Iconic Comedy [Universal 100th Anniversary] [3 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

The Big Lebowski
The plot of this Raymond Chandler-esque comedy crime caper from the Coen Brothers (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen) pivots around a case of mistaken identity complicated by extortion, double-crosses, deception, embezzlement, sex, pot, and gallons of White Russians (made with fresh cream, please). In 1991, unemployed '60s refugee Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) grooves into his laid-back Los Angeles lifestyle. One of the laziest men in LA, he enjoys hanging with his bowling buddies, pompous security-store owner Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) and mild-mannered ex-surfer Donny (Steve Buscemi). However, the Dude's life takes an alternate route the afternoon two goons break into his threadbare Venice, California, bungalow, rough him up, and urinate on his living room rug. Why? Because Jackie Treehorn (Ben Gazzara) is owed money by the wife of a certain Jeff Lebowski. However, the goons grabbed the wrong Jeff Lebowski. With the right info, they would have invaded the home of philanthropic Pasadena millionaire Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston). The Dude looks up his wealthy namesake, manages to get a replacement for his rug, and meets the millionaire's sexy young wife Bunny (Tara Reid). Later, Jeffrey ("The Big") Lebowski calls in the Dude to deliver a $1 million ransom for the return of his kidnapped wife. Fine -- except that Walter intrudes and botches the ransom drop. As events unravel, the Dude gets caught up in the schemes of Lebowski's daughter, erotic artist Maude (Julianne Moore), encounters both cops and bad guys, and drifts through an elaborate bowling fantasy sequence titled Gutterballs. The soundtrack includes Bob Dylan, Yma Sumac, Moondog, Captain Beefheart, and the Sons of the Pioneers. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
The Meaning of Life is without a doubt the most tasteless of the Monty Python feature films; it also happens to be one of the funniest. Life's questions are "answered" in a series of outrageous vignettes, beginning with a pre-credits sequence at a staid London insurance company which transforms before our eyes into a pirate ship. One of our favorite bits involve the National Health doctors who try to claim a healthy liver from a still-living donor, pointing out that there's nothing in his contract preventing this. And of course, there's the scene with the world's most voracious glutton, who brings the art of vomiting to new heights before his spectacular demise. Be warned: though hilarious, this may be the grossest bit of comedy filmmaking ever conceived (there aren't enough words in the world to describe it in detail!). Loyal Pythonites Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin star in The Meaning of Life and share writing responsibilities, while Jones is in the director's chair this time out. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

American Pie
It's said that most American men think about sex once every two or three minutes, but this statistic would seriously underestimate the horniness of Jim (Jason Biggs), a high school senior in suburban Michigan. Jim is thoroughly obsessed with sex, a fact of which his parents become aware when they discover him performing the sin of Onan with a gym sock while watching scrambled pay-per-view porn. Jim's buddies Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Oz (Chris Klein) are no less anxious to relieve themselves of their virginity, so they all make a pledge: they will go to bed with a woman in the three weeks before senior prom or die trying. Kevin appears to have the advantage, since he already has a girlfriend, Vicky (Tara Reid), but before he ventures into the Final Frontier, Kevin is urged to consult "The Bible," a hand-written how-to manual possessing erotic wisdom passed down through the ages. Oz is a good-looking jock who is actually a nice guy -- which is part of the problem, since he has his heart set on a nice girl, Heather (Mena Suvari), who does not seem the type to leap into bed within 21 days. Finch has no immediate prospects, though Jessica (Natasha Lyonne) is in a position to know if those rumors about him are true. And Jim is a truly hopeless case -- after his attempted seduction of beautiful Czech exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) turns out to be a disaster, he ends up going to the prom with Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), an annoyingly chatty band geek who does, however, have a fascinating story about a flute. American Pie was the directorial debut of Paul Weitz, who, along with his brother Chris Weitz (who served as producer), previously wrote several screenplays, including Antz and Madeline (where they presumably worked all their wholesome ideas out of their system). ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Jeff Bridges
    Jeff Bridges - The Dude
  • John Goodman
    John Goodman - Walter Sobchak
  • Julianne Moore
    Julianne Moore - Maude Lebowski
  • Steve Buscemi
    Steve Buscemi - Donny
  • David Huddleston
    David Huddleston - The Big Lebowski

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