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Being John Malkovich (1999)
First 1/3 of movie: **** Second 2/3: ** (possible spoilers)
"Being John Malkovich" is a very well done movie. So why didn't I like it? Let me start by saying that I do like the first third of the movie. The establishment of the hidden surreal environment tucked away right in the middle of Manhattan was particularly well done and appealing.
Why didn't I like it? I'm going to have to get extremely subjective here, so bear with me. I think the main reason that the movie as a whole didn't work for me is a lack of identification with the characters. If you've never had a desire to be someone else then you probably won't identify with the motivations of the Cameron Diaz character. Quite often you can become interested in a character even without such identification. That didn't happen either. As a painfully "normal" and content male I found it incredibly hard to be interested in the hysterical desires of an unattractive woman who is doubting her choice of partner, her sexuality and even her gender. Such musings don't offend me, they simply don't interest me.
As for the other characters, they are almost uniformly unattractive. They are purposely unattractive. If I can't sympathize with the characters and have no superficial interest in any of them then that makes for an unsatisfactory viewing experience. I can tell you objectively that this is a good movie. Subjectively, if you're a heterosexual guy who is comfortable in his own skin with no gender issues or doubts about your sexuality then you stand a good chance of being disappointed by this movie. (End note: Enjoyment of this movie in no way implies that you don't fit the personal profile mentioned.)
Gangs of New York (2002)
Bad movie. Great Daniel Day-Lewis.
Daniel Day-Lewis gives an incredible performance in this movie. However, he just isn't on the screen enough to save this dog from drowning. I couldn't believe how bad this movie was. I consider myself a Scorsese fan. He's really done some great stuff but this clunker should have been mothballed to save his reputation. Oscar nomination for best picture? You gotta be kidding me. What a coup for the hype machine. This emperor is struttin' around in his birthday suit.
The Truman Show (1998)
I loved this movie when I first saw it and it really has held up after multiple viewings. If you're looking for the slapstick that Carrey is known for then look elsewhere. However, if you like original stories presented with great production values and a talented cast then this is your movie! 9/10