Strangers with Candy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Like the movie itself, the transfer mixed good and bad.
Sharpness generally seemed satisfactory, but more than a few exceptions occurred. In particular, interiors tended to appear a bit muddy and soft. Much of the film offered pretty good detail, but too many fuzzy segments appeared. I noticed no signs of jagged edges or shimmering occurred, but some moderate edge haloes could be seen at times. Source flaws were minor but showed up periodically. I noticed a little more grain than expected, and a few specks also popped up along the way.
Colors usually appeared decent. Occasionally the hues came across as a bit runny and messy, but they usually manifested acceptable definition and clarity. Blacks were passable, while shadows tended to be somewhat thick. Low-light shots remained watchable despite some blandness. This was a perfectly average transfer.
Similar thoughts greeted the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Strangers with Candy. Not surprisingly, the mix usually presented a modest soundfield. Much of the material concentrated on the front center, while some environmental elements popped up from the sides and rears. These usually stayed with general ambience and minor panning.
Unfortunately, the track seemed a bit too focused on the left side. This orientation wasn’t overwhelming, but I thought that the different elements de-emphasized the right too much. This made matters lop-sided and created minor distractions.
Audio quality remained mostly positive. Speech occasionally seemed somewhat hollow, but the lines lacked edginess and were consistently intelligible. Music showed decent range and definition, while effects were appropriately clear and accurate. The combination of lackluster soundfield and lop-sided orientation left the track with a “C”.
When we shift to the supplements, we discover an audio commentary from writer/actor/director Paul Dinello, writer/actor Amy Sedaris, and writer/actor Stephen Colbert. All three sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion. A very screen-specific discussion, to be truthful, as the material usually hews closely to action we see.
The participants discuss the cast, connections to the TV series, cut scenes and changes, sets and locations, and some general issues. Mostly they make remarks that connect directly to the action on-screen. Some of these offer mild insights, but many seem moderately irrelevant. They joke around a lot and praise many aspects of the project. You’ll learn a little about the flick’s creation but don’t expect much useful content.
18 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 19 minutes and 31 seconds. Most of these offer extended snippets, though a few totally new pieces appear. For instance, we get a long clip in which Counselor Callas (Parker) works with a suicidal student, and we see rehearsals with Beekman’s team. Some of the pieces flop, but we get a fair amount of entertaining material here.
A Music Video from Delano Grove appears next. It accompanies the song “Atomic Car” and mostly shows us the school secretary in various shots. It’s tremendously forgettable and lacks any discernible point.
The disc opens with a few ads. We find promos for Awesome! I… Shot That, Farce of the Penguins and The Aristocrats. These also appear in a Trailer Gallery, and we find the theatrical trailer for Candy as well.
Perhaps Strangers with Candy works best for those familiar with the TV series, but as a neophyte to its ways, I thought the movie was only sporadically successful. Though it has enough funny bits to become a decent success, too many slow spots mar its progress. The DVD presents mediocre picture and audio along with similarly average extras. This one might merit a rental but that’s about it.