Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Big Lebowski

Most directors have a distinct trademark that makes them recognizable. John Waters has the camp factor. Alfred Hitchcock used suspense. Quentin Tarantino weaves profanity and violence into his scripts.

With Joel and Ethan Coen, many of their films focus on everyday life with a touch of reality's bizarreness. Seriously. Look at Fargo. Look at Raising Arizona. Look at Burn After Reading. And, most importantly, look at The Big Lebowski.

As bizarre as it may sound, you could do a triple feature of The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye and The Big Lebowski, and you see the similarities among them. That's because Ethan based The Big Lebowski off the narrative style of Raymond Chandler, author of the previous two titles. All three have similarities, including the many characters introduced and the few plot holes amid the scripts. In fact, Jeffrey "the Dude" Lebowski could basically be Philip Marlowe had Chandler wrote Marlowe as a pothead slacker.

The cast is great. It ranges from Coen regulars John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and John Turturro (shouldn't he have been nominated by now?) to award favorites Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julianne Moore. The star of The Big Lebowski, without a doubt, is Jeff Bridges. After all, he's the Dude.

The Big Lebowski is very amusing though it does get surreal at times. Very quotable, that goes without saying. This basically is a movie for everyone except those easily offended by language and/or violence.

My Rating: ****1/2

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