At Random

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Directed by Spike Jonze

Written by Charlie Kaufman

Well, I spun myself around the video store, closed my eyes and chose "At Random": "Being John Malkovich". Now, I never really liked John Malkovich before. In fact, when I blindly selected "Being John Malkovich" I kept thinking, couldn't it have been "Being Vic Tayback"? He was so good in "Alice". It's not that I hate Malkovich, I just don't want to see him on screen. There are however, actors that I do hate. I will not see anything with Ryan O'Neil or Richard Dreyfus... ugh, they just go right through me!!! But enough hate... lets begin the love-fest. I really enjoyed "Being John Malkovich". It was quirky, and clever, and reminded me of how I felt when I saw the movie "Brazil".

Well, unlike John Malkovich, I do like John Cusack. I think he's seriously underrated as an actor, although, he did suck in that Julia Roberts piece-of-crap last summer. Unflattering camera angles that made Catherine Zeta-Jones-Douglas look like she had a double chin... BASTARDS!!! Hey, wait a minute "love not hate" remember? It gets so hard to focus in this evil world we live in.

Deep breath, happy thoughts and... John Cusack plays a puppeteer, and I must add, an amazing one. He works with life-like marionettes, not smelly socks like the ones that Jim Henson took off his bathroom floor. Jim Henson just sticks some eyes and noses on his socks, and PRESTO, he's got a multi-billion dollar mega-corporation. How does that happen!? And what's the deal with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy? Try to figure that one out: He did VENTRILOQUISM ON THE RADIO! Boy, has the media evolved. Speaking of our fabulous media, be sure to access the special features on the DVD "Being John Malkovich" and see the actual puppeteer for the movie. This guy was amazing, not like that hack, Edgar Bergen!

Anyway, John Cusack ends up getting a job in a really weird office that is located on the 7 1/2 floor of a New York City office building. The supporting cast is a hoot and the visual gags a blast. In fact, Cameron Diaz is actually good in this film, and she didn't need any hair gel! Anyway, John Cusack discovers a secret door, a portal that actually leads into John Malkovich's mind.

After experiencing this, he decides to sell tickets to this great adventure, so to speak. Maybe, adventure isn't the right word. It's actually a diversion for these people. Imagine being John Malkovich as he showers or picks out different combinations of linen from a catalog. It's the same mundane rituals we all do, but somehow it seems sexy and exciting when it's a celebrity doing it. Did I say "sexy" and "John Malkovich" in the same sentence? This really is a love-fest. It's hard to explain, you just have to see "Being John Malkovich" to know what I mean. It's cute, quirky and engaging. Look for a great cameo by Charlie Sheen. It fits right into the whole quirky and engaging aspect of this twisty flick.

The weird thing is that by the end of the movie I really liked John Malkovich (the person)... wow, the power of cinema and celebrity! Maybe, they can do a sequel, "Being Nick Nolte", after all, I want to like people. ($9.50 Rating)

Edd Rockis - copyright 2002

At Random