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DVD Shopping Bag: Being John Malkovich Criterion Collection

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DVD Shopping Bag: Being John Malkovich Criterion Collection

Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich

By Robert T. Trate     June 05, 2012
Source: Mania.com

In the year 1999, it was a different time. Yes, we had the internet and cell phones, but they weren’t as prevalent as they are today. Here we sit 13 years later and the cell phones are connected to the internet. We have Facebook and Twitter connecting us to everyone and everything. It is entirely possible to have two different lives; one in the real world and one we plug into via a cybernetic tube. Which will, of course, allow us to become someone else. In 1999 Charlie Kauffman was ahead of his time with a screenplay called Being John Malkovich. Here, much like today, he offered his characters the chance to literally become someone else. Today, that is an all too familiar reality. 

Criterion Collection has released a stunning edition of director Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich (spine #611). For the unfamiliar, Being John Malkovich is the story of puppeteer Craig Schwartz (John Cusack). At his filing job, Craig discovers a portal and learns that it takes the person who steps through it directly into the mind of actor John Malkovich (played by John Malkovich). The news of this entices his co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener) to finally pay attention to him. They start a lucrative business and all is well until Craig’s wife, Lottie (Cameron Diaz), meets Maxine. The two women fall in love and Craig is left all alone. The problem for Maxine is that she only really wants Lottie when Lottie is inside John Malkovich. The twisted story only gets more complicated when Malkovich himself realizes that something is wrong. 

This is one of the oddest films to emerge in the last 20 years. It deals not only with the self but with identity, love, and mortality. In looking back at the film, we see the place it now fits into our culture. We all wish to be someone else; even someone famous. Reality TV offers that for many, but to truly escape the confines of our mortal coil one only has to look to the internet. 

The film is an experience unlike any other that all should share in and discuss. Are you truly the master of your own fate or is someone else pulling the strings? If you need to discover Being John Malkovich, this is the perfect excuse to pick up this incredible Blu-ray edition. 

For those that are initiated with Spike Jonze’s first cinematic wonder, Criterion has packed the Blu-ray with tons of special features. A 30 minute documentary allows you to feel what kind of atmosphere Jonze creates on set (including food fights). You’ll marvel at the 7th and half floor and the problems it created for the cast crew. However, it’s Jonze’s dedication to his actors that will leave you in awe as he stands in for Catherine Keener.  Criterion has also included the industrial video and the “Dance of Despair” that appeared in the film. Yet, it is the interview with Malkvoich (a retrospective) that will really open your eyes to the plight of being a celebrity. 

Yet another perfect edition to the Criterion Library and one that all true film aficionados should possess. 

 
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
 
1. Hoosiers [Blu-ray]
2. The Grapes of Wrath [Blu-ray] 
3. Earthquake [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary)
4. Yellow Submarine [Blu-ray] 
5. 13 Assassins (The Thirteen Assassins) 

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
 
13 Assassins (The Thirteen Assassins) Starring Chiezo Kataoka, Kotaro Satomi and Ryohei Uchida

A Perfect World [Blu-ray] Starring Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Laura Dern and T.j. Lowther

Act of Valor [Blu-ray] Starring Roselyn Sanchez and Nestor Serrano

Act of Valor Starring Roselyn Sanchez and Nestor Serrano

Act of Vengeance (Blu-Ray) Starring Gina Gershon, Danny Glover and Robert Patrick

Andersonville Starring Frederic Forrest, Ted Marcoux, Cliff De Young

Bad Ass Starring Danny Trejo, Charles S. Dutton, Ron Perlman

Bad Ass [Blu-ray] Starring Danny Trejo, Charles S. Dutton, Ron Perlman

Blood Work [Blu-ray] Starring Clint Eastwood, Jeff Daniels, Paul Rodriguez

Casino [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Frank Vincent, Joe Pesci, James Woods and Robert De Niro

Earthquake [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy

The Fast and the Furious [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Rick Yune

Flame Over India (Blu-ray) aka: The North West Frontier Starring Kenneth More, Lauren Bacall, Herbert Lom

Hatfields & Mccoys: Bad Blood Starring Jeff Fahey, Christian Slater, Tim Abell and Perry King

High Plains Drifter [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Clint Eastwood, Verna Bloom, Marianna Hill and Mitch Ryan

Hondo [Blu-ray] Starring John Wayne, Geraldine Page, Ward Bond and Michael Pate

I Will Fight No More Forever Starring James Whitmore, Sam Elliott, Ned Romero and Linda Redfearn

King Kong [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody

Ransom: 15th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Gary Sinise, Mel Gibson and Brawley Nolte

Machine Gun Preacher Starring Gerard Butler and Michelle Monaghan

Machine Gun Preacher [Blu-ray] Starring Gerard Butler and Michelle Monaghan

Missing in Action 2: The Beginning Starring Chuck Norris, Soon-Tek Oh, Steven Williams and Bennett Ohta

Normandy Starring Tino Struckmann, Damian Chapa, Jack Dimich

Safe House (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds

Safe House Starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds
Winchester '73 [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring James Stewart, Stephen McNally, Dan Duryea

Sea of Love [Blu-ray] Starring John Goodman, William Hickey, Michael Rooker and Al Pacino

Sherlock Holmes: The Hound Of The Baskervilles (Mr Bongo Films) (1981) Starring Vasili Livanov and Vitali Solomin

Town: Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Jeremy Renner, Ben Affleck and Jon Hamm

U.S. Marshals [Blu-ray] Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, Jr. Robert Downey

ANIME

Boogiepop Phantom Complete TV Series Starring Debora Rabbai

Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Eight [Blu-ray] Starring Stephanie Nadolny, Sean Schemmel and Don Brown

Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Eight Starring Stephanie Nadolny, Sean Schemmel and Don Brown

Hero Tales: Complete Box Set Starring Newton Pittman, Brian Mathis, John Burgmeier

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Vol. 5 [Blu-ray] Starring koki uchiyama

CARTOONS

Yellow Submarine [Blu-ray] Starring The Beatles

CLASSICS

The Grapes of Wrath [Blu-ray] Starring Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine

Spartacus [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons

The Sting Collector's Series [Blu-ray Book + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw

The Sting [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Robert Shaw, Robert Redford, Paul Newman and Ray Walston

The Sting [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Robert Shaw, Robert Redford, Paul Newman and Ray Walston

Zorba the Greek [Blu-ray] Starring Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates and Sotiris Moustakas

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

American Pie [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas

American Pie [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas

Back to the Future [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

The Big Lebowski [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring John Goodman, David Huddleston, Jeff Bridges

Cocktail [Blu-ray] Starring Bryan Brown, Tom Cruise and Laurence Luckinbill

National Lampoon's Animal House [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Tom Hulce, Mark Metcalf and Stephen Furst

National Lampoon's Animal House [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring John Belushi, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce and Stephen Furst

Smokey and the Bandit [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed and Mike Henry

The Three Stooges: The Ultimate Collection Starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard

HORROR

The Awakening Starring Charlton Heston, Susannah York, Jill Townsend

The Collapsed Starring Vincent Thomas, Steve Vieira and Stefano Gallo

Dear God No! Starring Jett Bryant, Madeline Brumby, Paul McComisky

Lost Woods Starring Joey Brown, Garret Vander Leun, Nina Brissey

The Mummy [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Kevin J. O'Connor

Nosferatu Starring Max schreck

Rogue River Starring Bill Moseley, Michael Cudlitz, Art Alexakis and Chris Coy

The Tale of the Voodoo Prostitute Starring Jayde Kelley, Charles Buchanan, Martin Ezelle

MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY

The Color of Money [Blu-ray] Starring Paul Newman

Departed / Goodfellas / Aviator [Blu-ray] Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson

Hoosiers [Blu-ray] Starring Dennis Hopper, Sheb Wooley and Gene Hackman

Natural Born Killers / Any Given Sunday / JFK (Triple Feature) [Blu-ray] Starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Kevin Costner

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Back to the Future [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary) Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

Falling Skies: The Complete First Season Starring Noah Wylie and Moon Bloodgood

Falling Skies: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] Starring Noah Wylie and Moon Bloodgood

John Carter (Four-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + Digital Copy) Starring Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins

John Carter (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Willem Dafoe, Lynn Collins, Thomas Haden Church

John Carter Starring Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / UltraViolet Digital Copy) Starring Josh Hutcherson, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine

Nirvana Starring Christopher Lambert, Diego Abatantuono, Sergio Rubini

TV LAND

ARN The Knight Templar - The Complete Series [Blu-ray] Starring Joakim Nätterqvist, Sofia Helin, Peter Flinth

Breaking Bad: The Complete Fourth Season Starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul

Breaking Bad: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] Starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul

Burn Notice: The Complete Fifth Season Starring Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Campbell and Gabrielle Anwar

In Plain Sight: Season Four Starring Fred Weller

The Twilight Zone: Fan Favorites [Blu-ray] Starring Art Carney, Robert Redford, Rod Serling

White Collar: Season Three Starring Matt Bomer and Tim DeKay

Workaholics: Seasons 1 & 2 [Blu-ray] Starring Jillian Bell and Blake Anderson

BOX SETS

The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series [Blu-ray] Starring Rod Serling, Art Carney, Burgess Meredith

 Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 6 of 6
1 
jamauntre 6/5/2012 6:04:27 AM

My mother and I were just talking about Being John Malkovich after seeing that weird iPhone commercial, she's like, "What's so funny about that joke?" The joke is, it isn't funny! :O I've never seen this movie, I may just pick this up

InnerSanctum 6/5/2012 8:31:02 AM

 Malkovich hocking cell phones in a TV commercial makes me sad.  

jppintar326 6/5/2012 9:22:45 AM

Never cared much for Being John Malkovich.  Maybe it was because the three main characters played by Cusack, Diaz, and Keener are so unlikeable that there is no rooting interest here.  An overrated film experiment just like other films that were released that year such as The Matrix, The Blair Witch Project, and The Sixth Sesne.  Just because something is strange does not make it good.

mellowdoux 6/5/2012 9:28:38 AM

 Best line: "Eh Malkovich... Heads up!"

CLUNK!

fatpantz 6/5/2012 8:13:39 PM

Poor John Carter and it's terrible release treatment.  I seriously almost decided not to buy the BluRay due to the crappy box design.  Looked like Disney was ready to bury it under a rock and spent as little as possible designing the box art.

It is unfortunate as it was such an entertaining film.  I have heard rumours of a 3 hour director's cut, but am unsure if that will ever see a release as long as Disney holds the rights.

DarthoftheDead 6/6/2012 8:29:27 AM

Being John Malkovich is an AWESOME movie...........if you have an Imagination that is........

1 

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