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David Dobkin
Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Jane Seymour, Ellen Albertini Dow, Keir O'Donnell, Bradley Cooper, Ron Canada
Writing Credits:
Steve Faber, Bob Fisher

Life's a Party. Crash It.

John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn), Washington D.C.'s top divorce mediators and lifelong best friends, have never met a wedding they couldn't charm their way into. Guided by a secret set of "wedding crashing rules," the pair attends a different wedding - and romances different bridesmaids - every week. But, when they crash the social event of the season, John falls for the daughter (Rachel McAdams) of an influential and eccentric politician (Christopher Walken) and decides to break the "rules" in pursuit of her love. What results is a wild weekend at her family's palatial estate where the ultimate "crashers" quickly find themselves in way over their heads!

Box Office:
$40 million.
Opening Weekend
$33.900 million on 2925 screens.
Domestic Gross
$209.218 million.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English Dolby TrueHD5.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 119 min. (Theatrical Version)
127 min. (Extended Cut)
Price: $14.97
Release Date: 12/30/2008

• Both Theatrical and Extended Uncut Versions
• Audio Commentary with Director David Dobkin
• Audio Commentary with Actors Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson
• Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
• “Event Planning” Featurette
• “The Rules of Wedding Crashing” Featurette
• Trailers
• Music Video


Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.


Wedding Crashers [Blu-Ray] (2005)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 23, 2014)

Of all the surprise hits that came out in 2005, Wedding Crashers made the biggest splash. In the tradition of 2002’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding and 1998’s There’s Something About Mary, Crashers emerged from nowhere to become one of the year’s top hits.

Its $209 million take landed it at sixth place on the list of 2005’s moneymakers. For comparison, Greek’s $252 million placed it fifth in 2002 – a much more competitive year – while Mary’s $176 million meant it ended up third in the significantly less competitive 1998.

Crashers broke from the Greek and Mary mold in one way: it offered a pretty good movie. I actively loathed the charmless and cutesy Greek, while I felt Mary was too gross and not funny enough. Crashers suffers from some flaws, but it ends up as fairly satisfying.

The film introduces us to longtime friends John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn). Now in their mid-thirties, the pair run a mediation business together and maintain a cynical attitude toward romance. They love to crash weddings, have fun at the receptions, and bed as many hot female guests as possible.

When wedding season winds down, they decide to shoot for the big enchilada: a massive, elaborate ceremony for Christina (Jenny Alden), the daughter of Treasury Secretary William Cleary (Christopher Walken). At this event, John meets Christina’s sister Claire (Rachel McAdams) and immediately becomes smitten. However, she dates Zack “Sack” Lodge (Bradley Cooper), so it looks like John doesn’t have a shot.

Too enraptured to give up, John decides to pursue Claire anyway. He gets an “in” when Jeremy bags Claire’s sister Gloria (Isla Fisher). This seems great until she claims to be a virgin and acts clingy and mentally unstable.

How does this help John’s cause? Since Gloria quickly latches onto Jeremy, the pair receive an invitation to spend the rest of the weekend with the Cleary family. Sensing the danger of additional contact with the potentially psycho Gloria, Jeremy resists, but John calls in a favor. From there, the movie takes us to see what happens as John tries to win over Claire and Jeremy attempts to survive Gloria. Expect plenty of complications along the way.

Good comedic complications, that is. First, the main negative of Crashers: it’s too damned long for this sort of film. The theatrical cut runs almost two hours, while this disc’s unrated edition hits the 127-minute mark. This sort of film tends to work best around 100 minutes. That extra 20-30 minutes means that it loses steam after a while.

So much of Crashers works well, however, that fans can easily forgive the dreariness that mars some of the third act. Wilson and Vaughn deserve credit for much of the movie’s success. The pair hadn’t worked much together prior to this flick, but they show a fine chemistry and easy rapport.

It helps they make their characters different, though neither man stretches his stereotypical onscreen personality. Wilson does his charming semi-slacker bit while Vaughn goes for his hyper motor-mouth who pours on the clever lines. It doesn’t bother me at all that they’ve played similar roles in the past. They know what they’re doing, and they develop appropriate personalities.

A terrific supporting cast benefits the flick. Walken is just odd enough to be funny, but he doesn’t indulge in over the top nonsense. McAdams is pretty and likable to ensure that we understand why John falls for her so heavily. And Fisher is both hot and freaky as Gloria. She emphasizes the comedic elements in her terrific turn. She’s irresistibly sexy – I think she’s more of a babe than the admittedly gorgeous McAdams – and she walks the line between funny and silly.

I like the fact Crashers is unabashedly “R”-rated but it doesn’t present smuttiness. There’s a lot of sex comedy on display here, to be sure. The film doesn’t engage in crassness, though, as the bits make sense for the movie. It fully earns its “R”-rating but it lacks the grossness usually found in this kind of flick.

I don’t think Wedding Crashers is a great film, and I have no idea how well future generations will view it. Nonetheless, it does more right than wrong, and it presents good pure entertainment. Despite a third act that sags, this is still a fun production likely to amuse.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

Wedding Crashers appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. I felt the image looked terrific.

Sharpness was consistently solid. From close shots to wide images, the movie remained well-defined and concise. I noticed no jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes stayed away from the picture. No source flaws popped up to mar the presentation.

Colors were subdued at times, with a bit of a golden tone on display. Nonetheless, the hues looked well-rendered, with some vivid elements available when appropriate. Blacks came across as dark and tight, and shadows showed nice clarity. Overall, this was an appealing transfer.

As for the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Wedding Crashers, it seemed fine for this sort of movie. The soundfield 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 worked fine. Speech was crisp and clear, without edginess or other problems. Music was excellent, as the songs and score presented nice range and impact. Effects didn’t have much to do, but they sounded accurate and created no problems. This was a more than adequate mix for a film of this sort.

How did this Blu-ray compare to the original DVD release? Audio was cleaner and a bit more vibrant, while visuals seemed much improved. The DVD came with inconsistent picture quality, but the Blu-ray appeared considerably more detailed and vivid.

Almost all of the DVD’s extras repeat here. In addition to the flick’s theatrical version (1:59:03), we get an extended unrated cut (2:07:00). The latter includes at least eight added or extended scenes. Here’s what I found that was different:

-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 the alterations, 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 tracks 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.

Alongside the extended cut, 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 half. 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, 49 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, 35-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 of Wedding Crashing goes for seven minutes, 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.

In the Trailers domain, we find the movie’s teaser and theatrical clips. Lastly, we find a music video for the Sights’ “Circus”. It’s a boring lip-synch video, but the song’s a decent rocker.

Does the Blu-ray lose anything from the DVD? Yup – it axes a fun text piece called “The Rules of Wedding Crashing”.

One of 2005’s biggest hits, Wedding Crashers made its money the old-fashioned way: it earned an audience through positive word of mouth. That doesn’t ensure a movie will be good, but I think it’s quite funny and likable despite a mix of flaws. The Blu-ray provides excellent visuals, decent audio and a mix of reasonably useful supplements. I like this film and think the Blu-ray brings it home well.

To rate this film, visit the DVD review of WEDDING CRASHERS

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