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.

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