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The U.S. vs John Lennon
DVD disk
Feb 23, 2007 By: Sturdy
The U.S. vs John Lennon order
Director:
David Leaf

Actors:
John Lennon
Carl Bernstein
Noam Chomsky

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
David Leaf and John Scheinfeld take a look at John Lennons impact on American society from the late 60s to the early 70s. Through new interviews and stock footage, we see that Lennon was more to the American public and government than a songwriter.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Ill say right off the bat that Im a Beatles fanatic. Furthermore, Im a huge John Lennon fan and feel strongly that he gave the Beatles validity with his genius song writing and made their later songs actually mean something. Im very familiar with his transformation within the Beatles, but I dont know much about his life post- fab four. I was excited to watch this movie and I hoped it would reveal further details about his life with the U.S. government that I was previously unaware of.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed. By biggest gripe about this film is that it didnt do or say anything that hadnt been done or said before. It felt like a typical TV special that tells you about the events and then gives a couple of interviews where people talk about the events. There was no investigative journalism or further insight into his life your average Beatles fan didnt already know. John Lennon was a fascinating man, but if the most interesting fact you can reveal in 90 minutes is that he was investigated by the FBI, then maybe you havent done your research or dont know your subject very well.

It was also disappointing that a lot of the key players werent heard from. None of the Beatles had a chance to discuss the impact on them that Johns political actions had. His sons werent interviewed (although Julian rarely does any public appearances anymore). I think those few alone would have given this film a viewpoint that it desperately needed.

Im discouraged that a film like THE US VS JOHN LENNON got a theatrical release in the first place. Im assuming that its because of the name and because documentaries are getting more love these days. I just didnt feel like there was anything of substance here to merit making a movie.
THE EXTRAS
Bonus Footage (54:08): This featurette is broken up into 11 chapters, which makes it convenient to skip through the less interesting segments. The bonus footage provides a lot more information about Lennon, but still not the piercing investigation I was hoping for. I liked the segments that focused on Lennon, but some of them focused on the political situation and those werent really needed. The movie needed more of the connection between Lennon and the government, not less, so its a good thing these were left out of the final cut.

There are also some Previews
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If youre a huge John Lennon fan and you cant get enough of the guy, then there may be some things scattered throughout that you havent seen before. Other than that, I cant see any reason to watch this film. Go buy Imagine on CD and youll learn more about John Lennon than watching this film.
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