Friends-Series 7-Volume 3-Episodes 9-12 (2000)

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Released 31-Oct-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy DVD-ROM Extras-Web Links
Featurette-Extended Episodes (4)
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 173:16 (Case: 176)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Sided Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Kevin S. Bright
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Jennifer Aniston
Courtney Cox-Arquette
Lisa Kudrow
Matt LeBlanc
Matthew Perry
David Schwimmer
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Michael Skloff


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.0 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes, each episode contains one last funny scene

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

Plot Synopsis

    Friends is an American sitcom revolving around the lives of 6 close friends. It centres on the quirky habits of each character and is primarily filmed within the confines of their three apartments. Please see Michael's earlier review of Friends Series 1 - Volume 1 if you would like to read some background information on the main characters of the show.

    The episodes present on Side A of the disc are;

The One With All The Candy (21:01) - Monica is in a festive mood so she makes a batch of candy for her neighbours. The treat is so good that a mob nearly breaks down the front door demanding more. Rachel and Tag define the ground rules for their "relationship" and work ethics. Ross finds out that Phoebe has never ridden a bike so he buys her one to learn on.

The One With The Holiday Armadillo (21:03) - Ross wants his son Ben to understand the meaning of Chanukah but unfortunately it cannot compete with the excitement Ben feels for Santa. Phoebe's apartment has been refurbished after the fire and she is keen to move back there with Rachel. She sets about having Rachel evicted from Joey's flat.

The One With All The Cheesecakes (21:03) - Phoebe's old flame, David (guest star Hank Azaria), is back in town on a business trip from Russia. His arrival causes friction with Joey because Phoebe has double-booked her night with each of the men. Rachel and Chandler keep pinching a cheesecake delivery from one of their neighbours.

The One Where They're Up All Night (21:02) - Rachel and Tag's first hot night together is placed on hold when she inquires about a work delivery that was to have been sent earlier that day. Ross and Joey end up being stuck on the roof and Phoebe wrestles with a fire alarm that won't stop beeping.

    The extended episodes present on Side B of the disc are;

The One With All The Candy (21:59)

The One With The Holiday Armadillo (22:24)

The One With All The Cheesecakes (22:40)

The One Where They're Up All Night (22:04)

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfers across all 8 episodes were of a similar quality and appearance.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced.

    With the exception of The One With All The Candy at 1:00, this release contains less grain than the first 4 Episodes of this series. Shadow detail is acceptable but most scenes are filmed in brightly-lit conditions, making any possible problems less apparent. There is mild low level noise.

    The colours were bright and clear at all times throughout all 4 episodes. There were no irregularities with the colour rendition of this transfer.

    There were very minor MPEG artefacts seen and as with the previous series it is more apparent on the hallway and apartment walls than in any other areas. Aliasing, when it does occur, is quite subtle and less noticeable than in previous episodes. In the first episode (The One With All The Candy) there is a mark on the camera lens at 10:14 which lasts for the duration of that particular brief scene. I did not notice as many film artefacts in these episodes, which was a nice change from Friends Series 6, and those that are visible are quite small and not at all distracting.

    Compared to previous Friends discs, there was a limited collection of subtitles with only two to choose from. The English subtitles that I checked appeared close to the spoken word but were not exact. The font size is quite small, most likely to fit some of the long lines on-screen at the same time.

    This DVD is presented as a double-sided single-layered DVD and therefore there is no layer change. Instead, you have to leave your chair for a moment and flip the disc manually to see the other four episodes. Personally, I can see no reason to include the Episodes that are on Side A. Go straight to Side B and you will not only get a mildly extended version of each episode but also Dolby Digital 5.0 sound.

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

Audio

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times and I detected no hiss during any of the episodes.

    The theme and background score was provided by Michael Skloff. The short little sound ditties played between scenes match the show well.

    The Dolby Digital 5.0 track was disappointing but an improvement nonetheless from Episodes 1-4. The laughter and applause is placed throughout the soundfield but very few instances of directional sound (requiring a match to the on-screen action) are used. The One With The Holiday Armadillo on Side B offers the best use of the 5.0 palette. Examples where the sound is placed at a specific point in the soundfield or pans in the soundfield can be heard at 7:53, 14:58 and 18:33. Hopefully there will be more tracks like this on future discs.

    The subwoofer was not used by the soundtrack at all.

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

Extras

     There are no extras present on this disc.

Menu

    The menu has had an overhaul since Series 6. Like the show, it is in Full Screen. It is easy to navigate. If you manually select a particular episode from the menu you are returned back to the menu after it has finished playing. If, on the other hand, you select the "Play" option on the menu then all 4 episodes are played on each side.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is not available in Region 1.

Summary

    As always, these episodes of Friends contain quite a few good laughs and make for some nice, light entertainment. It is a shame that you now get less episodes per disc.

    The audio is now available in Dolby Digital 5.0 but does not contain enough instances where the on-screen action warrants its use. In fact, the applause and laughter in the surrounds can be a little too much at times.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Wednesday, March 06, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer XV-DV55, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe 72cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer XV-DV55
SpeakersWhatmough Audiolabs Magnum M30 (Mains); M05 (Centre); M10 (Rears), Pioneer S-DV55SW-K Powered Subwoofer

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