The Big Lebowski 4K/Blu Ray Review (Universal)
The Big Lebowski is a 1998 dark comedy film written, produced, & directed by Joel & Ethan Coen (Fargo, Blood Simple, No Country for Old Men, Raising Arizona, & Miller’s Crossing). The film is loosely inspired by the work of Raymond Chandler. It didn’t perform well at the box office but it gained a 2nd life on television & home video. Lebowski Fest is a event put together every year for the film to celebrate the crazy world of “The Dude”! It has had video stores & bars named after it with themes from the production featured all over. Dudeism is a religion devoted largely to spreading the philosophy & lifestyle of the film’s main character. John Turturro wrote & directed a spin off feature titled “Going Places” reprising his role as Jesus Quintana.
Jeff “the Dude” Lebowski (played by: Jeff Bridges from Starman, Tron, Iron Man, Crazy Heart, & Hell or High Water) is slacker in Los Angeles who runs into some bad luck from a case of mistaken of identity. Loan shark & porn producer Jackie Treehorn (played by: Ben Gazzara from Road House, Dogville, Buffalo ’66, & Summer of Sam) sends two thugs to get money that Bunny (played by: Tara Reid from American Pie franchise, Sharknado franchise, Cruel Intentions,& Urban Legend) owes from her husband millionaire Jeff “The Big” Lebowski (played by: David Huddleston from Blazing Saddles & Smokey and the Bandit II). After trashing his place & meeting him, they soon realize that this is wrong Jeff Lebowski. Upset about his rug getting destroyed, The Dude tells his bowling partners Walter Sobchak (played by: John Goodman from Inside Llewyn Davis, Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, & O Brother, Where Art Thou?) & Donny Kerabatsos (played by: Steve Buscemi from Fargo, Miller’s Crossing, Reservoir Dogs, Boardwalk Empire, & The Sopranos) about the incident. He goes to the other Lebowski looking for his rug to be replaced but doesn’t have any luck with the man or his assistant Brandt (played by: Philip Seymour Hoffman from Red Dragon, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Almost Famous, & The Talented Mr. Ripley) so he steals a rug from there. They contact him days later & tell him that Bunny has been kidnapped. They ask for his help & he agrees to do it for payment plus the rug. Everything goes wrong & The Dude’s car ends up stolen with the briefcase full of ransom money. Jeffrey Lebowski’s daughter Maude (played by: Julianne Moore from Hannibal, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Psycho, Boogie Nights, & Magnolia) sends some thugs over to beat up The Dude & steal the rug back. She asks The Dude to get the ransom back & that she thinks that Bunny kidnapped herself for the extra cash. German nihilists Uli (played by: Peter Stormare from Fargo, Prison Break, Bad Boys II, 8MM, & Constantine), Kieffer (played by: Flea from My Own Private Idaho, Back to the Future Part II/III, Baby Driver, & Psycho), & Franz (played by: Torsten Voges from 31, 8MM, & Funny People) show up claiming to be the real kidnappers & demand the money owed to them. The Dude tries to get his mind off things & enjoys his bowling tournament against rival Jesus Quintana (played by: John Turturro from the Transformers franchise, Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, & O Brother, Where Art Thou?). He chats up The Stranger (played by: Sam Elliot from Road House, Justified, Shakedown, & Tombstone) at the bar for some wisdom. After trying to fix things, it ends up being a disaster & all these crazy characters collide. The Dude’s life changes forever & it’s a story he will never forget!!!!
The Big Lebowski is one of best comedies ever made! The Dude is one of my all time favorite characters in the history of cinema. Jeff Bridges is excellent here with his laid back & hilarious performance. It’s definitely the most entertaining role from the veteran actor & it will have you quoting his lines for days after viewing this. The Coen brothers are two of the most talented writers & directors in the movie industry. Their cinematic universe is nothing like anyone else & it always grabs your attention right away. The script was hand crafted to the performers & it shows up on the screen. So many memorable lines & performances here, it actually makes you laugh out loud several times no matter how many times you have seen it over the years. The viewing experience gets better each time with The Big Lebowski. The supporting cast is amazing in this especially John Goodman as Walter Sobchak. His chemistry with Bridges is top notch & those two provide a unique buddy aspect to this. The quality of this production made something that did okay at the box office to a film that’s considered a classic that’s recognized from everyone around the world. This feature has the perfect balance of everything & the replay value on it is unmatched by most. Can’t believe it’s already been 20 years, HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal & Focus Features! I’ve owned The Big Lebowski in every format that it’s been released & there’s no doubt that it’s never looked this great on home video. This new 2160p (1.85:1) transfer really brings everything to life here. The colors really pop out now & details have never been this clear, it’s like a whole new experience with the film. Roger Deakins’s cinematography really shines on it. It has 6 different audio options which include English: DTS:X, English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, French: DTS 5.1, Spanish: DTS 5.1, Portuguese: DTS 5.1, & Japanese: DTS 5.1 on this UHD disc. It sounds amazing in my set up & it blows away all the previous releases. The soundtrack has a nice boost to it & all the chaotic moments here really stand out more. It also has English SDH, French, Japanese, Portuguese, & Spanish subtitles. Both picture & sound are upgraded here to the highest level. If you are fan of The Big Lebowski, you should pick up this release ASAP!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features on the blu ray disc, there’s none on the 4K version. It has an almost 5 minute “Exclusive Introduction” from Forever Young Film Preservation. “The Dude’s Life” is a little over 10 minutes. It has interviews with the Coen brothers, Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, & John Turturro. They all chat about the crazy characters in this unique universe & what happens to them. “The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski 10 years Later” is a little over 10 minutes. It has interviews with actors Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, & John Turturro. They chat about how they still get recognized from this film. They talk about the rediscovery of it & how popular it’s become. They bring up working with the Coen brothers. They joke about what their characters would be doing now. “The Making of The Big Lebowski” is almost 25 minutes. It has interviews with the Coen brothers, Jeff Bridges, & John Goodman. They chat about coming up with the project. They talk about their experience working on it. They bring up writing parts for specific actors. The cast brings up their characters, the script, & their chemistry. The Coen brothers talk about their collaboration with DP Roger Deakins & how they started working together in the first place. “The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story” is almost 14 minutes. It tells the story of a few guys putting together an event for one of their favorite films & how it’s grown over the years. “Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude” is a little over 4 minutes. It has interviews with the Coen brothers, Jeff Bridges, & Julianne Moore. They chat about the outrageous scene & the working environment on the set for it. Both actors have some funny stories from it. It also has a interactive features on here. “Jeff Bridges Photo Book” is a little over 17 minutes. The actor goes over various photos he took on the set & during filming. He explains every shot in great detail. A little over 3 minute “Photo Gallery” with all kinds of photos from the feature. It comes with a blu ray copy. digital code, & slipcover. A limited edition version was also released & it’s one of the coolest looking sets I’ve seen in awhile. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!