Blu-Ray Review: Being John Malkovich

Back in 1998, John Malkovich was considered to be one of those actors who thought a great deal of himself. Unsurprisingly, he started out in theatre, making his Broadway debut alongside Dustin Hoffman in Death of a Salesman. As well as winning an Emmy for the TV adaptation, Malkovich has been nominated for two Oscars (Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire). However, in Spike Jonze’s 1999 film Being John Malkovich we see him in a totally different light.

Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is an unemployed puppeteer stuck in an unhappy marriage with animal fanatic Lotte (Cameron Diaz). After securing a low-level admin job, Craig falls for one of his new colleagues, Maxine (Catherine Keener). However, she’s has absolutely no interested in him whatsoever. When one day he discovers a portal into the mind of John Malkovich in his office, everything changes.  

Being John Malkovich is one of those rare films which has a premise so utterly bizarre and unusual that it’s a stroke of ingenious. Much of this is down to Charlie Kaufman’s brilliant Oscar-nominated script and Malkovich Malkovich’s willingness to throw himself into the conceit. Whilst Jonze does a fabulous job of keeping everything under control. Being John Malkovich is one of a kind. Outlandish, hilarious and exceedingly clever.


  • Restored from a 4K scan of the original camera negative and approved by director Spike Jonze
  • High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original 5.1 DTS-HD master audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Select scene audio commentary by Jonze’s friend and competitor, the filmmaker Michel Gondry
  • John Malkovich and John Hodgman, a conversation between the film’s star and the actor, writer and humourist
  • Strung Along, a new featurette exploring the marionettes made for the film, featuring newly shot interviews with puppeteer Phillip Huber and puppeteer/designer/fabricators Kamela Portuges and Lee Armstrong
  • The 7½ Floor, the full corporate orientation video seen in the film
  • John Horatio Malkovich: Dance of Despair and Disillusionment, the full pseudo-documentary seen in the film
  • An Interview with Director Spike Jonze, a brief chat with the director filmed under duress by Lance Bangs
  • An Intimate Portrait of the Art of Puppeteering, an archival interview with Phillip Huber filmed on set by Lance Bangs
  • An Intimate Portrait of the Art of Background Driving, an on-set look at filming the New Jersey Turnpike sequence by Lance Bangs
  • Don’t Enter Here, There Is Nothing Here
  • Theatrical trailer and TV spots
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Vero Navarro

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Roger Keen and archive publicity materials

Being John Malkovich is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Films on 12 August.

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