Friends-Series 4-Volume 2-Episodes 9-16 (1998)

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Released 6-Nov-2000

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Friends Goes To London
Featurette-Friends On Location In London
Music Video-I'll Be There For You-The Rembrandts
DVD-ROM Extras-Web Links; Events
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 170:39 (Case: 176)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Sided Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Peter Bonerz
David Steinberg
Kevin S. Bright
Dana J. deVally
Studio
Distributor

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


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Finnish
Danish
Swedish
Norwegian
Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
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 around the quirky habits of each character and is primarily filmed within the confines of their two apartments. Please see Michael's review of Friends Series 1 - Volume 1 if you would like to read some background information on the main characters of the show. My review of the first 8 episodes from this series is also available.

    This disc is the second in a series of three and contains the following rather funny episodes;

The One Where They're Going To A Party (21:23) - Mike "Gandalf" Ganderson is coming to town and is the guy that Ross and Chandler class as the funniest guy in the world and an all-round party dude. They decide to take the day off in anticipation of having a wild time while Gandalf is visiting. Monica and Phoebe start a catering business and purchase a van to get them around.

The One With The Girl From Poughkeepsie (21:24) - If you have never seen someone stuff 15 Oreos in their mouth then you can see Joey tackle the task in this episode. Ross ends up meeting a girl that lives way out of town in Poughkeepsie, but to get there he needs to take a long train ride. He ends up falling asleep along the way and wakes up at the end of the train line . . . in Montreal, but all is not lost because he ends up meeting a nice looking girl. The only trouble is that she lives a short ferry ride from the station . . . in Nova Scotia!

The One With Phoebe's Uterus (21:22) - Phoebe's brother Frank and his wife Alice elope and marry, but are disappointed to find out that they are unable to conceive a child. Frank asks Phoebe "if they can take his sperm and Alice's egg and mix it in a dish and then put it into another girl's uterus. Would Phoebe be that other girl?"

The One With The Embryos (21:22) - Phoebe gets to find out if her embryos are ready to be "used". She ends up having 5 eggs implanted to increase the chances of Frank and Alice ending up with one child. Phoebe is concerned that she could end up with a litter due to the large number of eggs implanted. Meanwhile, Joey and Chandler challenge Rachel and Monica to a knowledge contest to see who knows the most trivia about each other. Makes for some interesting questions, and answers.

The One With Rachel's Crush (21:19) - Rachel gets the "hots" for Joshua, a personal shopping customer at Bloomingdales where she works. She tries numerous different ways to ask him out on a date, but in an indirect way. It is her opinion that only guys can ask girls out, so she doesn't make the first move.

The One With Joey's Dirty Day (21:19) - Joey spends the weekend fishing with his dad. When he returns home, it is clear from his strong body odour that he has not bathed for several days and he is so tired from the weekend that he falls asleep before taking a shower. The next morning he rushes off to work where he acts in a scene with Charlton Heston. Joey tries to pass off the smell as coming from Heston.

The One With All The Rugby (21:12) - Ross takes on a challenge from two of Emily's friends from England, Liam and Devon, to play a game of Rugby. Needless to say Ross comes out of the game a little the worse for wear. Also, Chandler gets his nails manicured by Rachel and ends up accidentally bumping into his old flame, Janice. This made for some good laughs, but will they get back together?

The One With The Fake Party (21:18) - Rachel needs to hold a fake party as an excuse to ask Joshua out. This ruins Ross' plans to take Emily out for a special dinner before she returns home to England.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfers across all 8 episodes were all of similar quality and appearance. One minor difference between this transfer and the Episodes 1-8 disc from the same series is that this disc features a new Warner Brothers logo that is in focus and of high quality.

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

    This transfer is not reference quality and has a slightly grainy appearance. Nonetheless, it is still very watchable. It is of a higher transfer quality than the first disc in this series.

    The transfer is clear but it is not a crisp sharp image. Shadow detail is acceptable and there is no low level noise.

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

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. The only aliasing that I noticed was when the camera pans across the room and it appears more noticeable on the white walls of the apartment than in other areas.

    There is a good collection of subtitles to choose from, and the English subtitles that I checked appeared true or very close to the spoken word.

    This DVD is double-sided and single-layered and therefore there is no layer change. Instead, you have to flip the disc manually to see the other four episodes. I would have liked to have seen the Side A/B information printed more clearly on the disc. As it stands, all that distinguishes the two sides are the tiny monikers 17601.1.A and 17601.1.B. Why not a simple Side A and Side B in a decent-sized font for a change?

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

Audio

    Although there a plenty of subtitles to choose from, there is only an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track to listen to.

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

     There was one scene during Joey's Dirty Day beginning at 16:35 when Heston gives Joey a lecture and no audio is heard but his lips are moving. It looks more like the script was changed and a voice-over inserted rather than this being a problem with the transfer itself. All other episodes were in sync with the on screen images.

    The canned laughter track was mixed at a more suitable level than in the first disc of this series in which it was louder than it should have been.

    The theme and background score were provided by Michael Skloff. I personally think it is a bit dated and needs a facelift.

    The rears were used for the "canned laughter" and were merely a reproduction of the sound from the front speakers at a slightly lesser volume level.

    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

    The Extras are the same for each DVD of this entire Series, but they are slightly more comprehensive than those provided for previous Series. In addition to the Rembrants performing the theme song, there is an On-Location Feature. You will need to wait until disc 3 of this particular Series before you actually get to see the full episode on which this footage is based.

Menu

    The menu is static and silent. It is easy to use but lacks any flair.

Music Video

    If you have watched any of the other Friends DVDs then you have seen this before, many times.

Featurette - Friends Goes To London

    This featurette focuses on the Producer and Director explaining why they decided to do a shoot in London. There is also some footage of Phoebe, who stayed in the USA. In the Friends storyline, she was pregnant and could not join the group in London. The real reason she stayed in the US was that she hates flying, so they found a nice way keep her at home and in the script at the same time.

Featurette - Friends On Location In London

    This featurette offers some background information and location shots of the London episode. This is the episode where the gang heads to London to see Ross get married (again). The man selling balloons has all images of his face blotted out on purpose and his identity is only revealed by watching the full episode.

    The volume level of this featurette is lower than that of the rest of this disc, so you will need to increase the volume a notch or two.

DVD-ROM

    When the disc is inserted into a DVD-ROM drive, DVD Friendly is loaded onto your PC. Two extra menus are available that link to the "Friends Website" and the "Friends Events" site which is really the main Warner Brothers Events site for all of their products.

R4 vs R1

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

    I could not find any reference to an equivalent Region 1 version of this DVD. The only ones that I saw reference to were "Best Of" collection discs.

Summary

    These episodes of Friends (Series 4, Volume 2) have quite a few good laughs and make for some nice, light entertainment. It was good to see that Charlton Heston still has what it takes. I personally like watching Friends on DVD, uninterrupted by commercials - I think you get more laughs that way.

    The video is the equivalent of a high quality VHS tape, but is still adequate. It is, however, of better quality than the previous disc in this series.

    The audio is fine, and this time they have mixed the laugh track slightly into the surrounds.

    The extras are the same on both sides of the disc, and The Rembrandts song needs to be replaced...PLEASE.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Thursday, October 04, 2001
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
SpeakersPioneer S-DV55ST-K Satellite wall mouted 5-Speaker System; Pioneer S-DV55SW-K Powered Subwoofer

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