Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) truly was a man of his time when Joel and Ethan Coens' "The Big Lebowski" opened in theaters in 1998. But in the 13 years since, thanks to a devoted cult following, the Dude has become a timeless slacker icon.
For some, "The Big Lebowski" has become a philosophy or even a way of life, with endlessly quotable lines like, "I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or His Dudeness or Duder or El Duderino, if you're not into the whole brevity thing."
The Dude, "pacifist" unemployed stoner that he is, passes his time in a Los Angeles bowling alley with pals Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi) until a case of mistaken identity gets him tangled up in the supposed kidnapping of Bunny Lebowski (Tara Reid), trophy wife of millionaire Jeffrey "Big" Lebowski (David Huddleston).
The Big Lebowski hires the Dude to drop off ransom money in exchange for Bunny, but the plot thickens like one of the Dude's beloved White Russians (or "Caucasians," as he calls them), with lots of double crosses and curious characters.
Besides the Dude and Walter -- a loose cannon who sees everything through the prism of the Vietnam War and his recent conversion to Judaism -- "The Big Lebowski" is filled with other unforgettable characters. Julianne Moore is a laugh-out-loud riot as Maude Lebowski, an avant-garde feminist artist whose work, and hidden agenda, are "strongly vaginal." In addition, Philip Seymour Hoffman shows understated brilliance as the Big Lebowski's uptight and loyal assistant, Buscemi is funny as the clueless bowling pal who never knows what's going on, and John Turturro steals his scenes as the outrageous Jesus Quintana, a formidable bowling rival and convicted pedophile.
Over the course of the movie, the Dude loses a rug that really "tied the room together" when it's peed on by thugs, nearly gets his privates shredded by a feral ferret in his bathtub, is assaulted by a group of techno-pop terrorists and watches his jalopy go from junked to torched. The real treat in high definition, though, is experiencing the Dude's surreal bowling-inspired dream sequences that now look even more far out... no matter what you are smoking. "Mind the beverage, man," and give "The Big Lebowski" a roll on Blu-ray at last.
Extras! All of the bonus features from the 10th anniversary edition DVD and the 2007 HD DVD are ported over to this Blu-ray debut, including a funny intro by film preservationist Mortimer Young, several making-of and behind-the-scenes featurettes, an interactive map, a photo book by Bridges and interviews with the cast 10 years later. A cool new Blu-ray exclusive is the trivia game "Worthy Adversaries: What's My Line?" that tests your knowledge of the movie's dialogue. The disc itself also comes packaged in a handsome 28-page limited edition digibook filled with production information, an interview with Jeff Dowd (the inspiration for the Dude), photos and trivia about all things "Lebowski."