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A cloud of weed descends on Jason Reitman's live-read of 'The Big Lebowski'

Alexandra Wyman/Getty ImagesThe unmistakable smell of burning marijuana wafted over the audience.

This was the scene at Jason Reitman’s live-read of The Big Lebowski last night, with Seth Rogen on stage recreating the Coen brothers movie alongside Christina Hendricks, Jason Alexander, Rainn Wilson — and surprise guest Sam Elliott, playing the part he originated 15 years ago.

How someone at the reading could get away with smoking a joint in the middle of a packed theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is something we’ll just have to ask the boys down at the crime lab. (Maybe the LAPD should get four more detectives working on the case.) READ FULL STORY

Seth Rogen is not 'The Big Lebowski' -- he's The Dude, man -- EXCLUSIVE

UPDATE: If you are in Los Angeles, you should swing by the L.A. County Museum of Art at 7:30 p.m. Though the theater is sold out, Reitman and Film Independent plan to broadcast the show into the courtyard. No rioting, please.

For one night only, Bunny Lebowski’s life is in Seth Rogen’s hands.

The Knocked Up star will be taking over Jeff Bridges’ iconic role for Jason Reitman’s live-read tonight of the Coen brothers script for The Big Lebowski. So call him The Dude. You know… that or, His Dudeness, or Duder, or El Duderino (if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.)

Tonight’s Film Independent event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will be the sixth and final of Reitman’s staged readings of classic movie scripts before a live audience (at least for now.) By recasting iconic characters with different actors, the events are basically a movie-lover’s experiment, and — sadly, due to rights issues — not recorded for later distribution.

It’s designed to get movie fans talking. Who would you cast in an alternate universe version of the movie? The Up in the Air and Young Adult filmmaker tells EW his picks for The Big Lebowski

READ FULL STORY

Jason Reitman's latest live-read really ties the room together -- EXCLUSIVE

Jason Reitman’s live stage-reading series — classic movie scripts like The Breakfast Club and The Princess Bride — has become one of the coolest phenomenons to hit Los Angeles these past few months, so what better way to close out the six-installment series than with an iconic L.A. story?

Next Thursday, Reitman will assemble a group of actors to re-create The Big Lebowski for one night only. Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1998 comedy, which may rank as the ultimate cult movie, presents a few challenges that make it a tantalizing prospect for Reitman & Co. to re-create on stage.

“There are so many characters in this movie,” Reitman says. “We’ve tried to keep all of our live-reads to movies that have maybe 10 or 12 characters. This movie has something like 40 characters in it. You don’t realize it when you’re watching it, but person after person turns up to do interesting and strange scenes.”

Luckily, three actors known for their diverse voices have signed on to ensure that worries about the size of the cast don’t drag any negative energy into this tournament. READ FULL STORY

Watch Guy Pearce get repeatedly punched in the trailer for 'Lock-Out'

Do you like Guy Pearce?

Do you like movies in which someone gets repeatedly punched in the face?

Do you like movies in which Guy Pearce gets repeatedly punched in the face?

If you answered “Yes!” to two or more of the above questions, may we humbly recommend you stop what you’re doing and watch the trailer for the new sci-fi actioner Lock-Out. To be honest, we don’t know much about the film except that it also stars Peter Stormare, was co-written by Luc Besson (who knows a thing or three about the action genre) and, judging by the trailer, Guy Pearce gets punched in the face. A lot.

You’ll find the potty-mouthed and, yes, quite fisty clip below. Take a look and tell us what you think. READ FULL STORY

You can now rent 'The Big Lebowski' on Facebook

Following in the trail of The Dark Knight and the Jackass trilogy, The Big Lebowski is now available for rent on Facebook. You can rent the film by going to the official Lebowski Facebook page; the rental costs 30 Facebook credits, or $3. In an intriguing new twist that may indicate that the social network’s plans for their rental software are evolving, people who rent Lebowski will participate in something called “Social Theater,” a program still in beta which allows viewers to share favorite scenes, see other peoples’ comments aboure specific moments in the film, and offer up to 5 friends a 10-credit discount to rent the film on their own.

It’s an interesting new development for the film, and an indication that the cult of Lebowski continues to grow over decade after the film flopped in theaters. (The film’s blu-ray was just released, and EW’s own Clark Collis hosted a Lebowski cast reunion earlier this week.)

Read more:
‘The Big Lebowski’ cast reunion: Watch the replay!
Sneak peek at the ‘Big Lebowski’ Blu-ray
Stoner flicks: 19 ‘high-rated’ faves

'The Big Lebowski' reunion: 5 things we learned from last night's event

Last night, I had the great honor of moderating a reunion of the Big Lebowski cast — Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, and the film’s music archivist T Bone Burnett — at New York’s Hammerstein venue. I learned a lot of things during the course of the night. Here’s the top 5…

1. People really love The Big Lebowski
Okay, as a veteran of several Lebowski Fests, this is something I thought I knew already. But I don’t believe I fully appreciated quite how much love this film inspires until I was faced with a sea of Dudes, Maudes, and Walters going berserk every time they heard the words “Lebowski,” “The Dude,” or “occasional acid flashback.”

2. These days, Walter raises pigeons READ FULL STORY

'The Big Lebowski' cast reunion: Watch the replay!

For me, today is like Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, my birthday, and International Bring-A-Pomeranian-Bowling Day all rolled into one. What in God’s holy name am I blathering about? Tonight, I will have the huge pleasure and honor of moderating a Big Lebowski cast reunion live onstage at the Hammerstein venue as part of this year’s Lebowski Fest New York. Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, and the movie’s music archivist T Bone Burnett will all be present to talk about one of my favorite films of all-time, which is debuting today on Blu-ray.

While the event itself is sold out, EW.com will be live streaming and tweeting (#lebowskifest) the whole shebang. The pre-show starts at 6:30 p.m. ET and is hosted by Jeff Dowd, who inspired Jeff Bridges’ character, the Dude. Then the cast themselves will hit the stage at 8 p.m. So come back at 6:30 p.m. ET to watch EW’s live stream (embedded below) and me ask a bunch of incisive questions about working on the Coen brothers’ noir-stoner comedy classic — or to watch me get totally overcome by proceedings and start weeping White Russian-flavored tears. (Strong men also cry… Strong men also cry.)

Either way, it should be worth catching. Come on, that’s a great plan. If I understand it correctly, it’s a Swiss f—in’ watch!

Watch the live stream after the jump and entertain yourself with the trailer for the Big Lebowski Blu-ray, which is also below. And you can check out Bridges’ track “What a Little Bit of Love Can Do,” from his self-titled solo CD, which is released today. (UPDATE: Replay of pre-show and panel follows live stream.) READ FULL STORY

Tara Reid talks about making her new 'Big Lebowski 2' spoof for FunnyOrDie -- EXCLUSIVE

Earlier this year, Tara Reid was widely mocked for incorrectly stating that work would soon begin on The Big Lebowski 2. (Those who had a little fun at Ms. Reid’s expense included Lebowski auteur Ethan Coen, who declared “I’m glad she’s working on it. We’ll watch it when it comes out.”) Now the American Pie actress has turned that frown upside down (and really tied her mistake together) by making a fake Big Lebowski 2 trailer for FunnyOrDie.com. Reid plays every important character from the original classic comedy, except for her actual role of trophy wife and nail polish enthusiast Bunny Lebowski.

“We just thought it was the perfect opportunity to do something,” says Christopher Farah, who directed the clip (below) which, we feel obliged to point out, echoes the Coens’ movie by featuring both an expletive and excreta. “It was a really great experience. I honestly had no idea what to expect with someone who has a name and also maybe a reputation. But Tara was well grounded and very enthusiastic. I talked to all of my friends about this as soon as it was done. I was like, ‘Wow, you wouldn’t believe how incredibly cool Tara Reid is!'”

But why exactly did she claim there was going to be a Big Lebowski sequel? “I never asked,” laughs Farah. “You’re certainly more than welcome to ask her yourself.”

Which is just what we did. After the jump, Tara Reid herself talks about her gaffe, making the Lebowski 2 clip, and the forthcoming American Pie 4 (which, unlike Big Lebowski 2 is, apparently, real).

READ FULL STORY

Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges circling 'The Seventh Son'

Last time Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges graced the screen together, they made cinematic history. No, I’m not being fatuous. Their courtship in The Big Lebowski wasn’t the most romantic of screen pairings, but it epitomized the daffy tenor of the Coen brothers’ cult comedy.

Moore’s rep now confirms to EW a Bloody Disgusting report that the four-time Oscar nominee will play a most dangerous 1700’s witch in The Seventh Son, and Bridges is currently in talks to play an experienced exorcist. Sadly, I suspect there will not be bowling, though I’m holding out hope that 18th-century witches wore vikings helmets. Get in the mood for their possible reunion with a brief glimpse of their previous encounter: READ FULL STORY

How Jeff Bridges became this year's dude, and an 'Avatar' hunch

Jeff-Bridges_320.jpg Image Credit: Lebowski: Everett Collection; Crazy: Lorey SebastianWhen Jeff Bridges, as just about every handicapper expects, gets up tonight to receive his Academy Award for Best Actor, we all know that the award will be given — and received, and deserved — on two levels at once. It will be a tasty double scoop of victory. Bridges’ performance in Crazy Heart is superb by any standard: a note-perfect piece of transformative acting, and also, like the film itself (or, at least, the best parts of it), a beautiful throwback to the lived-in, shaggy-psychodrama spirit of the let-it-all-hang-out ’70s. His Bad Blake is that memorable contradiction, an intensely sympathetic man who gets dragged down by demons of his own devising. Letting yourself identify with a character this flawed is a cathartic experience, an essential part of what movies are all about.

The other level of triumph that Bridges will be getting honored for, of course, is his entire career: all the sturdy, soulful performances that he has given over 40 years, ever since he broke through in The Last Picture Show (1971). I always have to do a mental double take when I think of how long Bridges has been around, because even now, at 60, with a twinge of gravel in his voice, he still has the mellowness and robust handsome grace of an aging Beach Boy. What audiences liked about him way back when is what they still like about him now: his ability to give decent men ripples of furtive, troubled urgency.

When an actor or actress takes home an Oscar that is also given, in part, for what they’ve done in the past, it works one of two ways. Either they’re getting, in effect, a kind of overall career-achievement award; or they’re winning the Oscar in belated acknowledgement of one or two especially beloved and acclaimed performances that the Academy, in its infinite wisdom, somehow passed over. READ FULL STORY

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