The Big Lebowski has garnered a huge following over the course of 20 years and it’s easy to see why with some easy to quote lines that, often times, relates so well to real life. I’ve never been a huge fan of the movie though have grown to appreciate it over time.
The Big Lebowski
— 20th Anniversary Edition —
Genre(s): Comedy, Crime
Universal | R – 117 min. – $29.98 | October 16, 2018
Date Published: 11/04/2018 | Author: The Movieman
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
Screen captures are from the Blu-ray and do not represent the 4K transfer.
THE MOVIE — 4.0/5
Plot Synopsis: Jeff `The Dude’ Leboswki (JEFF BRIDGES) is mistaken for Jeffrey Lebowski (DAVID HUDDLESTON), who is The Big Lebowski. Which explains why he’s roughed up and has his precious rug peed on. In search of recompense, The Dude tracks down his namesake, who offers him a job. His wife (TARA REID) has been kidnapped and he needs a reliable bagman. Aided and hindered by his pals Walter Sobchak (JOHN GOODMAN), a Vietnam vet, and Donny (STEVE BUSCEMI), master of stupidity.
Quick Hit Review: For the longest time, I went without seeing the cult classic The Big Lebowski until I finally watched the film two years ago (had to look at my “diary” entry on Letterbxd). While I did enjoy it and found a sharply written script from the Coen Brothers and amazing performances, most notably Jeff Bridges and John Goodman (surprising the film didn’t get a single Academy Award nomination), I didn’t fall head over heels in love with the movie. So, with this 4K release, decided to give it another watch… and feel pretty much the same, entertaining but not blown away, although I did manage to laugh at all the jokes.
Entertaining. That’s probably the word I use for most films written and directed by the Coens. I don’t go overboard whenever their next film is announced and outside of Hail, Caesar, I generally do enjoy them, my favorite by far is Fargo followed by Lebowski and then No Country for Old Men, which did receive much, and mostly deserved, awards love.
If for whatever reason you were like me and just never got around to The Big Lebowski, it’s certainly has its moments and with lines such as “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, uh, your opinion, man” or “The dude abides”, and I pity anyone named Donny, it’s easy to see why it has a large fan base.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5
This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a Digital HD redemption code. All of the features are on the Blu-ray disc, none on the 4K.
Worthy Adversaries: What’s My Line Trivia – This is a pop-up trivia game where the movie pauses and you answer a multi-choice question what the line of either Lebowski or Walter says.
An Exclusive Introduction (4:40) by “Mortimer Young” of Forever Young film preservation who blabbers on and is actually pretty humorous.
The Dude’s Life (10:08) are interviews with the cast, including Bridges, Goodman, Moore and Buscemi (and archive publicity interviews with the Coen Brothers), about the characters in the film, including The Dude, Walter, Donny and Maude.
The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later (10:27) is a set of, at the time, new interviews recounting their experiences of working on the film and how it has become a cult classic. Also includes some behind-the-scenes footage.
Making of The Big Lebowski (24:35) – This is an older featurette but still an interesting watch with interviews by the cast and the Coen Brothers.
The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story (13:53) is an excerpt from a documentary about the Las Vegas convention celebrating The Big Lebowski.
Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude (4:20) breaks down the visual styles of two of the more outlandish, but fun, scenes from the film.
Interactive Map allows you to select various locations where a narrator will give some trivia about that locale and footage of the place years later. Most are in the 30-40 seconds of length.
Jeff Bridges Photo Book (17:30) has the actor showing off the book of pictures he took on set.
Photo Gallery (3:25)
U-Control offers the viewer to watch with pop-ups containing scene comparisons, music during that scene and “Mark it Dude”, a counter how many times “Lebowski”, “Dude”, “Man” or the f-bomb was said.
VIDEO – 4.25/5
|Universal releases The Big Lebowski onto 4K Ultra HD presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p high-definition transfer. Although comparatively the picture does look better than its Blu-ray counterpart, I don’t feel it’s an amazing video, albeit it is sharp and nicely defined. What does stand out, however, is the colors are incredibly bright courtesy of the HDR, this is especially noticeable during what I’ll call passed/knocked out fantasy sequences. Skin tones appear natural and blacks are stark yet detail is still discernible.|
AUDIO – 4.0/5
|The movie does get a slight boost from DTS-HD MA 5.1 to DTS:X. While it is nice that the studio didn’t merely port over the same audio codex as others might do, I won’t say this was some incredible auditory experience, yet along with the crisp and clear dialogue levels, where that extra layer does kick in for the catchy soundtrack, so you’ll get “Just Dropped In” blaring out of every available channel.|
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, The Big Lebowski has garnered a huge following over the course of 20 years and it’s easy to see why with some easy to quote lines that, often times, relates so well to real life. Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of the movie though have grown to appreciate it over time. This “20th Anniversary”release doesn’t have anything new in terms of features with all the material from the 10th version on the Blu-ray, but the video and audio transfers are both well done.
The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.