Friday, November 18, 2011

The Big Lebowski

     What do you get when you craft a noir around a slacker ex-hippie, porn, a gang of German nihilists, bowling, and a Busby Berkeley-esque musical number? Try a pantheon Man Movie that belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of Man Movies, if there were such a thing (and you know there really ought to be).
     Jeff Bridges is powerfully believable as Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski; a burnout of epic proportions who spends his days listening to classic rock, smoking weed, drinking white Russians, and bowling. He becomes ensnared in a world of intrigue, crime, and emotionless sex due to a case of mistaken identity (he happens to share the same name as a handicapped altruist) and a befouled rug. His constant fuck-ups, and they are constant, lead him further down the rabbit hole as he decides to do some sleuthing along with his bowling buddy and semi-crazed Vietnam vet, Walter, as played by a born-for-this-role John Goodman.
     The plot gets convoluted very quickly, and involves twists and turns as only the Coen Brothers can bring on. The ensemble cast is highlighted by Sam Elliott (you might recognize that mustache and voice from any number of westerns) as an omniscient cowboy, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers as one of the aforementioned nihilists, Julianne Moore as a painter with unusual (and nude) methods, and John Turturro as a comically over-the-top pedophile.
     Not to get too religious or anything, but if God were asked to make a movie, it might well be this one. The best part of that statement is that this might be underselling the movie a bit.

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