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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Various
Cast:
Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer
Writing Credits:
Various

Tagline:
You can never have enough Friends!

Synopsis:
The smash-hit comedy series Friends is now available in three new compilations, including birthday, wedding and baby themed collections. Compiling the best episodes from all ten seasons, these compilations make the ideal gift to mark life's special occasions! The One With All The Weddings is a collection of wedding-themed episodes from Friends!

MPAA:
Rated TV-14

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.0
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 175 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 3/28/2006

Bonus:
• Producers Commentary on One Episode


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
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.

RELATED REVIEWS


Friends Collection: The One With All The Weddings (2006)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 19, 2006)

Before Warner Bros. put out full season sets of Friends, they issued some “best of” packages. Now that fans can buy all 10 seasons of the series, it’s back to square one! Eager to continue to pursue Friends-related profits, we now get themed compilations of episodes.

Via The One With All the Weddings, we look at four shows related to nuptials. I’ll offer brief discussions of each episode, listed in their broadcast order. The synopses mostly come straight from the package’s liner notes.

In addition, apparently all of the episodes include footage cut for their broadcast appearances. This means the running times vary. I’ll include the length of each episode on the DVDs. (For reference, a standard broadcast program lasts about 22 minutes.)

The One With Ross’s Wedding (Season Four, 49:42) offers a two-part episode that finished Season Four with something of a cliffhanger. Here we move to Ross’s impending nuptials with British chick Emily. Frankly, I think they made Emily English just so they’d have an excuse to move the show to the UK for an episode; it’s no coincidence that this “special” show appeared during a sweeps period. This one features more than its fair share of soap opera elements, as Rachel has to confront her continued affection for Ross, and Monica and Chandler hook up for the first time. It provides some amusing bits as well, but it focuses too much on soap opera for my liking.

The One in Vegas (Season Five, 45:20): After his film gig falls through, Joey begs Chandler not to visit. But when Monica decides to celebrate her one-year anniversary with Chandler in Vegas, no one wants to be left behind. Joey tries to convince a blackjack dealer with identical hands to join him in a business venture. While playing craps with Monica, Chandler makes the bet of a lifetime.

A double-length season-ending show, “Vegas” works a lot of important storylines. The setting certainly offers a lot of good opportunities for material, and the show explores them well. Even the absurdity of Joey’s hand double becomes amusing, and the program pursues some nice character development. It caps the year well.

The One with Monica and Chandler’s Wedding (Season Seven, 48:00): “Monica and Chandler gather their offbeat families on the eve of their wedding but there’s one problem: Chandler is missing. While Ross searches for him, Rachel and Phoebe desperately try to distract the unsuspecting bride. Someone is hiding a big secret.”

After all the build-up, wedding day finally arrives, and not a moment too soon! Actually, despite some fears I had about the topic, the wedding-related issues didn’t become too much of a problem during Season Seven. That thread played a smaller role than I anticipated and didn’t cause the show to sag like I worried.

Until now. No, “Wedding” didn’t suck, and it proceeded about as I expected. Nonetheless, it poured on a lot of melodrama and artificial tension, and the humorous bits felt somewhat forced. Granted, I don’t know if this kind of episode could ever avoid those traps, but “Wedding” remains a spotty show.

The One with Phoebe’s Wedding (Season Ten, 32:05): “Monica’s hard-nosed wedding-planner techniques cause Phoebe to fire her. The big day turns chaotic when a blizzard forces a change in plans.”

I can’t stand these big, schmaltzy event episodes. At least the build-up to Phoebe’s wedding wasn’t as interminable as the approach to Monica and Chandler’s, so I’m happy about that. Heck, we barely heard from Wussy Mike for the last few shows of Season 10. Nonetheless, the episode lacks much to make it entertaining, as it falls into predictable lines.


The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio C+/ Bonus C-

Friends: The One with All the Weddings appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.33:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. While the series looked iffy in its early years, it stabilized as it progressed. Since these shows came from its mid to late seasons, they mostly looked nice.

“Ross’s” and “Vegas” were the weakest of the four. Sharpness was inconsistent. Much of the time, the shows looked acceptably well defined and concise. However, more than a few soft spots popped up along the way; more than occasionally, the programs were moderately fuzzy. Periodic examples of jagged edges and moiré effects occurred, and I also noticed some edge enhancement. Source flaws appeared largely absent, though.

The shows generally presented fairly lackluster colors. The tones tended to come across as somewhat drab and listless much of the time. Some shots appeared more vivid than others, and I never felt the hues were terribly incorrect, but they simply lacked much life. In addition, blacks seemed a bit flat, and shadows usually looked a bit too dense and thick.

When we got to “Chandler’s” and “Phoebe’s”, matters improved a lot. Sharpness was mostly positive. A few slightly soft shots occurred, but none of these were terribly intrusive. The shows could have been a little tighter, but I was satisfied with their definition. Only minor examples of shimmering, jagged edges and edge enhancement showed up, and source flaws were rare. The programs could be a little grainy, and I noticed a few small specks, but that was it.

Colors worked well. The show presented nicely vivid and bright tones, and the DVD replicated them concisely. Blacks also seemed firm and rich than in the past, and shadows were reasonably distinctive and not too dense. Despite the inconsistencies among these four shows, the visuals were decent to good.

Friends offered Dolby Digital 5.0 audio. The scope and quality remained very similar through all four shows. Dialogue dominated the episodes and stayed oriented toward the front center. As always, music presented solid stereo presence over the front speakers, and the surrounds echoed the tunes moderately. The rear speakers added nice ambience in a few scenes like at the airport, in the park or at an arena, but otherwise the music was the main element from the back.

As usual, audio quality was fine but not spectacular. The lines seemed concise and fairly natural, and they lacked edginess or problems with intelligibility. Effects seemed acceptably accurate, but they never taxed the track at all. At least no problems occurred with those elements, and the music came across as pretty bright and bouncy. The rock-oriented score sounded clean and distinct, and bass response was tight and fairly rich. Nothing special occurred, but the mix rendered the audio appropriately well.

Only a few extras appear here. As already noted, many of the episodes themselves include bonus footage. The amount of new material varies from show to show. I don’t know Friends well enough to recognize most of the new shots, but I think it’s cool that we get the uncut programs.

In addition to a Best of Friends trailer, one audio commentary appears for “The One with Monica and Chandler’s Wedding”. We hear from executive producers Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. All the participants were recorded separately for these tracks, and the results were edited together. Some of the remarks related directly to on-screen activities, but most dealt with general issues.

The participants cover a mix of topics related to the series. We get some notes about the specific episodes themselves, and we also hear about general issues that deal with the show. “Wedding”’s best moments delve into challenges of the scenario as well as other casting concepts for Chandler’s dad. The information occasionally seems useful and enlightening, but the participants go silent too often and don’t always offer interesting remarks. As in the past, the comments seem sporadically compelling but not consistently. Still, it includes enough to merit a screening.

One strange choice: on the original DVDs, both “The One with Ross’s Wedding” and “The Last One” offered commentaries. Why don’t those appear here? I don’t know, but that decision comes as a disappointment.

Friends: The One with All the Weddings collects the shows in which the main characters get married. That makes for an interesting theme, but the episodes themselves are generally lackluster. The programs offer erratic but usually decent visuals along with fairly good audio. Supplements are lacking, though, especially since the DVD drops some existing audio commentaries. This package acts as a passable sampler but I’d recommend the season sets instead, as they seem like a much more satisfying way to watch the episodes.

Viewer Film Ratings: 5 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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