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Being John Malkovich


This is one of the cleverest movies made, thankfully, in quite a while. Just a fun, mentally stimulating romp through the mind (literally) of Malkovich as they would like us to see him.

Here's the tale. John 'brown-eyed-stud-lord' Cusack plays, Craig, a down and out puppeteer who finds himself accepting a menial job in a whack-o company filing stuff. He discovers an odd rabbit-like hole behind a cabinet. Very Alice Through the Looking Glass-ish. This hole takes us not to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb but straight into the head of world famous actor John Malkovich. WHAT? Yep! Clever huh? Good thing they actually got the real Malkocabbitch to play Maltomilkballvich huh? They had been thinking David Spade as Malkovich, or Brain from Pinky and the Brain (The rat is strangely similar in appearance to Malkovich), but then Johnnie agreed.

So, Craig , being ever the capitalist, decides -'hey here's a way to make some extra dough off people who want to escape reality for a few minutes' They get a mere 15, to be exact. He starts his JM Inc. and charges folks to hang out in the mind of Johnny. Hmm. I, would rather have hung out in George Clooney's girlfriend's head personally, but Malkie ended up being surprisingly fun. I especially enjoyed the 'Towel Dance' an interpretation Craig choreographed while inside JM's noggin.

Malkovitch soon finds out about the little start-up company and gets all huffy. He threatens to sue! Really, who would want strangers puppeting us to do their laundry or sleep with their heavy set husband who resembles Fat Bastard? They do get Malkofmagnesiavich dive into his own portal (?) and find himself in a sea of Malkovichs! Heavy concept, no? A bit of movie Algebra.

John Cusack was in that Lame-o-Rama Pushing Tin this year and he needed redemption. He found it. Now, don't get me wrong. He is always superb, acting wise as well as cinnamon bun sweet on the retina, Pushing Tin's script sucked twas all. Another attempted Cusack fix of mine went all haywire, as the dear boy was seen way to briefly in The Thin Red Line. I really did sit through a war movie, and I mean a war movie for him. So, I was up for a little Cusack fix. Know what I mean? Oh, sure Joan was in fabulous Arlington Road, but alas, I am nay a clam digger,so that was not my idea of a Cusack fix. After all that, Johnny was gruff and sleazy, a Scum-A-Snarous Rex, visually in this. JC looked like a Bohemian-espresso sipping-puppet master, with odious charm, but I suppose at least I got to see him. Good work, John. Purr-Usualaal

John Malkovich, in case you're unfamiliar with him, is an act-tore. That is to say, he gives one the appearance that he goes around spewing Shakespeare quotes in daily conversation at the lesser, common folk, and punctuates these verbal above-isms with grand Thespian gestures of long ago West End idols. Well, not in this movie. He sheds his PBS demeanor and seems to genuinely enjoy frolicking around making a horse's arse of himself. What an actor! To play yourself, as a character must be one of the hardest things one can do. Very vulnerable position that was.

Oh, by the way, a dowdy-had-to-look-twice to verify, Cameron 'Perky Smile' Diaz plays Craig's love Lotte. Cameron is one of those just cool people. Cam's got some real talent hidden behind all that beauty, and this movie let's you see it.

Director Spike Jonz is someone to watch. He is best known for whacko-weird music videos, off the wall commercials and such. I believe that'll change. He's got that askew eyeball, like Tim Burton, only maybe, not as macabre. Can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

Being John Malkovich is a twisted tale that shouldn't work, but with the cast they've gotten to romp through this wacky script by Charlie Kaufman, it does. Check it out. I hope you like it as much as I did.

SNACK RECOMMENDATION: Take Out Sushi (It's brain food, rich in Omega 3)
STARRING: John Malkovich, John Cusack, Cameron Diaz and Catherine Keener
DIRECTED BY: Spike Jonz


 

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