Wedding Crashers (2005) - Uncorked Edition

Genre(s): Comedy / Romance
New Line || Unrated - 128 minutes - $28.98 || January 3rd, 2006
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2006-01-16


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: David Dobkin
Writer(s): Steve Faber (written by) & Bob Fisher (written by)
Cast: Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Jane Seymour, Bradley Cooper


Theatrical Release Date: July 15th, 2005


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Director Commentary
  • Actors' Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Event Planning Featurette
  • The Rules Featurette
  • The Rules of Wedding Crashing
  • Trailers
  • Soundtrack
  • R-Rated Theatrical Version


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Stereo Surround 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

In 2005 there was a competition on the Net on which comedy was better, Wedding Crashers or The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Now that both are on DVD, it's easier to get a better look at them and, after watching both in the past month, I have to give the edge to Crashers because of the comedic duo of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn -- both of whom are in the "frat pack" along with Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Jack Black and Will Farrell. Beyond just them, there's also the combos of Wilson and the lovely Rachel McAdams, and Vaughn and the cooky Isla Fisher. It's not to say 40 Year-Old Virgin isn't good, I felt Wedding Crashers was ever so slightly better after watching it again on DVD.

In terms of the extra 8½ minutes, there's nothing of note (unlike 40YOV). There's some extra character stuff with the weird brother and the butler catches the cooky sister and Jeremy in the bathroom (which leads to another scene later). But for all you hoping for more boob shots, sorry...

Original Review:
Romantic comedies, in my book, are the most difficult movies to critique in my book. Plots in this genre rarely vary which means it must try extra hard to compensate against a formula so predictable that is (more often) eye-rolling at best. What better way to break the mold than sticking in two members of the 'Comedy Rat-Pack' than Vince Caughn and Owen Wilson?

Wedding Crashers is about lawyer/mediators John Beckwith (Wilson; Starsky & Hutch) and Jeremy Klein (Vaughn; Mr. & Mrs. Smith), two immature grown men who go from one wedding to the next with the goal of scoring with some of the ladies. The first part of the movie adequetly portrays their bahavior with funny montages of them at different cultural ceremonies (Asian, Jewish, etc) where, at the end, they end up in bed with some hot women. This, as it was explained by Jeremy, is the "season" as they scope out the parties.

After this "season" was through, Jeremy finds the ultimate one, however... the wedding of the daughter of the Secretary of Treasury William Cleary's (Walken; Man on Fire) daughter. At the ceremony, John and Jeremy pick their prey with Jeremy taking dibs on cute redhead, but nutty, Gloria Cleary (Fisher; I Heart Huckabees) and John taking Claire Cleary (McAdams; The Notebook), a woman he's actually falling for. The problem? Yeah, she has a serious boyfriend, Zach (Cooper; TV's "Alias"), an egotistical typical movie a-hole whose sole purpose is to put a road block in the main characters' plans for happiness.

The comedy tag team of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn is just as priceless as that of the O. Wilson/Stiller (Starsky & Hutch or Vaughn/Ferrell/L. Wilson (Old School) team-ups of yesteryear. Although neither Wilson nor Vaughn break any kind of new ground with their "acting" chops as they play the same characters they have before -- with Owen playing the quiet, soft spoken romantic ladies man versus Vaughn's more aggressive and loud style.

That said, there was one element added to Vaughn's comedic efforts, the humiliation factor that, before now, was played by Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents or Jason Biggs in the Pie movies. If it were many other actors, it could've been flat and stupid, but after seeing Vaughn play the macho man/a-hole in so many films, it works very well.

In the middle of Wilson and Vaughn is the absolutely gorgeous Rachel McAdams who convinced me 100% that she is a bonefide star in last year's The Notebook and Mean Girls, two roles so different, yet played to near perfection. While indeed Julia Roberts will get the big paychecks, the covers of the "beauty" magazines and the top scripts in Hollywood, it is in this critic's opinion (and as someone who does NOT have anything against Roberts herself) that McAdams is not only an A-list actress quickly in the making, she is an Oscar contender in the works as well.

Some might argue that a movie like Wedding Crashers is just a pit stop for a future Academy darling, but I think that, as strange as it might sound, it perhaps could propel her more than if she just took another dramatic role. Rachel McAdams has shown she can take on any genre and make the characters work. With Wedding Crashers she does just that displaying nice chemistry with Owen Wilson and not making goo-ey romance stuff look so good.

Wedding Crashers isn't without its (albeit minor) faults. While I love to see Christopher Walken on the big screen and in any scene he's in, I didn't really get why secifically he was right for the role. He does a good job in it, but Walken is not your average actor that takes just any role that comes his way. It might be the filmmakers' wanted someone with a strong presence to play the fatherly role (a la Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents/Fockers), but I more intimidated by Bradley Cooper as McAdams' boyfriend, than I was at Walken himself. Not a true blemish on the comedy, I just had hoped for some of that weird 'ol Walken magic I'm used to seeing.

Even though Wedding Crashers does go into the rom-comedy cliché pitfalls, but the comedy team that is Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, as well as the class and beauty of Rachel McAdams, provide more than makes this one worthwhile.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Going on with the 40YOV comparisons, this "Uncorked Edition" is nowhere near as packed as that one, but two items make it worthwhile overall.

Actors' Commentary - Crashers Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson provide a semi-lively conversation about the making of the movie with some off shoots like college and NFL football and Owen's dog who joins the room half way through. On the surface, I thought this would be one of the better commentaries to go along with Dodgeball or Old School, and although I enjoyed it, there were times it got a bit dry. All in all, though, it's still a good track and worth a listen.

Director's Commentary - Much more technical than the other, but there's some tid bit information throughout even if the track all around was dull. David Dobkin needed someone else next to him (a producer or maybe Walken?) just to liven the conversion.

Deleted Scenes - In all there are four deleted scenes: "Cleary Tests John", "Jeremy Consoles John", "Bluefish" and the self-proclaimed infamous "99 Red Balloons" which is only available on this edition. Each scene is accompanied by commentary from the director as he explains the purpose of the scene and why it was ultimatey cut. Outside of perhaps the Bluefish one, none of them stood out really. In that particular one, there's a little more cocky banter with Cooper's character but nothing needed even in the extended cut.

Event Planning - This 11-minute featurette was originally released in a Circuit City promotional when Wedding Crashers first opened and was available with the purchase of any DVD. So, being a man who can't pass up a free DVD case, I picked up a movie I was going to buy, and got a DVD with this featurette. I threw away the DVD a few months ago so I can't be sure if it was only a portion of it, but I know that at least a part was this. In any case, the featurette, like any for a comedy, doesn't really reveal anything of value.

The Rules - This one, which I believe was made of the DVD release, combines interviews from cast members with footage from the movie as they talk about the rules of crashing weddings. Like the previous featurette, this too doesn't do much and is only throw away material.

The Rules of Wedding Crashing - 26 pages of new and old rules about crashing weddings. By my estimate, there are probably between 80-100+ rules that range for dumb to pretty funny. You too can benefit from some these rules in your future crashes like: "If pressed, tell people you're related to Uncle Ned. Everyone has an Uncle Ned" or "If two crashers pick the same girl, the crasher with least seniority will respectively yield."

Also included are the Wedding Crashers teaser and theatrical trailers, soundtrack samples from the movie and a music video.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Even though this is a comedy, there's plenty of music to make the soundtrack rock your surround sound speakers (like the crashing montage). The main vocals come primarily from the center speaker with ambient noises like water or others talking come through the side ones. The picture (for both versions) are presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.35 aspect ratio) and looks pretty crystal clear, far as I could tell. The colors from the weddings or some the scenic views of D.C. come through the screen well.



.::OVERALL::.

As one of the surprise hits of '05, Wedding Crashers deserved a better treatment on DVD, I had hoped for more things like a gag reel (I would think that with these two there'd be plenty of goofing around), but with the Vaugn/Wilson commentary and the inclusion of the original theatrical version (in case you find the "uncorked" one not worth the extra minutes), it's still worth the money to buy.