Halloween is not just about scaring people. Everyone’s favorite sugar-filled holiday is also about paying tribute to characters you’ve loved your whole life. Whether it be the Power Rangers, Dracula, or Freddy Krueger, there are an endless number of ways to dress up as your favorite people and creatures.
Debuting in 1998 and written and directed by the inimitable Coen Brothers, The Big Lebowski is an absurd, sardonic, adventurous and comedic detective story of the highest caliber. Helping the film achieve its cult-like status were surely its endlessly quotable lines of dialogue and a cornucopia array of unforgettably whacky characters.
Should you decide to plan on an homage to The Big Lebowski during this year’s upcoming Halloween celebration, you’re in luck because most of the items involved in the making of this costume can be purchased cheaply online or from secondhand stores. I’m going to show you what to look for as you’re scanning over musky thrift store shelves.
Personally, my favorite character from the film will forever be Jeffery Lebowski himself. While Walter Sobchak could almost be tied for that title, he’s a very very close second. Anyway, I always felt a kinship with Jeffery Lebowski, from here on out referred to as “The Dude,” and his slacker mentality. He’s a man who feels perfectly at home in the year 1991. He’s an easygoing, pot smoking pacifist who enjoys bowling with his friends and sipping on White Russians. I’ve decided to dedicate this article to preserving his memory and helping you become The Dude for a day.
Sports movies are a huge part of film history because of their inherent drama and tension. Sports themselves are full of all of the ups and downs and do or die scenarios that make for great stories. Add in a human element, some great characters, and an underdog-overcoming-adversity cliche and you’ve got the makings of a successful movie.
While there are tons of movies about football, basketball, race car driving, and even a good number of hockey movies, there aren’t a whole lot that focus on the whitest sport in the history of mankind–golf.
Traditionally a sport reserved for business professionals and snooty aristocrats, I’ve always been a fan of chasing a little white ball around a sprawling, scenic sea of grass, trees, sand and water. And, while Caddy Shack is the quintessential golf comedy film, I will always have a huge appreciation for Adam Sandler’s comedy golf romp as well. I’m talking of course about the trash-talking tough guy golfer with a heart of gold called Happy Gilmore.
When the average person thinks about wholesome family entertainment like Full House, the last things on their mind are the consequences of illegal drug abuse, addiction, and relapse. Although the idea of child stars falling into disarray is not a new concept, sometimes the people who fall into such messes are the ones you’d least expect.
Enter little Stephanie Tanner. Jodie Sweetin’s lovable middle Tanner daughter was the picture of exuberant happiness and seemed like such a nice girl. Little did the world know that she had been wrapped up in the dangerous world of alcoholism and crystal meth addiction for years behind closed doors.
Beginning at the wedding of Candace Cameron to her long-time hubby, Sweetin engaged in self-destructive levels of substance abuse. After all these years, Jodie Sweetin finally decided to come clean. She grabbed a publisher and let her thoughts flow out of her like a volcanic eruption and finished a wonderfully inspirational autobiography called UnSweetined.
So much has already been written about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl stereotype. It’s a term coined by film critic Nathan Rabin and he succinctly describes the archetype as “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” While this is a pretty gloomy interpretation of the character type, it doesn’t lack accuracy.
From Natalie Portman’s character in Garden State to absolutely any role Zooey Deschanel (the alpha Manic Pixie Dream Girl) has played in her career, this type of character can be spotted from a mile away. These female characters are so aloof, quirky, and awkward that you can’t help but get emotionally invested in how adorable and enigmatic they are.
I guess it’s because I’m one of those “broodingly soulful young men” that I am hopelessly endeared by this type of character. Going back to a very young age, all it took was an eccentric girl with doe eyes to make me obsessive to the point of stalking.
There are certain actors and directors in Hollywood who receive undue amounts of prejudice and hatred. Folks go out of their way to hate their movies and projects before they’re anywhere near completion and lampoon them endlessly when they are eventually released. Most people don’t realize that films don’t have to be artsy, well-acted or pretentious to be entertaining and provide an enjoyable moviegoing experience. Michael Bay’s 1996 thrill ride, The Rock, fits into this category admirably.
Showcasing one of the most honorable villains in action movie history, The entirety of The Rock takes place on Alcatraz Island which General Francis Hummel, played by a dignified and believable Ed Harris, takes over after he feels he has been deeply wronged by the country he has laid down his life for. Seething with frustration, Hummel decides to round up a squadron of fellow ex-military thugs who feel the same and take revenge on the government and people who betrayed him. After gathering his team, Hummel and his goons take Alcatraz hostage and use a biological weapon fashioned into rocket-propelled missiles to threaten the entire city of San Francisco.
Thankfully for San Francisco citizens, they have resident bomb and chemical expert Stanley Goodspeed, the ageless Nicholas Cage, to save their pathetic lives from the threat of bio-terrorism. However, a lab geek against a gang of military terrorists would be too impossible of odds for even the most contrived Hollywood action romp, so there is also a supreme badass thrown into the mix in the form of the only man to ever escape the “inescapable” Alcatraz prison: retired agent John Patrick Mason. Played by the original ass-kicker Sean Connery, Mason is the bread and butter of this action flick. He’s deadly, violent, and smarter than pretty much everyone else in the film. Mason is the only one who knows the ins and outs of the heavily-guarded Alcatraz prison and the government decides to throw him a bone regarding his life imprisonment in return for his help.