By Eric English
Nov 08, 2006 01:42 PM EST

The Big Lebowski Theatrical Review

The Big Lebowski Theatrical Review
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"Sometimes there's a man, sometimes there's a dude..." So begins 1998's Coen brothers cult classic "The Big Lebowski", and for those of you playing along at home, you've already done two shots. You see, the legendary status of this comic gem on college campuses has lead to the creation of the "Big Lebowski drinking game" in which you take a drink anytime a character says "dude" or "man". And, while the smart writing and clever comedy don't need the extra potation, this is definitely a film you should enjoy with a group of friends with no need to take it in moderation.

The story revolves around Jeffrey Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), an unemployed, unmotivated middle aged bowler who prefers to be referred to as "The Dude" or "el duderino - if you're not into that whole brevity thing." It seems there's another, more affluent Lebowski in town who's trophy wife, Bunny (Tara Reid) owes money to a pornographer whose goons mistake The Dude for the other Lebowski.

After the mix up in which The Dude has his rug ("which really tied the room together") befouled he seeks out the rich Lebowski for compensation. Bunny is then supposedly kidnapped and held for ransom so a distraught Lebowski calls on The Dude to deliver the money and find out who the kidnappers are.

The expertly cast John Goodman as The Dudes bowling buddy and closest confidant steals the show with some of the most memorable and hysterical lines. In fact the scenes in the bowling alley with The Dude, Walter (Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) serve as a sort of comedic relief to an already hilarious film. The seriousness with which he takes the rules of league bowling coupled with the ludicrous plot with which he is involved leads to some fantastic, praiseworthy acting from Goodman.

One of the most original and creatively hilarious films in years, the somewhat overlooked "The Big Lebowki" gets high marks for superb writing, fantastic acting, and a drinking game which will have you laughing 10 minutes into the film even if you don't "get" the humor. Rated R for excessive language, drinking and drug use the film is not for the faint of heart. "F*** it, Dude, let's go bowling."

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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 117 minutes
Distributed By: Gramercy Pictures

For more information about The Big Lebowski visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

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