Welcome back to another episode of Max, Mike; Movies in our series “In Ancient Times: the 90’s.” Say, do you want to be John Malkovich? Sure, we all do! But how many movies have addressed this very question? As far as we know, only 1999’s “Being John Malkovich” has dared to do this! Directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie “Normal? What Does That Mean?” Kaufman (a first effort for both), this movie is . . . different. One of the reasons we’ve been talking so much about movies of the 90’s is that while this decade brought us some major trend-setters and blockbusters, it also brought us some remarkably edgy, daring, and experimental wide-release movies. “Being John Malkovich” is decidedly one of the latter. Dealing with both the painfully mundane and a sort of magical realism where crawling through a tiny door can land you inside the brain of John Malkovich (like you do), this movie brings us some strange and often uncomfortable ideas, intriguingly executed, and some remarkable performances by the likes of John Cusack, an almost unrecognizable Cameron Diaz, and playing the role of John Malkovich . . . John Malkovich! Interesting choice. Me, I would have gone with Pee Wee Herman, but they didn’t ask me. I’m sure that’s one of the director’s major regrets. When will Hollywood learn that most important of lessons: always ask Max.
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