Being John Malkovich [DVD] [1999]

Spike Jonze's brilliantly offbeat directorial debut Being John Malkovich comes to DVD in an equally quirky and thoughtful package that sheds light on the film's most intriguing details and also reflects its absurdist, fantastic feel. Along with the disc's widescreen transfer and Dolby 2.0 Surround Sound, it also includes special features that provide a portal into the film's world. The theatrical trailer and the pseudo-scientific TV spots -- which explain the film's concept of the "ripe vessel" -- are just the beginning: full-screen versions of the "7 1/2 Floor Orientation" and "American Arts & Culture Presents: John Horatio Malkovich, Dance of Despair and Disillusionment" also pull the viewer deeper into the Malkovich universe. The interview with a car-sick Jonze and the "page with nothing on it" are almost as inspiredly nonsensical as the film itself, while "An Intimate Portrait of Puppeteering" -- a profile of Being John Malkovich's expert puppeteer Phil Huber -- and "An Intimate Portrait of Background Driving" -- an interview with one of the drivers in the scenes shot on the New Jersey Turnpike -- provide more practical insight into the making of the film. Cast and crew filmographies and Jonze's photo album complete this enjoyable and detailed disc. Though commentaries with Jonze, John Cusack, Catherine Keener, or any of the film's other stars would have elevated this disc from "very good" to "great," like the film, it doesn't need to explain everything to be a unique and worthwhile work.
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 4.3 out of 5 stars.
4.3
86% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (6 out of 7)

Special Features

  • Widescreen 16x9
  • Theatrical trailer
  • TV spots
  • 7 1/2 floor orientation
  • American Arts & Culture presents: "John Horatio Malkovich, Dance of Despair and Disillusionment"
  • A page with nothing on it
  • Intimate portrait of the art of puppeteering
  • Interview with director Spike Jonze
  • The art of background driving
  • Cast and crew biographies & filmographies
  • Spike's photo album
  • English 5.1
  • English 2.0 Dolby Surround
  • English closed captioned
  • French subtitled
  • Spanish subtitled
  • Aspect ratio 1.85:1
  • Dual layered

Synopsis

Being John Malkovich
Would you pay money to journey into the mind of the star of Con Air, The Killing Fields, and In The Line of Fire? Puppeteer Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is having money problems, so he takes a temporary job as a file clerk on the seventh-and-a-half floor of a large office building. One day, while rummaging behind a cabinet, he finds a small door that leads to the center of the mind of actor John Malkovich (played by, you guessed it, John Malkovich). Craig discovers that entering the portal allows him to become John Malkovich for a brief spell, and in time he and his beautiful but aloof co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener) get the bright idea to charge admission for the privilege of spending 15 minutes inside the head of a well-known actor. Malkovich realizes that something strange is happening to him, but can do little to stop it, as strangers take over his mind for a quarter-hour at a time. Craig's wife, Lotte (Cameron Diaz), eventually takes a trip into Malkovich's psyche, and she soon finds herself in love with Maxine, with whom Malkovich has an affair; meanwhile, Maxine in time becomes infatuated with both Craig and Lotte, but only when they're inside Malkovich. Being John Malkovich marked the feature-length debut of director Spike Jonze, who previously made acclaimed music videos for Weezer, the Beastie Boys, and the Breeders, among others. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • John Cusack
    John Cusack - Craig Schwartz
  • Cameron Diaz
    Cameron Diaz - Lotte Schwartz
  • Catherine Keener
    Catherine Keener - Maxine Lund
  • John Malkovich
    John Malkovich - John Malkovich
  • Orson Bean
    Orson Bean - Dr. Lester

Overall Customer Rating

86%of customers recommend this product.

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