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STRANGER THAN FICTION

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Queen Latifah, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman
Director: Marc Forster
Studio: Sony
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound
Video: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Features: See Review
Length: 113 Minutes
Release Date: February 27, 2007

Penny Escher: {Watching Eiffel smoking a lot of cigarettes} You know, there is something called the Patch!

Kay Eiffel: I donít need a patch.  I smoke cigarettes!

Film ***

Whatís a guy to do when he realized the voices in his head are real, and could spell the ultimate kind of doom?  Go stark raving mad of course!  

Harold Crick is a lonely IRS agent who lives a very unexciting life.  Hearing voices in your head usually leads people to believe you are schizo!  However, for Harold it is a wake up call that his uneventful life might very soon be coming to an end.

The voice is none other than that of famous author Kay Eiffel.  Kay is well known for her wonderful books, but also her pension for killing off the main characters.

After enlisting the help of Professor Jules Hilbert, Harold embarks on a comedic journey to find the author narrating his life, and stop her from killing him.  Along the way Harold meets some very interesting people and goes through every up and down imaginable trying to get the illusive cigarette smoking Kay Eiffel to spare him.

I have to tell you this film cracked me up from start to finish.  The story (despite itís lunacy) is easy to follow and chock full of laughs.  The writers really did a superb job creating a character you could root for, yet at the same time you want his story to continue because the more desperate he becomes, the funnier the movie.

This film was literally loaded with Hollywood A-listers. Dustin Hoffman proved he could still be funny in Meet The Fockers.  However, he outdid himself as Professor Hilbert, while playing opposite Ferrellís desperate character. 

The chain-smoking Kay Eiffel was played by one of my favorite period actressí Emma Thompson.   I simply adore the way Emma wraps herself up in the quirky characters she plays.

Okay, I am not a huge Will Ferrell fan.  He has a tendency to push the envelope a little too far for my tastes.  However, I will admit the he did a wonderful job as the lead in this film.  Even though I wonít be rushing out to see his new movie Blades Of Glory, I wonít be so quick to judge Mr. Ferrell in the future.

From Maggie Gyllenhaal, to Queen Latifah, right on down to broadways IT girl, Kristen Chenoweth, this film has them all and they did an excellent job.

Donít be a stranger to this movie.  Drop a few bucks on this DVD and let the laughter begin!

Video ***

The DVD I viewed was presented in a 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format.  The print was clean, with a fresh look to it.  The tones and hues were balanced nicely, and helped to create a nice viewing experience. There was some visible dirt on the print, but nothing that would detract from your viewing pleasure. 

Audio **

There was nothing strange about this DVDís audio. The 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround was average for a DVD.  There was nothing really spectacular about the quality of the audio, music bed, or sound effects.  Then again, there was nothing extraordinarily wrong with the audio either.

A good mix, a nice blend, and well rounded sound, means this DVD is easy on the ears.

Features **

This DVD is no stranger to extra features.

There are a series of Deleted Scenes that were cut from the film.  Some of these would have worked out well with the story presented, and some of them were a bit flat.  Either way, itís nice to be able to give them a look.

A look behind the scenes at some of the funnier moments of filming and production are included along with other featurettes that will give you a really good look at how this film came to be.

Subtitles are available in English and French for the hearing impaired, or those of us who simply like to read what is being said.  Also, you have the option hearing this film in a Dolby Digital Surround, French version.

Summary:

This film has a pretty good story, with great acting, and some ok extra features.  The only thing Stranger Than Fiction would be you without this DVD!

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