The Big Lebowski

Autobahn in The Big Lebowski

You wouldn’t be able to see them in concert. You couldn’t necessarily find an old favorite of theirs on vinyl or hear their new single on the radio, or download their latest EP as a new discovery. But for the fictional bands of cinema, their music still matters in a deep, powerful way. With the announcement that one of the most famous fictional bands of all time, Jem and the Holograms, is getting the movie adaptation treatment, it’s about time to look at the other fake bands that stepped onto the silver screen before them. Their existence may not be true, but their music is.

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Sometimes you just have to punch a wall, or perhaps a car door, or a ceramic cat – really, it’s whatever is closest. Whether it is rage, retribution, or legitimate hatred, sometimes an inanimate object just has to go down. In the moving pictures this is especially fun to watch. Much like a movie death is often more dramatic than reality, a little inanimate destruction goes a long way.

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This week’s Scenes We Love goes out to the many men and women who have served in the military, whether in combat or not. Today is, of course, Veteran’s Day, with national observance tomorrow, and we have a mix of clips to honor the occasion. Of course, it hardly represents the numerous films since cinema began that deal specifically with the veteran experience or simply feature a character who is a veteran. They’re just some that we thought of and had something to say about. Hopefully they’re all considered as respectful as we intend. We welcome mention of additional favorites, regardless of whether or not the scene is streaming somewhere online, in the comments below.

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Some of you may already know me by my Twitter handle: @thefilmcynic. It’s a name I’ve gone by for nearly a decade (so, before current social media outlets), because I’m very cynical about the film industry and try to keep my expectations low. I’m also very cynical about the Academy Awards and awards season in general, because we devote so much focus on them — with a wide spectrum of positive and negative angles — and they’re really a bunch of malarkey (much like the V.P. debate, which has inspired my newfound obsession with that word). So, the higher ups at FSR have asked me to write a cynical column devoted to the Oscars. The first one is inspired by the films Seven Psychopaths, Looper and Lincoln and their celebrated performances. As someone who has studied acting (I’m not very good at it), I’ve long taken issue with the way people look at film performances, because there are just so many different kinds. But there are two real distinct types that we tend to recognize while watching and writing about movies that aren’t acknowledged by the Academy: realistic and artificial. The former has been a big favorite since method acting came into play, though it doesn’t necessarily apply to that style nor does that style necessarily always mean realism. The latter could be more expressive and therefore goes back to the dawn of cinema and its silent performances or could even be more stiff, if that’s what’s intended. Directors who […]

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We love television, but we love movies more. And we love movies a lot more than awards for television. So, why would we watch the 2012 Emmy Awards when we can just watch any number of this year’s nominees in their great film works, a lot of which are streaming on Netflix. Classics that you’ll find from the Watch Instantly service featuring Emmy nominees include Platoon, Fatal Attraction, Reservoir Dogs, Black Hawk Down, The Terminator and plenty others. But I noticed a bunch of recommended titles with the special circumstance of involving two or more Emmy-nominated talents, including a few from the contending directors. Speaking of which, I could have counted Louis C.K.‘s Pootie Tang, but I still haven’t seen it. Maybe that’s what I’ll be watching this evening. Check out the list and links after the jump.

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Michael Clarke Duncan

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that begins on a sad note this evening, then explodes into an exploration of some of the best long-form writing on the entertainment blogosphere. Every single link is worth a click. We’re quite proud of this accomplishment. Good job, team. We begin tonight with some sad news, that of Michael Clarke Duncan passing away at age 54. The Oscar-nominated actor was known best for his role in The Green Mile, but also stole scenes in everything from Armageddon to The Slammin’ Salmon. In person, he was described as a friendly, gentle man, quite the opposite of his intimidating stature. He died as a result of a heart attack, his fiancé confirmed today. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family. He will be missed.

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FSR is usually steeped in high-mindedness and moral fiber, but there’s no reason not to highlight something as cool as LEGO versions of iconic movies scenes. Consider it a Friday distraction tucked between a review of the latest Todd Solondz movie and (spoiler alert) breaking news about a possible new Jackass movie. Somehow it makes complete sense. Especially because these images are undeniable. The fine folks at BostInno discovered this internet wonder – a series of sharply photographed movies scenes (from Hitchcock to Tarantino) done with LEGO figures. There’s a LEGO movie in the works, there are movie scenes done in LEGO and the snake of culture continues to eat its tail. Check out the images for yourself:

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Filmmaking Tips from The Coen Brothers

There are a lot of stories about colleagues and reporters asking Joel and Ethan Coen questions only to get the same exact answer from both (or to get one finishing the other’s sentence), so it seems at least plausible that they’d both agree on all these tips – no matter which brother they came from. Joel Coen got his start as an assistant editor on Fear No Evil and The Evil Dead. He and his brother then partnered for their first movie without the word “evil” in the title, Blood Simple., which rightly launched them to prominence where they’d go on to craft Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, countless other modern classics and a trophy case for all their awards. All of this fulfilled a childhood dream of making movies that started with a Super 8 camera and a hobby of remaking what they saw on television. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from two young masters who think exactly alike.

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Last month we celebrated Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon with a dedicated crew, and this month we’re teaming with Mondo and Constellation to present a special 4/20 online screening of the Coen Brothers‘ The Big Lebowski. If you’re not on board, clearly you’re not a golfer. Please join us on April 20th at 10pm EST/7pm PST and bring your White Russian because we’ll have drinking games, trivia, viewer polls, an interactive chat and the chance to win a $45 Mondo Tees gift card. Get your ticket here while they last. I’ll be hosting, and if you’re lucky, you might just get to see my interpretive dance.

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Recently, director Jason Reitman has been doing a special series of script readings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Basically what he does is he takes the script for a beloved film, recasts the whole thing with new actors, and does a stage reading in front of a live audience. Rights issues being what they are, something like this can’t be recorded, so getting to experience one of these events is a très exclusive honor. Reitman has already given this treatment to five universally loved movies (The Breakfast Club, The Apartment, Shampoo, Reservoir Dogs, and The Princess Bride), and tonight he’s set to cap off his series with a reading of everyone’s favorite film, The Big Lebowski. Who does he have on tap to bring legendary characters like The Dude and Jackie Treehorn to life on stage? Inside Movies has the scoop, and some of his decisions sound like they’re ripe with fun-time possibilities. For the part of The Dude (or El Duderino, if you’re not into that whole brevity thing) Reitman has chosen Seth Rogen, the man with the best stoner laugh in Hollywood. His best friend and security expert, Walter Sobchak, will be played by The Office star Rainn Wilson, a man not unfamiliar with bluster. As the other Jeffrey Lebowski, the millionaire (and a fucking goldbricker if I’ve ever seen one), is Jason Alexander, a man used to spinning unbelievable yarns. And for Lebowski’s red-headed and inappropriately sexual daughter Maude, they’ve tapped Mad Men star […]

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If it were up to me, every movie would be required at least one musical number. Seriously, every movie. Children Of Men would have a song in it, Sophie’s Choice as well. Why? I don’t know – it would be funny I guess. Fine, so it’s probably not a great idea. I take it back. I just get excited when a song becomes the center of a scene – especially in comedies. People rarely have the nibs to stick a good musical sequence or two in their non-musical genre films, so let’s take a moment to pay our respects to those who did it so well by arbitrarily judging them in list form.

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It’s a dangerous time of year for movie merchandise collectors – unsure what your partners, friends or family have decided to buy, and yet torn by the need to invest in the latest additions to the market, many collectors go stir-crazy and can be found roaming the streets of every major city in the snow, tragically calling out for Turbo-Man. So the best thing to do to avoid that entirely fictional eventuality is to make a list, check it twice… that sort of thing. Only instead of writing doing which children are naughty and which are nice (and probably inviting some suspicious inquiries from disgruntled and probably scared parents), populate said list with all of the goodies you require come December 25th. That way, you can spend the rest of November and December buying the cheaper things you want yourself – that’s right, leave the £650 Batman busts for Grandma to buy. With that in mind, here we go with this week’s triumvirate of movie merch goodness – at “pocket money” prices for pockets that are beginning to feel the festive pinch…

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray we take a late look at some of the best releases from four days ago, and eleven days ago. Okay, so it’s been a boring fortnight in Blu-ray, so were combining two weeks worth of coverage into one shot of high definition adrenaline. In this long list, however, you will find plenty of stuff worth your time and money. This includes a definitive release for The Dude, an adventure with Trolls, some time spent with everyone’s favorite serial killer and a few under-the-radar, direct-to-DVD films that are worth watching at least once. The Big Lebowski For The Dude shall get the release he so deserves. That’s how I would assume it is written in the Book of Lebowski. And that’s what we have here: the Blu-ray release — for the most part — The Dude has deserved all along. Not only is the Coen Brothers’ most popular cult hit presented in crisp, dynamically transferred and near-perfect HD, it is also presented with a few new special features. The packaging isn’t as impressive as the DVD edition I have on my display shelf that comes inside a bowling ball, but I’m willing to look past that for this particular release. It’s a great movie and this is a very good Blu-ray release. There is some HD-exclusive content, including a picture-in-picture commentary track and an interactive pop-up trivia track. It also comes with Digital Copy, because you never know when you might want to bust out Lebowski and […]

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Why Watch? A man walks into a Ralph’s, grabs a carton of half-and-half, and takes a sip. There are few movies that inspire annual celebrations, and there are fewer movies that turn their inspirations into celebrities. Jeff Dowd was already a certain type of celebrity after being part of The Seattle Seven, but he was introduced to the movie-going world when The Coen Brothers used him as the inspiration for The Dude in The Big Lebowski. This sharp documentary lets him tell his story which includes protesting, working with the Coens, and being His Dudeness at a Lebowski Fest in Miami. What does it cost? Just 18 minute of your time. Check out The Dude for yourself:

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Drinking Games

What would you do if someone broke into your house, peed on your rug and demanded that you pay a pornographer a boat-load of money that you really don’t owe him? Would you track down a millionaire with your name and demand a new rug? Would you get involved in a kidnapping scheme? Or would you just abide? Now that the Coen Brothers’ masterpiece The Big Lebowski is available on Blu-ray, you can contemplate these questions in high definition. And you might want to do so while drinking a white Russian.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s just a nightly movie news column that wants its rug back, man. We open tonight with a first look at Charlize Theron playing what we can only expect to be an emotionally stunted character in Jason Reitman’s Young Adult, his second collaboration with writer Diablo Cody. Please excuse whatever sarcasm came out of that first sentence — I have liked every bit of Reitman’s previous work and this one includes Patton Oswalt, so I see no reason why it won’t be excellent.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a thing that happens nightly, only on Film School Rejects. Well, unless you count the spam sites that scrape our content and post it as their own. We know you’re out there, and we’re going to get you. In the mean time, here’s some news for all you readers, no matter where you’re seeing it. We open tonight with the new image from Jeff, Who Lives At Home, another TIFF ’11 premiere. It’s the latest from the Duplass brothers, about a man who lives at home with his mother, until the day when the universe begins showing him signs about his future. It has Ed Helms, I’ll watch that.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news compendium that, with the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, will now move on to being completely obsessed with The Dark Knight Rises. It will still carry plenty of Doctor Who news, check in regularly with Michael Bay, fill space with Monty Python clips and deliver the best editorial finds around. But for the most part, it’s all TDKR from here, so strap in. With the production of The Dark Knight Rises well under way and the release of a first photo of Tom Hardy’s Bane already on the web, the next logical step is to have fans obsess over what Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman will look like. Will she be a bondage babe like Michelle Pfiefer, or turbo-swimsuit edition Halle Berry Catwoman? Neither looks like the answer. According to a tipster for Hollywood Life, the costume will look more like the original comic version made famous by the comics of artist Darwyn Cooke and Ed Brubaker. This goggled, 21st century Catwoman could fit the more practical world in which Christopher Nolan conducts his Batman stories. Anne Hathaway will also still look pretty hot, I imagine.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly round-up of all things interesting and wonderful happening in the world of movies. At least, that’s what it was born as. Lately it’s been feeling as if it might be more of a Rachel Weisz News After Dark kind of column. A Rachel Weiszsexual, if you will. And yes, that’s the technical term. It’s a tough affliction to live with. Because their just isn’t enough Rachel Weisz in the world. Luckily Hollywood is hell-bent on changing that… Guess what this week is… Rachel Weisz week. Based on a survey of our male 18-35 demographic, which represents a solid percentage of our readership, this is somehow preferable to all of my updates about Doctor Who. I don’t see why, as Doctor Who is excellent. But I can understand your affinity for Rachel Weisz news. Anyway, she’s not only in line to take a high profile role in Oz the Great and Powerful and The Bourne Legacy. According to a report from Cinema Blend, Weisz is high on the list to star opposite Johnny Depp in Rob Marshall’s remake of The Thin Man. Even though that film sound unnecessary, we just can’t say no to more Rachel Weisz… can we?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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