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     " It's just crazy fun. "

      Title: The Big Lebowski by Polygram

      Format: DVD comedy

      Reviewing Monkey: Zimbu

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Story and Acting: The Dude. You probably know a guy like him; long, unkempt hair, walks around in a bathrobe and enjoys marijuana almost as much as he loves to bowl. Just another aging hippie living in good ol' Los Angeles. But after coming home to encounter two hired goons have soiled his favorite rug, he has to go beyond his easy-going lifestyle to right this injustice (the rug really tied the room together, after all). Aided by his bowling buddies, Vietnam vet Walter (John Goodman) and the mousy Donny (Steve Buscemi with a surprisingly small amount of lines), The Dude (Jeff Bridges) will encounter porn tycoons, German nihilists and more than his share of bad luck on his quest for a new rug. Just about every actor brings in a great performance…so much so, in fact, that the story takes a bit of a backseat to the acting. 4.5 out of 5

      Visuals and Directing: The shots are of typical quality from cinematographer Roger Deakins (who has worked on every other Coen brothers movie to date) but The Dude's dream sequences are definitely worth noting. As The Dude is constantly drugged or knocked out, he tends to experience trippy visions somewhat related to recent events. The big musical number (set to Kenny Rogers' "Just Dropped In") has The Dude dancing around with Maude Lebowski (the daughter of the title character, dressed in a Viking outfit) and floating between the legs of a long line of bowling girls. It's just crazy fun. It's also worth mentioning that this movie is the first time I've ever seen a shot taken from inside a rolling bowling ball. 4 out of 5

      DVD Extras: You'll get the usual cast & crew bios and theatrical trailers along with a 30-minute Making-Of featurette. It would've been nice to have a few commentary tracks but maybe there'll be a special edition down the line. 3 out of 5

      Value vs. Price: Price: While the special features are sparse, the movie itself is fantastic. Combine that with the fact that you can pick it up for under 10 at most department store chains (Wal-Mart, Target), it's a great value. 4 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       One of the best Coen brothers movies and a great flick to pop in when you need a little pick-me-up, The Big Lebowski has just about all you want from a movie. Great acting, likeable characters, memorable lines, funny jokes and even a little action here and there.

      The Good: The performances, the writing and the jokes are all top-notch.

      The Bad: Meager DVD extras.

      The Overall Ugly: Buy it if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, are a Coen fan, or just love good movies.

      What it's Worth: Retail, easily

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