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Featured Movie Reviews

The Big Lebowski


I love discovering great films. Seeing The Coen brothers brilliant 1998 hit THE BIG LEBOWSKI for the first time last week was one of the best movie experiences I’ve had in a long time, generating more laughs per frame than any comedy in recent memory.

Jeff Bridges is at his best as “The Dude” Lebowski, who gets mistaken for a much wealthier Lebowski and is pulled into a kidnapping plot. Bridges is as good as it gets and his stoned one liners throughout are so perfectly delivered that you cant imagine anyone else in the role.

Luckily for us (but not so much for The Dude) he’s surrounded by an eccentric group of friends. John Goodman is fall over funny as fellow bowler and hair-trigger Vietnam vet and Jewish convert (Not on the Sabbath!) Walter Sobchak. His constant shouts of “STFU DONNIE!” to Theodore Donald Kerabatsos (the stunningly deadpan Steve Buscemi) get funnier every time you hear them.

Goodman’s rants at a diner “Lady, I got buddies who died face down in the muck so that you and I could enjoy this family restaurant!” kill me. If anger management had a poster child, it would be Walter.

As the Dude meets the very wealthy Big Lebowski (David Huddleston), he is drawn into a complicated plot involving a hilariously uptight Philip Seymour Hoffman as Big’s personal assistant, Julianne Moore as Big’s eccentric artist ex-wife Maude, Big’s current young wife Bunny (Tara Reid) and a motley crew of kidnapping nihilists including Peter Stormare (Fargo) and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Consider that one of the best characters, Jesus Quintana (“You got a date Wednesday, baby!”) is so fully formed and hilariously played by John Turturro that its hard to believe he only has about two minutes of screen time. I’ve seen hundreds of movies where the lead character isn’t as interesting as the purple jumpsuit clad Jesus.

Sam Elliot shows up as a Cowboy narrator with virtually no desire to assemble all the brilliant parts of this puzzle for you. Thankfully, we are all on our own to figure it out.

The Coen Brothers are genius at word play, stunning visuals and colliding every weird character type you can imagine with purpose.

When The Dude started having visions of himself flying through the air and landing in a bowling lane made of beautiful ladies, I was laughing out loud at the sheer audacity the Coens have to conjure this mix out of sheer air and create one of the most consistently funny and entertaining movies of the last twenty years.

The soundtrack rocks, with plenty of CCR and Dylan and some classical music sprinkled in.

When The Dude meets the Big, he shares this intro of himself: “Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not "Mr. Lebowski". You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.”

Bridges delivers this so well that you sit back knowing you are in for a couple hours of brilliance.

Hilarious, relentlessly profane, clever and riddled with dialogue that seems penned by Aaron Sorkin blended with Tarantino and a dash of Monty Python, The Coen Brothers masterpiece is one of my all time TOP 10 films. I can’t wait to watch this again.

The Dude gets an A+.

That rug really did tie the room together, did it not?

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