by Cara Gardner

The first time I saw this movie, it was a on a bootleg DVD a friend brought back from Malaysia. Made from a camcorder that recorded the movie as it played in a theater, the quality was less than stellar. Scenes were cut off, the sound was bad, the background was fuzzy, and I kept hearing someone in the theater coughing - all the makings for a really lousy viewing experience. But I loved I & sect; Huckabees; the bootleg DVD's poor quality just enhanced the absurdity and likeability of the film for me. This puts me in the "lovers" category of reviewers for this movie, and the lovers and haters are split 50/50. There is no "so-so" with this flick. It will either having you chuckling through the entire thing or you'll be wondering what the hell is wrong with the people who wrote such a script. That said, the two-disc special edition DVD is only for those who truly & sect; Huckabees.

In addition to the movie, the special edition includes commentaries by director David O. Russell and actors Jason Schwartzman, Mark Wahlberg and Naomi Watts; an interview on The Charlie Rose Show; 22 extended and deleted scenes; five out-takes; two versions of the detectives' infomercial; the "Knock Yourself Out" music video; commentary on the music video; and behind-the-scenes features for both the infomercial and the music video. Basically, you can & sect; Huckabees yourself to death. And for some people, that's just the kind of neurotic funhouse they're looking for.

I & sect; Huckabees is intellectual silliness at an extreme; not everyone will be in on the joke. Basically, the movie is a romp through the existential psyche: Does anything matter? What is matter? If matter exists, how do we know what matters? Nothing? If nothing matters, then there is no such thing as good and bad, right and wrong. And then what?! But if everything matters, how in the world can you even get through one second of your life without worrying about the effect every action and decision has on the matter around you? Ah, philosophy and delirium -- ad nauseam. Only a couple of existential detectives could figure all this out. Oh, and there's irony, too: you're not supposed to think about the film too much because, well, it doesn't really matter. Embrace the chaos.

Publication date: 03/03/05

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