on October 25, 2003
As an enthusiastic fan of John Steinbeck, I cannot think of a more perfect package than a Steinbeck novel adapted to film and starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise, with the added bonus of Gary Sinise directing. This has to be one of Steinbecks most loved tales and the casting of Gary Sinise (George) and John Malkovich (Lennie) is pure genius. No one could possibly have captured the gentle giant, Lennie, any better than John Malkovich. Furthermore, if you love the book, it loses nothing in translation to film. A moving tale of two men travelling for work, Lennie continually gets into trouble purely because of his childlike innocence which is misunderstood by other adults who only see a big man who should know better. George does his best to protect Lennie but unfortunately, all of George's efforts to keep Lennie out of trouble by promising his dream of tending rabbits is just one more job away if he behaves himself come to the tragic finale that makes this such an enchanting tale. Sinise & Malkovich are so convincing as these wonderful characters, it could not fail to touch even the hardest heart. I love John Malkovich - but this, to me, is his best performance ever. Steinbeck movies attract the greats, John Garfield and Spencer Tracy in Tortilla Flat for example, but of all the adaptations I've seen, this is by far the best.
on August 10, 2003
Of Mice and Men is mainly about friendship. George is always there for Lenny and Lenny is always there for George. Sadly, this movie's also about shattered dreams. But hey that's reality.
I don't understand why anyone would hate this movie. The acting is flawless...it's not overdone or underdone! The directing was awesome, they got the full meaning of the book out...the music even fit perfectly!! You'll fall in love with George and Lenny. I've seen this movie a few times now..and I've cried everytime. It's the only depressing movie I love (and probably the only one I'll love). This movie also made me love Gary Sinise!! He's such a wonderul actor...and director..and producer...but of course John Malckovich did a great job as well ^_^ It's very sad how this didn't win any oscars...but then again, Lord Of the Rings didn't get best picture...so maybe I don't like the Academy Awards! :P This movie...left me speechless afterwards. Of Mice and Men is for anyone with a heart! I simply love everything about it and can't find anything bad to say. (Which is rare for me ^_^)So...if you haven't seen it, SEE IT NOW!!!!
on April 3, 2003
This is one of the most fascinating movies that I have seen. It is radically different from most that people watch and are marketed as well. I have not read the book, so I lack the primary source inspration for the film.
What I liked about it was that there was no win for anybody. No happy ending, no romance. The main character, George, is the guy who has to deal with it all and put up with all of the nonsense, but still remains relativly intact and in control of the situation. George's friend Lennie was a mentally retarded man who meant no harm but accidentally hurt people and animals with his brute strength. The ranch owner's son Curley was a trouble maker who picked fights and was hated by his wife, who tried to seduce other men. The wife, the only female character, was jaded because she married Curley and didn't go on to Hollywood. There's no romance surrounding her, though. Lennie breaks her neck by accident and the other men on the ranch go to chase him down. George finds Lennie and shoots him in the head so that the other men led by Curley won't have the satisfaction of killing Lennie themselves. At the beginning of the movie Lennie and George share a dream of having a small farm with Lennie taking care of the rabbits. This never happens, and George flees the scene. Overall, this is a great antidote to all the happy go lucky, action packed stuff out there. It's profoundly pessimistic, and all the non-deluded of the world recognize that life and existence are the same.
on September 5, 2002
This isn't just a wonderful portrayal of John Steinbeck's Masterpiece; it's a wonderful film in general. "Of Mice and Men" is a marvelous picture that plays on all of our emotions.
The movie is about two men who travel together all the time, hoping to own an acre of land and a nice home they can call their own. George is a smart man who always seems to have things figured out. Lennie is a giant with a mind of a young child. George looks after him, but it is not easy. Lennie always seems to get himself in some kind of trouble, and George is always the one who has to help him out. The two eventually land jobs on a ranch, hoping to make enough money to make their dreams come true. But that might be difficult when Lennie once again gets the two in serious trouble.
The movie is directed by Gary Sinise, who does a spectacular job of bringing Steinbeck's wonderful novel to life. Just from seeing this movie alone, I think he has nothing but talent when it comes to sitting in the director's chair. He really should direct more. Also, he is a great actor, and plays the role of George flawlessly. He's everything I envisioned when reading the book.
John Malkovich plays Lennie, and does an outstanding job at doing so. I sort of had my doubts at first, because I thought of Lennie as a giant, and Malkovich didn't seem like a giant to me. Well, when I was watching the movie, that all changed. He did the part justice. It's a crime that he didn't win anything for his role (or at least nothing I am aware of.)
The movie stays very true to the book. Sure, as always, there are things removed or added. Mostly, there are things added because the novel is so short, they needed to add things to make the movie longer. Everything that was added worked and stayed true to the original story.
The picture and sound quality was really up to par. It is 16:9 widescreen; aspect ratio 1.85:1. It looked really good; very crystal clear. Unfortunately, the DVD doesn't have much to offer in the special features department, with the exception of a trailer for the movie.
"Of Mice and Men" is a spectacular movie that should've won a couple of Academy Awards. Everything about this film was outstanding. It is one I will watch over and over again. If you loved the book, chances are you will love the movie. And if you haven't read the book.....the more reason to see it.
on June 21, 2002
John Steinback's classic novel "Of Mice and Men" has been made again for the big screen, but with direction by Gary Sinise. It's touching, gripping and powerful. The lavish scenery shows well and George and Lennie are running away to find work. Lennie (John Malkovich) is a tall, slow-minded fellow who means well, but causes trouble. George (Sinise) is his friend and looks out for him. The movie stays close to the novel and will definitely help any freshman in high school who doesn't want to read the book. Forget the Shakespeare garbage, this book really is good! The two men along with an older man have a dream to buy a nice little place to tend rabbits and it would be paradise. Unfortunately, Lennie gets himself into trouble with the boss' son and his girlfriend. I've learned that you should never try to punch a man twice as big as you, unless you're a genius because your hand will get smashed. Seriously, the movie is a tour de force and kudos to director Sinise for making a poignant picture of true friendship. John Malkovich is brilliant and the supporting cast is great. A must-own masterpiece.
on April 21, 2002
This film is nearly ten years old now - and every time I watch it, one question springs to my mind: "Why doesn't Gary Sinise direct anymore?"
This is quite simply one of the most fantastic movie adaptations of a classic novel ever made. True to the content and spirit of the book, Sinise is a big fan of Steinbeck, and it shows. This is lovingly crafted and packs all the emotional punch of the beautiful novel.
The script, by Oscar-winning screen writer Horton Foote, is just esquisite, and as always, it will ultimately break your heart.
John Malkovich as Lenny, the brain-damaged lumbering farm-hand with more strength than he knows how to control, puts in one of the finest performances of his career, and it's been a pretty impressive career.
Gary Sinise - in a performance which brought him the attention he always deserved but Malkovich got - is faultless. He is a powerhouse performer, and a cinematic treasure. As a director, he has a clear vision of Depression era America which be evokes vividly and tells this powerful tale simply and elegantly.
All in all, if you haven't seen this movie, you should. If you like good story-telling and the retro-feel of a movie like The Shawshank Redemption, then see this. It's pure and simple, and simply terrific.
on April 6, 2000
To put it simply, this is possibly the most overlooked film of the 1990's. Never before (or since) have i ever PAID to see a movie in the theatre 4 times. One of the most simplistic enthralling moviegoing experiences one could ever hope to find. This film ranks on my top 5 films of all time, as modern films touch us so seldom, you must recognize a crowning acheivement. I agree with a review below that the cinematography is one of a kind. The blowing barley fields, periwinkle skies and dusty roads are almost felt by the viewer upon watching. I do not think there is a comparison to be made with the 1939 version. Malkovich acts circles around Lon Chaney and Gary Sinise's masterful subtle performance makes Burgess Meredith look foolish. Such a shame that more people did not find this treasure while in the theatres. Believe it or not, when I first met my future husband, he informed me that not only had he seen this version of "Of Mice & men" (Which was an absolute first for me, I thought I was the only one for a while) He had given it 4 stars in his personal review. Needless to say, I had a feeling that I had found the perfect match for myself. THIS is what filmmaking is all about people. Please take note.......
on July 11, 2000
Having been a big fan of the book, I was a little skeptical when I first rented this movie. I had never seen the original version with Lon Chaney and Burgess Meredith, but I did not see how such a short book could translate in to a full production movie and still hold true to the book. I was pleasantly surprised to see how well Gary Sinise told Steinback's classic tale, and how all of the characters were as believable as they were in the book. Perhaps the biggest surprise performance in this movie comes from Joe Morton, who plays the stable worker Crooks. The scene he shares with Malkovich's character Lenny when the other workers go to town is a subtle reminder of how everyone could use a friend from time to time, and it really hits on the friendship theme which is often ignored when this book is discussed. This movie is a must see for fans of the book, or for anyone who wants to see a movie which earns its stripes by its story and performances.
on March 19, 2004
This great John Steinbeck novel was recreated for the big screen wonderfully by director Gary Sinise. Sinise stars in the movie as well, portraying the character George. George is the smaller caretaker of Lenny who is depicted by John Malkovich. Malkovich does a magnificent job in illustrating Lenny, who is large and strong, but mentally-challenged. The two travel together, finding jobs at ranches across California. A rancher is a lonesome job, but the two have hope in buying their own place one day. This hope is what keeps the two persevering. The movie recreates the events in the book exactly. From the scenery of the desolate southern California plains, to the bunk houses of the ranch, Sinise portrays them just as you pictured them when reading the book. Even the expressions of the characters are perfectly done by every actor in the movie. If there ever was a perfect portrayal of a novel, Gary Sinise's Of Mice and Men is it.
on March 2, 2006
I have watched this movie twice now and would buy it. It is a very good movie. I like Gary Sinise. I would enjoy seeing the first one, classics are usually the best, but would have to say that Gary Sinise probably would not ruin this classic in any way compared to the ruination of the ones they are trying to do now.