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Jeri Jacquin

Coming to 4K HD and Bluray from writers/directors/producers Joel and Ethan Coen along with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the film that has become an iconic classic with THE BIG LEBOWSKI 20th Anniversary Limited Edition.

The Dude (Jeff Bridges) is a laid back Los Angelino who remains in a chilled state of mind, that is until one night when two thugs breaks into his home and rough him up. Looking for a Jeff Lebowski, The Dude lays out the reasoning that there is another Jeff Lebowski who happens to be very rich and obviously they have made a mistake. Realizing their mistake, the one thing the two thugs can’t take back is a pee’d on carpet.

Upset with what happened, The Dude explains to bowling buddies Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) and how he really liked that rug. Walter has an idea, go see the rich Jeff Lebowski and get some kind of restitution! That’s exactly what he does and meets the very cranky Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston) who says that it’s not his problem.

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The Dude isn’t about to walk away empty handed when he tells Lebowski’s assistant Brandt (Philip Seymour Hoffman) that he has permission to take any carpet in the house. On the way out, The Dude meets Lebowski’s wife Bunny (Tara Reid) who is responsible for the attack because she owes loan sharks. Her greeting to The Dude is nothing short of money based and a proposition for which he walks away amused.

Happy with his new carpet, The Dude is surprised a few days later to receive a telephone call from Brandt with a financial offer. Bunny has been kidnapped with a demand for a million dollars and rich Lebowski wants to use poor Lebowski to drop off the ransom and get a bit of money for his trouble. Given a case and a cell phone, he is to wait for a call telling him where to drop off the money but Walter feels the need to be with his friend when it happens.

On the drive, Walter also comes up with his own plan. He believes Bunny has concocted this whole thing for the money so why don’t they just keep the money for themselves. Throwing a case off a local bridge, the two men see the kidnappers take the ransom and run. Later talking it over at the bowling alley, they discover that The Dude’s car is gone and so are their riches.

The Dude is contacted by Lebowski’s daughter Maude (Julianne Moore) who explains that her father’s wife is a porn star and that she also thinks Bunny is faking all of it. Upset that the ransom came out of the family’s foundation, she asks The Dude to get it all back. If that isn’t wacky enough, now Lebowski is mad that The Dude screwed up the drop and men with German accents invade his bath saying they are the real kidnappers.

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The cops find The Dude’s car but the cash is gone and the pee thugs take him to see porn maker Jackie Treehorn (Ben Gazzara) who wants the money to cover money Bunny owes him! After a drugging, cops and being thrown out of a car – who should drive by in a red sports car? Bunny. So what gives? Well, that’s what you will have to discover for yourself because, truth be told, you have to see it to believe it.

Yet, The Dude will abide!

Bridges as The Dude is absolutely and without a doubt pure perfection. He is a laid back human being who just lives in the moment and doesn’t want anything that will mess with his calm. Bridges just embraces every second of this and makes it look completely easy and smooth. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that he gets to be very comfortable in every stitch of clothing and appearance which might make being The Dude more of a joy than a job. This character is completely endearing and just wants his carpet and that basically leads to the chaos that follows. The moral of the story might be that bare floors are less of a hassle.

Goodman as Walter is the complete opposite of The Dude. He isn’t about to let anyone or anything challenge his way of dealing with things yet he sees nothing wrong with his solutions. The Dude truly cares about his friend but there are moments where his calm-rage is absolutely frightening. This is such an amazing role for Goodman because he gets to be as out there as he wants to be and it fits him well. Buscemi as Donny is such a loveable character who just wants to be in on everything but doesn’t have the ability to really keep up. This is probably the most endearing role I’ve seen Buscemi perform and he just proves he has always had the wide range ability but has gotten himself stuck in toughened roles. I’d like to have seen more of this type from him.

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Moore as Maude is just as creepy as she can possibly be. She is clearly a control freak and will do anything to keep things moving the way she wants them to move. The way she handles The Dude is emotional strong arming to my way of thinking and her seduction manner leaves allot to be desired – but hilarious. Huddleston as the elder and richer Lebowski believes he is better than his poorer counterpart and believes he is justified in using the loser. He has The Dude jumping through hoops and doesn’t exactly count on him to figure anything.

Hoffman as Brandt is, what I called, the Lebowski-bitch in that he is perfectly happy serving his boss and putting The Dude in one hell of a mess. Hoffman has always managed to stun me with every role he does and it is fantastic to revisit a film that gave us all a glimpse into what he became capable of on screen. Reid as Bunny plays the role of a trophy wife who wants more and more of the almighty dollar and doesn’t seem ashamed to make that known to, well, anyone.

Other cast include David Thewlis as Know Harrington, John Turturro as Jesus Quintana, Jon Polito as Da Fino, Peter Stormare as Uli, Torsten Voges as Franz and Flea as Kieffer, Jimmie Gilmore as Smokey, Jack Kehler as Marty and Sam Elliott as The Stranger.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us all to experience and re-experience in our own home theatres. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

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The Ultra HD Combo Pack of THE BIG LEBOWSKI 20th Anniversary Limited Edition includes The Dude’s Life – , The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later, Making of THE BIG LEBOWSKI, The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story, Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude, Interactive Map, Jeff Bridges Photo Book, Photo Gallery and so much more!

On 4K Ultra HD included in the combo pack of Bluray, Digital and Movies Anywhere brings a sharper pictures delivering a multi dimensional experience, Bluray that has exclusive extras and theatre quality surround sound, Digital allowing viewing just about anywhere and Movies Anywhere with the app that keeps your films stored for viewing anytime!

THE BIG LEBOWSKI has become such an iconic film that has brought some of the coolest lines to ever be uttered. Of course The Dude also has made its way into costumes for parties and Halloween with a simple robe and slippers being totally recognizable.

The film is hilarious, crafty, absurd, twisted, rich vs. poor, dysfunctional family and unusual friendships all rolled into a story that is so far fetched it might even be believable.

Now, THE BIG LEBOWSKI is back to entertain us once again but this time in our own homes. The most amazing thing about this film is that it is just as hilarious today as it was 20 years ago and open to a new generation that can appreciate its comedy, originality and fantastic ensemble cast.

In the end – he’d rather be bowling!

 

 

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