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I Heart Huckabees

Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Jude Law, Naomi Watts, and Mark Wahlberg
Directed/written by: David O. Russell
Soundtrack Review
Interview: Composer Jon Brion


Buy it!

DVD Features:
Available subtitles: English, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
Commentary by director David O. Russell
Commentary by Jason Schwartzman, Mark Wahlberg, and Naomi Watts
Anamorphic widescreen and full-screen formats


Bluntly speaking? I Heart Huckabees is an intellectual slapstick comedy! It is an existentially creative journey into the 10th dimension grounded in seamlessly complex layers of humanity, humor and stark luminosity and the most original film in a year. Huckabees' eclectic ensemble cast is nothing short of radiant as they dance in the words and scenes writer director David O. Russell has created for them.

Story goes…Albert Markovski (Jason Schwartzman) is having a bad day. He's the voice of a struggling nature preservation chapter whose recent "success" was saving a boulder in a marshland. He's losing his fuzzy outlook and starts to wonder what it's all about.

Enter two detectives, Existential Detectives, husband and wife team Bernard and Vivian Jaffe (Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin). Albert hopes by allowing these unconventional brainiacs unlimited access into his small mundane life, which includes a repetitive coincidence with a stranger, maybe he can discover some grand connection in things. Or maybe not. It's Being versus Nothingness stufamagal - and it's brilliant.

But the detectives soon discover a thorn in Albert's metaphysical healing in the form of a handsome sociopath, disguised as a yuppie, named Brad Stand (Jude Law). This Stand fellow is a classic corporate schmoozer-type, complete with the shark-skin suite and the BMW SUV. He lurks within a large retail store called Huckabees.

And while Brad wouldn't know a Giant Oak from a Knotty Pine he'll happily flash those baby blues for their cause - if it'll get him that corner office on the top floor with the view of the Nuetra sculpture.

Brad decides the best way to weedle into the preserve's chapter, ultimately for Huckabees' growth, is to use Albert's Existential Detectives himself. Brad knows this will rattle Albert, cause a nuclear meltdown (mentally), and thusly allow him to become chairman of chapter - and bag the land-for-expansion Huckabees needs without any of those messy tree huggin' publicity faux pas.

The detectives' affect on Brad is not quite as smooth as this lizard would have expected. He starts to explore his uncontrollable ambition and ultra-yuppie relationship with the Huckabees' poster girl (Naomi Watts). Soon Brad discovers his perfect little house, with its perfect façade is not really him. But how is he not himself?

Meanwhile, Albert freaks out as planned by Brad, and slips over to the other spectrum of being contemplation - the nothingness of being - the random. Albert hooks up with the detectives' disgruntled near-mad client Tommy (Mark Wahlberg). Tommy, has a bit of an anger management issue, and has pooh-poohed the detectives and their everything is connected brouhaha. He's fallen in with their counter thought theorist Caterine Vauban (Isabelle Huppert). And Albert is starting to see the non interconnectiveness of reality. I think.

The cast is lead through their mind maze by Blunt fave Jason Schwartzman (a guy who looks as if he shares DNA with Keith Moon) Jason's a treasure. A versatile nugget of talent.

Then there's Jude Law *sigh*, who even as a smarmy barracuda with Duran Duran hair, is pouncable. Jude and Naomi Watts are electric as the yuppy couple from hell.

Added to the conundrum are Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman as the quirky detectives. This may be the start of a new on-screen duo - there's nothing these two can't deliver and for them to have made these detective characters so real just proves my theory. Mark Wahlberg as the deep thinking madman has some of the funniest lines...just listen closely. Even insane he's a tamale of lusty cakes.

This is an uber-intelligent art house comedy - squared - that would make Charlie Kaufman ponder a bit on the ride home. Enjoy.

Snack recommendation: Mud pies and minty lemon infused mojitos.

DVD Features:
Available subtitles: English, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
Commentary by director David O. Russell
Commentary by Jason Schwartzman, Mark Wahlberg, and Naomi Watts
Anamorphic widescreen and full-screen formats

 


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