dinsdag 18 maart 2008

30 Mistakes

Movies are about the suspension of disbelief – we pretend not to know we’re watching actors perform a script – but often, movies will contain mistakes that ‘unsuspend’ our disbelief. If you notice them, that is. And that’s what www.moviemistakes.com is all about. TBL, according to that website, tallies up 30 mistakes. It could be worse – the record is held by Apocalypse Now, containing 397 errors.

  1. Continuity: In the opening credits when a very large bowler attempts a 7-10 split, the ball he releases changes color when it is shown picking up the spare.
  2. Continuity: When the Dude is in Jackie Treehorn's estate, he pencils over a pad of paper to see what Jackie wrote down while he was on the phone. He then hurriedly crumples up the piece of paper and shoves it in his wallet. Then, when we see the Chief of Police of Malibu looking through the contents of The Dude's wallet, the paper is there, neatly folded in fourths.
  3. Deliberate "mistake": When we are introduced to Jesus, during his slow motion roll, the camera cuts to the ball hitting the pins and then back to Jesus doing a celebratory dance. For some un-known reason, the film of the ball hitting a strike is actually back to front (see the posters above the lane are in mirror image to what they should be). Given that a bowling lane is perfectly symmetrical, if anyone's got an explanation, I'd love to hear it... [Jesus bowls with his right hand. If the scene was played the correct way, you would realize the shot of the ball rolling was done by a LEFT HANDED bowler...so obviously rather than re-shoot the scene with a right-handed bowler they reversed the shot. Voila. Still a mistake but there's why.] 
  4. Continuity: There's one scene where The Dude is taking a bath, and three Germans threaten him with a marmot. When they take the little animal out of the water, you see Dude's head and in the back four candles: yellow, blue, red and white. The yellow and red one aren't burning; the blue and white are. The next shot of the Dude's head you see that the yellow, blue and red candles are burning, the white one isn't.
  5. Audio problem: When Walter is destroying the expensive sports car, the owner comes out of his house to stop him. You hear him screaming, but his mouth is not moving.
  6. Visible crew/equipment: When the nihilists are ordering food at the restaurant, you can see the reflection of the camera and cameraman in the window behind them. Watch as the scene pans around and you can see the camera and the cameraman move as well. Could the person behind the camera be Roger Deakins?
  7. Visible crew/equipment: As The Dude enters his apartment, having left Ralphs, a stage hand can be seen in a window of another apartment. The stage hand ducks quickly.
  8. Continuity: When Jesus' partner is seen bowling for the first time, when you see the P.O.V of the bowling pins there's another much skinnier man with different clothes in his place. Then the shot goes back to the Jesus' partner's midsection doing his strike dance.
  9. Factual error: This film takes place in the early 90's. In the scene where Walter and the Dude are talking about the toe in the cafe, you can see late model cars driving by on the street, such as a late model Ford Explorer and a Cadilac.
  10. Continuity: When The Dude enters Lebowski's office the telephone is on the far right of the desk and the lamp is on the far left with 3 wooden objects between them. During the shots of The Dude, when he is talking, the phone and lamp are much closer together and the wooden objects aren't there. 
  11. Continuity: The Dude is driving, being followed by Jon Polito's character. Suddenly he realises the tail has disappeared and hurriedly pull the car over. As he looks out his driver's side window, we can see he's wearing his sunglasses, but when the do the reverse and he checks the other window, his sunnies are gone.
  12. Continuity: When the dude first looks at the nihilist in the pool the liquor bottle is way off to the side. In the next shot a few seconds later, (the close up) it is tucked right under his arm.
  13. Continuity: When you first see the Dude, Walter, and Donnie together at the bowling alley the bowlers sitting in the background of the next lane keep changing between the shots of Walter and Donnie sitting down and the Dude standing.
  14. Continuity: In the scene where the Dude joins Mr. Lebowski in the West Wing, where he was in seclusion, he is handed Bunny's ransom note by Brandt. As he reads the note he smokes a joint. Through the entire reading sequence he moves the joint from his mouth to his hand and back. Watch how several times the joint is in his hand, while you see a shot of the note and the Dude's hands, but when the shot changes to overall view, the joint is suddenly back in his mouth and he retrieves it again.
  15. Continuity: In her studio, Maude dumps a bunch of trinkets on the counter. While she is on the phone, some of the items disappear and then reappear.
  16. Continuity: The paint disappears from The Dude's face before Julianne Moore hands him the towel.
  17. Continuity: When The Dude is sitting in the chair talking to Mr. Lebowski, his jacket is open so that the hole in his shirt shows, then closed, then more open again from shot to shot.
  18. Deliberate "mistake": In the first bowling scene, all the lane numbers are backwards.
  19. Continuity: When the Dude shows up at Maude's place (the time where the video artist is laughing annoyingly), pay attention to Maude's bangs changing positions between several shots. Sometimes the hair is raised up on the left side of her forehead and other times the bangs are straight across. It's most noticeable after she pours a drink and turns around.
  20. Continuity: When the Dude's driving home from the doctor's, he passes a yellow truck, visible through the side window, when he throws his joint against the door window. If you compare the shot where he grabs for his joint and the next one where he sprinkles the beer, you'll see he passes the truck twice.
  21. Continuity: When they exit the bowling alley with the dog, the dog is never put in the car, only the cage.
  22. Continuity: When Lebowski is driving home from the doctors office, the back window of his car is so covered with dirt that you cannot see out of it, yet when he looks in his rearview mirror there is a very clear reflection of the car following him.
  23. Plot hole: In the scene near the beginning it shows a big guy converting a 7-10 split and celebrating. If you watch it closely you will realize that the 7 pin is lined up too far to the left and the ball is already in the gutter when it hits the pin. If this guy is that good to convert the split, then he should realize that it wouldn't count anyway because the ball is already in the gutter.
  24. Continuity: When The Dude crashes the car into the pole, you cannot see Walter lying in the road. 
  25. Other: As "Brother Seamus" slams the door of his Volkswagen shut before "fighting" The Dude, the volume of the radio drops, although he had the window rolled down and did not have time to roll it up before getting out of the car.
  26. Deliberate "mistake": Near the beginning of the movie, the Dude is shopping at Ralph's. He is writing a check, and dates it September 11th, 1991. At the same time he looks up to see a TV with President Bush saying "This aggression (against Kuwait) will not stand." The incident against Kuwait started in the summer/fall of 1990, not 1991. The Stranger (Sam Elliot) and Walter also mention the Gulf War in the present tense.
  27. Factual error: When the kidnappers hang up on the Dude before the money drop, you hear a dial tone. Cell phones don't have dial tones. 
  28. Continuity: When Donny bowls the last time, the time when he only hits nine, just as he bowls a man with a blue bag walks behind him, then it cuts to the skittles and then back to him, and the man keeps walking from where we last saw him as if he paused for the few seconds while the skittles were showing.
  29. Continuity: When Dude is talking to the stranger at the bar the straw in his glass changes sides of the glass very often, but Dude isn't drinking in this scene.
  30. Continuity: In the scene in the limo, with the Dude drinking his white Russian, some shots show him with a milk moustache, then the shot changes, and then when it returns he doesn't have a moustache. The next time the camera left the dude and returned, he has the moustache back.

zondag 16 maart 2008

Madonna's Lebowski Link

Personal trainer turned minor actor Carlos Leon's main claim to fame is the fact that he fathered Madonna's daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon. A minor fame claim would be his bit part in TBL - he is 'Maude's Thug #1' when she steals back her rug from the Dude's house. Madonna and Leon were a couple around the time of filming of TBL. He has since acted mainly in tv series, guesting in Law & Order and CSI (NY and Miami) among others, and some movies, such as The Woodsman. He also appeared on Broadway in the Threepenny Opera, together with Cyndi Lauper (see picture).

zaterdag 15 maart 2008

Is That Near The In-N-Out Burger?

This list is by no means complete, more locations will be added. Oh, and by the way: there is an In-N-Out Burger in North Hollywood, but it's neither on Radford nor on Camrose, it's at 5864 Lankershim Boulevard (pictured). Most of TBL was shot in and around Los Angeles, the City of Angels. Here below are a few more precise locations.

Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds
Pear Blossom
California, US
(the opening shot of the movie, was actually shot at the very end of filming)

The Dude’s House
609 Venezia Avenue
Venice, Los Angeles
California, US
(when visiting, remember: “This is a private residence, man.”)

Hollywood Star Lanes
5227 Santa Monica Boulevard
Hollywood, Los Angeles
California, US
(the bowling alley where the bowling scenes were shot; it has since been torn down)

Dinah’s Original Pancake and Chicken House
6521 South Sepulveda Boulevard
Culver City, Los Angeles
California, US
(the pancake house in which the Nihilists order their lingenberry pancakes and Pigs in a Blanket)

Greystone Park and Mansion
905 Lorna Vista Drive
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
California, US
(the mansion of the Big Lebowski)

This is a popular movie location. Other flicks set here include: Air Force One (1997), All of Me (1984), The Astronaut’s Wife (1999), Batman & Robin (1997), The Bodyguard (1992), Death Becomes Her (1992), Eraserhead (1977), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), Ghostbusters (1984), Indecent Proposal (1993), Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986), Nixon (1995), The Prestige (2006), There Will Be Blood (2007), The Witches of Eastwick (1987) and X-Men (2000)

Sobchak Security
6757 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles
California, US
(where the Dude picks up Walter to make the money delivery)

The Wooden Bridge
Holser Canyon Road
California, US
(located to the north east of Piru, this is the bridge where the Dude and Walter drop off the ‘ringer’; the bridge actually isn’t wooden – they covered it with planks for the filming. In the dropoff scene, the Dude and Walter drive North to South over the bridge)

Kicked out of a Cab
the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Duquesne Avenue
Culver City, Los Angeles
(where the Dude gets kicked out of the taxi after protesting that he doesn’t like the Eagles)

Johnie’s Coffee Shop
6101 Wilshire Boulevard
Fairfax, Los Angeles
California, US
(coffee shop scene where Walter promises the Dude he can get him a toe, by 3 PM – “There are ways, Dude. You don’t want to know”; the coffee shop is closed but the building still stands)

Other movies set here: Reservoir Dogs (1992), Very Bad Things (1998) and American History X (1998) and Miracle Mile

Point Fermin
San Pedro, Los Angeles
California, US
(the bluff on which Donny’s ashes were scattered)

Other movies set here: Chinatown (1974) and Freeway (1996)

Sheats-Goldstein Residence
Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles
California, US
(Jackie Treehorn’s house)

Other movies set here: Bandits (2001) and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

Thanks to imdb.com, movielocationsguide.com and Lebowski Locations

'Dude', 'man' and the f-word

Stats on the recurrence of some of the most popular words in Dudespeak.

147 – number of times the Dude uses the word ‘man’ in the movie.
161 – number of times the word ‘dude’ is used in the movie: 160 time spoken, 1 time written (in the credits for ‘Gutterball’, the second dream sequence).
281 – number of times the F-word is used in the movie. (note: another source lists TBL at 260 f***s, right in between Pulp Fiction at 265 and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back at 248. Seems like somebody is going to have to do a re-count…)

Treehorn Thug Was A Dude

The Dude meets Dude...

The blonde Treehorn thug, who micturates upon the Dude's rug at the beginning of the movie and thus gets the ball rolling, so to speak, is played by Mark Pellegrino.

Pellegrino is a hard-working B-list actor, mainly appearing in TV series (most recently in Dexter) rather than in movies, in which he usually plays minor roles (e.g. 'tourist #6' in Jurassic Park). In 1989, 9 years before soiling the rug that really tied the Dude's room together, Pellegrino played a guest role in the series Doogie Howser, M.D. He was credited only as... Dude

vrijdag 14 maart 2008

Ten Reasons To Watch It Again

Ten things you might have missed the previous 354 times you watched 'The Big Lebowski'.

  1. The same trident held by Maude Lebowski during the Dude’s dream sequence can also be seen in a statue in the Big Lebowski’s mansion.
  2. Cynthia’s dog, that Walter brings to the bowling alley, isn’t actually a pomeranian, but a Yorkshire terrier (pictured: a real pomeranian).
  3. The license plate of Bunny Lebowski’s car reads ‘Lapin’, which is French for rabbit.
  4. The Dude drinks nine White Russians during the movie, one of which he drops on Jackie Treehorn’s carpet.
  5. When we see Treehorn’s two thugs again at his mansion, they’ve swapped clothes since we saw them at the Dude’s place.
  6. The priapic picture which the Dude crumples and puts in his pocket, turns up uncrumpled and neatly folded in the Dude’s wallet at Malibu police station.
  7. The beer the Dude drinks in the car prior to crashing it, is called ‘Meichtry Draft’.
  8. The Dude does not bowl once during the whole movie.
  9. Donny gets a strike every time he bowls, except the last time, right before the confrontation with the Nihilists, in which he dies.
  10. When they are about to spread Donny’s ashes, Walter’s and the Dude’s hair is already covered in dust, probably from a previous take.