Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests to win things like this Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

Official HTF HD Review: The Big Lebowski


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Executive Producer

  • 15,649 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted July 02 2007 - 03:29 PM

http://static.hometh...overs_82872.jpg">






HD DVD Title: The Big Lebowski
Rated: R
Screen format: 1080 P 1.85:1 VC-1 Encoded
Studio: Universal
First theatrical release: 6 March 1998
Previously released on DVD/BluRay: Multiple including widescreen and fullscreen collectors editions
Director: Joel Coen
Starring: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore, David Huddleston, John Turturro
Sound Formats: English, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Length: 1 Hour 58 Minutes
Subtitles:



Plot: 3.5/5
For every place and era there is a man who is called on to do extraordinary things. In urban Los Angeles during the early 1990s that man was apparently Jeffrey ‘The Dude’ Lebowski. The Dude is mistaken for another Jeffrey Lebowski (Huddleston), also a Los Angelino, but the second Lebowski is a multi-millionaire, a real Big Lebowski. All the Dude wants are reparations for a soiled rug that was damaged in the initial altercation caused by this mistaken identity, but he soon finds himself embroiled in a kidnapping plot against Lebowski’s trophy wife (Tara Reid), pursued by nihilists, and seduced by Lebowski’s daughter (Moore). Key to helping the Dude cope are his bowling team compatriots Walter (Goodman) and Donny (Buscemi). The Dude’s team has made the local semi finals, and if Walter and Donny don’t screw it up, they will face ace bowler (and know Pedophile) Jesus Quintana (Turturro). Finally, we learn the plight of the Dude through the gravelly throated interpretations of a mysterious stranger (Sam Elliot), who helps viewers connect the dots and come to understand just who the Dude is and what he is about.

If all this sounds both complex and contrived, be assured that it is but it doesn’t matter. The Raymond Chandler-esque plot isn’t really the point here, The Big Lebowski is a simple springboard for the twisted minds of brothers Joel and Ethan Coen to bring together some of their favorite actors, give them roles to chomp on, and run wild with.

While not every scene is hilarious, Lebowski has its fair share and, more importantly, features more interesting and memorable characters than most. It’s also a fan favorite for pure quotable line gold. Filled with startling dream sequences given over to bowling fantasies and broadway dancing fused with literal flights of fancy, ex-porno stars, and ravenous marmots, The Big Lebowski is a surreal trip into the head of Los Angeles’ unlikeliest of heroes.

Sound Quality: 3.5/5
Lebowski is chiefly a dialogue driven comedy, and the vocals are all crisp, clean and clear throughout. Featuring a wide sound stage that spills into the rears, mostly during dream sequences and the occasional musical contribution, The Big Lebowski has an adequate if not exceptional soundtrack. Speaking of the music, the tracks here define the term eclectic, ranging from Bob Dylan, Kenny Rogers (‘What Condition my Condition is in’), Elvis Costello, and Captain Beefheart all the way to Opera, Henry Mancini and even the Gipsy King’s Spanish rendition of Hotel California. All sounded great and help to ground this very odd story in some reality. Note that despite the Dude’s lost cassette tape plot point, there is no “Creedence Clearwater Revival” in this film.

Surround effects are minimal, but if you listen carefully you can pick them up in the bowling alley, the car chase, and even the wind swept vista at the end. Overall it’s nowhere near demo quality but given this films parentage and budget, it’s definitely in the right ballpark and you won’t feel like anything was truly missing sonically.

Visual Quality: 3.5/5
Visually Lebowski looks better than I’ve ever seen it, in particular detail level is much improved over what I remember on DVD and color saturation is pleasing and punchy. There are occasional pockets of noise and small areas of edge enhancement that were never distracting and again fit in with what would be reasonably expected of this film. There were also a few notable incidents of print damage what showed up as pops and crackles but these were very rare tho distracting when they did show. For the most part sharpness was very good, although facial close-ups sometimes seem a bit soft, probably intentionally so from the film maker’s perspective and not as any defect in this transfer. Again the dream sequences seem to have some of the deepest details and color palettes. In the end this is not a perfect looking film but it is satisfying and better than any previous DVD release.

Extra Features: 2/5
The three extras from the DVD collector’s edition are shoveled in here in standard definition. First off is a lame ‘Introductory’ sequence from a fake movie restoration house that really serves to insult the intended audience for this film who collect movies and want to see them at their best. Next up is a sequence of Bridges’ on set photographs which is mildly interesting. Finally a meaty ‘Making of’ Featurette goes in depth with interviews of cast and crew, especially the Coen Brothers, and discusses all aspects of making the film, how it was conceived and information about the real Lebowski character on which it was inspired. This is one of the better making of featurettes that I’ve seen, but altogether this collection of extras borders on the pitiful.

Overall: 3.5/5 (not an average)
The Big Lebowski is a welcome find in High Def, as visually it benefits from the added detail and color space that this format provides, tho no major restorative work seems to have been conducted. Sonically it sounds about the same as it ever has and that’s a good thing. Sadly there’s nothing new here on the extras front, so consider that when deciding whether this is a worthy upgrade or not as well.

"Sam, you are the biggest nutter we have here."

Blog: Navesink.net - My Flickr Stream - Dolby Atmos Discussion Thread - Updates at Twitter - Join the HTF Flickr Pool


#2 of 15 Gary Murrell

Gary Murrell

    Supporting Actor

  • 675 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 20 2000

Posted July 02 2007 - 04:18 PM

"the dude abides"

it doesn't get any better than this, just over a year ago I would have never imagined the dude in my HD shelf

thanks Universal

-Gary

#3 of 15 Tim Glover

Tim Glover

    Lead Actor

  • 7,627 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 12 1999
  • Real Name:Tim Glover

Posted July 02 2007 - 04:57 PM

Good review Sam. Looks like this "dude" will be adding The Dude to my collection. Posted Image

#4 of 15 Patrick Mason

Patrick Mason

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 108 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 01 2005

Posted July 02 2007 - 07:21 PM

Sam,

Don't forget about "Lookin Out My Back Door" playing in the Dude's car after his very thorough doctor's visit. Creedence tapes indeed!

Patrick

#5 of 15 Michel_Hafner

Michel_Hafner

    Supporting Actor

  • 716 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 28 2002

Posted July 02 2007 - 08:52 PM

The only time EE is not distracting is when it is invisible (e.g. there is none).

#6 of 15 Jesper

Jesper

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 191 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 17 1999
  • Real Name:Jesper Nielsen
  • LocationDenmark

Posted July 02 2007 - 09:16 PM

Thanks for the review.
Jesper Nielsen

#7 of 15 Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Executive Producer

  • 15,649 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted July 04 2007 - 11:46 AM

Michel, depends on if you are pixel peeping stills or in full speed viewing IMO....

Sam

"Sam, you are the biggest nutter we have here."

Blog: Navesink.net - My Flickr Stream - Dolby Atmos Discussion Thread - Updates at Twitter - Join the HTF Flickr Pool


#8 of 15 Michel_Hafner

Michel_Hafner

    Supporting Actor

  • 716 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 28 2002

Posted July 05 2007 - 07:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Posten
Michel, depends on if you are pixel peeping stills or in full speed viewing IMO....
Sam
Why? EE is as easily visible at 24 fps as on still frames. The haloes don't disappear when there is (some) motion.

#9 of 15 Dave H

Dave H

    Producer

  • 5,230 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 13 2000

Posted July 05 2007 - 11:24 AM

It irks me Netflix doesn't carry this!

#10 of 15 ppltd

ppltd

    Producer

  • 3,044 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 30 2006

Posted July 05 2007 - 11:29 AM

Got a chance to watch this film today (isn't vacation nice when you have your priorities set properlyPosted Image ) and had forgotten how much I actually liked this film.

Sam, thanks again for a fine review. I didn't notice any issues with the video, but then again, I was having much too much fun watching the film.Posted Image

Keep the reviews coming....

Thomas Eisenmann(Last updated 09/30/11)

Blu-Ray Collection  DVD Collection, Numerous BD players,

LG 55LX6500 55-Inch 3D 1080p 240 Hz LED

Pioneer VSX-94TXH, Panasonic PT-AE7000U 3D 1080p (PT-AE8000 Just Ordered, 

1124 BDs and going up, 1028 - DVDs and going down.


#11 of 15 Paul Arnette

Paul Arnette

    Screenwriter

  • 2,616 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 16 2002

Posted July 05 2007 - 02:47 PM

Quote:
Fortunately, I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug, uh, regimen to keep my mind, you know, uh, limber.

I love this movie! Posted Image
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#12 of 15 Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Executive Producer

  • 15,649 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted July 05 2007 - 03:56 PM

That's just like, your opinion man! =)

"Sam, you are the biggest nutter we have here."

Blog: Navesink.net - My Flickr Stream - Dolby Atmos Discussion Thread - Updates at Twitter - Join the HTF Flickr Pool


#13 of 15 Sam Posten

Sam Posten

    Executive Producer

  • 15,649 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 30 1997
  • Real Name:Sam Posten
  • LocationAberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ

Posted July 05 2007 - 04:00 PM

Quote:
Why? EE is as easily visible at 24 fps as on still frames. The haloes don't disappear when there is (some) motion.

Depends on the scene. Sometimes things are happening so quickly that you never notice it but if you stop and look closely you can see them. I dont get worked up about it too much either way unless its REALLY in my face, but that's jsut me. I do report it when I see it but I dont let it bother my enjoyment of most films.

"Sam, you are the biggest nutter we have here."

Blog: Navesink.net - My Flickr Stream - Dolby Atmos Discussion Thread - Updates at Twitter - Join the HTF Flickr Pool


#14 of 15 Chris S

Chris S

    Screenwriter

  • 2,520 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 09 2000
  • Real Name:Chris S

Posted July 05 2007 - 04:03 PM

Thanks for the review Sam! I'm still debating on whether to upgrade but I think you might have pushed me over the edge. This is one of my favorite films from 1998 and well worth a rental for those who haven't seen it.
DVD & Blu-ray - It's all about the movies!

#15 of 15 Michel_Hafner

Michel_Hafner

    Supporting Actor

  • 716 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 28 2002

Posted July 06 2007 - 03:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Posten
. I do report it when I see it but I dont let it bother my enjoyment of most films.
Lucky you...





Forum Nav Content I Follow