Muriel's Wedding: 20th Anniversary Sing-a-long Edition (1994)

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Released 15-Jan-2014

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy More…-Sing-a-long subtitles
Audio Commentary-P. J. Hogan (writer / director) and Toni Collette
Interviews-Cast & Crew-On Set Interviews - 1994
Featurette-The Wedding Video
Interviews-Cast-With Rachel Griffiths, on Enough Rope With Andrew Denton
Gallery-Photo-Muriel's Wedding Album
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 100:41
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By P.J. Hogan
Studio
Distributor
House & Moorhouse
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Toni Collette
Bill Hunter
Rachel Griffiths
Sophie Lee
Rosalind Hammond
Belinda Jarrett
Pippa Grandison
Jeanie Drynan
Daniel Wyllie
Gabby Millgate
Gennie Nevinson
Matt Day
Chris Haywood
Case ?
RPI ? Music Peter Allen
Peter Best


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Song Lyrics
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Is it really 20 years since Muriel’s Wedding hit our screens and our hearts? It seems this is so, dating those of us who were around to remember it at first hand! This iconic Australian film has already been released twice on DVD in Region 4, once in 1999 in a bare bones edition with only a trailer, the second in 2004 as a 10th Anniversary Special Edition with a nice range of extras. Both releases were reviewed on this site, the first here and the 10th Anniversary Special Edition here. In his review of the 10th Anniversary Special Edition DanielO provided a succinct outline of the plot which those few who are not familiar with the film can check out. I will not repeat that but instead concentrate upon what is different between the 10th Anniversary Special Edition and this new 20th Anniversary Sing-a-long Edition, technically and extras-wise.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The cover indicates that this 20th Anniversary Sing-a-long Edition has been digitally remastered. The original aspect ratio of Muriel’s Wedding listed in the IMDb is 1.66:1, although other sources give 1.78:1 or 1.85:1; the two previous DVD releases in Australia have been 1.78:1 and 1.73:1 (for the 10th Anniversary Special Edition). This new release is 1.85:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     Muriel’s Wedding was a low budget film and the review of the 10th Anniversary Special Edition pointed out instances of pixelization, edge enhancement, telecine wobble during the start and end titles, minor occasional colour bleeding, skin tones tending towards orange, several noticeable but quite fleeting film artefacts and a very noticeable layer change at 71:20.

    While Muriel’s Wedding is unlikely to ever be pristine this new print is substantially improved. It is still quite soft in places, shows some edge enhancement, skin tones vary and some interior scenes look very red. However, close-ups are nicely detailed, colours rich and glossy, the costumes look wonderful and marks are absent. Blacks and shadow detail are fine. The layer change has been moved to a scene change at 32:49 where it creates a slight pause.

     The sing-a-long English subtitles appear as white text on the screen which turns purple.

    The video is an improvement over the previous edition of the film.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is a choice of English Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps, English Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps, an audio commentary at 224 Kbps and NEW an English descriptive audio by a female voice at Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224 Kbps.

     The previous review noted that the “ front speakers provide good separation with dialogue well delivered by the centre channel. The surround speakers do provide some ambience, with chattering of crowds and traffic noises where appropriate. They get a more substantial job in supporting the lively musical numbers however, and some of the ABBA songs make significant use of the rear channels”.

     I am not sure what happened, but to me the audio on this release is very front orientated, with pretty much nothing in the rears, even during the musical numbers: in fact I had to check a few times to make sure that I was not listening to the 2.0 track by mistake. I wasn’t. That said, the separation across the front speakers was good, especially during the music, and the dialogue was easy to understand. I only noticed the sub-woofer during the bar scene in Sydney.

    I did not notice any lip synchronisation problems.

     The original music by Peter Best is fine, but of course it is the ABBA songs that create the magic!

    The audio is OK but a bit disappointing.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The extras are substantially the same as for the 10th Anniversary Special Edition. Details are given in the review of that release. The following extras are repeated:

     Audio Commentary with writer / director P.J. Hogan and Toni Collette

    Photo Album (1:29)

    Wedding Video (2:51)

    Enough Rope Interview with Rachel Griffiths (4:36)

    1994 On Set Interviews

     These were on the 10th Anniversary Special Edition but are now missing:

    Cast & Crew Filmographies

    Trailer

    The only extra added in this rerelease is the Sing-a-long on-screen text. As songs or parts of songs occur, white text on the screen turns purple.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This 20th Anniversary Sing-a-long Edition of Muriel’s Wedding does not seem to be available in other regions.

Summary

     Muriel's Wedding remains a fabulous film 20 years after its release. It is beautifully acted by Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths and Bill Hunter, funny, sad, touching and very entertaining. And of course it has the songs of ABBA.

     The video of this 20th Anniversary Sing-a-long Edition is an improvement, but I found the audio a bit disappointing. Extras are pretty much repeated from the 10th Anniversary Special Edition although a sing-a-long subtitle stream has been added. I doubt if this is enough to warrant an update – although the 20th Anniversary Sing-a-long Edition has also been released on Blu-ray, which may be worth an upgrade.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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