bill bodkin reviews the limited edition Blu-Ray of the cult classic …
A friend one of mine once quoted Elvis Costello saying, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” The same can be said about The Big Lebowski — although that dance might include a beverage in one hand (preferably a White Russian) and possibly an In-N-Out Burger in the other … maybe some Dylan in the background, anything but The Eagles, man. See, when it comes to the film, The Dude himself said it best: “There’s a, you know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you’s. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man … luckily, I’m adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind limber.”
The Big Lebowski has transcended film — it’s become a cultural phenomenon. It’s a film that goes beyond celluloid, VHS tape or Blu-Ray — it’s somehow ingrained itself onto the souls of its fans, known simply as “Achievers.” Don’t believe me? I attest that ever since my first viewing of The Big Lebowski my usage of the words “dude,” and “man” has increased dramatically, it is a rule that I must drink White Russians when I bowl and when someone has an opinion I don’t jive with, I often find myself saying, “Well, that’s like your opinion, man.”
Why has this film become such a part of my existence? Maybe because it’s one of the outrageously brilliant films ever created. Break it down for a second — an unemployed stoner named The Dude (Jeff Bridges) who has a penchant for smoking pot, bowling and an adult beverage is caught up in a film noir plot involving a kidnapped trophy wife, a trio of nihilists, an avant garde painter, known pornographers and bowling tournaments. It’s such an outlandish premise, but the Coen Brothers, the film’s creators, are the masters of taking the outlandish and making it relatable. It also doesn’t hurt that the dialogue from the film is absolute dynamite, highly quotable and has lessons easily applicable to everyday life. It’s just something that sticks with you … it’s hard to describe.
And it’d only be fitting that the 10th anniversary of this special film be marked with such an awesome event. Today, August 16, marks the release of The Big Lebowski’s Limited Edition Blu-Ray. Tonight at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, the achievers from Lebowski Fest along with Universal Home Video will present an epic event: the cast reunion of The Big Lebowski. Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore and John Tuturro will be at the venue live for a special Q&A (T-Bone Burnett, who did the music for Lebowski, will also take part). At 6:30 p.m. EST, the cast reunion will be streamed live via Facebook with a pre-show interview with Jeff “The Dude” Dowd (the inspiration for The Dude. The Q&A is at 8.
Pop-Break will present live photos and videos of the event, courtesy of the organizers sometime this week. We were able to secure an advance copy of the limited edition blu-ray, and we must say it’s far out, man.
From a completely technical aspect, the transfer from the original DVD to Blu-Ray is just amazing. The picture quality is so crisp, so sharp, you could easily cut a toe off if you wanted. Continuing with the technical aspect, the actual packaging you get the Blu-Ray disc in is quite possibly one of the best you’ll ever see. Patterned after the famed rug “that really ties the room together,” the packaging includes a high-gloss booklet bound into the actual case. This book features Lebowski trivia (Do you know how many times you actually see The Dude bowl on film?), as well as snippets about Lebowski,Fest, the cultural impact of the film and various press and personal photos (most from Jeff Bridges) from the set.
Inside Are the Following Features:
*Limited Edition collectible 28-pg book packaging including an exclusive interview, Jeff Bridges’ on-set photography, a film timeline, trivia and more.
*Digital Copy of The Big Lebowski (expires 12/31/2012)
*U-Control: Scene Companion -– Watch behind the scenes footage, interviews and more while you watch the film.
*U-Control: Mark It, Dude -– This on-screen counter keeps track of the “F-bombs,” “Dudes” and Lebowski-isms during the film. (The first bowling scene featuring The Dude, Donnie and Walter rack up the F-Bomb’s very quickly.)
*U-Control: The Music of The Big Lebowski -– Identify the songs in the film and create a custom playlist.
*Worthy Adversaries: What’s My Line Trivia –- Test your Lebowski knowledge with this interactive game.
*The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later — Short featurette from 2008 featuring interview with Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Tuturro and John Goodman.
*Making of The Big Lebowski — Making of doc that you can find on the original DVD version of the film
*The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story — highlights from the documentary Achievers
*Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude — 2008 featurette of Jeff Bridges’ and Julianne Moore’s experience doing the infamous Busby Berkeley inspired dream sequence.
*Jeff Bridges Photo Book
If you own the original DVD version of The Big Lebowski, you know that it was a pretty bare-bones product. Let’s face it: It was released before the whole Lebowski-mania began. Now with 10 years of beautiful tradition behind it, you’ll finally be able to own the perfect Big Lebowski collectible DVD.