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The Big Lebowski (1998)
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Review Date: March 28, 1998
Director: Joel Coen
Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Producers: Ethan Coen
Actors:
Jeff Bridges
John Goodman
Steve Buscemi
David Huddleston
Julianne Moore
Plot:
Jeff Lebowski (AKA The Dude- Jeff Bridges) finds himself in the middle of a kidnapping scheme that involves the wife of the other Jeff Lebowski (AKA Millionaire Guy), some German nihilists, his two best bowling buddies, one of which still has plenty of Vietnam flashbacks (John Goodman), and the other, that never really has much to say, and a host of other semi-interesting characters.
Critique:
NOTE FROM JOBLO: This review was one of the first ones that I ever wrote for this site. I've seen this film about a dozen times since and now consider it one of my favorite movies of all-time. If interested in my "updated review", check out my book "The 50 Coolest Movies of All-Time".

This film lacks much of the "punch" and originality that I loved about the Coens' earlier pictures. It never really bored me at any point, but at the same time, it never really excited me either. The comedy was lacking (only one inspired scene with John Turturro playing a stereotypical Latin bowler was laugh-out funny), and the rest of the movie just seemed to be a handful of exaggerated characters that would never really exist, be it not for Coen brother movies. I couldn't help but think about the fact that this film would never have been made, were it written by a Joe Schmoe or Johnny Lunchpail. It just wasn't funny, original or interesting enough to warrant any financing from anyone, regardless of their name. In my opinion, the Coen brothers seem to have walked through this film, without much thought to plot, humour or style, for that matter (the Coens' distinctive style could only be spotted in a couple of shots).

On a positive note, the character of The Dude, and its performance by Jeff Bridges, was definitely one of the best of the year, and one that a couple of my friends are sure to mimic in their own disastrous futures. John Goodman's offering as the buddy on the edge was also a solid tour de force. Thankfully, these two kept me from falling asleep. Then again, if you're in the mood to watch a mindless story line filled with a slew of exaggerated characters, and one funny scene with John Turturro, then by all means, go ahead and check this puppy out. The only cool thing that I seem to have gotten out of this movie is the extreme craving for White Russians (great drink, by the way).

(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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