You Don’t Know Jack is an in-depth (and theatric) look into Jack Kevorkian’s life. Much like HBO’s previous epic, 2003’s Angels in America, each bit and piece of eir life is filled by an actor of tremendous talent. Key of these would have to be Al Pacino, who dons the killer’s cap and steals the show as a result. However, far from being a one-actor film, You Don’t Know Jack is further fleshed out by the inclusion of Susan Sarandon as assisted-suicide supporter Janet Good, Danny Huston (John Adams, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as Kevorkian’s DA, Geoffrey Fieger, and Brenda Vaccaro as Kevorkian’s sister, Margo.
The movie focuses on a number of Kevorkian’s patients, and leaves it up to the viewers to determine whether Kevorkian was ultimately in the right by providing the tools that these individuals needed to take their own life. The plot sticks well to the reality, being aided at a number of crucial points through the inclusion of archive footage. Two different aspects of the film shine as brightly as the acting, as well. First of these has to be the lighting used, which provides a surreal brightness to the drab and dreary locales that the film needs to employ. Secondly (and more importantly) has to be the form-fitting score laid down by Marcelo Zarvos (Remember Me, Kissing Jessica Stein).
The extra that is present for You Don’t Know Jack was previously shown only on HBO, and is a value look into the film’s creative process. HBO, no matter how strong its slate of features may have been, seems to be adding momentum with each subsequent release they’ve put out this year. Hopefully this trend continues into 2011. Make sure to pick up this DVD at your local well-stocked video store, or Amazon if you are in a pinch.
You Don’t Know Jack: The Life and Deaths of Jack Kevorkian (DVD) / 2010 HBO / 134 Minutes / http://www.hbo.com