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Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell 
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
peng wrote:
Syd Henderson wrote:
I remember enjoying it and thinking it decidedly odd, but not sure why.

I'll always like "Three Kings" for a certain delightful scene involving cellphones.


And surely the "Holy cow!" moment?


That, too.

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Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:36 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
4/7

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I <3 Huckabees (2004) - 3/10

Well, this is the other side of ambition. An unholy mix of Russell's neuroses, Wes Anderson, Charlie Kaufman, and someone's therapy session notes. Sure, I get the message, but I don't really care for the presentation at all. If a movie is constantly mocking pretentious behaviors, all the time, doesn't it just loop back and behave so itself? A barrage of annoying dialogue and uneccessary quirks also don't help. The movie is saved a little by enthusiastic performers and a few random moments that work, like when Lily Tomlin leaps into a car.


Also, it seems the famous Lilly Tomlin/David O. Russell fight was taken down from youtube. I did get to see that a few years ago. After seeing the movie, I suppose it was inevitable that one or two actors would get eventually fed up with his content and method.

There's still a Lilly Tomlin solo freakout, though.


Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:24 am
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
Sounds like you and I share the same opinion on this film, Russell spends so much time lampooning pretentiousness that the movie itself gives off an aura of pretentiousness, as a result the film utterly fails in the satire department. Also i'd be hard pressed to think of a film with more annoying and unlikeable character then this one, Russell apparently didn't get the memo that "quirky" dosen't necessarily equal "funny".


Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:28 am
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
5/7

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The Fighter (2010) - 7/10

Surprisingly mainstream and atypical for Russell, but I guess he had to go low-key after burning a lot of bridges six years prior. The framework is very generic, but Russell still managed to inject his trademark family dynamic and quirks into the proceeding. It is a movie of small pleasures, the chief of which are many great performances. Christian Bale deservedly got that Oscar for a performance that's not only dramatic but also deeply funny. Every time he shared the screen with Melissa Leo or the delightful Amy Adams it's pure firework. Loved the "I Started a Joke" scene he shared with the former very much, although that may be partly from hearing my dad singing it on so many road trips.

Also, if Matt Damon has been in the Dicky role as intended with Wahlberg, it would have been so very confusing, but awesomely hilarious too.


Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:05 am
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
peng wrote:
The Fighter (2010) - 7/10

Surprisingly mainstream and atypical for Russell, but I guess he had to go low-key after burning a lot of bridges six years prior. The framework is very generic, but Russell still managed to inject his trademark family dynamic and quirks into the proceeding. It is a movie of small pleasures, the chief of which are many great performances.


Sums it up perfectly. The Fighter is probably the only Russell film that feels like anyone could have directed it and that's probably why I'm not as fond of it as many other people are. It is well-done and those performances are great. But it's definitely the least of his films, although as you noted, the main reason most likely made it was because I Heart Huckabees had painted him into a corner and this was the only way out.

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Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:14 am
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
6/7

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Silver Linings Playbook (2012) - 8.5/10

A classic screwball comedy with modern tweaks. The performances and direction are really superb in this one. Going in this time with some of the criticisms in mind (like the last act), I still am utterly charmed. Russell mixes the mainstream with his own neurotic better than The Fighter, and yet somehow it still feels very personal. His usual edge and neurotic characters are still there, but as signified by Pat's "Farewell to Arms" rant, Russell doesn't tone down the severity of what the characters are going through as much as he looks at it optimistically. In the end, what they have will never go away, but in the moment that they finally find another to understand and share it with, it just feels that way, especially as the movie is filtered through Pat's point of view (with his bookended voice-over).

I also forgot how the movie ends on Christmas, making it a pretty apt watch.


Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:24 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
peng wrote:
6/7

Image

Silver Linings Playbook (2012) - 8.5/10

A classic screwball comedy with modern tweaks. The performances and direction are really superb in this one. Going in this time with some of the criticisms in mind (like the last act), I still am utterly charmed. Russell mixes the mainstream with his own neurotic better than The Fighter, and yet somehow it still feels very personal. His usual edge and neurotic characters are still there, but as signified by Pat's "Farewell to Arms" rant, Russell doesn't tone down the severity of what the characters are going through as much as he looks at it optimistically. In the end, what they have will never go away, but in the moment that they finally find another to understand and share it with, it just feels that way, especially as the movie is filtered through Pat's point of view (with his bookended voice-over).

I also forgot how the movie ends on Christmas, making it a pretty apt watch.


I love this movie, I own the blu ray and I have watched several times. I can hardly wait to buy American Hustle blu ray too 8-)

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Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:45 am
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
7/7

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American Hustle (2013) - 7.5/10

Electric performances, especially by Amy Adams, enliven a jumble mess of a script, which keeps lurching and pausing all over the place. The 70s style often veers between honest recreation and outright parody. Russell's direction is energetic and his characters neurotic as usual, and he has us fairly engaged in what could have been a standard "based on true story" film. Not his best, but very fun in the moment.


Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:31 am
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
Ranking his complete works:

Three Kings
Silver Linings Playbook
Flirting with Disaster
American Hustle
Spanking the Monkey
The Fighter


<enormous gap>

I Heart Huckabees

All in all, a very distinctive director who really brings out good-to-great performances from his stars. His films may not hit the mark every time, but at least are always interesting.


Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:37 am
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
peng wrote:
Ranking his complete works:

Three Kings
Silver Linings Playbook
Flirting with Disaster
American Hustle
Spanking the Monkey
The Fighter


<enormous gap>

I Heart Huckabees

All in all, a very distinctive director who really brings out good-to-great performances from his stars. His films may not hit the mark every time, but at least are always interesting.


Thanks for this thread, I enjoyed very much as DOR is becoming one of my favourite Directors. I have not seen his complete work but If I use the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) and Rotten Tomatoes (RT) to rank his work, then it goes as follow:

    American Hustle IMDB(8.1) RT(94%)
    Three Kings IMDB(7.2) RT (94%)
    Silver Lining Playbook IMDB (7.9) RT(92%)
    The Fighter IMDB (7.9) RT(91%)
    Spanking the monkey IMDB(6.3) RT (91%)
    Flirting with Disaster IMDB (6.8) RT 86%)
    I Heart Huckabees IMDB(6.7) RT(62%)

America Hustle is so far the best reviewed in RT and also liked in IMDB althought in this Forum seems not very highly regarded except by myself :(

Cheers

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Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:23 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
Quote:
His roles in Lost and Justified is the only other ones I have seen from Jeremy Davies.


you've never seen Saving Private Ryan?


Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:39 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
It's been so long since I've seen that (when I was 12-13 I think), and I think then I was just a "casual" movie watcher. I actually couldn't remember anyone else besides Tom Hanks and Matt Damon.


Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:01 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
I plan on seeing American Hustle very soon. But as I said, aside from Flirting with Disaster and Spanking the Monkey, which I haven't seen, I've loved ALL of his movies.

They all get an 8/10 or 3.5 stars out of 4 from me.

But Three Kings is definitely the best. Followed by The Fighter. Then Huckabees and then Silver Linings. That's my order of his flicks.


Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:31 am
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
calvero wrote:
Quote:
His roles in Lost and Justified is the only other ones I have seen from Jeremy Davies.


you've never seen Saving Private Ryan?

Like me, he probably had trouble caring about the characters in that film. :|

Anyway, here's how I'd rank Russell's films so far:
1. "Three Kings"
2. "Silver Linings Playbook"
3. "Flirting with Disaster"
4. "The Fighter"
5. "I Heart Huckabees"
6. "American Hustle"
7. "Spanking the Monkey"


Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:40 am
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
The synopsis for I Heart Huckabees seems very interesting. It's a shame the feedback on it is so poor.

Fit for remake?

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Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:35 am
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
Very cool interview with DOR

David O. Russell interviewed by Edith Bowman BBC Radio on 3 Jan 2014 (~12 Min)

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Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:51 am
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
NotHughGrant wrote:
The synopsis for I Heart Huckabees seems very interesting. It's a shame the feedback on it is so poor.

Fit for remake?


I enjoyed it a lot, but it has a very specific sense of humor and is very offbeat in its approach, so I can't say I'm at all surprised that it's a love-it-or-hate-it kind of film, and that many viewers are on the "hate it" side. Certainly if you don't find it funny, then you're not going to be impressed. The one thing I think is pretty undeniable, even if you don't like it, is that the acting is all-around great (arguably Mark Wahlberg's best performance, and Watts is hilarious in her post-breakdown state, just to name a couple players), a common feature in Russell's work. If you appreciate acting it certainly won't be a waste of time.

Remake? Doubt it. It's arguably too personal and specific for another person to try it. But you never know.


Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:48 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
NotHughGrant wrote:
The synopsis for I Heart Huckabees seems very interesting. It's a shame the feedback on it is so poor.

Fit for remake?

It's such a singular movie that I'm not sure it's the kind of thing you can nip, tuck, and reshuffle. Its mixed reception is less a result of "room for improvement" and more a result of "really, really, REALLY not for everybody."

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Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:53 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
Good. I'll give it a shot I think


I do like, O'Russell, he's a bit like a good version Soderbergh

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Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:08 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does Underseen Director#1: David O. Russell
I'd rank the ones I've seen
1) Silver Linings Playbook
2) Three Kings
3) American Hustle
4) Flirting with Disaster
5) The Fighter

I haven't seen "Spanking the Monkey" and consider me warned about "I Heart Huckabees."

Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook" reminds me strongly of Barbra Streisand when she was doing screwball comedy, which is not a bad thing at all to remind me of. I was glad to see her win the Oscar for that.

I'm one of the few people who didn't like Christian Bale in "The Fighter." I found him more annoying than good. Leo and Amy Adams were great. Bale, Adams and Lawrence are all so good in "American Hustle" that I wish the film were better. (I'm not criticizing Cooper or Renner who are also good; the others stood out more for me. I thought Cooper was better in "The Place Beyond the Pines," and Lawrence in "Catching Fire.")

I guess Russell must have reformed because the same actors keep coming back to work with him.

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Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:31 pm
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