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    ‘Extraterrestrial’ takes an alien approach

    Focus World

    Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo delivered some fun art-house viewing a few years ago with “Timecrimes,” a low-budget import about an accidental time traveler whose encounters with his recent past turn absurdly, horrifically twisty. Vigalondo again displays his low-fi sci-fi affinity with “Extraterrestrial” (2011), an offbeat relationship story that uses an alien arrival as its backdrop — and, amusingly, as little more than a backdrop. The movie opens with Julio (Julian Villagran) and Julia (Michelle Jenner) waking from a drunken one-nighter to find the streets outside her apartment deserted and a giant spacecraft hovering over Madrid. (Shades of the post-apocalyptic-disorientation openers of “28 Days Later” and “The Walking Dead,” only lighter — and sexier.) What follows isn’t about the unseen invaders but about Julio discovering what he’s stumbled into: Julia’s tricky relationship with deep-thinking boyfriend Carlos (Raul Cimas). It’s made trickier by the fibs the two tell Carlos to cover up their cheating and divert his attention: like their nosy, nerdy neighbor (Carlos Areces) may be ogling Julia even more than usual because he’s secretly been body-snatched. Here’s hoping that if Hollywood ever lures Vigalondo — and there’s already talk of “Dragon Tattoo” screenwriter Steven Zaillian directing a “Timecrimes” remake — he gets to bring his mischievousness with him. Extras: In a featurette, Vigalondo is appealingly frank about worries that genre audiences might feel “swindled.” (Universal, $19.98; available now)



    The earliest voyages of Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard and crew finally beam down on Blu-ray, just in time to mark the series’ 25th anniversary. The six-disc set is pricey for TV of this vintage, but this doesn’t seem to be just a case of the distributor taking advantage of Trekkers’ obsessiveness. It sounds (and looks) as though effort went into the set’s technical specs, as studio vault minders enhanced the film negatives on which the episodes were originally shot, rather than “upconverting” videotape transfers. Extras: More than 90 minutes of retrospectives with new cast and crew interviews. (Paramount, $118)




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    Remember how “Big Night” left you salivating for Italian gourmet? Sushi lovers will experience a similar craving watching this intimate foreign-language profile of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, a master sushi chef practicing his art in a tiny subway eatery in Tokyo. Documentarian David Gelb heaps on more testimonials than necessary, but there’s no getting enough of watching Jiro at work. (Octopi need massaging for optimum texture? Who knew?) The dynamic between Jiro and his two sons is an intriguing secondary narrative. Extras: Commentary by Gelb; interviews with Jiro’s fish vendors, interesting characters in their own right. (Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98)


    BOSS: SEASON ONE (2011)

    If there’s an actor who makes you wonder about the compulsion to jump from a just-wrapped hit show right into the next thing, it’s Kelsey Grammer. Why not rest on those Frasier Crane laurels a smidge if the alternative is, well, “Hank”? Still, you have to feel he made a worthwhile move signing on for his showy cable role as iron-fisted, secretly ill Chicago mayor Tom Kane. Some of the strongman bits are over the top, but Grammer generally does convincing work darkening and scuffing his familiar polished persona. Extras: Featurette with Grammer and series creator Farhad Safinia; crew commentaries. (Lionsgate, $39.97; Blu-ray, $39.98)