The Big Lebowski (6/29/12) & (8/31/12)

Movie One Hundred Fifty and Two Hundred

After Jeffrey Lebowski AKA The Dude is mistaken for millionaire Jeffrey Lebowski and has a rug urinated on, The Dude seeks restitution and finds himself in the middle of a convoluted tale involving nihilists, kidnappers, bowlers, marmots, and pornographers in The Big Lebowski.

It would be almost impossible to fully break down the plot of The Lebowski in my typical one paragraph space since it has more twists and turns  than any other movie I can think of, but I’ll try.

One evening The Dude (Jeff Bridges), a care-free, middle-aged burnout, comes home and is confronted by two thugs looking for money. One of them urinates on The Dude’s rug. The Dude, real name Jeffrey Lebowski, finds out there is a rich Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston) also in town. The Dude visits Jeffrey Lebowski for a new rug where he meets the assistant, Brandt (Philip Seymour Hoffman), and the trophy wife, Bunny (Tara Reid). Soon after, Bunny has been kidnapped and Lebowski asks for the help of The Dude, who in turn enlists his bowling buddies Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) to assist. From there, things start to get weird.

I think that’s a serviceable plot set-up. For my movie number 150 (my half-way point for my goal of 300) I wanted to do something special and I knew it had to be Big Lebowski. Why, you may ask? Well, when my wife and I got a dog a little over four years ago, we decided to name him Lebowski. Here he is sleeping in our car:

Lebowski

Anyway, back to The Big Lebowski. While the Coen brothers are known for their twisting plots and odd sense of humor, no other films have their brand perfected. All of the characters are memorable and nearly all of them are quotable. Some have said Casablanca has more quotable lines than any other film, but I would argue that The Big Lebowski tops it. Though it does use some more “colorful” language for many of the best lines.

If you haven’t seen The Big Lebowski, I would recommend it in an instant but with a caveat: be prepared to watch it again. I can almost promise that the plot will leave you wondering what the hell you just watched, even if you enjoyed it. Even after at least a dozen viewings I still laugh out loud but I now fully understand what is happening in the plot. The Big Lebowski is an absolute joy to watch and I’m proud to have it mark my half-way point for the year.

I give it 5 “Mark it zero!”s out of 5.*

[Update]

Movie Two Hundred

I had the grand fortune to see a midnight showing of The Big Lebowski again on the big screen and it also happened to coincide with being movie two hundred for me! I don’t have much to add beyond my original review other than watching a favorite movie in a theater is such a joy. Seeing great films like this in a classic theater with a live organist (!) was truly amazing and it makes me want to own my own theater so more people can share the experience.

Links:
*[image courtesy of iwdrm.tumblr.com]

Rotten Tomatoes

IMDB

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35 responses to “The Big Lebowski (6/29/12) & (8/31/12)

  1. I can’t go a day without relating, if only in my mind, something that has happened that day to The Big Lebowski. I can’t believe it’s been almost 15 years since I first saw it, because it is always just as good every time I watch it. Wish there were more movies like that.

    • I can still remember the first time I watched it…And also the first time I watched it (several viewings later) where the plot finally made total sense to me. I can’t think of another film I could keep watching like that without fully understanding what was going on.

  2. 5 “Mark it Zero’s” out of 5. I would have taken personal offence had you not rated it with the top Andy. 😉 This is my all time favourite of favourites and no film has managed to topple it from it’s mantle in my eyes. Since it’s release, I have yet to find a film that I’ve found more enjoyable (and quotable). I love every second, minute and hour of this modern comic masterpiece.

  3. I need to see this one again. It’s been a while between viewings. Fargo by them has to be the one I quote the most.

    Nice review. I think The Dude would like it.

  4. This one I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t seen, despite the fact that I’m a huge fan of the Coen brothers. I’ll have to check it out soon. Nice review.

    • Yeah, anyone that gets the reference to his name quotes a line from the movie. The most common ones are “where is the money, Lebowski?” or “The Dude abides” I think.
      It’s a shame that a lot of people don’t get his name, though. It’s a bit awkward to try to explain it to people that have no idea what we’re talking about.

      Also, thanks and thanks for the RT!

      • No problem man. 😀

        I saw Jeff Bridges at a Tron panel at comic-con a few years back, and every single questioner from the audience. Literally 10, 15 in a row quoted the movie and/or told him how much they loved it. And he smiled through every second and was so freaking cool. I think I might have gone a little nuts!

        • Haha amazing. It’s hard to know where The Dude ends and Bridges actually begins. As amazing as he is when he’s acting there’s always a piece of me that wants him to pour himself a white Russian.

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  7. I’m going to be unpopular saying it but I just didn’t “get” this film. I didn’t think it was that clever or funny. I think part of the problem was I went into it thinking I was about to be astonished and impressed with an amazing film, because so many people had so many good things to say about it, and I just wasn’t.

    Haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it again.

    • I’ve had friends tell me the same thing and when they decide to watch it again, even if it’s years later, they appreciate it more. Still, everyone has their own tastes, especially with weird movies like this one.

  8. Congrats on reaching the halfawy mark. You chose a hell of a movie to celebrate it. I absolutely love The Big Lebowski. It’s my favorite comedy and amongst my Top 5 movies ever.

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  10. “I’m the Dude, so that’s what you call me. ou know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino…”

    Such a great film. Maybe the movie I have watched the most. From the opening credit sequence of the eccentric bowlers to the Dude getting covered in Donnie ashes, consistent laughs from start to finish.

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