DVD Review: THE BIG LEBOWSKI: 10th Anniversary edition

Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release date: September 9th, 2008
MSRP: A standard release for $19.98 and a Limited Edition, for $34.98.

Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Tom Goodman, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi

Initially considered one of the Coen Bros weaker films, The Big Lebowski has build up a cult following over the years. After watching it again, it is easy to see why.

Once the again, Joel and Ethan have given a cast of fine actors some very colorful roles to inhabit.

Watching the performances, you get the impression that Bridges and company had a lot of fun playing in the strange world of The Dude.

The world of The Dude contains bowling, pot, carpet, White Russians, German nihilists, Jesus, the exceptional tunes of John Fogerty’s Creedance Clearwater Revival, two Jeff Lebowskis and good friends.

The center of the story (such as it is) is a case of mistaken identity. But the storyline is not what makes it magical; the mojo is in the rich characters and the glorification of the little things in life.

It is also very funny, without being obvious in its attempt to deliver humor. Too many comedies today are too blatant when they go for the funny. The Coen Brothers offer up a smorgasbord of amusement, some things for all folks.

Now onto the extras:
This set contains all of the extras of previous editions, with some fairly enjoyable new ones.

The Dude’s Life clocks in at just over 10 minutes and focuses on characters with comments from the Brothers Coen, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Jeff Bridges and John Turturro. Each of them talks about their character.

“The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later” has the same folks talking about the creation of the film, with stories about the production. which features the same participants sharing more in-depth production stories as well as some rehearsal footage.

The Lebowski Fest: Excepts from The Achievers:” This was an eye-opener for me. Did you know there are Lebowski conventions/Festivals? This piece is look at those fan gatherings. I thought those things only happened for fantasy and sci-fi films and television shows. It some ways, the Lebowski fest is more disturbing than anything Star Trek fans could do.

“Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude” looks at the film’s rather interesting dream scenes with comments from the Coens as well as Bridges and Moore.

“Jeff Bridges’ Photo Book” apparently Mr. Bridges put together a keepsake for the cast and crew. This special gives us a look at it with some nice comments from the Dude himself.

One final extra I will comment on is the Interactive Map. This gives us tours of several of the film’s locales. Maude’s place, the Dude’s pad, the coffee show, the Bowling alley, all of these spots are included for your perusal.

As I said, the cast and crew seem to have had a lot of fun on the film and that really comes through. Many featurettes have actors going through the motions, saying the same things every time around, but the Coens seem to remind folks just why they started acting in the first place. A lot of love is evident here.

So pick up a copy and spend some time with Donny, Walter and the Dude, you won’t regret it.

Order The Big Lebowski from Amazon.

Jeremy Lynch

For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.