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The Big Lebowski (DVD)
Member Name: oldreekie
The Big Lebowski (DVD)
Date: 21/05/01, updated on 24/08/01 (121 review reads)
Advantages: john goodman, brilliant dialogue, its just superb
Disadvantages: not one
Imagine a movie were an ageing whacked out hippie is cast as the central character in a twisted Raymond Chandler-esque tale of kidnap, extortion, trophy wives, dodgy porn, German nihilists, missing millions...and bowling, and you would be half way to imagining this brilliant movie.
Written, produced and directed by the extremely talented Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, it is the incredibly funny story of Jeff Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) a.k.a. "The Dude" who is accosted one night in his apartment by two thugs looking to collect a debt from a Bunny Lebowski for porn king, Jackie Treehorn. During this encounter two things happen.
1. "The Dude"s rug gets peed on.
2. The thugs realise that Bunny Lebowski is the wife of local millionaire businessman Jeff Lebowski and not Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski.
Recounting this tale to his bowling buddies, he is convinced by Walter (John Goodman) that the millionaire Lebowski should compensate him for the soiling of his rug so he arranges to go see him. However The Big Lebowski is less than sympathetic to "The Dude"s story but "The Dude" helps himself to a nice Persian on the way out anyway.
Next thing, "The Dude" is being asked to return to the The Big Lebowski's mansion as Bunny Lebowski, whom it turns is a blond beach babe half the age of her husband, has been kidnapped for a ransom of $1million. "The Dude" is asked to be the bag man on the assumption that the guys who soiled his rug are the kidnappers and "The Dude" would be able to confirm this when he hands over the money.
With me so far?
Needless to say from here on things get very complicated and dense. And funny.
As I said earlier the Coens have taken a familair plot line but have managed to do something magically leftfield with it. You get the impression they had a lot of fun writing it and it shows.
The script crackles
with brilliant ideas and the dialogue is superb.
My favourite scene is a fantasy musical number in a bowling alley that plays like Busby Berkley on acid.
The performances are also universally brilliant.
Jeff Bridges looks as if he was born to play the laid back, stoned slacker "The Dude", who wants nothing more from life than to get high and chill out on dope and White Russians and go bowling. Jeff doesnt so much act the role as wear it.
John Goodman plays "The Dude"s best buddy and bowling partner Walter Sobchak. Walter is an vietnam vet who clearly has many unresolved rage issues. The phrase "making mountians out of mole-hills" should be Walter's family motto. This guy could turn a game of Happy Families into the third world war. John Goodman's performance is superb and he completely steals the show.
Steve Buscemi is the other bowling buddy, Donny. He doesnt have much to do in the movie, except to have a lot of Walter's rage issues verbally directed at him.
Julianne Moore is Maude Lebowski, radical feminist artist daughter of The Big Lebowski. Watching her in this movie you realise that her talents were wasted in "Hannibal".
Coen Brother regular John Turturro has a minor but very memorable role as bowling rival, Jesus. The scene where we first see him is one of the best in the whole movie.
Sam Elliott plays The Stranger, a mysterious..erhm...stranger, a kinda droopy moustached cowboy type, who top and tails (and has a bit in the middle of) the movie. Why? I dont know!
One of the funniest and most original movies Ive ever seen and definitely the best movie ever made about nothing at all.
The movie is rated "18". There is a helluva lot of swearing but minimal violence or sex. Id guess the certificate is for the drug references.