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Chapter 27
DVD disk
10.23.2008 By: Mathew Plale
Chapter 27 order
Director:
JP Schaefer

Actors:
Jared Leto
Lindsay Lohan
Judah Friedlander

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A mentally unstable man (Leto) takes his copy of 'The Catcher in the Rye' on a weekend trip to New York City and assassinates one of the most important musicians of all-time.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The event is historical, carved into minds across the globe: On December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman, a hefty 25-year-old from Hawaii, shot and killed John Lennon after he signed a copy of his album, ‘Double Fantasy.’ Shortly thereafter, Chapman was found reading a copy of J.D. Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ on the sidewalk.

Why open the review with such a bland, newspaper-esque account of the murder? Because after watching Chapter 27, that’s still all we have. No answers or clues are offered in the film, though the title suggests Chapman, who believed himself the embodiment of Holden Caulfield, is finishing the literary character’s work.

Chapman (Jared Leto) arrives in New York City and loiters outside The Dakota where his idol lives, imitating his pose on the ‘Double Fantasy’ jacket and paraphrasing Caulfield in pathetic attempts to make every line—whether to himself or others—sound significant.

And indeed Chapman spends much of his weekend alone. There are many conversations and pleadings with {ahem} Jude (Lindsay Lohan), a fellow Beatles fanatic who’s uneasy over Chapman’s obsessive behavior, the numerous doormen at The Dakota, and Paul (Judah Friedlander), the photographer who snapped an infamous photo of Chapman and Lennon. But he’s alone in his own thoughts and obsessions to steal his fifteen minutes.

But why? Why did he do it? Even if we pass Chapman off as a victim to psychosis, what else is going on here? First-time writer/director J.P. Schaefer spares answers because he doesn’t even try to look for them, leaving the capable Jared Leto with 67 extra pounds and nothing but a case of gout to show for it.

Chapter 27, based off of Jack Jones’ Chapman biography, ‘Let Me Take You Down,’ offers no insight into either the man or the murderer. Instead, it’s a careless recreation of every newspaper headline dated December 9, 1980.
THE EXTRAS
Making Of (11:00): This standard featurette consists of on-set footage and interviews with Leto, Lohan, and Schaefer, who comment on the story, characters, and Leto’s weight gain.

Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The assassination of John Lennon deserves a better story, particularly with a more dimensional look at Mark David Chapman. Leto's performance is solid, but the weight gain came at quite a price: starring in Chapter 27.
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