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The Big Lebowski Limited Edition (Blu-ray)
Blu-ray/DVD Reviews

The Big Lebowski Limited Edition (Blu-ray)

The cult-classic is treated to the featured-packed Blu-ray release it deserves, with a gorgeous transfer and more special features than you’ll ever need.

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The Big Lebowski is one of the greatest cult comedies of all time, no question about it. It’s really no surprise that it turned out to be the twisted comedy classic it is, seeing it came from the Coen Brothers. These are the guys that gave us other classics such as Fargo, No Country for Old Men, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the recent remake of True Grit. So it’s only fitting that Universal finally gave it the special treatment it so richly deserves on this Blu-ray release. Jam-packed with awesome special features, it is sure to please fans while introducing newcomers to the surreal adventures of ‘The Dude’.

 For those who don’t already know, the story centers around an aging hippie-slacker-bowler who calls himself The Dude (played to comedic perfection by Jeff Bridges) who is mistaken for the selfish and rich Jeffrey Lebowski, which is also The Dude’s real name, by some gangsters. After getting beat up and having his favorite rug urinated on by them, The Dude and his trusty group of bowling pals (including John Goodman in the best thing he’s ever done) makes their way to the real Jeffrey Lebowski in hopes of setting the record straight and receiving some sort of compensation for his beloved rug. What happens afterwards is what the Coen Brothers do best, which is making the film turn into a wild, insane dark comedy of epic proportions.

The transfer of the movie on Blu-ray is amazing, as it looks and sounds better than ever. The 1080p picture is so sharp and clean, it’s hard to believe the movie just came out in 1998 (an eternity in film processing). The 5.1 DTS-HD audio kicks things into high gear too, as everything from bowling pins being knocked over to the witty dialogue comes in crystal clear and sounds better than it ever has before.

Universal has really outdone themselves with the special features on here, as there’s so many, I couldn’t possibly list them all. But take my word for it that you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you pop in the disc, as they’ve included all the features from the 10th Anniversary Edition DVD and the 2007 HD DVD, along with a few new ones in both standard and high-def. Some of the ones that stand out are “The Dude’s Life” feature, which gives a nice ten-minute look at interviews with the cast and the Coen brothers talking about some of the characters. Then there’s “The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later” that serves as an extension of sorts to the previous feature, which sees the cast share their thoughts on the movie’s legacy, dialogue, and working with the Coen brothers.

Another neat feature was the “Jeff Bridges Photo Book” that has him showing off a book he made for the cast and crew, filled with the photos he shot himself during filming. There’s so many other features such as “Making of The Big Lebowski”, “The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story”, “Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequence of The Dude”, and so much more. They really packed the Blu-ray as much as they could.

I highly recommend The Big Lebowski Blu-ray to fans and newcomers alike. Arguably the the Coen Brothers’ best and certainly most popular film, here’s your chance to experience the cult-classic like never before, as Universal has absolutely done it justice with an amazing transfer, and jam-packed with more special features than you ever thought you needed; you owe it to yourself to see why white Russians became popular again. Watch Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, John Turturro (as The Jesus) and the rest bring this surreal comedy adventure to life again and again in possibly the most reverential version of a cult-classic that I’ve ever seen. Definitely make this one Blu-ray to add to your library, because The Dude abides.

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08/16/2011

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R

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Universal Studios

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About the Author: Chris Mitchell