • When the Future Fights Back
    • King, Abrams, Carpenter and star James Franco talk about elements of the production that turned King’s bestselling novel into an event series.
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