SRP $29.98 1.85:1 DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 UNIVERSAL
 

UNIVERSAL  has released one of the most innovative comedy films of the past decade, "BEING JOHN MALKOVICH."  Not only the directorial debut of Spike Jonze, brilliant, but Cameron Diaz actually gives a fine performance, and that's a rare feat of its own! John Cusack is terrific as a puppeteer, finding real, albeit mundane employment as a filing clerk. One day, while filing, he finds a small door behind a cabinet, leading(not kidding) into the actual mind of actor John Malkovich. To say anymore isn't necessary. The entire film is brilliant and Charlie Sheen provides a terrific surprise cameo that keeps in tone with the uncanny humor of the rest of the film.

UNIVERSAL has provided a 1080p/VC-1 transfer with the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  Surprisingly, and gratefully, "BEING JOHN MALKOVICH" fares much better in visual quality than many recent HD-DVD Universal catalogue releases.  While Director Jonze intentionally gives the film a darker, subdued look, the image is always impressive. Colors are never vibrant, but always look realistic. Fleshtones appear natural throughout.  Contrast is generally impressive, however, darker scenes lack the deep blacks and grays found on many superior hd-dvd releases. Detail is impressive throughout.

UNIVERSAL has provided a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix. While not an aggressive mix, surrounds and discrete effects are utilized with the same genius creativity that Jonze uses on every other aspect of the film. Dialogue is extremely important here, and it's never subdued, but rather complimented by the other effects taking place alongside it.  Bass is subdued, but the dynamic range is generally quite impressive. A much more immersive experience than expected.

There are some extras here, but nothing that impressive.