Friday, August 1, 2008

Operation Screenshot (Films of the 2000s): David O. Russell's I Heart Huckabees (2004)

I Heart Huckabees 1

I Heart Huckabees 2

I Heart Huckabees 3

I Heart Huckabees 4

I Heart Huckabees 5

I Heart Huckabees 6

I Heart Huckabees 7

I Heart Huckabees 8

I Heart Huckabees 9

I Heart Huckabees 10


Ed Howard said...

Man, you're on a roll with these. This film got a lot of hate, but I thought it was just incredibly clever and so much fun. I saw it at a suburban multiplex when it first came out and I was pretty much the only one there; it was a bit odd sitting alone in a big empty theater and laughing my ass off. I love that Russell had the balls to go ahead and make a comedy based around philosophical ideas. The film really gets at the characters' existential crises, the way they are conflicted between all these differing ideas.

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Thanks Ed,
I was curious to see the reaction this choice would get as I know it's definately not everyone's cup of tea.

I had a similiar experience to yours...saw it the first weekend Louisville got it in a basically empty theater and was just bowled over by it. Everything from Russell's brave script and direction to the performances to Brion's perfect score just hit me.
I've found the film gets better and better with each viewing and the extras on the two disc set are simply out of sight.

I've been thinking about starting a series here to go along with this one based on my favorite performances of the decade and one of the first I would honor would be Mark Wahlberg in this...I find his portrayel of the confused and searching fireman to be among the funniest and most moving of the decade...thanks for the comments! I love this film.

Nostalgia Kinky said...

One more thing Ed,
What do you think of Russell's other films? This is my favorite but I have a lot of love for FLIRTING WITH DISASTER and think his other two are pretty special as well. I know the guy isn't among the easiest people to work with but his originality and vision make him one of modern American cinema's greats to my eyes.

Ed Howard said...

I'm with you on this being Russell's best, but I do like his other films quite a bit. Three Kings is great, a hilarious and poignant political allegory -- and one I should probably revisit to see how its examination of the first Gulf War holds up in the throes of the second. I also have real love for Flirting as a modern screwball farce. I'll happily watch pretty much anything with Patricia Arquette in it, anyway, and she gives a real fun, sexy performance in that one. I haven't seen his first film yet.

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Oh man isn't Arquette great? I'm glad she has found so much success on the small screen in MEDIUM but I miss seeing her in films. Her performance in FLIRTING is one I greatly admire...
I have been wanting to rewatch THREE KINGS again lately as it has been awhile. They prepared a big new special edition awhile back but it got nixed by the studio which really bugged me. I remember thinking it was a really specail film...thanks agaian Ed.

Keith said...

I've not met many people who liked this film. I did though. It had a great cast, script, etc. I really liked Mark Wahlberg here. It shows he can act.

By the way, I posted my blog where you tagged me. Check it out. Thanks.

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Thanks Keith,
Glad to hear you like the film as did polarize a lot of folks so it's good to hear some more love for it.
I'll head over in a bit and check your post...thanks!

James Hansen said...

Maybe I'm not into existentialism or something, but I thought this movie was just ok. I'm not a hater like some (ok...MANY) of my friends. At the same time, it is so up front and mostly irritating. It's not that the philosophy is bad...a lot of the film was just kind of stale, I think. I'd watch this again though...I mildly enjoyed about half of it, and really didn't like the other half. Oh well.

Thanks for keeping this series going! Always fun to see!

James Hansen said...

PS- Brandon's 12 movies meme is up. Mine will be up sometime late tonight... Thanks for linking us!

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Thanks James,
It's good to get some altering viewpoints on the film as I know it has its critics...I'll head over now and check out Brandon's meme and will look forward to yours...thanks!

Brandon Colvin said...



I've been semi-fanatical about this film since the first time I saw it, sitting alone, having rented it on a whim from Movie Gallery. I popped the movie in, watched it, laughed, had my mind blown a little, and then immediately called my girlfriend to come over and watch it AGAIN. Then, the next day, I watched it with one of my friends and the day after that, he and I got another one of our friends to watch it with is. I ended up viewing the film five times before I returned it to rental store and I'm sure I've probably seen it around 11 or 12 times at this point. I don't really understand all of the hate directed toward I HEART HUCKABEES, particularly since I consider its lofty up-frontness and unabashedly high-falutin' concepts to be part of the whole gag. It's so absurd, which is something the film might come to a conclusion to about both life and itself.

P.S. James, this film hardly scratches the surface of existentialism and introduces a lot of concepts foreign to existentialism that actually belong to neo-Buddhist thought, especially the philosophical writings of Bob Thurman (Uma's dad).

P.P.S. This film also warms my heart like hot cocoa. I think Jon Brion's score has something to do with it.

James Hansen said...

Thanks for the clarification, Brandon. Shows how much I know about philosophy that doesn't revolve around Freud (or does it?...doesn't everything?) I liked the film, but just didn't have any major breakthroughs with it. Funny as it may be, its philosophical wanderings just made me frustrated rather than exhilirated. That said, I still remember Wahlberg and the woman dipping their faces in mud...that's the lasting image for me...maybe for a good reason.

Unknown said...

What? No love for SPANKING THE MONKEY? (I just realized that read out of context, that sounds really odd). I've been a fan of Russell's ever since his very off-kilter debut with a young Jeremy Davies. Again, saw it in a theater with maybe one other person there. Very weird. It's one of those films where you don't know where to laugh or if you even should.

I really love THREE KINGS. I think that's probably my fave film of Russell's and easily the best film on either Iraq war (altho, I really like JARHEAD) and I would really like to watch it again and see if it holds up as someone else pointed out.

HUCKABEES is an odd to be sure. I think it has Mark Wahlberg's best performance to date - even better than BOOGIE NIGHTS. He is just so good and funny... same with everyone else. Even Jude Law is good in it and usually I can't stand him (altho, he was great in THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY).

I'm looking forward to Russell's latest, but I heard that it has been having money problems. The premise sounds intriguing.

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Thanks Brandon for the enthusiastic comments and great story of your first HUCKABEES encounter. You've got me beat by at least half a dozen viewings as I think I am just up to four or five.
I know what you mean about that Brion soundtrack. Some of the songs actually appeared first on his MEANINGLESS LP which Russell had heard and loved. MEANINGLESS is one fo the great under the radar recordings of the decade as he couldn't get anyone to release it so he had to put it out's freaking amazing though. I think the HUCKABEES LP is the equal to anything he has done soundtrack wise...even as good as his work with PTA.

Thanks James for the continuing comments and thanks JD for sharing your thoughts as well. Wahlberg is pretty much my main go to guy in modern American film (hell, I even sat through all of THE HAPPENING because of him) and I agree about his work here being as good as BOOGIE NIGHTS...I also really like his performance in INVINCIBLE a lot although the film itself isn't in the same league as these major ones. I think he's great in everything he does (with THE HAPPENING excluded but I don't blame him for that one)...

Nostalgia Kinky said...

On an unrelated note Brandon...check out the extra features on the CIAO MANHATTAN DVD sometime. Along with lots of amazing additional Edie Sedgwick footage in the sixties they have clips of Uma Thurman's mom (as well as dad I believe)...very striking stuff with her mom being at the very least as stunning as her daughter is.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I like INVINCIBLE as well. A nice, nostalgic piece. Wahlberg and Elizabeth Banks had good chemistry in that one, which I'm sure I don't have to draw your attention to, eh Jeremy?

Steve Langton said...

Turned down a ticket to see this at the London Film Festival, and have still yet to see it. Must remedy this soon.

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Thanks JD,
Yea, my Elizabeth Banks fixation helps those scenes along nicely. That's a nicely done old fashioned film and Mark is really terrific in it.

Thanks Steve,
Let me know your thoughts if you can when you get to see this...