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The Big Lebowski 4K UHD 20th Anniversary Limited Edition Review

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“The Big Lebowski” gets the special edition treatment with this new 4K gift set release.

Set in Los Angeles in the early 90’s, “The Big Lebowski” tells the story of Jeff Lebowski who is more commonly known as The Dude. The Dude is a single, aimless, lazy middle aged guy who loves drinking and bowling. He becomes mistaken for a wealthy man of the same name whose wife is in debt. The Dude, in turn, becomes wrapped up in this conflict which involves rugs, an alleged kidnapping of the wife, misunderstandings galore, screw-ups, a briefcase full of money, a porn mogul, and more. Aiding The Dude in this rambling quest is his angry war vet pal Walter and the kind and quiet Donny.

Over the past 20 years “The Big Lebowski” has developed quite a cult following. Some folks even consider it one of the best films ever made. Even though I’m not THAT enamored by it personally, I will fully admit there is a rewatchability factor to it. Yes, the plot is intentionally scatterbrained (perhaps a bit too much in how it juggles everything), but there’s no denying the movie plays like a clever homage to film noirs of yesteryear. Add in the now iconic quotes, the trademark Coen humor, the surrealistic moments, and a wide variety of oddball characters and it’s hard not get swept up by it all.

On the subject of the cast, they really do make this movie work. Yes, the Coen Brothers deserve a lot of the credit for their specific vision, but without the cast to make it a reality, this movie would likely not be as beloved as it is now. Jeff Bridges in particular completely embodies The Dude. You can’t envision anyone else in that role. He owns it. Likewise, I have a hard time imagining anyone playing Walter other than John Goodman. The underappreciated actor really seems to get what the Coens are doing time and time again. Other stand-outs here include the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro as Jesus (when is that Jesus centric movie coming out anyway?), Steve Buscemi as poor Donny, and Julianne Moore as the arty Maude.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p. How does it look? I wasn’t particularly bowled over by the Blu-ray transfer (pun intended), but the 4K transfer is significantly better. The picture is so much crisper in this format. Hats off to those that worked on this transfer.

Audio Track: DTS: X. How does it sound? ‘Lebowski’ isn’t particularly the type of movie that puts the speakers to work like a blockbuster, but this is nonetheless a quality track that does the job.

Extras:

* Since this is a special gift set release, you actually get several physical goodies! First of all, once you open up the box, you will discover everything comes housed in a sizable bowling ball bag. Upon opening the bag you will find three items. The first is the 4K disc itself which is sleeved in a sweater that resembles the one The Dude wears. The second item is a small red bowling ball pencil holder. The third item is a bowling ball polishing cloth that resembles the fancy rug. It’s all very cool and thematic (especially if you are a Lebowski fanatic).
* Digital copy
* Blu-ray copy
* Photo gallery
* Jeff Bridges photo book.
* BD-Live/Ticker capabilities.
* An interactive map to filming locations accompanied by clips and tidbits about them.
* No Kid Hungry PSA
* A faux intro.
* “The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later”- A retrospective on the film from 10 years ago.
* “The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story”- A piece about the Lebowski Festival.
* “Flying Carpets And Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences Of The Dude”- The title says it all.
* “The Making Of The Big Lebowski”- A standard making of with interviews and so forth.
* “Worthy Adversaries: What’s My Line Trivia”- Trivia game.
* “The Dude’s Life”- This extra contains film clips, interviews, character discussions and more.
* U-Control- Viewers have the option of turning on 3 extras during the film titled “Scene Companion” (Picture in picture commentary and clips), “The Music Of The Big Lebowski” (text and options regarding the music), and “Mark It, Dude” (a text feature that notes curses and Dude quotes).

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November 5, 2018 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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