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Movie Reviews

The Big Lebowski  

Directed by: Joel Coen

As a follow-up to the critically acclaimed "Fargo" (1996), the Coen brothers have concocted up a bizarre tale fraught with odd characters and set into motion by a peed on rug, yet with all its quirkiness, "The Big Lebowski" is a treat to watch and quite entertaining.

Jeff Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) is a full time slacker whose life primarily revolves around his bowling league and his buddies. He is unemployed and considers his previous "music business" to include him being a roadie for Metallica. Lebowski is a cool guy, and everybody calls him The Dude. One day, his place is vandalized due to a mistaken identity since there happens to be a millionaire with the same name as The Dude. Lebowski visits the millionaire for reparations, but eventually finds himself involved in a kidnapping ransom deal. The millionaire's wife has been kidnapped and The Dude, with a twenty grand offer, has been asked to deliver the ransom money. Things go awry, and The Dude must keep his cool to rectify the situation. Everybody seems to be after him now, and Lebowski must keep up every minute...despite bowling finals coming up.

Jeff Bridges, one of the most underrated actors of his generation, is great as The Dude. One sees the true slacker in him and we love him for it. The star studded supporting cast is also great with John Goodman as the militarist bowling buddy, Steve Buscemi as the bumbling twit, Julianne Moore as a stoic artist with a weird way of painting, John Turturro as a pederast and bowling force to be reckoned with, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the pathetic millionaire's assistant.

I think what keeps "The Big Lebowski" afloat are the characters, for every one of them has an intriguing quality that we don't see that often. Also, the fact that the story keeps moving forward helps a lot. Unlike in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?", the shift from one odd episode to another is more effective here. It doesn't dwell in a situation too long to lose our attention. "The Big Lebowski" is also a rather funny film. The dialouge is comedic with talks of nihilist, marmots and in-n-out burgers. Very funny stuff here.

"The Big Lebowski" is not a full on strike, but it picks up enough spares to get a very good score.

Film is Rated R for strong language, drug content, sexuality, and brief violence. Running time is 113 minutes.


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