Friday, January 2, 2009

Siskel & Ebert on ‘The Big Lebowski’

They disagreed (again).

I must say, even though “The Big Lebowski” has a big cult following now, the movie didn’t do much for me. I much prefer “The Hudsucker Proxy,” which Gene and Roger both dogged.


Schottzie03 said...

I love these posts...

I imagine the cult status of The Big Lebowski comes from something Ebert mentioned in a review once...your opinion on a film being swayed by the your mood and company when you see it.

Plenty of people got to know this film while sitting around getting faced with their troops.

S.O.L. said...

I love this film. Love it. The more I watch it, the more I think it's brilliant -- maybe one of the Coen Bros. top five films (in this order: Fargo, Blood Simple. No Country, Lebowski and Miller's Crossing). I know the critics loved Barton Fink, but it's not one of my favs.

But back to The Big Lebowski. Why I love it: pitch perfect performance by Jeff Bridges as the Dude and just one hilarious moment after another (not to mention a dozen great lines). Great soundtrack, too. And also, more near and dear to my mystery writing heart, it was influenced by the detective fiction of Raymond Chandler. The Coen Brothers said they wanted to tell a modern version of a Chandler story, which is why Los Angeles is the backdrop. And the bowling -- those shots in the bowling alley are poetry.

I just saw too -- in beautiful HD (everybody: would we not watch the phonebook read in HD?) -- and it still holds up beautifully. Many critics responded well to it when it came out by the way. It was the audience who had to catch up to it. And every year, they are -- because it has held up so well.

Would love to see what Siskel & Ebert said about "Miller's Crossing."

Andrew said...

Miller's Crossing is my favorite Coens film, but Lebowski is probably my favorite of their pure comedies.

Anonymous said...

i'm with UBM, not one of my favorites. i often felt that i have the wrong chromosomes to truly engage. :)

having said that, i adore the Nihilists!!! given the Coens' apparent appreciation of this branch of philosophical inquiry (i.e. Fargo, No Country, etc.), i love that they put it in tight black pants blowing up things in southern california w/boom box accompaniment.

btw, if anyone out there has john goodman's contact information, please pass it along. i'd like to buy him a beer.

Undercover Black Man said...

Looks like I have to get around to seeing this one again.

It never seems to pop up on cable, unfortunately.

S.O.L. said...

Looks like I have to get around to seeing this one again.

It never seems to pop up on cable, unfortunately.

It's been on a lot lately. I think I saw it on Showtime and the HD Channel on DirecTV. First time I've seen it in HD and I believe there may have been a couple of scenes I hadn't seen since I saw it in the movies.

The Obenson Report said...

Didn't care much for "Lebowski."

The brothers hit a few "misses" between "Fargo" and "No Country For Old Men," with "Lebowski," "O Brother, Where Art Thou, " "The Man Who Wasn't There," "Intolerable Cruelty" and "The Ladykillers," one after the other, ordered as listed.

Although, many a filmmaker would kill to have any of those films on his/her resume.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Say what now? "O Brother, Where Art Thou"... a miss? I think they brought their best game for that.

The Coens are so tonally ambitious. That's what I admire about them.

That said, "Burn After Reading" was a waste of time too.

straight outts silver spring said...

1)Miller's Crossing
3)No Country
4)Raising AZ

my top 5 Coens

Until they pulled No Country For Old Men out of their ass, I had thought that these guys had completely lost it with The Man With No Name being thier last good film, IMHO.

Personally not much of a fan of anything they've done since Lebowski, except for TMWNN and Old Country, which probably has more to do with McCarthy's source material.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the review, Siskel says that the Coens's "need to be careful" regarding films involving wealthy characters. Anyone understand his point?