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New Line Home Video never fails to amaze with their DVD releases. Even though THE WEDDING SINGER ($25) isn't part of their prestigious Platinum Series line of DVDs, this disc features one of the most inventive and fun implementations of interactive menus. The menus are animated; they feature music and sound and take the viewer to a virtual wedding where they can experience the nice array of extras contained on the DVD.

THE WEDDING SINGER is a truly funny and charming little romantic comedy that also works as a biting satire of fashions and trends from the 1980s. Adam Sandler stars as Robbie Hart, the wedding singer of the film’s title, who is ironically left standing at the altar on the day of his own wedding. Robbie doesn't take the rejection very well, and falls into a deep depression. Going back to work doesn't help, because seeing happy couples makes Robbie even more miserable, turning him into the wedding singer from hell. Robbie’s outlook on life remains bleak until he becomes involved with Julia (Drew Barrymore), a young waitress who is planning her own wedding. Since Robbie knows the wedding business inside out, Julia enlists his help to avoid being ripped off. Being with Julia brings Robbie out of his funk and the two start to fall for one another. In addition to the charm of the romantic story line, THE WEDDING SINGER also boasts a marvelous soundtrack that includes some of the best party songs of the 1980s. The cast of THE WEDDING SINGER also features Christine Taylor, Allen Covert, Matthew Glave, Ellen Albertini Dow and rock star Billy Idol portraying himself. Look for Jon Lovitz and Steve Buscemi in two hilarious cameos.

As always, New Line Home Video has done an outstanding job transcribing THE WEDDING SINGER to DVD. The DVD includes both wide screen and full screen presentations on opposite sides of the disc. The full screen presentation looks pretty good, but don't cheat yourself, flip the disc over to the wide screen version. In wide screen, THE WEDDING SINGER is presented fairly close to its 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio and the image appears properly balanced. This DVD includes the anamorphic enhancement for wide screen televisions, which is always more than welcome. The transfer itself is simply marvelous. THE WEDDING SINGER is almost demo quality, the image is super sharp and highly detailed. Flesh tones were pink and healthy, while the rest of the colors were incredibly vibrant, offering excellent saturation without a trace of color noise. I was too busy enjoying the look of this disc to be bothered by a few errant digital compression artifacts.

The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, and the mix is a blast from the past. If you loved the music of the 1980s, you will want to crank up this great sounding soundtrack. Dialogue was always strong and clear, while the mix boasted a few pleasing directional effects. Additionally, there is a French 5.1 channel soundtrack included on the DVD. English, French and Spanish subtitles have been encoded onto this disc. Like I stated above, the interactive menus are really cool and offer access to Karaoke versions of some very popular eighties tunes, music trivia, a photo gallery, plus cast biographies/filmographies. The only thing this DVD is missing is a theatrical trailer; however, I am willing to overlook that omission since this slickly produced DVD is otherwise fantastic. THE WEDDING SINGER is absolutely recommended.


The Wedding Singer



DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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