The Killing of John Lennon
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Top Customer Reviews
John Lennon appears only as Chapman gets opportunity to see him personally. Of course, as a viewer, you know the forthcoming tragedy in the finale, and the film abets suspense by reminding you occasionally how many days or hours left before the murder. You find yourself meditating upon every turn of Chapman's mind, but in the end you realize nothing could save Lennon from this determined psycho. You witness all his weak, ludicrous motives, and don't expect that you'll feel any sympathy for him. No, understandably there's no touch of the sorrowful greatness of a tragedy: the story is told from Chapman's side.
The film is very well made, the camera work and casting are excellent. Jonas Ball playing Chapman is perfect; all characters Chapman encounters with - from street girls to taxi drivers - are greatly developed. Paradoxically, Hawaiian colours and atmospheric musicscore complete the eerie feel of the story. It's not a movie to watch over and over again but I highly recommend it to everybody who is interested in this tragedy and who appreciates good acting.
Was it the mental hospital that evidently released a criminally insane Chapman into society just 3 years before he killed Lennon despite the fact that he was diagnosed with severe schizophrenia? And hey, why didn't the Honolulu Scientology Center involve the cops when he was harassing them with death threats just 4 months before he shot Lennon? That would have at least initiated some sort of paper trail. Was it the mother who raised her son as a `best friend' (i.e. couldn't care less about him) instead of son? Perhaps a father who couldn't be bothered unless it was to push his face into a plate of spaghetti?
Look, I place most of the blame on the wife. She knew what her husband was up to, knew he was flying to NYC to kill John Lennon but never told anyone even though she knew he had a gun and stayed up all night listening to Beatles albums plotting against John, going on tirades about what a phony he was for owning prize Holstein cows. I would have had him reading 'Catcher in the Rye' in the state hospital quicker than you could say `annulment'.
I could go on and on but why? See the film yourself, I'm giving it 5 stars.
Finally, as important and influential as John Lennon is in our culture, for 25 years (since 4th grade, people) I've felt a lot of anguish around his passing. Even though I'm very spiritual and I know he was, too. This film goes a long way in explaining where MDC was at when this horrible act of violence took place. Now I'm not angry anymore.
CHAPTER 27 is by far, the better of the 2 movies, hands down. Jared Leto gained weight for the role, and really seemed to become Mark David Chapman (Lennon's killer), even down to his slight southern accent and his mannerisms. It covers only the 3 days that Chapman was in NYC right before the murder, and ends shortly after the killing. The movie was just the right length (about 90 minutes), and had me emotionally engaged. The ending scene had me crying, followed by being creeped out (watch it and you'll see what I mean). I found it to be a powerful, well made movie.
THE KILLING OF JOHN LENNON movie, on the other hand, seemed overlong (it's about 2 hours long), disjointed, and elicited no emotional response from me. And that's saying something. If you can't get me to cry over the murder of John Lennon, something is wrong with your movie. The movie starts 3 months before the murder, at Chapman's home in Hawaii, and continues after the murder through his imprisonment and trial. Jonas Ball, as Mark David Chapman, does not seem to embody the character at all. He is thin, looks nothing like him, and does not even attempt a southern accent. He was not believable, and this is the main reason I felt detached from the movie.
In my opinion, if you only watch one of these, go for CHAPTER 27.
I'd like to comment that I personally feel that as a society, we shouldn't turn these types of killers of famous people into stars themselves, forever attaching them to the person who truly earned that fame to begin with. But that is the nature of the beast. You'll find no sympathy or concern for Chapman after watching this, but it does explain very well his method of madness.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am still waiting for my return label so I can get my refund!!! The DVDs will play about half way and stop and I have to restart it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
The Killing of John Lennon is a non-fiction drama about Mark Chapman's plot to kill musician John Lennon.It stars Jonas Ball, Robert C. Kirk and Thomas A. McMahon. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Desertman84
This film is as creepily weird as the killer himself. If viewed with an open mind, it invites you into the head of the man who allegedly, and admittedly, shot John Lennon. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Kenneth M.
It's an extremely well made movie. It offers a glimpse inside the tangled mind of a killer, and it's done extremely well. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Thomas A. Olafson
This film accomplishes something almost impossible. It helps you understand a man who is almost universally hated without ever condoning or approving his deeds, words, or... Read morePublished on March 31, 2014 by mr. contrarian
EXCELLENT FILM. IT BRINGS YOU BACK TO 1980, WHEN JOHN LENNON WAS KILLED. JONAS BALL MAKES YOU THINK HE IS REALLY MARK DAVID CHAPMAN. GOOD DIRECTION. Read morePublished on March 13, 2014 by Linda Licata
fist watched this movie when it was first aired on IFC, although is a sad and sick story i fell in love with Mr. Balls' portrayal of Mark Chapman. Read morePublished on July 6, 2013 by THiViUS
I have to say that this review is likely to make some enemies, but not only did I love this movie, but I also think it's a modern day masterpiece, The acting, the visuals, the... Read morePublished on May 4, 2013 by Natja K.
yes it dives into the events leading up to the killing of john lennon and looks into what happens to the S.O.B. Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by thomas