Wedding Crashers appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. While the movie looked fine, it lacked the spark I expected.
At times, sharpness became a minor issue. I thought some of the film appeared a little soft in wider shots. Most of the time the flick was acceptably concise and tight, though. I noticed no jagged edges, but Jeremy’s striped shirt shimmered a bit, and some mild edge enhancement was visible. No source flaws popped up to mar the presentation.
Colors leaned toward the pale side of the spectrum. Some of this appeared due to photographic choice, but I still thought the hues looked lighter than expected. The tones were acceptable but somewhat thin. On the other hand, blacks could be too dark and weren’t as distinctive as I’d like. Shadows looked fine, though, as the low-light shots were clear and easily visible. Enough of Crashers looked good to merit a “B-“, but this wasn’t a terrific transfer.
As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Wedding Crashers, it also mixed highs and lows. The soundfield itself fell somewhere in the middle, as it featured a restricted scope typical of comedies. The vast majority of the audio focused on the forward channels. Music presented fine stereo imaging, but the rest of the mix was pretty lackluster. The soundscape featured a decent sense of ambience but not much else. If any prominent scenes occurred, I can’t recall them.
This meant a decidedly unimpressive presence in the rear speakers. They added a little reinforcement to the music and effects, but I can’t say they did much for me. Again, I can’t remember anything back there that stood out as notable.
Audio quality varied from terrific to flawed. Speech showed the majority of the concerns. Although the lines always seemed intelligible and usually were reasonably natural, more than a few came across as a bit edgy. That distortion wasn’t terrible, but it caused distractions.
On the other hand, music was excellent. The songs and score presented great range and impact. They always were lively and vibrant, and they brought spice to the mix. Effects fell in between those two, mainly because they didn’t have much to do. The effects sounded accurate, though, and created no problems. Due to the speech concerns and the limited soundfield, I felt the audio only deserved a “B-“, though the solid quality of the music almost raised my grade to a “B”.
Wedding Crashers comes with a mix of supplements. In addition to the theatrical version, we get an extended unrated cut of the film. This lasts about an additional eight minutes and includes at least seven added or extended scenes. Here’s what I found that was new:
-Jeremy gets busted by a former conquest at Christina’s wedding;
-John and Cleary talk more about Todd;
-Jeremy and Gloria chat on the beach before they have sex;
-Jeremy and Gloria interact more after the football game;
-John and Todd after John’s gropes Kathleen
-Jeremy finds grandma in his bed and carries her to her own;
-More with Jeremy and John at breakfast;
-More with Jeremy and his heart-to-heart with Father O’Neil.
Please don’t take this as an authoritative listing of the cut scenes, as I may have missed something. I think I cover all of it, but I could be wrong.
As I noted in the body of my review, the theatrical Crashers was already too long, so the extra few minutes makes it even more slow-paced. That said, I liked much of what I saw. I really enjoyed the bit in which John and Jeremy try to cover their facts with the former conquest, and most of the others are entertaining and amusing as well. I won’t argue they definitely should have stayed in the final cut, though I think these scenes might have been good, especially if the filmmakers removed some other material that made the theatrical edition drag.
We get two audio commentaries. The first one presents director David Dobkin via a running, screen-specific chat. He offers an almost scholarly look at his film. Dobkin covers the movie’s themes and tone, casting and collaboration with the actors, changes from the original script and additions for the “Uncorked” edition, visual design and the use of Washington as a setting, story and characters, ratings issues, and general shooting notes.
The only real negative comes from all the praise Dobkin heaps on the participants; the piece becomes a real lovefest at times. Nonetheless, Dobkin provides an insightful and intelligent examination of his work. He delves into the thought processes behind the movie and makes this a winning track.
For the second commentary, we hear from actors Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Both sit together in this running, screen-specific track. Don’t expect a lot of notes about making the movie. Occasionally they chat about Crashers, and we get their perspectives on locations, characters, and the other performers.
Especially during the film’s first half, Wilson and Vaughn just yak together. They talk about school experiences, acting in their early days, dating, childhood discipline, and what football games they watched that day. Potentially this could have been amusing, but instead the track just meanders. There’s a lot of dead air and little to entertain or inform us.
Matters improve during the flick’s second hour. Vaughn and Wilson dig more deeply into their characters and the story, which means they actually provide some decent insights. They simply narrate the movie too much of the time, but at least you’ll learn something from the last hour of the movie. Nonetheless, the commentary is too inconsistent to be a good one.
Four Deleted Scenes last a total of seven minutes, 45 seconds. We get “Cleary Tests John”, “Jeremy Consoles John”, “Bluefish” and “99 Red Balloons”. All are pretty good, and most could have stayed in the final cut. Only “Balloons” deserved the axe, but not because it’s bad; this karaoke scene was a good omission just because it’s too long.
We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Dobkin. He tells us why he excised the pieces and tosses out a few production notes. He doesn’t add great insight, but he does his job acceptably well.
Next we get a featurette called Event Planning. This 11-minute and 34-second piece presents movie clips, behind the scenes elements, and interviews. We hear from Dobkin, Vaughn, Wilson, costume designer Denise Wingate, set decorator Garret Lewis, producer Andrew Panay, screenwriters Steve Farber and Bob Fisher, wedding coordinator Lovelynn van der Horst, magic and balloon consultant Michael Stellman, and actors Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, and Jane Seymour.
The show looks at creating all the different weddings, the interaction between Vaughn and Wilson, and Dobkin’s work. A general promotional piece, I wish “Planning” delved more deeply into all the challenges related to staging the various ceremonies. Those elements are interesting, but the rest of the program feels like a glorified trailer.
The Rules goes for seven minutes and 27 seconds. The featurette includes remarks from Vaughn and Wilson. They simply discuss some of the rules of crashing weddings and give us a look at the movie. It’s entertaining but insubstantial.
A text component presents The Rules of Wedding Crashing. Across 24 screens, we get all of those decrees spelled out in detail. This is a fun extra.
In the Trailers domain, we find the movie’s teaser and theatrical clips. Some “Promotional Commercials” tout both Crashers and Budweiser. We also discover “Sneak Peeks” for The New World, Final Destination 3, Take the Lead, the Dukes of Hazzard movie and The Man. Those trailers open the DVD as well. Lastly, the Soundtrack area presents a tracklisting for the album along with a music video for the Sights’ “Circus”. It’s a boring lip-synch video, but the song’s a decent rocker.
One of the year’s biggest hits, Wedding Crashers made its money the old-fashioned way: it earned an audience through very positive word of mouth. That doesn’t ensure a movie will be good; My Big Fat Greek Wedding was atrocious but made a lot of money through word of mouth. I have no problem with the fondness attached to Crashers, as I think it’s quite funny and likable despite a mix of flaws. The DVD offers decent picture and audio along with a fairly solid set of extras. While it’s not a great disc, there’s enough here that’s positive to merit a recommendation.