Friends-Series 5-Volume 3-Episodes 17-23 (1999)

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Released 6-Nov-2000

Cover Art

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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
Web Links
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 169:42 (Case: 176)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Sided Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Shelley Jensen
Gary Halvorson
Todd Holland
Gail Mancuso
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Jennifer Aniston
Courtney Cox
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)
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, episode 2 contains plenty!!
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 around the quirky habits of each character and is primarily filmed within the confines of their two 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 this disc (Series 5, Volume 3) are;

The One With Rachel's Inadvertent Kiss (21:12) - During a job interview at Ralph Loren, Rachel inadvertently kisses her potential boss on the cheek as she leaves his office. Monica is concerned that her relationship with Chandler isn't as hot as Phoebe's new relationship with Gary.

The One Where Rachel Smokes (21:12) - When Rachel starts her job at Ralph Loren, she decides to take up smoking so that she can be part of the important work-related decisions that appear to be made in the smoking area. Joey and Ross' son Ben audition together as father and son in a soup commercial.

The One Where Ross Can't Flirt (21:15) - All the gang, including Joey's Italian speaking grandmother, go to watch Joey's debut in "Law & Order". After meeting Caitlin the Pizza delivery girl, Ross decides to order more Pizza so that he can flirt with her and turn on his supposed charm. His idea of flirting will make you squirm!!

The One With The Ride-Along (21:12) - As Emily's wedding rapidly approaches, the gang does its best to occupy Ross' time. Meanwhile, Chandler, Joey and Ross go out on the beat with Phoebe's new boyfriend. Chandler's feelings are hurt when Joey hurls himself in front of Ross and not him after they hear gunshots.

The One With The Ball (21:10) - Joey and Ross try to break a record by throwing and catching a ball for hours on end without dropping it. Meanwhile, in an attempt to fulfil a childhood dream, Rachel buys a Sphinx cat, but when it turns out to be mean and vicious her dream is shattered.

The One With Joey's Big Break (21:07) - Joey is very excited about getting a lead part in a movie that is being filmed just outside of Vegas. Chandler decides to join him on the road trip but is thrown out of the car after telling Joey that he doesn't feel this movie will be the big break.

The One In Vegas (42:34) - Joey's film gig in Vegas didn't go according to plan but he lands a job working as a Gladiator in the casino. He tries to keep this to himself and tells everyone not to visit. Meanwhile, in New York the gang plans a trip to surprise Joey. Ross and Rachel end up in a drunken stupor and Monica and Chandler get serious about getting married. There could be wedding bells, but for whom??

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this disc was a pleasant improvement over past series. The last episode called The One In Vegas seemed to show the best and the worst as far as quality goes.

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

    This particular transfer was quite clear and suffered from only a few specific problems. In the last episode from 9:58 to 10:06, the image was of a poorer quality and rather dark in comparison to the rest of the disc. With those few seconds aside, the shadow detail for the remainder of the transfer was quite good even during the dimly-lit casino scenes and at the bar. There was no detectable low level noise.

    The colours were bright and clear at all times throughout all episodes. This was very evident during the bright Casino lighting in The One In Vegas. Also in this episode, the scene at 17:37 shows rich colours in the drinks on the bar. There were no irregularities with the colour rendition of this transfer.

    There were a few MPEG artefacts seen and as with the previous Series it is most apparent on the hallway and apartment walls than in any other areas. There was little noticeable aliasing and the worst was at 12:23 in The One In Vegas during a camera pan.

    As always, Friends contains a good collection of subtitles to choose from, and 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. Although a minor point, this disc continues the tradition of poor Friends disc labelling. I would like to see the Side A/B information printed more clearly on the disc.

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

Audio

    There is only a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track to listen to on this DVD.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times and I detected no hiss during any of the episodes. Likewise, there were no audio sync problems detected either. The laughter and applause track was mixed at an acceptable and comfortable level as well.

    The theme and background score was provided by Michael Skloff, and has not changed since the very first Episode of Friends.

    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

    An average selection of extras are present, but they are exactly the same as the previous Series. I can only hope that they have either been removed or replaced with something else on the Series 6 discs.

Menu

    The menu has had an overhaul and is easy to navigate. Like the show, it is in Full Screen. 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.

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 footage of Phoebe, who stayed in the USA because in the storyline she was pregnant and could not join the group in London. The real reason she stayed in the US is that she hates flying, so they found a nice way to keep her at home and in the script.

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).

DVD-ROM

    When the disc is loaded into a DVD-ROM, DVD Friendly is loaded. 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 had some real side splitters amongst them and the special feature length last episode was a pleasant surprise. I personally like watching Friends on DVD where it is not interrupted by commercials - I think you get more laughs that way.

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

    The extras are the same on both sides of the disc, but The Rembrandts' song is still there...

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Friday, October 26, 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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