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The Wedding Singer(1998)
Wedding band front man Robbie Hart anxiously awaits his marriage to his longtime girlfriend. But when Robbie gets jilted at the altar, a reception-hall waitress tries to end his heartbreak by enlisting his expertise in planning her wedding -- to Mr. Totally Wrong. Robbie works the crowd. Julia works the floor. He is a wedding singer, able to charm even the most reluctant Aunt Tilly into a dance. She is a waitress at parties where Robbie sings. Both are involved with others. Both are right for each other. Enjoy while Cupid works this out.
For more about The Wedding Singer and the The Wedding Singer Blu-ray release, see the The Wedding Singer Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on April 15, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Director: Frank Coraci
Writer: Tim Herlihy
Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor, Allen Covert, Matthew Glave, Steve Buscemi
» See full cast & crew
The Wedding Singer Blu-ray Review
Sweet, charming, and thoroughly amusing...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, April 15, 2009
Sooner or later, every Saturday Night Live regular abandons their New York stomping grounds to chase loftier pursuits; be it a film career or... well, a film career. But even the most popular SNL alums have had a difficult time transplanting their television personalities to the big screen. Molly Shannon gave up on Hollywood and returned to NBC to star in the mind-numbingly awful Kath & Kim. Chevy Chase failed to expand beyond his '80s Vacation fame and started settling for bit parts and cameos. Cheri Oteri nabbed roles in drivel like Southland Tales, but didn't stand out from the crowd. Tim Meadows essentially vanished overnight. David Spade never escaped network TV's gravitational pull. And Rob Schneider? Rob Schneider has spent the last fifteen years of his post-SNL career trying to destroy comedy as we know it. Still, success stories like Bill Murray, Chris Rock, Tina Fey, and Will Ferrell prove there are exceptions. Even a seemingly one-note funnyman like Adam Sandler has shown himself to be one of the most perceptive businessmen, diverse actors, and talented comedians to emerge from Rockefeller Center.
In his most endearing comedy, The Wedding Singer, Sandler plays Robbie Hart, a meek '80s romantic whose life is turned upside down when his fiancé Linda (Angela Featherstone) leaves him at the altar. As he comes to find out, she was bothered by the fact that he abandoned his dream of becoming a rock star and settled for an ordinary gig as a local wedding singer. Reeling from humiliation and a broken heart, Robbie's performances suffer, his self-destructive behavior grows erratic, and he takes out his frustrations on anyone and everyone who crosses his path. His only source of comfort is Julia (Drew Barrymore), a waitress who befriends Robbie and tries to pull him out of his depressive stupor. When feelings inevitably develop between the two, Robbie fights to woo Julia away from her fiancé (Matthew Glave), resist the lure of meaningless relationships, and decide what to do with his life.
The Wedding Singer isn't a typical Adam Sandler vehicle -- at least not the sort newcomers to the film might expect. Instead of a brash manchild or irresponsible narcissist, Robbie is a relative innocent; a lovelorn sweetheart who despises his own budding cynicism. Rather than learning how to become a human being (the typical pursuit of most Sandler characters), Robbie has to figure out how to work through his inner turmoil and reignite his humanity. Barrymore plays slightly against type as well, transforming a precocious damsel in distress into a convincing, easily wounded young girl who's just as desperate for genuine affection as Robbie. The pair are faced with some of the same tiresome romcom hurdles as other couples in similar films, but the actors' undeniable chemistry and unwavering likability help elevate The Wedding Singer above its predictable genre brethren. It doesn't hurt that the story is set in 1985, fusing every aspect of the production with numerous sight gags and era-centric jokes that make everything much funnier than it would have been otherwise.
More importantly, Sandler's performance, Tim Herlihy's breezy screenplay, and even the cliché-ridden third act rarely feel forced or overdone. Aside from three scenes that pit a drunken Robbie against several unsuspecting wedding party guests (all of which are still hilarious, albeit slightly out-of-place with the rest of the film), infectious humor comes regularly and naturally, dialogue seems to extend from the characters interactions rather than the situations they encounter, and both comedic timing and dramatic pacing are spot on. Chalk it up to the cinematic stars aligning, but The Wedding Singer seems to click at every turn, frequently sidestepping the aimless humor and shallow characters that litter other late '90s romantic comedies. Is it the funniest, most memorable genre pic of the era? Not quite. All the same, The Wedding Singer holds up extremely well -- even after ten years -- and should appeal to anyone looking for a good story and a hearty laugh.
The Wedding Singer Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Wedding Singer may be a treasured classic to some, but the studio doesn't seem to think very highly of it. What else could explain the poor condition of Warner's flawed, ridiculously over-processed 1080p/VC-1 transfer? The film's parade of lush primaries and dazzling pastels are arguably the only high point of the Blu-ray presentation -- shadow delineation is weak, skintones are often oversaturated, and black levels are occasionally left unresolved. Worse still, detail ranges from decent to depressing. Image clarity is soft and inconsistent, crisp textures are a rarity, and objects sometimes appear squishy and indistinct. Moreover, the transfer has been slathered with an excessive application of digital noise reduction (DNR). While it may cover up erratic grain and minor print damage, it also produces waxy faces, spongy close-ups, and motion smearing. It's the sort of overwhelming issue no amount of edge enhancement or artificial sharpening could ever correct... yet it's clear the studio used these exact techniques in a futile effort to fudge the end result. Add to that the appearance of minor artifacts, faint source noise, distracting halos, crush, and even some aliasing and you have one of the more notable Blu-ray mishaps released this year.
It's worth mentioning that, in a direct comparison, the high definition presentation outclasses its standard DVD counterpart in every conceivable way. However, there's a significant difference between inherent improvements (achieved simply by tossing a pre-existing transfer onto a Blu-ray disc and reaping the fundamental rewards) and a meticulously crafted upgrade (produced with the tender care afforded to the best catalog restorations). Is a basic bump in quality enough to redeem the transfer's shortcomings? Not in my eyes. It's a good thing The Wedding Singer is available at such a low price point: average at best, mediocre at worst, this one left me dissatisfied and disappointed.
The Wedding Singer Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Ah well, at least The Wedding Singer's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track is worthy of some praise. First and foremost, the film's collection of '80s classics sound fantastic. Perfectly spread throughout the soundfield, songs like Don't Stop Believing, You Spin Me Round, 99 Luftballoons, and Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me boast deep, healthy LFE support, stable high-end treble tones, and a fitting remastering of each hit's vocals. Character dialogue pales a bit in comparison, but it's nevertheless crisp, clear, and nicely prioritized in the mix. Likewise, the rear speakers tend to hibernate when the music stops, but the various wedding receptions (and other crowded scenes) offer a welcome flood of ambient effects and a convincing array of acoustics. Better still, pans are transparent and directionality is precise. A visit to a busy nightclub and several heated arguments reveal a spatial accuracy I didn't expect to find in a late '90s romantic comedy. The track certainly isn't perfect, but I can't imagine The Wedding Singer sounding any better than it does here. Just don't forget to manually select the lossless audio option -- Warner has once again decided to set the standard Dolby track as the default mix on the disc.
The Wedding Singer Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Be warned: the Blu-ray edition of The Wedding Singer fails to live up to its Totally Awesome moniker, offering nothing more than a ten-minute tour of the Broadway musical and a two-minute theatrical trailer.
The Wedding Singer Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
An average, over-processed video transfer and a misleading Totally Awesome Edition subtitle (that proceeds a whopping twelve minutes of supplemental material) nearly drags this release into bargain bin hell. Even so, an impressive TrueHD audio track, a tempting price point, and the enduring quality of the film itself make The Wedding Singer worth some consideration. Give it a rent and see if you can overlook all the issues that left such a sour taste in my mouth.
The Wedding Singer: Other Editions
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The Wedding Singer Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - April 7th - April 7, 2009
When making a film about a controversial subject, it is often difficult to represent the subject matter in a way that will appeal to general audiences. Tread too lightly on the subject, and the message can be lost or misunderstood; tread too heavy, and the message ...
• Warner Specs More April 7th Releases - January 27, 2009
Warner Home Video has revealed the technical specs and special features for six more of the ten titles set to be released on April 7th. While some of you may be disappointed with the lack of extras on these releases (I'm not), you have welcome the fact that all ...
• Warner Announces 10 Blu-rays for April 7th - December 18, 2008
Warner Home Video has announced that they will bring 10 of their most popular catalog titles to Blu-ray on April 7th. These titles include 'The Wedding Singer: Totally Awesome Edition', 'American History X', 'Final Destination', 'Point of No Return', 'Taking Lives: ...
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