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Jeff Bridges’ Photography
Making of The Big Lebowski
“The Coen brothers’ irreverent cult hit comes to DVD as a Collector’s Edition, with all-new bonus material. The hilariously twisted comedy-thriller stars Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Julianne Moore. Join the “Dude” and his bowling buddies on their journey that blends unforgettable characters, kidnapping, a case of mistaken identity and White Russians. Enter the visually unique and entertaining world from the creative minds of the Coen brothers and remember: the Dude abides.”
The Big Lebowski is rated R for pervasive strong language, drug content, sexuality and brief violence.
“The Dude” has a cult following and it’s easy to see why. Jeff Bridges makes the character lovable despite the fact that he’s a loser in every sense of the word. He’s a stoner, he doesn’t dress very well, he’s rude, foul mouthed, and he’s kind of an idiot, too. Yet you can’t help but like his laid back attitude. It’s quite amusing to see him repeatedly get led astray by his friend Walter, played by John Goodman. Usually when Walter tells him to do something, certain doom is sure to follow. Walter is loud, violent, and constantly reminds everyone he was in Vietnam. Put the two together and you end up with a recipe for disaster as well as comedy.
Goodman and Bridges are backed up by a fantastic supporting cast. Julianne Moore is eccentric and artistic as Maude Lebowski. Steve Buscemi is perpetually clueless as Donny, The Dude’s bowling partner. Philip Seymour Hoffman is neurotic as Brandt while John Turturro is exceedingly creepy as Jesus Quintana, The Dude’s bowling rival. Then you have cameos by Peter Stormare, Flea, and Torsten Voges as the harmless Nihilists. There are many more supporting cast members and they all have their moments to shine in this film.
I really love the subtle humor in this movie. For example, everyone seems to call things by their wrong names. The Dude calls a ferret a marmot. Walter calls a terrier a Pomeranian. This goes on and on through the whole film. At another point in the movie, The Dude attempts to prop a chair against a door so that nobody can come in, yet the door opens outwards and the goons come in anyway. It’s a quick and cheap laugh. Then you have Donny constantly coming in on the middle of a conversation and either asking an inane question or making a comment that has nothing to do with the train of thought. A lot of this great humor is courtesy of the Coen Brother’s great dialogue. But there’s a lot of physical humor, too. Walter accidentally dumps the ashes of a friend in The Dude’s face. Walter drops a lit joint in his lap and screams like a girl as he crashes. Whether you like slapstick or more subtle humor, there’s something here you’ll enjoy.
The Coen Brothers also put together another great compilation of music. It features everything from The Creedence Clearwater Revival to Bob Dylan to a Hispanic version of Hotel California.
My only gripe about the movie is that it has a lot of profanity in it. The word “f**k” is said almost as often as “man”. I think if they had toned it down it would have been accessible to a much wider audience than it was. Maybe it would have seen a bigger box office, too.
This new Collector’s Edition apparently doesn’t have anything new besides an introduction by Mortimer Young. In it, the old film historian states how a copy of “The Grand Lebowski” was saved from a fire and restored. It’s more amusing than I make it sound, but I don’t think it makes this DVD worth buying again if you already own it.
The Bottom Line: