This reviewer admits to having found "THE BIG LEBOWSKI" original, but only mildly funny in its original theatrical presentation. However, upon giving it a 2nd look on the new hd-dvd presentation, available via UNIVERSAL, it was more enjoyable and easier to see why it's often considered to be brilliant. The story, by the ingenious Coen Brothers, revolves around an older stoner known as either "The Dude," or "Jeffrey Lebowski." After a case of mistaken identity causes "the dude" to be attacked and his rug urinated upon, he seeks out the actual "Lebowski" that the criminals had been seeking to set things right. Of course, his quest brings about some incredibly creative situations and unforgettable characters. While some of the fantasy sequences can temporarily drag the film down, most of the film is brilliant and engaging. Even a young, pretty Tara Reid, adds rather than detracts from the film's magic! No small feat for Ms. Reid!
UNIVERSAL has provided a 1080p/VC-1 transfer with the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The high-def transfer provides a notable improvement over the already impressive remastered dvd version. Colors are boosted in richness, without ever succumbing to over-saturation. There's a terrific increase in detail in virtually every scene when compared to the dvd and many images have that "pop off the screen" quality. Blacks and grays are deeper too, and darker scenes are really impressive in direct comparison to the dvd.
UNIVERSAL has provided a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix. While keeping with a typical comedy styled mix, "THE BIG LEBOWSKI" is generally dialogue focused. Still, surrounds provide some entertaining ambient effects and the great score is well complimented through all speakers. When compared to the dvd, the Plus 5.1 mix has notably better dynamic range.
UNIVERSAL has carried over the featurette and brief intro found on the remastered dvd.