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Divorce mediators John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey are business partners and lifelong friends who share one truly unique springtime hobby--crashing weddings. But the wedding hosted by Treasury Secretary William Cleary and his wife, Kathleen, for their eldest daughter proves to be more than a social event, as John falls for the bride's sister, Claire.
For more about Wedding Crashers and the Wedding Crashers Blu-ray release, see Wedding Crashers Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on January 6, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Jane Seymour
Director: David Dobkin
» See full cast & crew
Wedding Crashers Blu-ray Review
Does 'Wedding Crashers' find love or heartache on Blu-ray?
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, January 6, 2009
As a general rule of thumb, I approach every comedy with the lowest expectations I can muster. It's not that I don't enjoy a good laugh, it's just that so many modern comedies have been slapped together in an effort to earn a quick box-office buck that intelligent scripts, genuine wit, and natural charm have all but disappeared from the genre. Yet every now and then the comedic stars align to produce a sharp and infectious laugh-riot that earns my instant respect and adoration; a free-for-all farce that digs in and relentlessly exploits every ounce of humor in my system. Wedding Crashers is just such a film.
Meet John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn), a pair of successful divorce mediators who spend their weekends infiltrating weddings to take advantage of single women longing to find their own Prince Charming. Adhering to a carefully structured set of rules established by their mentor and long-time crasher, Chazz (Will Ferrell in an uncredited cameo), the duo pull off a string of successful crashes and one-night stands. Everything goes as planned until they pose as brothers and sneak into a wedding hosted by the United States Secretary of the Treasury, William Cleary (Christopher Walken). While there, John falls for one of the Secretary's daughters, Claire (Rachel McAdams), while Jeremy gets entangled with her younger sister, a "stage-five clinger" named Gloria (Isla Fisher). Even though Claire has a boyfriend (Bradley Cooper), a very smitten John convinces a very reluctant Jeremy to break their sacred rules and attend a weekend event at Secretary Cleary's estate.
I have to admit Wedding Crashers really surprised me the first time I watched it. I went in assuming it would be yet another poorly-constructed bore burdened with excessive gross-out gags and strained R-rated humor, but I found it to be a different beast entirely. Director David Dobkin (Shanghai Knights, Fred Claus), along with screenwriters Steve Faber and Bob Fisher, infuses the film with smart quips, tight scripting, and a series of breezy performances from headliners and supporting cast members alike. Even the most obvious jokes are elevated by Wilson and Vaughn's deadpan charisma, making the film an easy one to watch again and again. It also helps that Dobkin has sprinkled experienced veterans into the mix like Walken, Jane Seymour, Dwight Yoakam, and Rebecca De Mornay (among others), all of whom have been casted against type and who are responsible for some of the flick's most subtle and ingenious laughs.
Yes, the whole, messy affair drags on a bit too long for a fast-paced comedy (especially the 128-minute Unrated Cut) and, yes, the third act desperately scrambles to tie up all of the clichéd loose ends introduced by the somewhat predictable and convenient developments in the story. However, these are mere nitpicks of a film that's lured me back again and again over the past three years. Obviously, anyone who has a hard time sitting through edgier romantic romps should steer clear of Wedding Crashers. Everyone else should give this hilarious buddy comedy a shot and soak up its biting dialogue, gut-busting subplots, and pitch-perfect performances… you won't be sorry.
Wedding Crashers Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Blu-ray edition of Wedding Crashers features a pair of 1080p/VC-1 transfers, one for the theatrical cut of the film and the other for the unrated version. Each one delivers a similar visual experience, rising with the same highs and floundering with the same problematic lows. The palette is colorful and vibrant but occasionally fluctuates from scene to scene, blacks are generally deep but poorly resolved in some instances, and contrast is healthy but falters at inopportune times. Likewise, background detail is sharp and revealing one moment, but two-dimensional and soft the next. It's an unfortunate development and a constant distraction, especially when you consider the number of crowd shots that appear throughout the flick. While some of the transfer's uneven clarity could be the result of the original print, I suspect the studio's use of Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) has made the issue much worse. Grain is less intrusive than it is on the DVD, but fine textures are too hazy, clothing fabric too indistinct, and faces too waxy for my tastes.
Thankfully, artifacting, noise, edge enhancement, and crush have been kept to a minimum. Each issue still pops up from time to time, but they're infrequent blips in an otherwise tolerable presentation. Ultimately, fans will be pleased with the fact that Wedding Crashers looks a lot better in high definition than it does on DVD. However, anyone looking to compare the disc to other more impressive comedy transfers on the market will be frustrated with what they find.
Wedding Crashers Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Alas, the disc's audio package doesn't salvage its release. Wedding Crashers includes a front-heavy Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track that only serves to highlight the film's already limited sound design. Dialogue is crisp, clean, and well preserved, but sporadically gets lost beneath crowd chatter, sound effects, and music cues during more chaotic sequences. Adding insult to injury, the LFE channel is woefully underused and fails to inject much weight into the mix. More troubling is the lack of rear speaker presence; environmental ambience is too quiet, interior acoustics are unconvincing, and the soundfield doesn't draw the listener into most scenes. Granted, there aren't many legitimate opportunities for the mix to flex its sonic muscles, but I expected a much livelier experience than I encountered.
Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely pleased to see Warner grant a TrueHD audio track to a release that doesn't necessarily need it – after all, just a few months ago a talkative comedy like Wedding Crashers would have merely earned a standard Dolby Digital track – but audiophiles expecting a stimulating soundfield or a series of stirring dynamics will certainly be irritated with the film's lossless debut.
Wedding Crashers Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
In addition to both the theatrical and "uncorked" cuts of the film (which offers fans eight extra minutes of unrated footage), Wedding Crashers arrives on Blu-ray with an underwhelming collection of supplemental materials, all of which have been ported over from the 2006 Unrated Edition DVD. Unfortunately, the video content is presented in standard definition and, despite the inclusion of two full-length audio commentaries, the features themselves are rarely engaging or entertaining. Most disappointing is the commentary track with Wilson and Vaughn. Maybe I was expecting too much after listening to Dobkin's more focused track, but their off-the-cuff chat is dry, uninvolving, and peppered with inane musings and aimless tangents.
Quality aside, this 50GB dual-layer disc includes:
Wedding Crashers Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Wedding Crashers is a funny, funny flick loaded with flawless comedic performances, side-splitting dialogue and exchanges, and plenty of memorable gags to go around. Sadly, its Blu-ray debut isn't as strong. It features an inconsistent video transfer, a bland TrueHD audio track, and a small but tedious collection of supplements. DVD owners will find a nice upgrade awaiting them, but everyone else should check out the disc before committing any cash to a purchase.
Wedding Crashers: Other Editions
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Wedding Crashers Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - December 30th - December 30, 2008
The fifth quarter has officially started, and while for the most part studios are enjoying some well-deserved time off, Paramount has come out swinging with five hits from their extensive catalog. Today they are releasing 'Days of Thunder', 'Event Horizon', 'Ghost', ...
• Wedding Crashers Gets Detailed - October 31, 2008
New Line Home Entertainment in conjunction with Warner Home Video have announced the technical specs and special features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of 'Wedding Crashers: Uncorked Edition', which is due to hit store shelves on December 30th. Coming on a BD-25, ...
• Wedding Crashers Announced for Blu-ray - October 20, 2008
Warner Home Video has announced that they will bring the Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn comedy 'Wedding Crashers' to Blu-ray on December 30th. The release will feature both the theatrical and "uncorked" versions of the film. No technical specs have been announced ...
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