The Big Lebowski (1998)

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Released 21-Jul-1999

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Black Comedy Booklet
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 112
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Aspect Ratio Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Joel Coen
Studio
Distributor
Working Title
Polygram
Starring Jeff Bridges
John Goodman
Julianne Moore
Steve Buscemi
David Huddleston
John Turturro
Case Super Jewel
RPI $29.95 Music Carter Burwell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Dutch
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Jeff 'The Dude' Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) is a laid back more-or-less no-hoper who is perfectly happy just going with the flow and bowling. Unfortunately, he shares the name of a much richer man, so when thugs come looking for the rich Jeff Lebowski, they instead pee on the carpet of the poor Jeff Lebowski.

    What's a poor man to do? Obviously, go to the rich Jeff Lebowski and demand a new carpet.

    In true Coen Brothers style, the plot twists and weaves progressively becoming more and more bizarre and comical as it proceeds.

    Jeff Bridges is ably supported by his buddies Walter (John Goodman) and Donny (Steve Buscemi), and by a large supporting cast of odd characters. As with all Coen Brothers movies, the characters are all odd and finely crafted.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this movie is generally excellent, with some minor issues.

    This transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The disc is a dual layer disc, with the other layer utilized for a full frame transfer of the movie.

    The transfer is very sharp indeed, and very clear. Shadow detail is excellent, and there is no noise or grain in the darker scenes.

    The colours were nicely rendered throughout.

    A small degree of MPEG artefacting was seen early on in the movie, during the initial slow pan in the supermarket, where there is loss of detail of the individual items on the shelves, but this is a minor issue. Aliasing was not a problem with this transfer, and neither were film artefacts. All-in-all, this is a very good transfer.

Audio

    There are two audio tracks to choose from on this DVD. The default is English Dolby Digital 5.1. This is the track that I
listened to. The other track present is a French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There is a minor error with the French soundtrack on the widescreen version of this movie, wherein the DVD player describes the soundtrack as English, even though it is clearly French.

    Dialogue was usually easy to hear, but there were sections of the movie where it was hard to hear dialogue over the sound of the accompanying music. This was a pity, since a movie of this type is very much dialogue-driven.

    There were no audio sync problems.

    The music was suitably laconic, and accompanied the on-screen action admirably.

     The surround channels did very little throughout this movie which was basically centre channel dialogue and L/R front music.

    The .1 channel also did very little during this movie.

Extras

    There are no extras on this disc.

Menu

    The menu design on the disc is themed appropriately, and is easy to navigate.

Booklet

    An excellent booklet gives Cast Biographies and extensive production notes.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;

    There is probably a slight preference for the R1 version in view of the additional making-of extra.

Summary

    The Big Lebowski is an unusual movie, in typical Coen Brothers style. Whilst not being everyone's cup of tea, it is certainly very different.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is acceptable, albeit unremarkable. Some dialogue is a little hard to hear.

    The extras are pretty much non-existent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
Monday, May 17, 1999
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderDenon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Amplification2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
SpeakersPhilips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer

Other Reviews
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Ian M (Biological imperfection run amok)

Comments (Add)
MPEG artefacts are the biggest problem -
Agreed -
Very interesting website. Keep up the outstanding work and thank you... -
Very interesting website. Keep up the outstanding work and thank you... -