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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dude Abides
"Way out west there was this fella... fella I wanna tell ya about. Fella by the name of Jeff Lebowski."

Ahh, who am I kidding? If you're a fan, you don't need me to sell you on this DVD. Hence, I shall review this movie in two parts: For fans, and for non-fans. Dudes and Un-dudes.

FOR DUDES:

The new "bowling ball" edition of Lebowski...
Published on May 10 2010 by LeBrain

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars These are Nihilists
The Coen's tackle Noir in Gulf War-era Los Angeles. It's certainly no Chinatown, and I'm sure James Ellroy probably disapproved, but The Big Lebowski is one charmer of a movie, excluding Jesus the Bowler. Highly underrated, apparently by fans of the Coen Brothers, and perhaps understandably so. John Goodman's acting is ever so forceful, Steve Buscemi's turn as the...
Published on March 19 1999


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dude Abides, May 10 2010
By 
LeBrain - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Big Lebowski (DVD)
"Way out west there was this fella... fella I wanna tell ya about. Fella by the name of Jeff Lebowski."

Ahh, who am I kidding? If you're a fan, you don't need me to sell you on this DVD. Hence, I shall review this movie in two parts: For fans, and for non-fans. Dudes and Un-dudes.

FOR DUDES:

The new "bowling ball" edition of Lebowski is awesome. Finally we're given the special features that we've been asking for, for years! No audio commentary track, but the Coens and the Dude himself will give you some insight to the film and its characters. After two disappointing editions, this is so overdue. Two discs, featurettes, that weird intro, Lebowskifest, an interactive map of Los Angeles, it's all here. Most of your questions will be answered, but of course not all...some mystery must always remain. Plus the bowling ball just looks cool. I have mine on my entertainment centre, and it's a conversation starter. "What is that bowling ball doing there?" It's sturdy and it houses the DVDs in two slip cases. Life does not stop and start at your convenience, so be sure to pick this up and enjoy when you can.

FOR UN-DUDES:

One important thing about this film that I must stress is, don't try to understand the plot at first. It's every bit as stupifying as anything you can think of. My feeling (and this is just my feeling) is that The Dude himself (Jeff Bridges) doesn't know what the heck is going on, so neither should you. The plot is not complicated, but your thinking about it might be very uptight. I don't nessesarily recommend that you stick to a strict drug regimen to keep you mind limber, but having a few white Russians might help.

The Dude is unemployed (or "a bum" to some) and spends most of his time having acid flashbacks and bowling with Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi). One day his home is broken into by two thugs looking for money. They have mistaken The Dude for a millionaire with the same given name: Jeff Lebowski. During this break-in, Wu micturates on The Dude's rug. That rug really tied the room together. Walter tells The Dude to try to take up the rug issue with the other Jeff Lebowski, the millionaire (David Huddleston). And then is where our tale begins.

An amazing soundtrack featuring Dylan, Santana, Costello, Sons of the Pioneers, and more backs a hilariously confusing movie about a guy in way over his head. There are a lot of facets, a lot of ins and outs, a lot of interested parties and strands to keep in Duder's head. Along the way you will meet The Stranger (Sam Elliot), Brant (Philip Seymore Hoffman), Bunny Lebowski (Tara Reid) and a group of nihilists lead by Peter Stormare. Things are complicated by the appearance of Maude Lebowski (Julianne Moore), a kidnapping, and a ransom note. Can The Dude recover the million dollars? All he wants is a finder's fee. Perferably in cash. He has to check with his accountant on this, but he's worried about being put in a higher tax, uhh, you know. All this with next round-robin of the bowling tournament starting. And The Jesus (John Turturro) is ready to take them down.

Brilliantly written, brilliantly directed, brilliantly performed. Yes, you will be confused on first watch, as it should be. By second, third, and fourth, those stands in Duder's head come together, supported by musical cues (listen for CCR), odd bits of dialogue ("Johnson") and clues. Every strand fits like a puzzle, you just need to look.

I can't recommend this movie enough. If you let it click, you too will become a Little Lebowski Urban Achiever, and perhaps even an obsessive fan, dressing up and going to conventions. You never know. At the very least you might just find a new enjoyment of white Russians. Just don't run out of non-dairy creamer. Is there a Ralph's around?

5 stars. Genius movie.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic film, but the Blu-ray presentation is merely adequate, Aug. 16 2011
By 
Steven Aldersley (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The Big Lebowski (Comedy, Crime)
Directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi

Universal Studios | 1998 | 119 min | Rated R | Released Aug 16, 2011

Video:
Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: DTS 5.1

Subtitles:
English SDH, French, Spanish

Disc:
Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc
Digital Copy
BD-Live

The Film 4/5

The Big Lebowski is essentially about mistaken identity if you care about the plot. Jeffrey Lebowski is known to his friends as The Dude (Bridges) and a gang of criminals pay him a visit thinking that he's another Lebowski who happens to be a millionaire. After they urinate on his rug, he seeks out the millionaire to claim compensation.

The millionaire's wife goes missing and the gang asks for a million dollars in ransom. The Dude is chosen as the courier.

That's about it. The plot is incidental; this is a movie about a way of life.

The Dude hangs out with two of his bowling buddies, Walter (Goodman) and Donny (Buscemi). Walter is a Vietnam veteran who has anger management issues; Donny hardly says a word and is told to shut up every time he tries to make a comment.

The Dude is a mellow kind of a guy. He shops in his robe, gets high, and talks like he's permanently stoned. Walter is a mystery to him because he is so easily annoyed. When a competing team puts a toe over the line during a bowling game, Walter pulls out a gun and insists that it is marked down as a zero. It's a league game after all.

The movie doesn't take itself too seriously and can be classed as a comedy more than anything, but the style of comedy may be different to the type you are used to. Many of the jokes are clever and subtle, and it's rare for the humor to be aimed too low.

Watching The Big Lebowski is an experience. You're never quite sure what it is or where it is going. The plot elements aren't very important, but everything adds up and provides a reason for the characters to do what they do. It's the sort of movie where nothing happens, but you find yourself thinking about it days later.

Fargo and No Country for Old Men are exceptional movies from the Coen Brothers, but many fans would argue that The Big Lebowski is better. I'm not among them, but it amuses me and I'm glad to finally own it on Blu-ray.

Video Quality 3.5/5
Although the Blu-ray is a vast upgrade over the DVD, I'm a little disappointed with the overall look. Colors are much improved and everything looks brighter and cleaner, but the VC-1 presentation could have been better. Fine detail is present in a few scenes, but is lacking for the most part. Faces in particular seem badly defined. It just about earns a passing grade, but don't expect to be dazzled.

Audio Quality 4.5/5
The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track sounds great. The songs carry a lot more weight than in previous releases. Dialogue is clear throughout and the predominantly front-heavy mix blends well with the action. No complaints about the sound.

Special Features 4/5

Worthy Adversaries: What's My Line Trivia - A game for one or two players in which you have to supply missing dialogue from The Dude and Walter.

An Exclusive Introduction (4:40, SD)

The Dude's Life (10:08, HD)

The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later (10:26, HD)

Making of The Big Lebowski (24:35, SD)

The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever's Story (13:53, SD)

Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude (4:20, HD)

Interactive Map

Jeff Bridges Photo Book (17:30, HD) - Bridges took shots while filming and explains them here.

Photo Gallery (3:25, SD)

U-Control: Three features with PiP, text and a profanity counter.
Scene Companion
The Music of The Big Lebowski
Mark It, Dude

28-page digibook

The Big Lebowski is a typically quirky effort from the Coen Brothers. While not their very best work, it deserves a place in your collection. Bridges and Goodman excel in their roles and hold the whole thing together. The Blu-ray presentation enhances the experience, but not quite as much as I had hoped. The packaging is good and there's plenty of behind the scenes information if The Big Lebowski is your kind of film.

Overall score 4/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars These are Nihilists, March 19 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Big Lebowski, the (VHS Tape)
The Coen's tackle Noir in Gulf War-era Los Angeles. It's certainly no Chinatown, and I'm sure James Ellroy probably disapproved, but The Big Lebowski is one charmer of a movie, excluding Jesus the Bowler. Highly underrated, apparently by fans of the Coen Brothers, and perhaps understandably so. John Goodman's acting is ever so forceful, Steve Buscemi's turn as the weak-hearted Donnie is rather limp, and there are too many unanswered questions. But these quirks go by mostly unnoticed, as the sheer novelty of the story and colourful cast of characters should charm the pants of those with a sense of humor - a questionable sense of humor, of course. The Big Lebowski earns the title of Semi-Great Flick, perhaps missing Great Flick status simply because of the power of the Coen's earlier work. It's not quite up there with other Coen classics like Barton Fink or The Hudsucker Proxy, but it's still an original slice of...well, pick your term. It's like a pie in the face: it tastes good, probably smells alright, but it tends to get annoyingly stuck in those hard to clean areas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny but structurally weak, Nov. 1 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Big Lebowski, the (VHS Tape)
The acting is terrific, and the film has some extremely funny moments. (Jon Goodman's turn is hysterical). Overall , though, the film individual moments are stronger than the movie overall. The Coen's are emotionally distant filmmakers, and their style works better in their "serious" films like "Fargo" and "Blood Simple" and "Millers Crossing" {still their best, I believe} than in some of their comedy. On the whole, I don't think the film sucesully competes with "Raising Arizona" in terms of sustaning absurdist lunacy for the course of the film. Its much much better than the Hudsucker Proxy. Make no mistake, it is absolutely worth seeing, and probaly deserves more than one viewing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Oct. 20 2009
By 
Joost (Montreal, QC, Canada) - See all my reviews
A wonderful cult classic, full of witty dialogue and anecdotes that give the film a personality of its own. And the amazing thing about this film is that it manages to entertain even though it doesn`t really have a story. Great stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute comic brilliance, Dude, Sept. 4 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The Big Lebowski is a work of comic genius; it's one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Jeff Bridges is hilarious as "the Dude," a pretty simple guy whose life goes all kinds of topsy-turvy after he's mistaken for someone else with the same name - Jeffrey Lebowski. John Goodman is hilarious as his best friend Walter Sobchak, a boisterous Vietnam vet with a quick temper and a pathological need to jump in and take decisive action all the time, and Steve Buscemi is his usual entertaining self as the only reasonably sane person in the entire film. The Big Lebowski is really all about dialogue and delivery. The script is just wickedly funny from start to finish, but it is Bridges' laid-back delivery that really makes the comic engine go, with all kinds of help from John Goodman.

The Dude comes home one night, only to find himself thrown face-down in the toilet and otherwise accosted by two chaps demanding money to pay off his wife's debts. He finally manages to convince the guys that he is not the Jeffrey Lebowski they are looking for - but not before one of the jokers gives his rug a golden shower. The Dude is not at all happy about this, as "that rug really tied the room together." After consulting with his bowling partners (the Dude spends a lot of time bowling), he decides to find the other, obviously rich Lebowski and ask him to reimburse him for the rug. Soon thereafter, the Big Lebowski calls him in and asks him to serve as the courier for a money drop to some guys who kidnapped his pretty young wife Bunny (Tara Reid). That's when all the trouble really starts. The Dude's soon mixed up with all sorts of crazy people (including a gang of nihilists), while Walter manages to get him deeper and deeper into a lot of trouble he never wanted in the first place. There are indeed lots of strands in the Dude's head as the whole story takes a series of odd twists and turns, each of them funnier than the last. And he's got to get ready for the big semifinals of bowling league play, to boot - Walter is very, very dedicated to the bowling league games. It's almost impossible to give a good overview of the plot, and I wouldn't want to do so anyway, as you really have to experience it all for yourself.

You've got to love the Dude. He's just a lazy slacker who wanted his good, clean rug back, and then all this crazy stuff happened to him. Rest easy, though, knowing that "the Dude abides." Sometimes, that's about all you can do in this crazy world. I should mention that the film more than earns its R rating for profanity, as about every third word anyone says is a curse word - so if that kind of thing bothers you, you may be "out of your element" here. I am quite confident, though, that most viewers will laugh themselves silly watching this movie and will want to keep on watching it over and over again. The Coen Brothers hit a grand slam with this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Comedy, Aug. 10 2006
This review is from: The Big Lebowski (Widescreen) (DVD)
I think I am preaching to the choir on this one but The Big Lebowski is one of the greatest comedies ever made.

This is a movie of dialogue and characters. The plot is loose (at best)but it works and the only quibble I have with it is the ending, which happens abruptly and awkwardly - although it does involve nihilists, severed ears and cremation.

The beauty of this movie is the actors. They all ooze talent and use the best comedic script in years to flesh out bizarre, original, hilarious characters. If ever actors in a comedy were worthy of mainstream awards, then Bridges and Goodman would beg to be considered (to say nothing of Turturro and Buschemi). But we all know that would never happen in a world where Forrest Gump, Braveheart, Titanic and Gladiator are "best pictures".

The Big Lebowski has already become a cult favourite and I guarantee it will only grow in reverence. It's dialogue will be lovingly recited for years to come.

And for those of you who can only stomach mainstream Hollywood pap: sorry, no one learns a valuable life lesson at the end, the good guys don't win and the hero doesn't get the girl.

They just go bowling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best comedy of the 90s?, Oct. 19 2005
The film that is destined to be at the top of every "Most Underrated" list for decades to come.
Since Fargo, Miller's Crossing and Barton Fink had all proven densely intelligent finger food for pomo enthusiasts, the Big Lebowski probably seemed a bit goofy upon its release. But that goofiness, apart from being hugely engaging, was part of the (often missed) point.
In many ways, this is as serious and rich a film (thematically) as Miller's Crossing or even Blood Simple. Perhaps the ultimate meditation on the fallout from the 1960s generation's excesses and mistakes, the Big Lebowski refuses to romanticise, rationalise or refuse the hippies, vietnam vets, and conceptual artists born of the decade. Rather, it takes a long, satirical look at the kinds of 'adults' the hip generation produced.
"The 60's are over," declares fat, Roosevelt-like Big Lebowski to the Dude, "and the bums lost." But loss is as irrelevant to the Dude as is success -- to him, everything is relative. When he loses his car, it is unclear what he is most upset to be without - his vehicle or his Creedance. Besides, "the Dude abides" is the central philosophy behind his character.
Anyway. Point is that this is a fine piece of film, and the performances are top notch as is the dialogue, the cinematography and the soundtrack. If you haven't seen it, you've made a mistake.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Times like these call for a Big Lebowski., June 30 2004
This review is from: The Big Lebowski (Widescreen) (DVD)
While I haven't seen the latest Coen Brothers films, like Intolerable Cruelty (2003) or The Lady Killers (2004), I have seen all their movies since O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), and I can say I've never been disappointed, and that certainly holds true for The Big Lebowski (1998), the film, not received well by the critics, they made after their Oscar winning film Fargo (1996). While it may not have been a critical success, it is one of my favorite films, and one the rarely gathers dust on my shelf, as I've seen it a few times.
The film boasts quite a cast of actors including Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Jullianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tara Reid, Ben Gazzara, Sam Elliot along with a few veterans of previous Coen brothers films like Steve Buscemi, John Tuturro, and Peter Stormere. So what is the film about? Well, I'll tell you...The film, which takes place in California in the early 90's, starts off with a little expository by a narrator known as The Stranger (Sam Elliot) giving us a little detail about the main character, Jeffery Lebowski aka The Dude, played by Bridges, who seems to have put on a bit of weight for the role, and sports long hair much like that he had when he was in the 1976 flopperino remake of King Kong. Anyway, the first thing you notice about The Dude is he is extremely laid back, very possibly a casualty of the California counterculture of the 60's and early 70's who seems perfectly content to take each day as it comes. While returning to his modest rental home one night, he finds two thuggish men waiting for him, one who soon acquaints The Dude's head with the inside of The Dude's toilet, while the other decides to despoil The Dude's living room rug in the manner of a unhousebroken dog. Seems these two men work for a smut peddler named Jackie Treehorn, and are looking to collect money owed to Mr. Treehorn by Jeffery Lebowski's wife, Bunny (Reid). Only thing is they got the wrong Jeffery Lebowski. Seeking reimbursement for his rug, The Dude visits the other Jeffery Lebowski, an older, well-to-do wheelchair bound man whose young trophy wife seems to have amassed quite a debt to a number of people, including Mr. Treehorn. This meeting sets into motion a complicated series of events including kidnapping which evolves into a mystery, a ransom request for one million dollars, a suitcase of dirty underwear, a stolen car, an altercation with nihilists, various beatings, guns, a bowling tournament, interpretive dance, a sexual liaison, a ferret, some drugs, painting in the nude, the removal of a toe, a wicky drug-induced dream sequence, copious amounts of profanity and even a death, all with The Dude right smack in the middle.
Jeff Bridges is wonderful as The Dude, a laid back individual with a self awareness few possess having to deal with harshness put upon him by circumstances just always a bit out of his control. He ends up basically going with the flow, finally stumbling on a moment of clarity as the mystery resolves itself. The funniest scenes usually involve The Dude, his friend and bowling teammate Walter Sobchek (Goodman), and fellow friend Donny (Buscemi) as their conversations, riddled with ludicrous tangents, usually devolve into heated debates and personal attacks, usually with Donny getting the worst of it. One of the things I like so much about this film is there is just so much going on, much of which may seem unrelated to the main plot, but I think it's purposeful, weaving an thick, intricate, colorful tapestry right before your eyes and definitely requires numerous viewings, just to soak it all up. There is definitely a beginning, a middle, and an end here, but the path between is very convoluted at times, but not confusing, if that makes sense. Normally I dislike dream sequences in films, as they often tend to be a mish mash of stylistic tripe, but the one in this film was truly enjoyable and laden with symbolism relating to the events preceding it, and even utilizes a song I consider to be a classic in that of Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. It was funny, because the core of the story is based on a mystery, but I spent little time in trying to decipher it, as I was so intrigued with everything that was going on, the related and seemingly unrelated material. A word of warning, though, as I've mentioned before, there is a good amount of profanity throughout the film, so if you are easily offended, you might steer clear of this movie.
The film is offered in both wide screen and full screen format, and the picture quality is good, but not as good as I would have expected with such a recent release. Some scenes seemed a bit dark, and there was a slight fuzziness at times, but nothing very notable unless you are seated very close to the screen (I normally refrain from getting so picky, but I've seen this film a number of times). Special features are pretty slim, including a 30-minute interview with the Coen brothers on the making of the film, along with a teaser trailer and cast biographies. I didn't care for presentation much, as after putting the disc in your player, you are directed to pick a format, wide screen or full screen, and the movie would start playing, skipping entirely over the menu, presenting it only after completion of the film, or by pressing the menu button on the remote. This is most common on older or extremely cheap releases (this was originally released in 1998, and then again in 2003 with no enhancements or changes). If any film was ripe for an enhanced special edition re-release, this is it.
Cookieman108
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dave M - your review is, like, buzzkill, man !, June 25 2004
By 
Mark T. Matranga (Elk Grove, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Big Lebowski (Widescreen) (DVD)
I admit I was non-plussed after my first viewing of this film. But something about it got under my skin, into my system, and I watched it again. Next thing I know, I'm at Ralph's writing a check for 89 cents (inflation) to buy half & half to make another caucasian to watch the Big Lebowski again.
I'm not sure if it was the Stranger, the Tumblin' Tumbleweed song, "Donnie, you're out of your element...Dude, the Chinaman is NOT the issue !!" or the Dude listening to a tape recording of his championship bowling tournament on his Walkman while lying down on his new rug (which did NOT tie the room together like the old one...) or how about the dance cycle performed by the Dude's landlord ? or the Nihilist kidnappers and their nine-toed girlfriend ? this film is so chock full of hilarious, weird, off beat stuff that it takes at least three viewings to fully assimilate everything. so mix yourself a caucasian, do a jay if you like, and settle in for a fun two hours with El Duderino and friends. You'll be watching the funniest movie of all time.
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The Big Lebowski (Widescreen) by Joel Coen (DVD - 2002)
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