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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This aggression will not stand, man., 11 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Big Lebowski (Blu-ray + Digital Copy + 24 Page Colour Booklet) [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
The Coen brothers `The Big Lebowski' is a bona-fide modern cult classic, a slacker epic that benefits from colourful charcterisation, a host of brilliant performances, superb casting and one of the most quotable scripts in movie history. Set during the time of the first Gulf War, the excellent Jeff Bridges plays Jeffrey `The Dude' Lebowski, an ageing, unemployed pot smoking slacker with a penchant for white Russians, who becomes embroiled in a kidnapping case after his identity is mistaken for that of a local millionaire with the same name, a man whose missing wife owes money to Pornographers. The reluctant and very lazy Dude is tasked by his namesake to act as a courier to hand off the ransom money to her captors, but is really only interested in compensation from the men who urinated on his living-room rug or going bowling with his friends Walter (John Goodman), a Jewish convert war veteran obsessed with Vietnam, and the placid Donny (Steve Buscemi), who is always several steps behind the conversation. All three actors are superb and the (F-word strewn) banter and rapport between them is often so genuine that you feel as if you are eavesdropping in on their conversation from the next lane. Indeed, all of the central performances are pitch perfect, but the minor characters are equally as good, particularly John Turtoro as fellow bowler Jesus Quintana, a Hispanic, purple jump-suit clad egomaniac and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the millionaire Lebowski's decorous personal assistant.

The dude is ultimately an unwilling hero, a man whose focus is on minding his own business and his own problems. At a time when bombs are flying and everyone is running about in a frenzy, all the Dude wants is to take it easy. The blackly comic, sometimes odd-ball but always sharply witty and bitingly clever scenarios that make up TBL may seem like a bit of a disjointed mess on first viewing but is actually a meticulously staged string of events which reflect the Dudes increasing confusion and frustration and his desire to return to the simple life. This is undoubtedly a film that gets better and better with each repeat viewing and those who have criticised the film for a meandering plot and a lack of coherent storytelling may have completely missed the point.

The blu-ray edition is nicely presented in a digibook case with a 24 page booklet and contains a DVD and digital copy. The transfer to blu-ray is not perfect, but still a significant improvement on DVD quality and will certainly satisfy fans of the movie. Colours are bright, particularly with respect to those scenes that take place within the bowling alley, but are sharp and lifelike. Fine details are presented with great clarity for the most part, though the night-time scenes seem a little too soft and gritty. Although this is very much a dialogue driven movie, background sound effects are much better defined with the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Track. There are a host of extras for fans to get their teeth into, with about 90 minutes of featurettes and an interactive map of the locations in the film.
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Location: Birmingham, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,358