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[split] overflow from reviews:The Big Lebowski

Postby chainsaw on 06/01/03, 15:25:36

Alexhead functions as my major opposition (i actually wonder sometimes whether he says things on purpose to actually irritate me) :behead:

so, he trashes the only decent arrivals from the american shores and yet praises the shite from it (and RAISING ARIZONA as comedy????? talk about mentioning the worst Coen flick)

> it's their bold announcement that yes, they don't really have anything to say and they're all about style over substance

you see, this causes me a great problem as (and i kinda like it) MULHOLLAND DRIVE has absolutely nothing to say, it only gets by on it's visuals and "confusing" narrative, otherwise there's sweet F.A. said and what little is said is basically irrelevant to anything whatsoever, so based on that, how can you like the one film and not the other, matter of taste i guess

the final quote from a TimeOut review (TBL)

"Moreover, far from being shallow pastiche, it's actually about something: what it means to be a man, to be a friend, and to be a 'hero' for a particular time and place"

also, never trust a reviewer who can't spell the title of the movie correctly :mrgreen:
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Postby Alexhead on 06/01/03, 17:16:15

"Moreover, far from being shallow pastiche, it's actually about something: what it means to be a man, to be a friend, and to be a 'hero' for a particular time and place"



Horseshit. Nice lift of the 'time and place' line from Sam Elliott's intro, but hey, even he loses track of his thoughts while trying to piece together his cutesy little voiceover. The Coens announce their absolute lack of sincerity before the title even shows up; they're lazily mixing the 'noble quest' with the 'hollywood noir' to string a bunch of mediocre jokes together, nothing more.


Not that they're comparable by a mile, but Mulholland Drive says some very interesting things about lost love, ambition gone sour and the tricks the mind can play with itself in a greiving and guilty state. Quite frankly I figured you'd appreciate MD if you're such a fan of L'Avventura, because in their own unique ways they cover a lot of the same ground. In either case, I don't think the Coens can carry Lynch's or Antonioni's respective jock straps when it comes to saying something interesting.


Alexhead functions as my major opposition (i actually wonder sometimes whether he says things on purpose to actually irritate me)


Far from it; in a case like this, I have repeatedly watched a movie that I don't like because people like you have so often quoted it and treated it as a top-notch comedy. Respecting your opinion, I have given it yet another shot, but again found it lacking. Same reason I go rent things like L'Avventura; I listen to what you have to say! On the other hand, if I disagree, I'm gonna tell you! Otherwise these message boards would look like this:

Culture Vulture A: "__________" was/is really good!

Culture Vulture B: Yeah!

So don't take it personally! Hey, I knew Tarkovsky was a fucking snore YEARS before I met you! :mrgreen:
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Postby klimov on 06/01/03, 18:26:00

Jeez Alexhead, would you even know a good film if it ran you over in a truck?

> Mulholland Drive says some very interesting things about lost love, ambition gone sour and the tricks the mind can play with itself in a greiving and guilty state.

No it doesn't. It's just a load of contrived, badly acted nonsense that pretends to be saying something.
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Postby Alexhead on 06/01/03, 18:29:25

klimov wrote:Jeez Alexhead, would you even know a good film if it ran you over in a truck?

> Mulholland Drive says some very interesting things about lost love, ambition gone sour and the tricks the mind can play with itself in a greiving and guilty state.

No it doesn't. It's just a load of contrived, badly acted nonsense that pretends to be saying something.


Like half the twaddle you pimp on these boards, I'm sure...we've already gone around about your insipid respect for the Coens' latest and your misunderstanding of MD, we don't need to go there again.
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Postby Storm13 on 06/01/03, 21:24:02

[moved comments from Movie reviews]
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Postby Storm13 on 06/01/03, 21:26:53

klimov wrote:Jeez Alexhead, would you even know a good film if it ran you over in a truck?

> Mulholland Drive says some very interesting things about lost love, ambition gone sour and the tricks the mind can play with itself in a greiving and guilty state.

No it doesn't. It's just a load of contrived, badly acted nonsense that pretends to be saying something.


On a related note, I finally watched Mulholland Drive this weekend. It was ok. In retrospect, after reading more about it (I purposely didn't do it beforehand) it was pretty good, but all the while watching it I was lost.
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Postby TC on 06/01/03, 22:16:29

i have to say, i'm completely baffled by this. you know, you post with some guys for years - YEARS - you think you have a feel for them, then you get slapped by some reality that you really don't know them at all.

take alexhead, for example - first of all, i'm with chainy on this. it's like you've come to visit from the bizarro world and are the exact opposite of how i see this film. and frankly, i would have guessed you would have liked this movie, especially better than raising arizona. i would love to sit here and spout off great reasons why you should like lebowski, but i am having a hard time justifying it; i mean, it just seems like a given that it's a great fucking movie. i honestly baffled that you don't like it. but, i do heavily agree with you about miller's crossing and am looking forward to that disc one day.

and maha, i've been thinking on it for a few weeks, since you first hinted at it, but i haven't had a chance to watch it again and get a huge post together to get the argument started, but you don't like MD?? again, i am beside myself. i have not been able to get my head around this at all. but then, you comment above has sort of cleared up why you personally don't like it - the fact that you like korine and dogme95 says to me that you like harsh reality, films that say the things that no one wants (or should? ;)) to say, style would be only a bonus. MD is probably the exact opposite of that, but i thought for sure that you could at least appreciate the style in it, much like a great work of art that has no clear subject, yet you are drawn to it's beauty. but the fact that you say it "pretends to say something" - that i may agree with to a point, but that does not preclude me from loving the movie. but again, this is probably a whole other post. hopefully i'll get some time in the near future here.....
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Postby Alexhead on 07/01/03, 00:16:12

TC wrote:take alexhead, for example - first of all, i'm with chainy on this. it's like you've come to visit from the bizarro world and are the exact opposite of how i see this film. and frankly, i would have guessed you would have liked this movie, especially better than raising arizona.


Hmm, that's funny that you treat BL like it's the original goods instead of RA--THAT movie makes me laugh for about an hour and a half straight, is pretty inventively and flawlessly laid out and has a lot of funny sequences and performances--shit, it's worth the price of admission for the chase sequence in the middle alone! Or the dream sequence introducing the Warthog from Hell...ah, I could go on, but hey, in this bizarro world we've stumbled upon, it looks like some guys I know online actually DON'T prefer Raising Arizona! It's a strange universe indeed :mrgreen:

Probably the worst thing about BL to me is that it's some decent editing and a bit of script revision away from being a true classic; as it stands, it's undisciplined and disjointed, it's "look at how goddamn clever I am" without being clever in any particular way. Face it, take away the slick cinematography and John Goodman and you've got nothing. Even with those two things, you ain't got much. Really, without just reading "The Dude abides" and "shut the fuck up, Donnie" quoted again, I still have yet to read a decent explanation from any of you fans about why this is such a good movie. Type it up, I'll eat every word.



and maha, i've been thinking on it for a few weeks, since you first hinted at it, but i haven't had a chance to watch it again and get a huge post together to get the argument started, but you don't like MD?? again, i am beside myself. i have not been able to get my head around this at all. but then, you comment above has sort of cleared up why you personally don't like it - the fact that you like korine and dogme95 says to me that you like harsh reality, films that say the things that no one wants (or should? ;)) to say, style would be only a bonus. MD is probably the exact opposite of that, but i thought for sure that you could at least appreciate the style in it, much like a great work of art that has no clear subject, yet you are drawn to it's beauty. but the fact that you say it "pretends to say something" - that i may agree with to a point, but that does not preclude me from loving the movie. but again, this is probably a whole other post. hopefully i'll get some time in the near future here.....


Mah often suffers from the all-too-common ailment that makes a man believe his mere opinion is mighty fact. That, and the whole 'says something' argument has yet to be spelled out to me; what does a "Julien Donkey Boy" say that is more valid or deep or meaningful than a "Mulholland Drive?" They're both just good old bleak arty portraits of fucked-up lives, but they're told with different locales, camera styles and narratives. In some ways each is unique and special and in other ways they're both rehashing of many things that have been done before. It's all opinon and personal taste, and I'd LOVE to read something that convinces me otherwise. It would need to include facts, though, not just "this sucks" and "that rules" and "you suck" which strangely is what a lot of the supposedly brainy banter around our boards really boils down to.
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Postby klimov on 07/01/03, 06:49:06

Alexhead, my opinion IS fact... at least until I change it :wink:

But I aint going to change it over MUHOLLAND DRIVE!

TC says it is stylish. I will say that it was competently shot... I remember seeing it near the end of a week where I had been at a festival seeing a lot of bad movies, and it was a change to see a director who at least knew how to shoot a scene effectively :mrgreen:

Having said this, it is WAY off par for Lynch... no time is given for the aesthetic beauty found in the first 1/3rd of LOST HIGHWAY, or most of FIRE WALK WITH ME. It's real TV-looking stuff - nor does it have the emotional power of, say, the pilot of TWIN PEAKS, or the sheer imagination of, say, the finale of TWIN PEAKS. Virtually the whole thing is exposition, however an exposition that never actually goes anywhere. There's even the odd good scene - the expresso, little Mike's cameo. But for everyone of these, there's a handful of terrible scenes. For example, the woman turning up at the door and saying "there is trouble here!!!". Or the silly man covered in mud hiding behind the coffee shop. Or the crass Tarantino-esque scene of the hitman shooting lots of people for laughs.

I believe I have also said that it could have been kind of an interesting experiment to let all of these plot threads develop, and then to just drop them. To say "there is no band!" and "silencio!", the movie ends, the audience scratches their heads... but Lynch doesn't have the balls even to do this!! Instead he picks up one of the least interesting characters from the previous 90 minutes, and proceeds to turn the entire movie into her very own LOST HIGHWAY. Suddenly, it all becomes a part of her psyche, the "dream" breaks down and we realise that "Diane" is actually a girl who came to Hollywood in search of a dream, but only found prostitution and love for an actress who became famous and ditched her. Even ignoring how contrived and repetitve this really is for Lynch, and how forced it feels when attached to the previous 90 minutes, the fact is that Watts and Lynch just don't pull this characterization off at all. It's like something out of a bad soap-opera!

Nono. This movie sucks. Another mis-step after THE STRAIGHT STORY.

P.s., closing the movie with "silencio" (one of the few good moments) comes from Godard's masterpiece LE MEPRIS (CONTEMPT).

Oh. P.P.S - FIRE WALK WITH ME is on at the cinema in a few days!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: I've never seen it on the big screen. 8O
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Postby chainsaw on 07/01/03, 14:11:50

alexhead, it was merely shock that instigated my response, here is my reason, i've *always* found THE BIG LEBOWSKI as the perfect "compromise" movie, what the hell does that mean?
ok, what i mean is, i haven't (until now of course) found a single person who disliked the movie, this spreads from both a mainstream audience and people who like maybe more obscure titles... i can perfectly understand someone not liking Tarkovsky, Godard, Paradjanov, Jodorowsky etc, etc just as i can also understand why people don't like [insert list of hollywood flicks that a lot of people like ... MAGNOLIA, AMERICAN BEAUTY, THE GODFATHER etc], but THE BIG LEBOWSKI was always a nice crossover flick

The main reason i personally like the film is because i am a mixture of Dude and Walter, the way the dude lives is almost identical to my own "existance", physically undemanding, mentally calm, someone who doesn't care for conflict (unless someone has done something to you), even down to wearing shorts around the house (and it's freezing cold in the UK at the moment), in a strange reversal of how a person should be, i respect and admire his character, he is the sort of person i aspire to be... Walter also has certain chain trademarks, for instance, his ability to immediately point out the obvious much to the other person's dislike "you're not wrong, walter, you're just an arsehole"

...and then of course, a la hitchcock, the dude is the wrong man, caught up in something that was obviously thrown at him by pure coincidence [LIFE] (a joint surname with a millionaire), a guy who wanted to lead a simple life "all the dude ever wanted was his rug back" (as with me, i've always said that i could be happy with a small apartment, a widescreen TV, my DVD player and my collection of films, in todays terms, that's fuck all) he gets involved in something which alters events and people, eventually of course losing one of his friends, one of those people who is literally there, they exist and it isn't until something happens that you realise how much "presence" they actually had but no matter what happens, the greatest philosophy in life is "fuck it dude, let's go bowling!", the ultimate slacker's reponse to any situation.

So, yeah, it is a personal response (combined with even your understanding that the coens have a lot of style), as a person who lives and breathes as part of the movie, it's a dark slice of life that i want to remember

>but hey, even he loses track of his thoughts while trying to piece together his cutesy little voiceover

as do i though, ok, i haven't met you yet but in person i tend to get over-excited in explaining things (esp when it comes to movies) that my monologue ends up with a subplot and a subplot for that subplot until i turn round to the other person and say "what was my original point again?", which then ends up as discussions lost in the wind through constant ranting

>Quite frankly I figured you'd appreciate MD if you're such a fan of L'Avventura

Thematically linked yes, but two very different explorations and may i requote what i say in my original response... "(and i kinda like it) MULHOLLAND DRIVE...", MD is a movie i have a lot of fun watching but at the same time, i don't find the content particularly enlightening and there are certain moments (maha pointed out one, the tarantino shootout) which i found ridiculous (and unfunny)

>Same reason I go rent things like L'Avventura; I listen to what you have to say! On the other hand, if I disagree, I'm gonna tell you!

Well, of course, just in this case, as above, it's difficult to comprehend someone who doesn't like the "compromise" movie, with my friends, i can always just put that movie on, otherwise it's a nightmare finding something to watch (and i have between 500 - 700 movies in my bedroom alone)

>So don't take it personally! Hey, I knew Tarkovsky was a fucking snore YEARS before I met you!

yada-yada-yada :lol:
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Postby Alexhead on 07/01/03, 23:45:26

It's real TV-looking stuff


Well duh. The first hour and a half were shot for TV, so that's not a surprise. As we've discussed before, I see it as quite an accomplishment that he expanded the footage shot for a pilot into this film, and even then it still looks better than most TV cinematography.



I believe I have also said that it could have been kind of an interesting experiment to let all of these plot threads develop, and then to just drop them.


At the very BEST an interesting experiment, but most probably kind of a cop-out and a cheap, messy, tacked-on ending to a TV pilot. While that's fine to think of that as an idea, you can hardly hold it against the finished product that it didn't take a very questionable path to the finish line. He more or less does call the original material bullshit, but then he ups the ante tenfold by going back and explaining why it is. That, to me, is a much greater accomplishment than mocking the pilot footage by writing it off in a standard Lynchian red-curtain surreal scene, then rolling credits.



Nono. This movie sucks. Another mis-step after THE STRAIGHT STORY.


That's a pretty dumb generalization; c'mon, even though you obviously don't like it, you can do better than that. I'll even give, say, The Man Who Wasn't There points for doing its homework, being technically sound and having the standard clever references scattered around, even though THAT movie is nothing more than a derivative abortion (see, doesn't "derivative abortion" sound better than "this movie sucks?" I'll even let you borrow that for your next pan :mrgreen: ) As for Straight Story, it's a fine film, it just says a bunch of things that you don't like or agree with. You do shoot yourself in the foot repeatedly with this closed-minded attitude about art, you know! Sometimes we can actually learn from things we don't agree with...but that lesson will come with age, my friend.



closing the movie with "silencio" (one of the few good moments) comes from Godard's masterpiece LE MEPRIS (CONTEMPT).


That's the one with Jack Palance, right? I have that in my rental que, along with Alphaville. Is the latter worth much?



FIRE WALK WITH ME is on at the cinema in a few days!!


Enjoy. It's truly one of my favorites, you'll enjoy the sound design as well as the visuals in a theater.
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Postby Alexhead on 07/01/03, 23:46:59

chainsaw wrote:alexhead, it was merely shock that instigated my response, here is my reason, i've *always* found THE BIG LEBOWSKI as the perfect "compromise" movie, what the hell does that mean?
ok, what i mean is, i haven't (until now of course) found a single person who disliked the movie, this spreads from both a mainstream audience and people who like maybe more obscure titles... i can perfectly understand someone not liking Tarkovsky, Godard, Paradjanov, Jodorowsky etc, etc just as i can also understand why people don't like [insert list of hollywood flicks that a lot of people like ... MAGNOLIA, AMERICAN BEAUTY, THE GODFATHER etc], but THE BIG LEBOWSKI was always a nice crossover flick

The main reason i personally like the film is because i am a mixture of Dude and Walter, the way the dude lives is almost identical to my own "existance", physically undemanding, mentally calm, someone who doesn't care for conflict (unless someone has done something to you), even down to wearing shorts around the house (and it's freezing cold in the UK at the moment), in a strange reversal of how a person should be, i respect and admire his character, he is the sort of person i aspire to be... Walter also has certain chain trademarks, for instance, his ability to immediately point out the obvious much to the other person's dislike "you're not wrong, walter, you're just an arsehole"

...and then of course, a la hitchcock, the dude is the wrong man, caught up in something that was obviously thrown at him by pure coincidence [LIFE] (a joint surname with a millionaire), a guy who wanted to lead a simple life "all the dude ever wanted was his rug back" (as with me, i've always said that i could be happy with a small apartment, a widescreen TV, my DVD player and my collection of films, in todays terms, that's fuck all) he gets involved in something which alters events and people, eventually of course losing one of his friends, one of those people who is literally there, they exist and it isn't until something happens that you realise how much "presence" they actually had but no matter what happens, the greatest philosophy in life is "fuck it dude, let's go bowling!", the ultimate slacker's reponse to any situation.

So, yeah, it is a personal response (combined with even your understanding that the coens have a lot of style), as a person who lives and breathes as part of the movie, it's a dark slice of life that i want to remember

>but hey, even he loses track of his thoughts while trying to piece together his cutesy little voiceover

as do i though, ok, i haven't met you yet but in person i tend to get over-excited in explaining things (esp when it comes to movies) that my monologue ends up with a subplot and a subplot for that subplot until i turn round to the other person and say "what was my original point again?", which then ends up as discussions lost in the wind through constant ranting

>Quite frankly I figured you'd appreciate MD if you're such a fan of L'Avventura

Thematically linked yes, but two very different explorations and may i requote what i say in my original response... "(and i kinda like it) MULHOLLAND DRIVE...", MD is a movie i have a lot of fun watching but at the same time, i don't find the content particularly enlightening and there are certain moments (maha pointed out one, the tarantino shootout) which i found ridiculous (and unfunny)

>Same reason I go rent things like L'Avventura; I listen to what you have to say! On the other hand, if I disagree, I'm gonna tell you!

Well, of course, just in this case, as above, it's difficult to comprehend someone who doesn't like the "compromise" movie, with my friends, i can always just put that movie on, otherwise it's a nightmare finding something to watch (and i have between 500 - 700 movies in my bedroom alone)

>So don't take it personally! Hey, I knew Tarkovsky was a fucking snore YEARS before I met you!

yada-yada-yada :lol:


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Postby O-dot on 08/01/03, 17:57:17

Well duh. The first hour and a half were shot for TV, so that's not a surprise. As we've discussed before, I see it as quite an accomplishment that he expanded the footage shot for a pilot into this film, and even then it still looks better than most TV cinematography.


Better than most movies, even, though compared to BV, FWWM, LH and presumably WaH (which I've never seen widescreen :wah: ), the look of MD is a tad lo-fi by Lynch's standards. But once the "post-pilot" footage kicks in, the scope of the frame seems to widen considerably..
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Postby Alexhead on 09/01/03, 00:10:40

chainsaw wrote:alexhead, it was merely shock that instigated my response, here is my reason, i've *always* found THE BIG LEBOWSKI as the perfect "compromise" movie, what the hell does that mean?
ok, what i mean is, i haven't (until now of course) found a single person who disliked the movie, this spreads from both a mainstream audience and people who like maybe more obscure titles... i can perfectly understand someone not liking Tarkovsky, Godard, Paradjanov, Jodorowsky etc, etc just as i can also understand why people don't like [insert list of hollywood flicks that a lot of people like ... MAGNOLIA, AMERICAN BEAUTY, THE GODFATHER etc], but THE BIG LEBOWSKI was always a nice crossover flick

The main reason i personally like the film is because i am a mixture of Dude and Walter, the way the dude lives is almost identical to my own "existance", physically undemanding, mentally calm, someone who doesn't care for conflict (unless someone has done something to you), even down to wearing shorts around the house (and it's freezing cold in the UK at the moment), in a strange reversal of how a person should be, i respect and admire his character, he is the sort of person i aspire to be... Walter also has certain chain trademarks, for instance, his ability to immediately point out the obvious much to the other person's dislike "you're not wrong, walter, you're just an arsehole"

...and then of course, a la hitchcock, the dude is the wrong man, caught up in something that was obviously thrown at him by pure coincidence [LIFE] (a joint surname with a millionaire), a guy who wanted to lead a simple life "all the dude ever wanted was his rug back" (as with me, i've always said that i could be happy with a small apartment, a widescreen TV, my DVD player and my collection of films, in todays terms, that's fuck all) he gets involved in something which alters events and people, eventually of course losing one of his friends, one of those people who is literally there, they exist and it isn't until something happens that you realise how much "presence" they actually had but no matter what happens, the greatest philosophy in life is "fuck it dude, let's go bowling!", the ultimate slacker's reponse to any situation.

So, yeah, it is a personal response (combined with even your understanding that the coens have a lot of style), as a person who lives and breathes as part of the movie, it's a dark slice of life that i want to remember

>but hey, even he loses track of his thoughts while trying to piece together his cutesy little voiceover

as do i though, ok, i haven't met you yet but in person i tend to get over-excited in explaining things (esp when it comes to movies) that my monologue ends up with a subplot and a subplot for that subplot until i turn round to the other person and say "what was my original point again?", which then ends up as discussions lost in the wind through constant ranting

>Quite frankly I figured you'd appreciate MD if you're such a fan of L'Avventura

Thematically linked yes, but two very different explorations and may i requote what i say in my original response... "(and i kinda like it) MULHOLLAND DRIVE...", MD is a movie i have a lot of fun watching but at the same time, i don't find the content particularly enlightening and there are certain moments (maha pointed out one, the tarantino shootout) which i found ridiculous (and unfunny)

>Same reason I go rent things like L'Avventura; I listen to what you have to say! On the other hand, if I disagree, I'm gonna tell you!

Well, of course, just in this case, as above, it's difficult to comprehend someone who doesn't like the "compromise" movie, with my friends, i can always just put that movie on, otherwise it's a nightmare finding something to watch (and i have between 500 - 700 movies in my bedroom alone)

>So don't take it personally! Hey, I knew Tarkovsky was a fucking snore YEARS before I met you!

yada-yada-yada :lol:


Chains, thanks for giving me the best explanation of why someone likes this movie so far; it speaks to you on a personal level, and I can't argue with that. I get your mention of Hitchcock too, but I think it probably does owe a little more to some of the more standard noir stuff (it jives so much on The Big Sleep that it took half that film's name!), but that's academic wankery...yeah, sure, there's Hitch in there (I do have a habit of separating and elevating him from a lot of the genre he worked in, just 'cause he did it so well and really has meant so much to film, while a lot of his thriller brethren are really only looking to distract an audience for an hour and a half). I can see where it's a compromise when you're at the video store too; it's a 'weird' movie to a lot of dullard movie fans, but they can still laugh along here and there. I think there are better compromise movies to suck people who don't like the arty stuff in with, though--I converted half of Omaha to subtitled films by dragging 'em to La Femme Nikita, and that didn't even have any stars that they recognized (although it sure did have some killings, which any heartland audience can appreciate :mrgreen:)--but I digress...

As for the other stuff, I guess it's "you say toMAYto, I say toMAHto" kind of shit--I find a lot of the humor in BL to be bland, you and mah don't like the shooting scene in MD (which I found funnier than anything in BL, actually think there are more laughs in MD overall)--it does boil down to personal taste which, if that's your argument, I won't and can't disagree with. Glad you got more out of it than I did, that means your time wasn't wasted like mine has been about 4 times or so.
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Postby klimov on 09/01/03, 07:40:11

NIKITA is shit, though :roll:
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Postby Alexhead on 09/01/03, 11:43:45

klimov wrote:NIKITA is shit, though :roll:


Can you generalize a little more, please? :lol:

I'll agree with you that most everything else Besson's been involved with is not very good.
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The Big Lebowski run time(s)??

Postby TC on 11/01/03, 14:40:18

hey all, in light of our TBL discussions lately, we went out and got the DVD today. so, i'm going to add it to my dvdprofiler collection, and the UPC number is unknown. so i hit "add by title" and low and behold there are two different TBL DVD runtimes - one is 113 minutes, and the other is 118 minutes!!! but, and this is the killer, my DVD says 98 minutes....

WTF????
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The Big Lebowski CE & Box Set!

Postby TC on 07/07/05, 16:24:40

YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!! can't wait to hear what's in that box set...

DVDtimes wrote:The Big Lebowski CE in October

Universal Studios Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of The Big Lebowski Collector's Edition for 18th October 2005. The Coen Bros. 1998 comedy classic starring Jeff Bridges as The Dude receives the special edition treatment from Universal this holiday season.

The all-new collector's edition release will be available in separate Widescreen and Full Screen editions priced at $19.98 SRP each, while the Widescreen version will also be available as part of a Gift Box priced at $49.98 SRP. Details are TBC.
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Postby chainsaw on 10/07/05, 15:04:36

If I have some kind of financial stability by then, it will be my dream set!! Been waiting for it for years, the old transfer is none-too-great (heavy pixellation) and it doesn't help when you put a widescreen and (pointless) full-frame version of the film onto a single disc (even if it is dual layer).

Dude: "WHAT THE FUCK DOES ANYTHING HAVE TO DO WITH VIETNAM?"
Walter: "Well, there isn't a literal connection, dude"
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THE Dude abides

Postby TC on 07/11/05, 15:35:54

The Seattle Times wrote:The dude behind The Dude of "The Big Lebowski"
By Mark Rahner
Seattle Times staff reporter

In case you're holding a beverage, don't get too alarmed.

The people who put together the two new DVD editions of "The Big Lebowski" (Warner, 1998, R) — a $19.98 widescreen collector's edition and a $49.98 "achiever's edition" with bowling towel and other tchotchkes — may have been high. As The Dude's bowling pal Walter would say, our friends didn't die face-down in the muck for DVDs with no audio commentary! So we picked up the phone and got one from The Dude himself.

That's Jeff "The Dude" Dowd, the inspiration for Jeff Bridges' stoner hero in Joel and Ethan Coen's follow-up to "Fargo." It wasn't initially a hit, but the endlessly quotable comedy about kidnapping, a soiled rug that tied a room together, nihilists, White Russians and bowling has become a cult phenomenon spawning Lebowski Fests around the country.

More loquacious than his film incarnation, Dowd, 55, is a former Seattle resident. He had some early fame as one of the Seattle Seven student protest leaders of the Vietnam era and was co-director of the Seattle International Film Festival.

But talking from his Los Angeles home — where he's a writer, producer and film marketer — Dowd says he's slouched in a T-shirt with his belly hanging out, just like the movie Dude sprawled on porn king Jackie Treehorn's couch.

Ten a.m. seems awfully early for "the laziest man in Los Angeles."

The guy that the Coen brothers depicted in the movie was what they thought I might have been like in the '70s for a while. And indeed they were kind of right. There was a period after the activism of the '60s and the early '70s before we went back to work in which we were hanging out pretty heavy for a couple of years, OK? And indeed drinking White Russians and tequila sunrises and Harvey Wallbangers — whatever the drink was of the moment. ... But then eventually we all went back to work. Most of us anyway.

Don't tell me The Dude's become a yuppie.

No, The Dude's not a yuppie. The Dude's out there in the entertainment world trying to work with really good movies and help artists who hopefully are making good movies get their movies out there, particularly in the independent world but also in the studio world. So I've worked on everything from "Hoosiers" to "Gandhi," "The Black Stallion" to working with Neil Young last year on "Greendale" — and Neil's certainly no yuppie.

So you didn't "burn one" before this interview?

No. A little early in the day.

How do you account for "Lebowski's" huge cult following after it didn't do well at the box office?

Several answers to that question. One is it's kind of like an "Austin Powers" phenomenon, which is a movie you like to watch with other people, and you like to repeat the lines from.

It's also like an album. There's certain albums — CDs, whatever — that have one or two really good songs on them. And there's others that have — like the classics — have like 10 or 15 songs on them that are good, or 8 or 9 songs. But "Big Lebowski" actually has over a dozen scenes that are really good — unto themselves.

Then there's a deeper level. If you go to my Web site (http://www.jeffdowd.com), there's a letter there from a New York fireman. Here's a guy who is so bummed out by his experience in 9/11, he's watched people die in different ways than he'd ever seen before, had good friends die and he's in total trauma, post traumatic stress syndrome after that, total basket case.

He comes up to me at one of these Lebowski festivals and says, "You know, I got to thank you. I tried doctors, therapists, shrinks, every kind of drug and nothing works. And then one day, seven, eight months later, I see a copy of "The Big Lebowski" on my shelf and I put it in my DVD player, and for the first time in months I started to smile and laugh, and continue to laugh. And I watched it again." And his wife turns to me and says, "And that's what brought him back."

The Coens said they were imagining you in the context of a Raymond Chandler detective story.

Look, they met me, we spent a lot of time hanging together when we were trying to sell "Blood Simple" and market it. They loved riffing off the name, "The Dude," "Duder," "Duderino." ... I was kind of a larger-than-life character, had a bit of a past.

Is there any chance of another Lebowski movie?

It gets mentioned all the time. I don't know if it would emanate out of Joel and Ethan. Obviously you could do that, but sometimes you don't want to do that either, because the chances of failure are very high.

Do you think about what The Dude and Walter (John Goodman) would be up to seven years later?

No, I got a lotta things to think about. I don't live in an insular Dude world.

Not to plug here, but I'm almost done with a book called "The Dude Abides." And I've been very, very fortunate to be at the right place at the right time, to be around a lot of extraordinary people who changed a lot of cultural and political history. And out of that, just a bunch of classic tales that we've been orally telling for years at parties or at friends' and everybody's saying "Why don't you write that up?"

Will there ever be a Lebowski Fest in Seattle, and if so, shouldn't it be combined with Hemp Fest?

I would imagine that a fair amount of people do both. It would be a lot of fun and it would make a lot of sense in Seattle, and I think it should actually happen in Seattle, considering my ties and the whole Seattle Seven thing. ...

Bowling: a sport or a game?

Uhh, it's a sport.

Curling, then?

(Thinks a moment.) Curling is ... a surreal sport.

What advice did you offer Bridges to achieve Dudeness?

We just met. Jeff, his whole thing was to catch my body language, which he got 110 percent. He just totally got it. There's people I know who walked into that movie who had not read any press about it, who had no idea of the connection with me, and didn't even know the Joel and Ethan connection with me, and they're watching that movie, and they go "Jesus, it's The Dude!"

Napoleon Dynamite: perhaps related to The Dude?

Absolutely. I think that's somewhat of the appeal of that movie, too. You know, odd characters and friendships and things like that. ... I met those guys and they're big Dude fans.

Why does The Dude abide?

... (Thoughtfully) I think what it means is that the Dude navigates his way through reality in a way in which he will not allow himself to be compromised. That's the way I see it.
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