Because of DVD and its obnoxious tendency to publish two or three versions of a single movie in special and special-er editions I’ve never owned The Big Lebowski, one of my all-time favorite movies. I’ve come to recognize which titles will find their way to double and triple dipping land before they’re even released on disc. Lebowski is one of those discs. Originally available for the longest time in a pretty much bare bones edition and then re-released in a special edition, I nearly sprung for the latter until I realized that I was the owner of a Blu-ray player and that it was only a matter of time before Lebowski was released there. Since I rarely drop cash on blu (and the fact that it conveniently streams on Netflix), I figured I could satisfy my Lebowski cravings with the Netflix version until the Blu was released. We are finally upon that moment.
On a related note, I’ve always wanted to attend Lebowski Fest, a sort of convention for the Strikes, Spares and White Russian set. It’s a weekend loaded with bowling, a screening of the movie, and wild partying whose cosplay is as nerdy and obsessed with details as an anime convention. It’s like a Star Trek con with far more boobs. Friends Larry Clow (Cinema S contributor) and co-host of the Filmjitsu podcast, Mike Merrigan, have attended and they report good things (They’re also bigger fans of the movie than me by a mile and recorded a commentary track that is the shit). They did one in Boston a couple of years back, which is probably the only way I’d actually make it out to such an event, but I missed it by mere-weeks when it came to my attention that there actually was a Lebowski Fest held in Boston. How convenient. So discount my sour grapes as I report to you that the upcoming release of the Blu-ray coincides with the next Lebowski Fest to be held in New York. In celebration of this spiffy new special-est edition, Lebowski Fest organizers and Universal have put together a reunion that will bring Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and T Bone Burnette to the Hammerstein Ballroom for what is going to be the kind of Lebowski Fest that fans will sing about with such vigor that Norse Sagas will pale in comparison.
If it’s not sold out already, expect it to sell out soon. Order your tickets here.
The Blu comes with the following shit (snipped right out of the press release for your convenience!)
BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE BONUS FEATURES:
- U-CONTROL: Universal’s exclusive feature that lets the viewer access bonus materials without leaving the movie!
- Scene Companion: Watch cast and crew interviews, behind the scenes footage and more during key scenes with this picture-in-picture companion.
- Mark it Dude: This onscreen counter really ties the film together. Keep track of all the “F-Bombs,” “Dudes,” and “Dude-isms” in the film with this ultimate fan guide.
- The Music of The Big Lebowski: Instantly identify the songs heard while watching the film, create a custom playlist of your favorites and even purchase them from iTunes®!
- WORTHY ADVERSARIES: WHAT’S MY LINE TRIVIA: Test your Lebowski knowledge by finishing lines of dialogue during the film. Play as Walter or The Dude or in two-player mode against friends.
- BD-LIVE: Access the BD-Live™ Center through your Internet-connected player to watch the latest trailers and more.
- pocket BLU™: The groundbreaking pocket BLU™ app uses iPhone®, iPod® touch, Android™, PC and Macintosh to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray™ player. Also available on the iPad™, owners can enjoy a new, enhanced edition of pocket BLU™ made especially to take advantage of the tablet’s larger screen and high resolution display. Consumers will be able to browse through a library of Blu-ray™ content and watch entertaining extras on-the-go in a way that’s bigger and better than ever before. pocket BLU™ offers advanced features such as:
Advanced Remote Control: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease.
Video Timeline: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.
- Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray™ discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
- Browse Titles: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU™-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray™ Hi-Def. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
- Keyboard: Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.
- uHEAR™: Never miss another line of dialogue with this innovative feature that instantly skips back a few seconds on your Blu-ray™ disc and turns on the subtitles to highlight what you missed.
ADDITIONAL BONUS FEATURES:
- JEFF BRIDGES PHOTO BOOK: For more than 30 years, Jeff Bridges has been snapping pictures on movie sets. The accomplished photographer presents exclusive shots taken on the set of The Big Lebowski providing personal commentary on each photo.
- THE DUDE’S LIFE: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi and John Turturro take a look back at their performances and their delivery of the Coen Brothers’ dialogue that became classic movie lines.
- THE DUDE ABIDES: THE BIG LEBOWSKI TEN YEARS LATER: A freewheeling conversation with the cast about the film’s decade-long reign as a cult classic, including a discussion about what ever happened to the “little Lebowski” that the Dude and Maude made that fateful night!
- THE LEBOWSKI FEST: AN ACHIEVER’S STORY: An in-depth look at the popular Lebowski Festival, formed by the legion of fans in honor of the film.
- FLYING CARPETS & BOWLING PIN DREAMS: THE DREAM SEQUENCES OF THE DUDE: From aerial flights over Los Angeles with his bowling ball chasing Maude on a flying carpet, to the large scale “Busby Berkley” dance sequences as The Dude goes flying through the legs of all the bowling pin headed dancers, this piece examines how these “ahead of their time” scenes were constructed.
- THE MAKING OF THE BIG LEBOWSKI: A behind the scenes look featuring interviews with the Coen Brothers.
- PHOTO GALLERY: Slideshow of Jeff Bridges’ on-set photography.
- INTERACTIVE MAP: Take a tour of the locations of The Big Lebowski, then and now.
- AN INTRODUCTION: Featuring Mortimer Young, a practitioner of “non-uptight” film preservation. His restoration of the famous “toe scene” will blow your mind.