Big Wedding, The (Blu-ray) (2013)
|Category||Romantic Comedy||Featurette-Making Of-Co-ordinatng The Big Wedding (15:57)|
|Year Of Production||2013|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Justin Zackman|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Robert De Niro
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.40:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, Title at start, credits at end of film.|
First the basic problem with the film. Like my last reviewed film, Upside Down, The Big Wedding is again the work of a young screenwriter cum director. In this case it is the first feature for young Justin Zackman, who provided the screenplay for The Bucket List. Once again we have a writer who does not seem capable of developing situations or creating dialogue that develops character and explores situations. In Upside Down neither the romantic love story nor the deeper themes were developed, and in The Big Wedding the writing makes almost no use of basic setups. One example is the introduction of one character's obsession with pug dogs. The obsession is presented to us, but not used by the writer. Owning pugs is not in itself funny. It has to be used and made funny through the writing. Even the basic situation, that of the ex-wife passing herself off as the current spouse, goes nowhere. All we get is the rushed hiding of photographs and that's it.
Watching The Big Wedding is rather like browsing through one of those big, glossy magazines in a doctor's surgery waiting room. The pictures are glossy and bright, with lovely people, beautifully dressed and depicted in picture perfect settings. There's not much substance, but it fills the time without ever grabbing your attention. Zackman's screenplay for his similarly glossy movie is based on a French film, Mon frere se marie, and opens with the arrival of Ellie (Diane Keaton) at the magazine beautiful Connecticut home she once shared with Don (Robert De Niro). Ellie is there to attend the wedding of their adopted son, Alejandro (Ben Barnes) to Missy (Amanda Seyfried), daughter of Muffin (Christine Ebersole). Ellie and Don also have two biological offspring, Jared (Topher Grace), still single, and Lyla (Katherine Heigl), married but attending the wedding spouseless. Don has been in a relationship for ten years with Bebe (Susan Sarandon), old best friend of Ellie. Alejandro's natural mother, Madonna (Patricia Rae) is also attending the wedding, with her daughter Nurla (Ana Ayora). So as not to offend Madonna's religious beliefs, Ellie and Don are, for the weekend, to pretend to still be married, while Bebe vacates the house, pugs in tow, to return purely as the caterer for the wedding. The ceremony is to be conducted by Father Moininghan (Robin Williams). This is quite an ensemble, with a couple of minor characters to boot, and the assembled cast is formidable. The seasoned stars are charmers in their roles, with unexpected subtlety all round. The younger brigade are equally fine, with not a bimbo - or muscled himbo - in sight. Particularly likeable are Amanda Seyfried ( Letters to Juliet), never lovelier that in this surprisingly subdued role, and the immaculately handsome Ben Barnes (Easy Virtue). Robin Williams (Insomnia) is even low-keyed, and Tony winning Broadway musical star (Grey Gardens) Christine Ebersole makes much of very little, as well as supplying a most attractive vocal, Gently Down the Stream, under the end credits. The novice filmmaker may have failed to deliver a witty script, and he does descend to some gross moments. However, there is nothing vulgar in the performances, and we have to admire the young director's handling of his large cast. This consistency of tone is evident in the senior stars, the young adults, Katherine Heigl (27 Dresses) and Topher Grace (TV's That 70's Show) are both very fine, and the fresh-faced lovers at the centre of the festivities coul hardly be more attractive or appealing.
The whole cast is picture perfect, and, indeed, the entire production is a feast for the eye, though much of the feast may look like a banquet pictured in one of those magazines. It always looks great, but you never get to taste it. The setting is beautiful, the gardens and the house glowing in the sun, and pastels dominate throughout, particularly in the wedding sequence. The photography is smooth and non intrusive, Nathan Barr's music attractive with a middle-of-the-road quality, Michael Buble even featuring on the soundtrack at the end of the film. Apart from the occasional lapse into vulgarity, this is a charming film. You won't laugh out loud, but you will get enough smiles to keep you happy as the director steers his immaculate cast through just under eighty-nine minutes - and that includes the credits - of glossy, superficial entertainment.
The film is presented at the aspect ratio of 2.40:1, its original theatrical ratio.
Jonathan Brown's cinematography (The Family Stone) makes the most of the widescreen frame, with lovely compositions that fill the screen. The colour is glowingly lovely, with a dominace of pastels, though there is the occasional primary splash. Skin tones are great. Detail is fantastic, making the most of the picturesque exteriors, greenery and water, and the terribly tasteful - mostly - interiors. There is an absence of revealing closeups on the more mature stars, particularly Diane Keaton, but the youth of others is revealed in pore revealing detail. This is not a movie with dark shadows for the camera to explore, but the occasional darker scene maintains the high quality of the rest of the visuals.
The movie is as glossy, artificial and phony as a Vogue layout, and equally as stunning to behold.
Subtitles are at the foot of the screen, with a range of colour used to differentiate between various speakers, as well as effects.
|Surround Channel Use|
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|DVD||SONY BLU RAY BDP-S350, using HDMI output|
|Display||Samsung LA55A950D1F : 55 inch LCD HD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Speakers||VAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)|