Monday, June 30, 2008

That, and a Pair of Testicles.

The Big Lebowski

Original Release: 03.06.1998
Rated R

1 hour, 57 minutes


I am writing this because it was supposed to be a contribution to the LAMB Movie of the Month. Even though I am a day late and dollar short from being listed as a bonafide contributor, this is one film that deserves a few words.

If you haven't figured it out by the Dirty Undies subsection in my reviews or the Que Ridiculo! Award in my Confessions of a Reel Whore year-in-review segment, I'm what you call a fanatic of this particular Coen Brothers masterpiece. If you're like Donny and have no frame of reference for the film I am speaking of - and if you didn't get that reference, it's obvious you're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know - I am speaking, of course, about The Big Lebowski.

Jeffrey Lebowski, a.k.a. The Dude (Jeff Bridges, The Fisher King), is an easy breezy guy who spends his time bowling with his best buds Walter (John Goodman, Raising Arizona) and Donny (Steve Buscemi, Big Fish), drinking White Russians and adhering to a pretty strict drug regimen to keep his mind limber. One day the Dude returns home to be attacked by two men looking to collect money for debts his 'wife' Bunny Lebowski has incurred all over town. The Dude convinces these guys that it is all a case of mistaken identity. The Dude decides this aggression will not stand and seeks reparation from the other Jeffrey Lebowski. This mundane request ripples through the Dude's peaceful existence, introducing a barrage of eccentric characters, outrageous situations and a few drug-induced hallucinations. And to think, all Dude ever wanted was his rug back.

The Big Lebowski is the Coen Brothers' Bohemian Rhapsody!

There. I said it. A pretty bold statement to be sure, but one that is well deserving. To me, The Big Lebowski was that film project that the Coen Brothers knew was golden despite warnings to the contrary. There's no argument that it's a comedy, but it's got a smidgen of mystery, a touch of western flavor, and an astounding amount of poetry, both verbal and visual. I discover something new with every viewing. The Big Lebowski is just layer upon layer of detail. It's storytelling and direction at their greatest.

But the Coen Brothers wonderful style alone isn't what makes this movie click. The actors are phenomenal. I'd say that the Dude is the greatest role of Jeff Bridges' career. John Goodman's Walter - insanely fun. Julianne Moore (The Ladies Man) has a wealth of strong characters in her cv, but Maude rests in the top five. And John Turturro (Barton Fink) as fucking Jesus Quintana?! I gotta say, nobody fucks with the Jesus!

Also, the film features some great 'that guys' such as Jon Polito (Crow) and Peter Stormare (Constantine), a then up-and-coming Philip Seymour Hoffman (Flawless), and the rising-star- before-the-fall Tara Reid (American Pie). Plus, who doesn't love any excuse to see Sam Elliott (Road House)?

Dirty Undies
"It's my dirty undies, Dude, the whites." That line spawned this segment so it's only fair I mention it. Why do I use it? Well, according to
IMDB, the word Fuck is used 281 times in the movie; that's 2.4 times per minute. Not too shabby. Lebowski's got drug and alcohol use. It's got nudity. It's got naked porn superstar Asia Carrera. It's a little bloody. It's violent. Hell, it's got violent animals!

The Money Shot
I could probably write for a week on what The Big Lebowski means to me and what it should mean to you. The point is, it's a great fucking movie, and it's just a crying fucking shame if you've never seen it. I had the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen for the first time just a few weeks back. I still noticed something new. I still loved it. If you get the chance to see it, you may not get the true retro vibe of seeing preivews for Under the Cherry Moon, King Ralph, and Tucker: The Man and his Dream, but The Big Lebowski will still be entertaining without them.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. Shut the fuck UP, Donny!!!

    Dude never did get his rug back.

    I'm so glad this movie was picked for MOTM... I was one bad film geek... never saw it until this month.

  2. Thanks for recommending it. My choice was for Southland Tales which I bought in May and still haven't had time to watch.

    I had been planning to review The Big Lebowski since Day 1 of my blog. Glad someone finally put a fire under me.

  3. Nobody fucks with the Jesus. But you should watch the YouTube compilation video called The Big Lebowski: The F*ing Short Version.

  4. @dj: AWESOME! Just the kind of video I needed to get the 'ol Monday kick started!