5.0 out of 5 stars Great Purchase
This is a great release for a great film. Very worthwhile purchase for any fan of the film. Definitely recommended to all.
Published 9 months ago by Michael
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bien
Le disque et la pochette sont très bien, sauf qu'il manque un disque à l'intérieur... c'est un SPECIAL EDITION, et ce disque manque.
Published on Jun 1 2010 by Jennifer Dodon
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4.0 out of 5 stars "...a metaphysical nightmare..",
The story here starts with the life of a struggling artist/puppeteer,Craig.He is married to Lotte who owns a menagerie of animals,not the least of which is a chimp who has "issues".Out of work,Craig finally applies for a real job,which takes him to the 7 and 1/2 floor of an old office building in NYC.The boss there is one Dr Lester,a kind old man,whose secretary has a doctorate in speech impedimentology(?),but has trouble understanding the simplest of phrases.
Craig meets and falls hard for a woman who works on the that floor,Maxine.His feelings are unrequited,and he has to work through them through his puppets at night.One day he drops a file behind a cabinet.He pulls it out only to discover a trapped door.Behind that is a tunnel/portal which he soon discovers leads directly into the mind of John Malkovich.After about 15 minutes in his mind,one is deposited beside the busy New Jersey Turnpike.He tells his wife,who takes the "plunge"also.She will repeat the process and come to think she should really be a woman.That is because Maxine,who Craig has told also,has actually gone through the portal and gone out with John in person.However Lotte was in John's mind at that time and she has fallen hard for Maxine,and Maxine has developed affections for Lotte also.
Craig and Maxine have,in the interim,set up a business on the side of allowing people to enter the portal for $200 a pop.Craig gets jealous of the time Maxine and his wife spend together and he locks his wife up temporarily in the chimp cage.Craig has newly discovered that he can now control the amount of time he spends in J.M.'s body,and Maxine and he become an item.Lotte escapes her imprisonment and heads for Dr Lester's home.On a previous visit she had noticed a room full of pictures of Malkovich.She now asks him what his interest in him is.He explains that he has been going from one body to the next for over a hundred years now and that he,and others that he has chosen,will transfer inside J.M's mind on the day of his 44th birthday.Lester invites her to accompany them.
Craig/Malkovich and Maxine eventually marry and have a child.Craig has removed Malkovich from his acting to career to pursue an overly successful career in puppeteering.On his 44th birthday he receives a call from Lester demanding he get out of Malkovich's mind or else Maxine will die.It is a bluff,but in the end it works.Lester and his friends enter J.M's mind on schedule.The film ends as we see the couple Maxine and Lotte on a beach with Maxine's daughter.From inside the girl's mind we hear Craig longing for the affections of Maxine.
What a plot,eh? It sounds so bizarre retelling it,but you really have to see it to believe it.There are so many neat touches such as Malkovich's close friend Charlie Sheen,popping in and out of the film from time to time.And watch for the pre-911 NYC skyline with the twin towers in evidence.Director Jonze does a nice job of layering the film.He slowly introduces us to his main characters and their quirks,allowing time for us to believe what we see,then builds upon the foundation,ending at the most quirkiest and dizziest heights I have ever seen.Also there is a point in the film where Malkovich actually enters his own mind,and what a hoot that turns out to be.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 1:85:1 and is quite clear.Extras abound here and include several featurettes,along with the trailer and commentary.
All in all a nice but bizarre film that will certainly have you scratching your head at times.I found the plot so out there,so off the wall and different that I liked it.Recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Purchase,
This review is from: Being John Malkovich (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)This is a great release for a great film. Very worthwhile purchase for any fan of the film. Definitely recommended to all.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bien,
5.0 out of 5 stars "Inventive" and "Original" do not begin to describe....,
Four fantastic performances are given by John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener and Malkovich himself, and they are guided by Spike Jonze' direction and Mr. Kaufman's screenplay.
Cusack is a gifted, tortured, starving artist, and not just any artist, but a puppeteer - working with marionettes. The film opens with a marionette performance so poignant it seems neary human - the performance reminds me of the opening of "White Nights" in which Baryshnikov dances "Le Jeune Homme Et La Mort". In White Nights it takes a moment before you recognize that you are watching a performance of a ballet, and in this film the marionette is so life-like it doesn't require much suspension of disbelief to think the puppet alive. In another similarity between the two films later on a human-sized marionette is made to "dance" the lead role in "Swan Lake" surrounded by human ballerinas. The rest of this film is SO startlingly original that it's easy to overlook the fact that the movie has some REALLY skilled puppeteering in it.
But I digress. Puppeteering doesn't pay Cusack well, so there are money arguments between John and wife Cameron Diaz, who looks like a cross between a street person and a washer-woman here. She works in a pet store and keeps a collection of animals including a dog, ferret, bird and chimpanzee - all apparently with some form of veterinary post-traumatic stress disorder. Diaz' Lotte is the kind of person who forms close emotional ties with animals but has more difficulty being intimate with other humans.
Desperate for a paying job, Cusack thinks his nimble puppeteering fingers make him ideal for a company that specializes in filing, so he gets a job in an old New York building on the 7 1/2th floor - the kind of quirky little thing added in just for "flavor" in this film.
At his new job Cusack discovers Maxine - an attractive but sarcastic New York woman who has had it with most men, and Cusack's Craig Schwartz certainly seems like most men to her.
Craig also discovers something he wasn't expecting behind a filing cabinet: a portal that leads to 15 minutes inside the head of John Malkovich before dumping you on the side of a New Jersey highway.
If it seems like I've given away the whole story - I haven't. These are all plot setups that lead to the development of a narrative that doesn't just have a "twist". THIS story "twists" every five minutes.
On my second viewing of the movie my greatest regard is for John Malkovich himself, who not only allows himself to be spoofed, but participates in the spoofing with great gusto. On the first trip "into Malkovich" we track him as he's getting ready to go out. He goes down to the street where a cab is hailed for him. The driver looks back and instantly recognizes him.
"Hey.... you're that actor, aren't you?"
A few other times other characters bring up his performance in the jewel thief movie - a great running gag demonstrating how easy human nature makes it to spread urban legends and other incorrect information.
John Malkovich has been in a large number of my very favorite films: The Killing Fields, Dangerous Liaisons, Places in the Heart, Shadow of the Vampire, In the Line of Fire and Of Mice and Men. (Fans of "Sex and the City" will enjoy the moment when Willie Garson walks by Malkovich in a restaurant and compliments him on his performance in the movie where he played "that retard".) Now one of my favorite John Malkovich movies is the one that bears his name.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Fun in John Malkovich's Head,
This review is from: Being John Malkovich (VHS Tape)This movie is different from any other movie ever made. It is a fun trip that raises many thoughtful questions. WARNING: DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE IF YOU SUFFER FROM PARANOID DELUSIONS OR SUBSCRIBE TO MATRIX-TYPE CONSPIRACY THEORIES. It will send you over the edge. The basic story is that down-on-his-luck wanna be puppeteer John Cusack reluctantly gets a day job at the gentle urging of his frumpy wife (yes they make her a frump) Cameron Diaz. This day job changes both their lives as Cusack discovers a portal that leads to John Malkovich's head. Nothing and no one is what they seem, and it is very hard to see who is controlling who, even at the very end.
I can't imagine John Malkovich's face when he was approached with this screenplay. I can't believe anyone in his right mind wouldn't run the other way when presented with even the most basic premise for this film. But then again, at least in the movie, Malkovich is anything but in his right mind. Heck, for most of the film, he isn't even IN his mind. Creepy, huh? Creepy doesn't even begin to cover it. But I highly recommend it. Just be warned not to drive or operate heavy machinery after seeing it.
This movie is best watched late at night. Most of the scenes are in fact shot at nighttime, adding positively to the surreal effect of the story. Cusack, Diaz, and Malkovich turn in wonderful performances. Catherine Keener is suitably hateable as the selfish Maxine.
This movie encourages you to look deep beneath the surface of a person. It is also good for some serious out-loud laughs.
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the weirdest film of all time, absolutely brilliant,
Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is a puppeteer who is struggling for stardom in fame. In order to put food on the table, Craig decides to get a job. He finds himself as filing clerk. He then discovers a portal to the mind of John Malkovich. The portal allows you to be John Malkavich for 15. Your John Malkovich for fifteen minutes and then dumped in the turnpike of New Jersey. Then he falls in love with his co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener)Craig, Maxine, and Craigs current wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz) charge $200 to let people be John Malkavich. But then as Lotte continues to go to the portal and then falls in love with Maxine, as Lotte continues going to the portal and being John Malkavich. It is then a war between Craig and Lotte of who's getting Maxine. It is a crazed script.
Personally out of this film I was just stunned. Watching this film once isn't really enough. It can be kind of disturbing in ways. Personally I thought the movie was a great success. But that's me, other people think it is a stupid film out of the story. But it is not, you will like it. Really before watching this I didn't even know who John Malkovich was, and still technically don't. And its weird to see someone play themselves. Since in this page they don't show what are the special features. So here they are.
3.0 out of 5 stars Unrealized potential,
Let me first say that all of the primary actors performed brilliantly. Cusack played both the melancholy and crazy sides of Craig the puppeteer quite well, and Diaz really shone as his quirky wife. One of the best performances was by Malkovich himself, lampooning himself quite handily and playing the different "inhabitants" of his body as adroitly as he played his own self.
However, even these brilliant performances don't save the movie. Fantasy is a difficult genre to conduct successfully, contrary to popular belief. One of the unwritten rules of fantasy is that, no matter how fantastical the story, it needs to be internally consistent. The film fails miserably in this aspect. Sometimes only a single person can inhabit Malkovich, sometimes multiple people. Far-fetched explanations about the subconscious and the "power of the puppeteer" attempt to account for this discrepancy but ultimately prove insufficient, if you follow them through to their logical conclusions. The writer also throws in several random occurrences with no apparent connection to the idea of the portal. Why, for instance, does Malkovich end up in a world full of people who look like him when he goes through the portal? Is this some play on his ego? On the nature of how we see the world? I really don't know, and I don't think these inconsistencies were meant to be "things to make you go hmm," as in other films.
And I suppose that's really what really bothered about Being John Makovich. The idea is a fascinating one, brilliant even, with so much potential. But that potential is squandered for cheap laughs: a lesbian affair through Malkovich's body, chimpanzee childhood traumas, lecherous old men, etc. Instead of harnessing the inherent ironic humor in the idea and making this a thought-provoking movie, the writers used the idea to string together several cheesy laughs characteristic of other Hollywood comedies.
As it is, I give Malkovich a star for good acting and another star for a nice idea. For a real five-star, absurd, ironic, and absolutely fascinating comedy, I recommend Fight Club.
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird, but good.,
2.0 out of 5 stars Why Deranged Writers Should be Supervised,
This could have been a great movie, and there are some good spots, but essentially it's a waste of time. Get something better, like Amazon Women from Mars.
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRIP FOR YO MIND!,
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Being John Malkovich (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray - 2012)
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