611 Being John Malkovich

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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kinjitsu
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611 Being John Malkovich

#1 Post by kinjitsu » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:28 pm

Being John Malkovich

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Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Or, more specifically, have you ever wanted to crawl through a portal hidden in an anonymous office building and thereby enter the cerebral cortex of John Malkovich for fifteen minutes before being spat out on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike? Then director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman have the movie for you. Melancholy marionettes, office drudgery, a frizzy-haired Cameron Diaz—but that’s not all! Surrealism, possession, John Cusack, a domesticated primate, Freud, Catherine Keener, non sequiturs, and absolutely no romance! But wait: get your Being John Malkovich now and we’ll throw in emasculation, slapstick, Abelard and Heloise, and extra Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

- New high-definition digital restoration, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- New selected-scene audio commentary featuring filmmaker Michel Gondry
- New behind-the-scenes documentary by filmmaker Lance Bangs
- Conversation between John Malkovich and humorist John Hodgman
- Director Spike Jonze discusses Being John Malkovich via photos from its production
- Two films within the film: 7½ Floor Orientation and “American Arts & Culture” Presents John Horatio Malkovich, “Dance of Despair and Disillusionment”
- An Intimate Portrait of the Art of Puppeteering, a documentary by Bangs
- Trailer and TV spots
- PLUS: A booklet featuring a conversation between Jonze and pop-culture critic Perkus Tooth

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#2 Post by The Narrator Returns » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:31 pm

The cover is a joke, but I love this movie immensely, so a Day 1 purchase.

I am disappointed they didn't carry over the page with nothing on it and the interview with a carsick Jonze.

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stevewhamola
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#3 Post by stevewhamola » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:33 pm

Their description of the movie is poorly written too.

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Tom Hagen
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#4 Post by Tom Hagen » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:38 pm

Really wish these features would have had more Kaufman, less NPR-wave ironists who had nothing to do with the film.

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med
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#5 Post by med » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:40 pm

Perkus Tooth is a fictional character in Jonathan Lethem's novel Chronic City.
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And he died in the novel, so good to know he got over that!

Noiradelic
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#6 Post by Noiradelic » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:52 pm

"Perkus Tooth" is Jonathan Lethem's nom de internet.

I saw Hodgman "interview" Lethem for the release of his monograph on They Live, and Hodgman (no surprise) hogged the limelight. It was amusing in its own right, but little substantive discussion of the movie.

EDIT: Kaufman did a co-commentary for ESotSM -- Criterion of all companies couldn't talk him into contributing? Don't really care about Gondry's take when the screenwriter, director and Malkovich are all very much alive and kicking.
Last edited by Noiradelic on Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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mfunk9786
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#7 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:54 pm

Kaufman did a commentary for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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knives
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#8 Post by knives » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:59 pm

Outside of the Bangs stuff the extras seem wholly useless and I honestly think I'll keep to my DVD unless this make a turn for the really cheap.

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manicsounds
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#9 Post by manicsounds » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:04 pm

I wonder if the Bjork song easter egg from the DVD will make it. Apparently, the Universal Blu-ray doesn't have it.

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Zinoviev
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#10 Post by Zinoviev » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:04 pm

I may be in the minority here, but I find John Hodgman and his entire shtick to be painfully unfunny -- that goddamned hobo thing he did a few years ago was just the absolute pits of the universe. Malkovich will probably have a hard time getting a word in edgewise.

On the bright side, the rest of the extras look pretty decent.

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HerrSchreck
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#11 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:07 pm

That descriptive film - blurb is the worst aping of the kind of writing usually seen on a new Pynchon novel's press release/hardbound dustjacket (incredibly left field quirky yet incredibly intelligent-hipster).

Saw this one in the cinema when it came out, and though it'll be fun to revisit, not sure I'll be adding it to my library with study aids.

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MichaelB
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#12 Post by MichaelB » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:15 pm

I probably should give this another go - but first (and only) time round it was ruined for me by my close proximity (in a sold-out London Film Festival premiere, so I couldn't move) to a man who not only had the most annoyingly braying laugh I've ever come across, but who - inevitably - found absolutely everything to be hysterically funny.

It was one of the most painful experiences I've ever had in a cinema, and it still taints my memory of the film a dozen years on.

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#13 Post by The Narrator Returns » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:21 pm

That's the problem with dark comedies; people laugh when they shouldn't. During a screening of Young Adult, there were two young girls behind me who kept laughing at everything. They even laughed at the sex scene.

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Tribe
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#14 Post by Tribe » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:20 pm

med wrote:Perkus Tooth is a fictional character in Jonathan Lethem's novel Chronic City.
SpoilerShow
And he died in the novel, so good to know he got over that!
And, if I recall correctly, Perkus Tooth is introduced in the first chapter of Chronic City at the Criterion Collection headquarters.

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bainbridgezu
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#15 Post by bainbridgezu » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:23 pm

The Narrator Returns wrote:That's the problem with dark comedies; people laugh when they shouldn't. During a screening of Young Adult, there were two young girls behind me who kept laughing at everything. They even laughed at the sex scene.
I had a similar experience with Young Adult (which thankfully didn't hinder my appreciation of the film): nobody in the (fairly crowded) theatre made a peep for the first two-thirds of the movie, but once the film had transitioned through "funny-funny" and "sad-funny" to arrive at "aching despair," that's when everything became suddenly, incontinently hilarious. They must have been laughing beacuse they were uncomfortable, right? Could that many people really be so totally tone-deaf as to the mood of the film playing fifty-feet-wide in front of them?

Back to Being John Malkovich: these supplements are a goddamn joke. Excluding key participants from the release--so what if Kaufman and Jonze were feeling shy, none of the actors could be bothered to participate (excepting Malkovich, who apparently stipulated that he would only answer questions from an asshole of John-fucking-Hodgeman's caliber)--while taking the trouble to record a new commentary with a guy who had nothing to do with the film (and I like listening to Gondry)? And select-scene at that? Jesus. Why didn't they wait and snag Fincher when he was approving the transfer of The Game? At least he's in the movie. ](*,)
Last edited by bainbridgezu on Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#16 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:57 pm

Why do you people all hate Hodgman. Why do you think these extras were Criterion's ideas, and not for instance Spike Jonze's. Why are you so angry.

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dad1153
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#17 Post by dad1153 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:06 am

Looks like I'll be sticking with my HD-DVD copy of "BJM." Shame, if better/more bonus features had been made I would have gone BD.

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Zinoviev
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#18 Post by Zinoviev » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:11 am

matrixschmatrix wrote:Why do you people all hate Hodgman.
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Donald Brown
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#19 Post by Donald Brown » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:21 am

Hodgman is brilliant. The petulant, humorless whiners are free to not press play on the extra that features him.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#20 Post by Roger Ryan » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:41 am

Are we certain that the "Michel Gondry" commentary won't be Jonze himself doing a French accent?

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med
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#21 Post by med » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:52 am

To echo what has already been said by others, given the certainty that this release "wouldn't have been possible without the generous participation of Spike Jonze," Jonze must have had a hand in these extras. And I wouldn't be surprised if the bizarre material from the original DVD release turns up here in some form. An Easter egg, maybe?

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#22 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:06 am

Donald Brown wrote:Hodgman is brilliant. The petulant, humorless whiners are free to not press play on the extra that features him.
I don't often agree with you, but I'm with you 100% on this one.

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Zinoviev
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#23 Post by Zinoviev » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:35 am

Donald Brown wrote:Hodgman is brilliant. The petulant, humorless whiners are free to not press play on the extra that features him.
True enough. My petulance is partly born of envy. I suppose I'd always secretly hoped that if a pudgy, bespectacled nerd with odd hair would be included on a Criterion extra, it would be me.

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domino harvey
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#24 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:40 am

I don't know why everyone's complaining, this looks like the best issue of Wholphin yet

TotheLastShot
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Re: 611 Being John Malkovich

#25 Post by TotheLastShot » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:31 am

I'm incredibly disappointed there are no features dedicated to Charlie Kaufman. The LEAST they could have done was include a writing credit to him on the atrocious cover. Whenever discussing BJM, Adaptation, or Eternal Sunshine I always think of it as a Kaufman film first and foremost. They always feel more influenced by him than by the director, in my opinion. I'm pretty sure he's given lectures on the writing of Being John Malkovich, so I don't think it's that he's unwilling to give insight or talk about it.

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