Four Weddings and a Funeral appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The film came with an erratic transfer.
Sharpness was one of the up and down elements. Much of the film exhibited fairly good definition and clarity, but more than a few exceptions occurred, as quite a few shots demonstrated mild to moderate softness. The majority of the flick seemed fine, though it rarely came across as especially distinctive.
I noticed no issues with jaggies or shimmering, and edge haloes failed to interfere. Print flaws were a concern, however. While the movie was never terribly dirty, it suffered from a mix of specks, marks and blotches. Though these weren’t overwhelming, they popped up pretty consistently and created distractions.
Colors were another erratic component. The movie featured a natural palette, and many shots featured hues that looked warm and lovely. On other occasions, though, the tones came across as faded and flat. The good dominated, though, so the colors were usually positive. Blacks seemed reasonably dark and dense, while shadow detail appeared fairly smooth; low-light shots could be a bit thick, but not to a terrible degree. This was a frustrating presentation; it looked so good at times that the ugly shots became all the more intrusive.
Expect more inconsistency from the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Weddings. On the positive side, the film offered a more engaging than expected soundfield. The flick didn’t offer any slambang sequences, but it used its various environments in a positive way. The weddings and receptions opened up the spectrum in an engaging way, and street scenes also gave us a good sense of place. Music added nice stereo imaging and the whole package came together in a fairly satisfying way.
Unfortunately, the quality of the audio was less pleasing. Speech often seemed metallic and sibilant, which meant the lines occasionally could be a bit tough to understand. Effects had similar issues, as they showed unnatural qualities at times and didn’t provide consistently accurate representation of the elements. Some awkward foley work complicated that side of things as well. Music was more enjoyable, at least, as the score seemed pretty warm. The combination of a good soundfield with erratic audio quality left this as a “C” presentation.
We get a good collection of extras here. These open with an audio commentary from director Mike Newell, producer Duncan Kenworthy, and writer/co-executive producer Richard Curtis. Recorded for the film’s tenth anniversary, ll three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the project’s roots, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, editing and cut scenes, and the movie’s release and reception.
While peppy and engaging, the commentary suffers from too much happy talk, as the participants often tell us how much they love this, that or the other thing. Still, even with all the praise, we learn a fair amount about the movie, so the track’s worth a listen.
Three featurettes follow. In the Making lasts seven minutes, 45 seconds as it offers notes from Newell, Curtis, Kenworthy, and actors Hugh Grant, Andie MacDowell, and Simon Callow. We get a few production notes and some shots from the set, but this is essentially just one long promo piece, so it lacks real value.
The Wedding Planners runs 29 minutes, 48 seconds and includes notes from Newell, Curtis, Kenworthy, Grant, MacDowell, Callow, and executive producer Tim Bevan. “Planners” discusses the project’s roots and development, cast, characters and performances, some aspects of the production, and the movie’s release/reception/legacy.
A bit of info from the commentary repeats here, but we get a fair amount of new information. I especially like the discussion of how the movie’s success impacted its participants; that side of things delivers some intriguing thoughts. This becomes a fairly entertaining overview.
Finally, Two Actors and a Director goes for five minutes, 41 seconds and features Newell, Grant, and MacDowell. We get more notes about casting and performances. It throws in a few decent remarks but is too short and fluffy to go much of anywhere.
Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of four minutes, two seconds. We find “The Wedding Line” (0:29), “The Novice Priest” (1:02), “The Deaf Father” (1:17), “The Friends” (0:40) and “The Kiss” (0:34). “Friends” gives us decent – though unnecessary – exposition about Charles’ relationship with his pals, while the others tend to be minor extensions/additions. These are usually pretty good, though; I rather wish “Father” had made the final cut.
We can watch these with or without commentary from Kenworthy. Actually, he adds introductions; I’m not sure why the disc calls this “commentary”, as he doesn’t chat over the scenes. In any case, he gives us some good notes about the flick, so his remarks deserve a look.
Some ads finish the set. In addition to the film’s Theatrical Trailer, we get Promotional Spots. We find “Hugh Grant’s Promotional Spot” (0:35) and “Andie MacDowell’s Promotional Spot” (1:13). Actually, Grant and MacDowell appear together in both, as they deliver goofy comments from the set. They’re pretty amusing.
We can also watch a quick intro from Kenworthy. He chats for one minute, 38 seconds and gives us some info about the promo spots. Kenworthy fleshes out our understanding of them.
While I’ll never figure out why the Academy thought a film as slight as Four Weddings and Funeral deserved a Best Picture nomination, that doesn’t mean I don’t like the film. Thin as it may be, it offers enough charm and wit to become an engaging experience. The Blu-ray gives us a good roster of supplements but suffers from erratic – and generally mediocre – picture and audio. I do like the film but find the Blu-ray to be a bit of a disappointment, as it doesn’t present the movie as well as it should.