PictureMy Best Friend's Wedding is launched onto BluRay wider than the cinema release, now at 2.40:1 using the MPEG-4 codec at 1080p. It's a good enough transfer which will never have you moaning about the quality but then it's not really going to make you sit up either. There's some good depth and detail in the many crowded scenes on offer from the White Sox's baseball stadium, and Crab House, where the sundry cast members from the House's diner or the Sox's audience are well defined and very clear. In saying that though there are other scenes where there's a certain softness to the whole proceeding and this negates the 3-D effect we have come to enjoy. On the whole it does appear a rather flat and lifeless affair.
There's a broad colour pallet on offer here from the glorious wedding gowns, hats and general clothing but it rarely jumps off the screen at you; the colours themselves are not drab they're just a little muted, again detracting a little from the 3-D effect. Skin tones fluctuate slightly appearing at one stage a distinct shade of yellow then over saturated in the next scene, so consistency is not really the order of the day. Blacks rarely get down to the inky level always a grade or two off and hence lie somewhere in the dark grey spectrum. Whites are pretty pristine however in one scene there's definite blooming as the background is almost washed out.
The print itself is clear and blemish free so there's no trouble there and the transfer to disc is a pretty good affair with no real artefacts to speak of. There's no blocking on show nor any gradient banding especially in the opening titles. There is some minor enhancement on show when one or two of the protagonists are highlighted against a bright background but it's pretty much fleeting.
SoundThere's two Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 tracks on offer, a Russian version and obviously the English variety which is discussed here. My Best Friend's Wedding is a character driven affair and as such predominantly relies on its dialogue to get its message across; there's no need for low frequencies here to any great degree but the opening titles does in fact have a resounding bass line from Burt Bacarach's all too sweet Wishin' and Hopin'. In fact Burt Bacharach has a number of his songs played throughout this feature and all of them are the best I have ever heard.
As a dialogue driven piece though you expect all of the action up front and that's what you undoubtedly get. The vocals are clear and distinct never really wavering and you'll not be straining to hear what our characters are saying. There's a good frontal arena with the score adding to the depth, widening the fronts somewhat; but the score itself is sometimes held on the back burner for
the dialogue which is coming rooted from your centre speaker.
There is some surround work from the chatter of other diners at the start or in The Crab House or from the multitude of fans sitting in The White Sox's stadium. There's surround use in the airport or as Kimberly drives Julianne back to the homestead and whilst these surround effects do add a certain ambiance they are never steered to the fronts. There's little to no movement from front to rear or from left to right and visa versa and really the film never really demands it. As such it's a good enough audio transfer, detailed, crisp and clear but don't expect all of your speakers firing in synch.
- On the Set: My Best Friend's Wedding. - 0:19:23 - MPEG-2/480i
Slightly Extended EPK with the usual content. Brief scenes of the film itself, interviews with the main cast members and crew, some behind the scenes shots. Location choices and costume design are briefly discussed.
- My Best Friend's Wedding Album. - 0:07:16 - MPEG-2/480i
A stat track really with certain location shots (the White Sox baseball ground, “Marshall Field & Company” the store where the dresses are fitted, the church where the wedding takes place) and some history of them, the major cast and crew members and some facts about them. You can also see a recipe for Spanish Chocolate Cookies if you fancy cooking some yourself.
- Wedding Dos and Don'ts. - 0:04:38
A short collection of must do and must avoids once you decide to get married. A voice over set to early silent black and white film shorts. The images were an interesting watch whilst the 'advice' is a tongue in cheek affair It's mildly amusing.
- Unveiled: My Best Friend's Wedding. - 0:12:15 - MPEG-2/480i
Jerry Zucker on how he came across the script, and how he managed to get Julia Roberts on-board. Julia Roberts having her say on the director P.J. Hogan and Hogan himself on why he wanted to do the film. Like the first featurette it's another EPK and there's some repetition from the earlier version. Other cast members have their own input. There's a small snippet of information provided by Everett where he wanted the ending changed and after preview screenings Hogan took note and listened to his advice.
- Say a Little Prayer Sing-Along. - 02:32 - MPEG-2/480i
The scene from The Crab House where you too can join in with the singing. In good old karaoke fashion the lyrics appear at the bottom of the screen so you can give your vocal chords a good work out.
Trailers for Surf's Up and Men in Black, both presented in HD.
Although my software is now capable of running BD-Live material this is yet another one which failed to connect.
The extras are rather thin and weak and there's nothing really in there to add any flesh to the already weak storyline. It might have been interesting to have a director's and or cast commentary with Hogan mentioning how he went from Muriel's Wedding or how Julia Roberts went from this to Runaway Bride but alas that is not to be. There's too much repetition for an already thin package.
VerdictI wasn't really interested in this piece too much, I have enjoyed some of Julia Roberts' work in the past but unfortunately this was not to be one of them. I enjoyed Rupert Everett's performance and character the best and he did bring a breath of fresh air to this production.
This would be ok for a cuddle up on the sofa with a glass of wine with your partner on a Saturday evening but don't expect much more than that. Out of all the people I have spoken to really there's two very distinct camps... love it or pretty much dismiss it and funnily enough those two camps are predominantly female and male respectively. After Muriel's Wedding I found this far too much of a let down for Hogan.
The video's not too bad but certainly not great and the audio does its job remarkably well. As a set though there's no flesh on the bones so really recommended for a rental but no more than that.
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- On the Set: My Best Friend's Wedding. - 0:19:23 - MPEG-2/480i