Stranger Than Fiction. Blu-ray (2007)

by | Apr 23, 2007 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Stranger Than Fiction. Blu-ray (2007)

Starring: Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Queen Latifah, Linda Hunt, Tom Hulce
Studio: Columbia Pictures 18477
Video: 1.85:1 enhanced for 16:9 widescreen, 1080p HD
Audio: English 5.1 uncompressed PCM, DD 5.1; French DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
Extras: Multiple benind-the-scenes featurettes, Deleted scenes, Funny on-set moments
Length: 113 minutes
Rating: *****

This excellent Will Ferrell feature reminded of the completely different type of role Jim Carrey had in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Herold is a loner IRS agent with OCD who has every moment of his boring life controlled down to the second by his wristwatch and schedule. Suddenly while brushing his teeth he begins to hear a woman’s voice narrating his life moment by moment, and with better vocabulary than he has. The voice drives him nuts and he seeks help from therapists, one of whom sends him to a literature professor (Hoffman). Herold discovers he is the main character in a novel being written by famous author Karen Eiffel, who is known for killing off her protagonists in very creative ways. Herold tracks down Eiffel when he hears a comment in her narration that he is not long for this world.  On the way to the finish of the novel, he meets up with one of his IRS auditees, a cute baker/cafe owner, with whom he begins a relationship.

The film may be based on a rather silly concept, but it ends up dealing with some rather heavy questions of life and death. One cannot help but empathize fully with Herold’s predicament.  All the other actors are terrific in their roles and the scenes with Herold and Gyllenhaal are especially touching and humorous at the same time. The transfer of the film is excellent and the high definition ensures that all the little GUI images superimposed over Herold to stress his OCD condition reproduce cleanly and clearly.  The uncompressed surround sound tracks gives a more believable ambiance to scenes shot in narrow hallways, swimming pools and other unusual acoustic spaces.  The extras are a kick as well.

 – John Sunier

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