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Being John Malkovich

May 14, 2000

Not in the past few years have I seen a movie as witty, hilarious, and entertaining as the Spike Jonze directed "BEING JOHN MALKOVICH".  After completely missing the film's one-week run at the cinema, I was forced to wait for its release on video and DVD.  Hence, New Jersey night!

malkovich malkovichJust a few days after New Jersey bumped my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs out of the playoffs, I'm watching three movies that all have something to do with New Jersey:  THE TOXIC AVENGER (just because I haven't seen it in years!), DOGMA (where the climax of the movie takes place in New Jersey), and BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, which involves the New Jersey turnpike in a strange way.

If I were to sell you on this movie by telling you the plot summary, you would shake your head and wonder, "Why would I want to see that?".

Here's why:  Hollywood insults YOUR intelligence on a daily basis by giving major theatrical release to films with lots of clichés, big explosions, and the teen hotties of the moment.  You should feel cheated.  Would anyone have gone to see that TITANIC film if it weren't backed by such a hype machine and obligatory marketing campaign?  You all know the outcome - the fucking boat sinks, okay!  So why would you shell out $10 when you already know what happens?

In BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, we have an entire floor in an office building that is only 4-1/2 feet tall, we have a portal to the brain of John Malkovich, and we have a welcome and refreshing change from what goes on in Hollywood.

However, the film isn't free from Hollywood manipulation.  Since the good vs. evil power struggle within the film prompted me to believe that deeper conspiracy theories were afoot (read my posts in the Internet Movie Database), I did a bit of research.  After stumbling upon a copy of the original screenplay, I noticed that the ending had been completely changed from something absolutely obscure to a classic good vs. evil ending.  Not a happy ending, for those who understand the implications of the film's ending, but rather a bleak one.  Even so, it's a doctored ending.  I think I was better off not having known that what I believed to be such an innovative body of work was actually changed to make it more palatable by the masses.  Still, that doesn't take much away from the film.  Having not seen the bizarre ending that writer Charlie Kauffman had in mind, the film I did see still rates as pretty sweet.

Check it out - the Paperless One commands you to!

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