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Adaptation (Superbit) (Bilingual) [Import]
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The Superbit titles utilize a special high bit rate digital encoding process which optimizes video quality while offering a choice of both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. These titles have been produced by a team of Sony Pictures Digital Studios video, sound and mastering engineers and comes housed in a special package complete with a 4 page booklet that contains technical information on the Superbit process. By reallocating space on the disc normally used for value-added content, Superbit DVDs can be encoded at double their normal bit rate while maintaining full compatibility with the DVD video format.
Twisty brilliance from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze, the team who created Being John Malkovich. Nicolas Cage returns to form with a funny, sad, and sneaky performance as Charlie Kaufman, a self-loathing screenwriter who has been hired to adapt Susan Orlean's book The Orchid Thief into a screenplay. Frustrated and infatuated by Orlean's elegant but plotless book (which is largely a rumination on flowers), Kaufman begins to write a screenplay about himself trying to write a screenplay about The Orchid Thief, all the while hounded by his twin brother Donald (Cage again), who's cheerfully writing the kind of formulaic action movie that Kaufman finds repugnant. By its conclusion, Adaptation is the most artistically ambitious, most utterly cynical, and most uncategorizable movie ever to come out of Hollywood. Also starring Meryl Streep (as Susan Orlean), Chris Cooper, Tilda Swinton, and Brian Cox; superb performances throughout. --Bret Fetzer
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Charlie Kaufmann (an actual person in real life) is portrayed in this movie by Nicholas Cage. Kaufmann is trying to adapt the book "the orchid thief" (which is an actual book in real life) into a movie. His twin brother Donald (who is not real, although he was credited with having helped write the screenplay) is writing a movie of his own called "the 3." Charlie and Donald have two different styles of writing. The first half of Adaptation is the kind of movie Charlie wants to make "The Orchid Thief" into, but when he can't write the screenplay he enlists the aid of his brother. From here until the end of Adaptation we get a taste of what Donalds movies are like.
A little complicated to talk about, but watch it and you'll get it.
Cleverly intertwining story/plot keep you interested, especially the unexpected portions of (graphic) violence and terror. Sex, drugs and simultaneous refusal to accept responsibility for one's own actions eventually turn to repulsion. You lose empathy for the lead characters, who are hopelessly lost on a path of self-destruction. The innocense of beautiful orchids (the focal point of the story) is quickly put aside by the fast-paced story with its surprise shockers.
THIS won all of the Oscar Nomination? Great acting, yes. Excellent script, ok. Enertainment? No way! This was a one-time-view for me, and I recomment this film only to die hard fans of the actors, presuming they have a strong stomach for extreme violence. The stuff that nightmares are made of!**
An abrupt change occurs in the final act of the movie when (here's my interpretation) Charlie caves in and decides to resolve the movie in a "hollywood-big-action-suspense-thriller-by-the-numbers" way. I won't give away the details, but the real hero of "The Orchid Thief", the author of that book, the screenwriter and his fictional twin brother all collide in a weird swampy film noire ending that isn't funny "ha-ha", but funny in an "isn't it ridiculous when Hollywood makes films that have to conform to formulas?" kind of way.
You're welcome to your own interpretation, but I liked it. Don't expect to get deep into these characters, because by the end you hardly know "who's who" - but as I said up at the top: this is one of the two most original film's I know of.
Most recent customer reviews
Great movie, but this is a barebones release. It would have been a great Criterion Collection release with a commentary by Meryl Streep perhaps?Published 4 months ago by Kid Robot
I quite simply loved this movie it is perfect and unique and every time i watch it i see more and more of its beautyPublished on Feb. 6 2005 by Perry Brown
The absence of creativeness and the absence of absolute commitment , the desperation , the hunger for winning no matter how , the maquiavelian moods and the duality , the... Read morePublished on July 16 2004 by Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela
I guess I should've known better, being that I loathed Being John Malkovich, but I was pretty shlitzed when I hit the video store so what the hell. Read morePublished on July 4 2004 by mark twain
I did not see Being John Malkovich. It was brought to screen by Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, but I will correct that error shortly. Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by R. A Rubin