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When the television incarnation of STRANGERS WITH CANDY ($28) played on Comedy Central, I occasionally checked in with the politically incorrect comedy and always found myself laughing at the off the wall situations and painfully funny characters. In the prequel to the television series, we are introduced to forty-seven year old Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris), a former junkie/hooker who, upon her release from prison, returns to her family home. After an absence of thirty-two years, Jerry finds the old home life not quite the way she remembers it.

First of all, Jerriís mother has passed on; second her stepmother Sara (Deborah Rush) is less than thrilled at the prodigal daughterís return and third Jerriís father Guy (Dan Hedaya) is in a self-induced coma. Hoping to snap her father out of his coma, Jerri decides to be the good girl she never was and to pick up her home life just where she left off thirty-two years earlier- as a high school freshman. What follows is your typical fish out of water humor, with a decidedly skewed sense of humor as Jerri tries to fit in with the cool kids, and everyone else outside of the joint. The cast of STRANGERS WITH CANDY is surprisingly impressive and features Greg Hollimon, Paul Dinello, Stephen Colbert, Joseph Cross, Allison Janney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kristen Johnston, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker and Ian Holm.

Thinkfilm/Lions Gate Entertainment has made STRANGERS WITH CANDY available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. STRANGERS WITH CANDY looks pretty solid on DVD, sure this isnít a demo disc, but for a modestly budgeted comedy, one wonít find any reason to complain. The levels of sharpness and image detail are generally very good, although some shots do come up a little soft, but nothing is out of sorts. Colors have a natural level of saturation and appear stable. Both blacks and whites are accurate and contrast is very good. The film elements are free from defects. A grain structure is noticeable in the darker sequences. Digital compression artifacts are not a concern.

STRANGERS WITH CANDY comes with a fairly standard comedy mix in its 5.1 channels of Dolby Digital. As expected, the forward soundstage is dominant, and offers modest channel separations. The surrounds are primarily utilized used for ambient sounds and musical fill. Voices have a warm, natural quality, plus the filmís dialogue is always completely understandable. No other language tracks have been included on the DVD, but English subtitles are provided.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few nice extras. STRANGERS WITH CANDY comes with a running Audio Commentary by Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello. Eighteen Deleted Scenes totaling nineteen minutes, plus a Music Video for Atomic Car by Delano Grove and a Theatrical Trailer close out the extras.

STRANGERS WITH CANDY is offbeat comic fun for those with politically incorrect dietary needs. If you enjoyed the TV series, then youíll want to see the movie.



Strangers with Candy (2005)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 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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