Review: ‘The Big Lebowski Achiever’s Edition’

Wanly received by critics and audiences upon its 1998 release, the Coen brothers' genially unhinged stoner riff on Raymond Chandler's "The Big Sleep" has since become a cult object of endless fascination. The makers of this collector's edition disc know it, too.

Wanly received by critics and audiences upon its 1998 release, the Coen brothers’ genially unhinged stoner riff on Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep” has since become a cult object of endless fascination. The makers of this collector’s edition disc know it, too: In the amusing “Masterpiece Theater”-style spoof that intros the film, a preservationist bemoans how “Lebowski” languished in obscurity early on while Hollywood was “awash with money from Japanese electronic giants, large Canadian liquor concerns and the French sewage-processing conglomerate Vivendi.”

So it’s a bit of a bummer, dude, that the extras themselves are pretty slim pickings: A gallery of behind-the-scenes photos taken by star Jeff Bridges offers some hilariously ribald details about the famous dream-sequence centerpiece, but the making-of documentary, featuring plenty of deadpan drawling from Joel and Ethan Coen, makes the absence of a brothers’ commentary track that much more painful. It’s a no-nonsense treatment of a movie that simply cries out for more nonsense.

The Big Lebowski Achiever's Edition

Oct. 18; Box set: $49.98

Production

A Universal Studios Home Entertainment release of the 1998 Coen brothers film.

Cast

With: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, John Turturro.
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