Inherent Vice ★★★

It really is The Big Lebowski with the confusion amped up to 10,000 and more embedded in it's 70's culture. The essentially incomprehensible plot really pulls the enjoyment of this back and forth; on one hand it makes revelations funny and puts a lot more comedic weight into Pheonix's constant befuddlement but on the other hand it has just enough plot that it can still be frustrating at times. Even though PTA probably cleaned up the complete mess of Pynchon's novel, wading through mumblecore and hippie lingo can be exhausting near the end of the movie (especially the scene were Shasta briefly returns, which feels like it takes 2 1/2 eternities). Still, I really love the vibe this movie creates, and the impressive cast really props it up (Josh Brolin as Bigfoot being the obvious highlight). A weird one in PTA's lineup, but one I enjoy nonetheless.