MATINEE
1993, Universal, 99 min, USA, Dir: Joe Dante

In this laugh-filled valentine to B-movie ballyhoo, John Goodman stars as Lawrence Woolsey, a filmmaker eager to exploit current events and such dubious cinematic advances as “Atomo-Vision.” During the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, he brings his new movie MANT ("Half man, half ant, all terror!") to Key West, Florida. The shifting relationships of the local high school kids add a nostalgic glow to MATINEE’s mix of Cold War paranoia and pop-culture schlock, right up to the climactic screening of Woolsey’s magnum opus. Cathy Moriarty is wonderful as the showman’s mistress/star.


TRUE STORIES
1986, Warner Bros., 90 min, USA, Dir: David Byrne

David Byrne of the Talking Heads drops in on a small Texas town as it's about to celebrate the state's sesquicentennial. Various quirky, memorable characters emerge, including and most notably John Goodman as Louis Fyne, a rotund bachelor longing to get hitched.


THE BIG LEBOWSKI
1998, Universal, 117 min, USA, Dir: Joel Coen

“What do you do for recreation?” “Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.” The Dude (a perfectly cast Jeff Bridges) decides to seek satisfaction when he’s mistaken by some German nihilists for an uptight multimillionaire with the same name, Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston). Enlisting the help of his best bowling buddies, short-fuse ’Nam vet Walter (a brilliantly misguided John Goodman) and wimpy Donny (Steve Buscemi), the Dude is determined to get to the bottom of the confusion of identities. With an excellent and appropriately bizarre supporting cast, including a seductive, swing-riding Julianne Moore as Maude Lebowski, John Turturro as bowling rival and pederast “The Jesus,” and Tara Reid as millionaire Lebowski’s bored, pedicured trophy wife.


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