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Whoah! The Dude in the Matrix

“It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English –up to fifty words used in correct context– no human being has ever been reported to have learned dolphinese.”

–Dr. Carl Sagan

Big Lebowski is one of those films that people either love or hate.

And many of the people that really love it will make you hate it if you don’t already love it, too.

I’ve had similar experiences with music (Insane Clown Posse), books (Hitch-hikers Guide…), TV shows (Buffy), and comic books (most Marvel titles throughout the 1980s). While I appreciate the wit of Douglas Adams, cherish Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men, and worship Frank Miller’s Daredevil, (there’s nothing to love about ICP) very few highly-touted recommendations have earned a second look once annoying fans have ruined it for me.

I’ve tried to get into The Big Lebowski.

 
I really wanted to like it, but I haven’t been a stoner since high school and while I’ve enjoyed a great many of the Coen Brothers films, I don’t blindly worship them. I think that Fargo, as excellent as it is, is a bit overrated (and a prime example of film post-Pulp Fiction) and Barton Fink is perhaps the single most overrated film in history.

Since I loved Raising Arizona, and Lebowski was marketed as a return to comic form, I perhaps held it to a higher standard than was fair, and it suffered from heightened expectations.

The movie’s good, I guess, but I’ve been dumbfounded by the exceptional praise it routinely receives from its hordes of ferocious fans. Finally, some video Mash-up geeks have given me an appreciation of The Dude. What was the recipe for this redemption? Let’s just say it involved some pills…

Part of why this clip works is that Jeff Bridges’ Lebowski is pretty much a grown up, disillusioned version of Keanu Reeves’ Ted Logan character from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The insert shots that the uncredited editors used were a cut above the usual fan-video mash-up. Thanks to BlameItOnTheVoices.com for posting this originally.

Like the fake trailer for The Shining (made to look like an Albert Brooks film), it’s sophisticated and the spoofers seem to know the material inside and out. In the case of Neo/Lebowski, it made me want to watch both films again. If this was an extra (even an Easter Egg) on a Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release of Big Lebowski, I would totally buy it.

Hear that marketing department?

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