|Blu-ray Romantic Comedy|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Monday, 29 December 2008|
Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn star in this outrageous romantic comedy as friends, John Bechwith and Jeremy Gray, who love to crash weddings in order to sleep with women. Each year brings about a three-week wedding season with drinking, laughs, lies and sex. The friends are partners in their own law firm (dealing primarily in divorce). The duo plans each of the crashed weddings down to a T. They work up elaborate backgrounds, family relationships, and stories about their lives, and of course fake names.
After weeks of exhausting themselves at weddings and with women, Jeremy drops one finally wedding on John, the eldest daughter of Secretary of the Treasury, William Cleary (Christopher Walken). Unenthusiastic at first, John finally agrees. With such a high-profile wedding, the team does some extra planning. And the Cleary wedding will ultimately be their downfall.
John immediately falls for the middle Cleary daughter, Claire (Rachel McAdams). Meanwhile, Jeremy works his magic on the youngest Cleary daughter, Gloria (Isla Fisher). While Jeremy succeeds in his mating task during the reception, John's situation is needs a bit more time, especially since Claire has a jerk of a boyfriend, Zachary Lodge (Bradley Cooper).
After the wedding, a group of family and friends head to a private house for some post-wedding celebrating. Gloria turns out to be what Jeremy calls, a stage-five clinger – virgin. She attaches herself to Jeremy's hip and will not let go. She turns into a nymphomaniac. Jeremy, frightened, tries to escape, but John is able to drag him along to the private party for the rest of the weekend.
While at the gathering, everything imaginable goes wrong for Jeremy, while John tries everything to woo Claire away from Zachary. Every time John starts getting close to Claire, something happens to break up their fun, until ultimately, the whistle is blown on John and Jeremy's scam. Naturally, Claire finds John despicable and they part ways. What John doesn't know is that Jeremy continues to see Gloria, secretly. John tries everything imaginable to get back into Claire's life, but to no avail. Keep in mind that we are rooting for John, despite his past history of wedding crashing, Claire's fiancé is a jerk that cheats on Claire every chance he gets.
Of course, it goes without saying that all works out in the end. But, it is the journey that is so much fun. This is probably my favorite comedy film in recent memory. The only two things that bring this film down are Vince Vaughn and the occasionally exhausting length of the film.
Anyone that has read the past reviews of "Dodgeball," "Into the Wild," "Fred Claus," and numerous others with know of my distaste for Vince Vaughn. I find him to be the same in every movie, having very little acting talent. He is obnoxious in every one of his films, and this film is no exception. I tolerate him in this film because the story is good, the lines are witty, and he plays well opposite Owen Wilson.
Rachel McAdams shines brightly in this film, as she does in all her films. She got her biggest break in 2004 when she starred in "Mean Girls" and "The Notebook." When you couple her with Isla Fisher, you have a guaranteed hit.
Sadly, the video quality is not as good as the movie. We are given a 1080p/VC-1 encode. The film contains some of everything good and some of everything bad. The black levels fluctuate. The black tuxedos are deep and rich, however, many of the Maryland sequences are flat. The colors are oversaturated in many spectrums, the greens especially. The fleshtones also fluctuate, but are decent. There is a bunch of grain and chroma noise. There does not appear to be any edge enhancement. There were a couple instances of compression artifacts for whatever reason. Details were lacking. The picture was not really soft, but the textures were flat. I expected much more details, especially on the close-up shot. I happened to catch the film airing on HD cable the other week, and I would venture to say that the HD broadcast looked better than this disc in terms of color and detail. Of course, the HD broadcast was plagued with compression and motion artifacts.
The audio is alright, but nothing spectacular. We are given a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track. The dialogue is the main component of the audio track. For the most part the dialogue is clean and clear, however, there were signs of presence loss, and even a couple of distortions. The LFE channel was given more emphasis in this audio track than in most comedies. The music has plenty of low-end pumping into the subwoofer. The music can be over powering at times, making the dialogue seem weak. The surrounds may as well have been turned off. I would be hard-pressed to remember one instance of a discrete effect in the surrounds. It is definitely a front-heavy mix.
Like the previously released standard DVD, this Blu-ray gives us both the Unrated "Uncorked" version, as well as the theatrical version. The uncorked version contains eight additional minutes – all of which are extensions of already included scenes. There are a handful of bonus materials as well, all present on the previous DVD edition. First there are two audio commentaries. The first is with actors Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Knowing how I feel about Vince Vaughn, you can imagine the enthusiasm that I have for this track. Personally, skip it. The second commentary is with director David Dobkin. This commentary is much more informative. It covers the script and special insights about the filming process. There is a collection of deleted scenes. These scenes are not the same as the eight minutes present in the uncorked version. The audio on the additional scenes is bad and they don't offer much new to the film. There two featurettes on the making of the film. The first is "Event Planning," which takes you through the various wedding locations. "The Rules of Wedding Crashing" is a sit down with the lead actors discussing the rules of crashing weddings. Lastly, there is a music video for The Sights' "Circus" and a couple theatrical trailers.
"Wedding Crashers" is a great romantic comedy. Rachel McAdams and Isla Fisher are just so darn beautiful. That's all there is to it. While the audio and video quality hardly makes it worthwhile on HD, it stills has an extra flare about it that makes it worthy of adding to your collection.