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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

'From Other Worlds' DVD: Close Encounters of the Brooklyn Kind

Product Details
BFS Entertainment diverts from providing home video of incredibly British television series and films in issuing the DVD of the 2004 American film 'From Other Worlds,' which amusingly diverts from both sci-fi alien abduction films and less-inspired light comedies.

One spoiler regarding BFS is that Unreal TV readers will learn of the beyond spectacular British dramedy "Minder" this weekend; this humorously gritty series about crafty and deceitful low-level criminals and other unsavory types truly is among the best of the best.

Returning to today's program, writer Barry Strugatz makes "Worlds" special by giving the same wacky off-beat tone that he inserts into "Married to the Mob" and "She-Devil."

"The Sopranos" and "Mad Men" veteran Cara Buono also adds to the wacky fun of "Worlds" in her portrayal of Brooklyn housewife Joanne Schwartzbaum, who is spacey even before experiencing a black-out that she is convinced relates to an alien abduction.

Joanne's obsession with proving the validity of her claim of a close encounter leads her to a meeting of folks who claim to have seen UFOS and/or been abducted. A rivalry that is hilariously depicted at this session is one of the best of several memorable moments in "Worlds."

Joanne attending this encounter (of course, pun intended) group results in her teaming up with Isacch, whose alleged abduction has many of the same characteristics as that of Joanne, faster than you can say nanu nanu. Further, these two are arguably the sanest among their fellow UFO-philes.

The wackiness shifts into higher gear when Joanne and Isacch become convinced that a recently discovered 2,2000 year-old artifact is tied to the visitors from another world whom they believe nabbed and returned them.

These events ultimately result in Joanne and Isacch accepting an assignment to save the world (as well as the rest of life in the Milky Way galaxy.) The amusing manner in which they go about doing accomplishing their goal puts every sci-fi teen comedy to shame.

A great deal of the humor relates to the anxious and effeminate museum curator who enters the orbit (of course, pun intended) of Joanne and Isacch and the (perhaps alien) foe who is out to prevent them from meeting their objective. The latter has wonderful shades of bumbling principal Ed Rooney from the classic '80s teen comedy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

A more general theme that makes "Worlds" a fun film is how Strutgatz subtly pokes fun at the '70s Steven Spielberg sci-fi classic "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" in ways that extend well beyond the underlying premise and the community of earthlings who sincerely believe that "something is out there."

Other examples of this amusing Spielberg homage include ordinary objects bizarrely fascinating and/or hypnotizing Joanne and her becoming increasingly alienated (of course, pun intended) from her family prompting her otherwise supportive spouse to believe that she is having an affair. This suspicion leads to another hilarious scene. 

The combination of this great writing, amusing slant on both serious and comedic alien abduction films and series, and perfect casting make "Worlds" a DVD well worth visiting. 

The special features consist of cast profiles, Buono's audition tape, and the trailer for the film.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding either "Worlds" or another sci-fi films or shows is welcome to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.