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Whatever happened to Vince Vaughn? After springing to our screens some ten years ago alongside Jon Favreau in the excellent comedy Swingers, he practically disappeared off the face of the Earth, only to return recently for a whole bunch of cameos (including Starsky & Hutch and The Anchorman) and a couple of noteworthy leads (front-lined by the superior comedy, Dodgeball). Indisputably funny, his quick wit, charming antics and physical humour all combine to give us one of the best modern-day funny men. As for Owen Wilson, he has just gone from strength to strength in Hollywood, proving that he can stand alone in movies like the action drama Behind Enemy Lines, despite the fact that his forte is clearly is buddy-buddy comedy, exemplified not least by his many Ben Stiller collaborations ( Zoolander, Starsky & Hutch etc.) and his Jackie Chan Shanghai movies. With all this in mind, it is surprising that Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn had never worked side by side headlining a project (especially after their brief interaction in Starsky & Hutch) until now. But, on reflection, it was well worth the wait.

“You shut your mouth when you're talking to me.”

Wedding Crashers: Uncorked

Feature


John and Jeremy are divorce mediators faced with the daily struggle of attempting to reconcile fractured partners for long enough to enable them to reach some kind of settlement. But let's not worry about that too much because it’s nearly wedding season, a time when their entire agenda shifts focus. Why? Because John and Jeremy are wedding crashers. We're not talking about anything half-hearted either. These two are professional wedding crashers. They have rules, game-plans, and even fake family trees to help them crash any party. Anglo or African-American, Italian or Spanish, Chinese or Korean, it does not matter to them—they just pretend to be some distant relative of a dead aunt and bluff their way through the rest. The purpose behind this cleverly conceived fraud? Simple, they want to get laid. They want no-strings-attached sex with beautiful, twenty-something women. Lots of them.

“We are gonna' have tons and tons of opportunities to meet gorgeous ladies that are so aroused by the thought of marriage that they throw their inhibitions to the wind.”

After a long and eventful season of fun weddings, these two come across the 'ultimate' wedding to crash. The eldest daughter of a prominent Senator is getting married, and John and Jeremy simply cannot afford to miss such an illustrious event. When they arrive, however, it is not long before the plan goes out of the window and everything starts to fall apart. Although they appear to find their designated targets, and set about on their elaborate plans to seal the deal with these lovely ladies, it turns out that things are much more complicated than they seem because the girls are the two younger daughters of the Senator and they each come with their own share of woes. The boys may just have their work cut out for them if they want to close the deal but the real trouble comes when they start to realise that they may want more than just the one night.

“Don't ever leave me… ever… ‘cause I'd find you.”

Wedding Crashers: Uncorked
It is hard to see how this movie could have been a failure with the likes of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson headlining it, but just in case there were any doubts, rest assured—it is hilarious. Almost as laugh-out-loud funny as Dodgeball, it manages to keep you thoroughly entertained even over its surprisingly long runtime (this 'Uncorked' edition runs at over two hours in length, which is pretty long for a comedy). Vaughn is on top form as Jeremy, stealing the thunder from the would-be star of the show, Wilson, with some superb scenes, including his frenetic speech on why he does not 'date' and his one, single, spectacular left-hook (which is likely to simply gain applause from anybody watching it). On the other hand, Wilson's love-struck counterpart, John, is perfectly affable and entertaining in his own inimitable way, and represents what we have come to expect from the man.

“Tattoo on the lower back… might as well be a bullseye.”

They are paired up with, respectively, Isla Fisher (from Home and Away) as Jeremy's psychotic love interest, Gloria, and Rachel McAdams as John’s prospective target, Claire, who is on the cusp of marrying the wrong man, Zach. We are also graced with the ever-watchable Christopher Walken, one of the most eccentrically charismatic actors on the planet, and Jane Seymour (looking pretty good considering her age) as the Senator and his wife. If this weren’t enough to carry the whole movie (and it surely is, Vaughn and Wilson could have probably just done it on their own), there is also a surprise cameo appearance by a face fans of this type of comedy will be more than familiar with.

“Rule number 32: you don't commit to a relative unless you're absolutely positive they have a pulse.”

Wedding Crashers: Uncorked
All in all, I thought it was a superb effort, better still the second time around on DVD and well worth taking the time out to watch. It should be noted that this is also the 'Uncorked' version of the movie, which roughly equates to 'Unrated' in Brit-speak (because everything in this country is rated), and runs about twenty minutes longer than the theatrical version. In my mind, it is all the better for it (although I can see why it may have been too long for the cinema), with more from all of the main characters, including a hilarious moment with Vaughn's Jeremy pretending that he had a scuba accident in order to get rid of a 'clinger', an extra bit with Christopher Walken amusingly discussing modern art, more Jane Seymour, more from the Senator’s crazy painter son and more from his unruly mother. There are also—I would suspect—more breast shots during the opening montage, but much as I wanted to, I decided not to go back and check. All in all, it is a superior edition and, whilst it would not be reason enough to make a second purchase of the movie, since it comes on the same disc as the Theatrical cut, it is clearly the preferable option.

“You got a problem with that?”
“Not nearly as much as I do with your attire”

Video


The Wedding Crashers is presented in a superb 2.35:1 aspect ratio anamorphically enhanced widescreen transfer. The detail is generally fantastic, with very little noticeable softness, no grain whatsoever but a tiny amount of edge enhancement. The colour palette is quite broad and well presented, making all of the colours look luscious. It does help to have such broad, sunny settings, initially the summer-set weddings and aside from the lovely colour scheme we get solid, deep blacks. The transfer is generally brilliant, up to and including the fact that it has no discernible print damage.

Wedding Crashers: Uncorked

Audio


We also get a solid Dolby Digital 5.1 effort. Dialogue is presented clearly from the frontal array. Despite the overbearing music, the words are never muffled or subdued because the score is just dimmed enough so you can hear precisely what is being said. There are no real effects to speak of (a couple of shotgun blasts but nothing wild) but the score (including brass bands) and song tracks sound brilliant, keeping the show moving along at a fast, funny pace and making the weddings look thoroughly enjoyable. Despite the lack of effects, all the song tracks and the score give this quite a powerful rear effort, even if it is still generally frontally dominated.

Extras


First up there are not one but two commentaries for the main film. The first is with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn and the second is with the director, David Dobkin. Wilson and Vaughn are great commentators, although they discussions are not always contemporaneous with the action. They provide a ludicrous amount of background information (mainly about where it was shot) and anecdotal tales, not just about on-set antics but also about their own dating experiences. The best bits are when they discuss the lines (like Vaughn's homage to Jon Favreau's lines about blind dates) and these two have great chemistry (as you can see from the film itself) and seem to be on the same wavelength throughout, combining to provide you with one of the best commentaries that I have ever come across.

Wedding Crashers: Uncorked
For anybody not content with their offering, the director is here to fill in the gaps on his version and, to be honest, he does a stellar job in spite of standing in the shadow of the two stars. He praises Vaughn's awesome delivery of some of the lines and offers background into the characters and their motivations. He discusses the ideas that the original writers had come up with (they had plotted out all of the different weddings that we see summed up in the opening montage) and explains why they went with certain ones and not others. He also explains how he was the one who wanted to see these two combine for a movie, so he actively went out and found a suitable script and boy, was it a good idea. As I've stated, it's not as good a commentary as the one we get from the two buddy stars but it is still well worth a listen. Both of the commentaries also have respective English subtitles tracks.

There are four deleted scenes, which are not in chronological order. Each has to option to play with the director's commentary and they are all worth a look. 'Cleary questions John' has more Christopher Walken, 'Jeremy consoles John' is great—more from the two leads, 'Bluefish' has Zach being a moron and the '99 Red Balloons' segment is a three-minute scene at the Chinese wedding where they do karaoke to that great track, along with some fantastically hilarious dancing.

In the way of featurettes, we get a twelve-minute 'Event Planning' featurette looking at the creating of the opening wedding montage and how difficult it was to arrange everything. The crew members talk about the ordering of wedding dresses, choosing the brides and bridesmaids, organising the many different styles (Chinese, Hindu, Italian etc.), making them all look varied enough and so forth. Later on in the featurette there are some moments with the major cast members (Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Jane Seymour and even Christopher Walken) along with some nice behind the scenes footage of them (including a hilarious improvisational moment with Vince Vaughn talking about balloons to an aggressive kid). It is quite a good little featurette that is well worth your time, and it is nice that they keep the final film footage down to a minimum.

Wedding Crashers: Uncorked
'The Rules' is a seven-minute look at the wedding crasher rules brought up in the movie, with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson on hilarious form, sitting on a sofa and talking about the rules. Many of them were not mentioned in the film (Walk in like you own the joint, Whatever it takes to get in—get in, Never use your real name, and so forth) and these are nicely illustrated by clips from the film to show how they were put into practice. For fans of the movie and these two great comic actors, it is well worth watching this laugh-out-loud offering and you may even get some repeat viewing value out of it.

Separately from this featurette, there is a text guide to the rules of wedding crashing, with twenty-four illustrated text pages covering about a hundred rules on wedding crashing. Highlights include: 'Never leave a fellow Crasher behind', 'Every female wedding guest deserves a wedding night' and 'The following bits of slang are no longer acceptable—“it's all good,” “hey, no worries” and any sentence that involves anyone getting “their freak on.”' There are some good, well thought-out rules here.

Finally we get a teaser and theatrical trailer along with the track listing for the soundtrack (which has the clever option to jump to the segment from the film with the audio sample in it) and a music video for The Sights’ ‘Circus’, which is pretty forgettable.

Wedding Crashers: Uncorked

Overall


The Wedding Crashers is a brilliant comedy that will surely be a must-see for fans of Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson and modern classics like Dodgeball. The video representation is pretty solid and the audio is good, and with the wealth of often hilarious extras adorning this edition, it makes for a worthy purchase. The alternate edition is certainly superior but it is good that they put it alongside the theatrical cut because it is not worth a second purchase. Overall, this one comes highly recommended.


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