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Stranger Than Fiction [Blu-ray] [US Import]

Will Ferrell    Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
Price: 6.10
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Stranger Than Fiction [Blu-ray] [US Import] + Blades Of Glory [Blu-ray] [2007]
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Product details

  • Actors: Will Ferrell
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Dubbed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Dec 2008
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001GF8WPI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,989 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Much was written about Will Ferrell's first "dramatic role" as Harold Crick, an IRS auditor who begins hearing a voice narrating his life. But Stranger Than Fiction is hardly a drama. However, what Ferrell does--like Jim Carrey before him in The Truman Show--is handle a toned-down character with genuineness and affection: you believe he is this guy. Crick leads a lonely life filled with numbers and routines. While at first he considers the voice a nuisance, Crick decides more action is needed when it speaks of "his demise." Enter Professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), who takes on the absurd notion with revelry, trying to find out what kind of book Crick's life is leading. It turns out that the voice Crick is hearing belongs to Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson), a very real--and troubled--author who is writing a book in which Crick is a fictional character. As usual with these things, the stuffed shirt learns to live a better life--Crick even falls for one of his audits, a brash baker named Ana (Maggie Gyllenhaal).

Marc Foster (Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland) has the right tone for the film, using great urban scenes (the unnamed city is Chicago) with interesting visualisations of Crick's world of numbers. He also directs Ferrell, Hoffman, and Gyllenhaal to their most charming performances (plus Linda Hunt and Tom Hulce pop up in two funny scenes). Ferrell succeeds in being a romantic lead you can root for; a scene where he eats Ana's freshly baked cookies is totally delightful without a hint of sarcasm. Screenwriter Zach Helm has two personal traits with his story: like Crick he followed his heart (he stopped re-writing scripts and only worked on his own) and like Eiffel, the final results are not a masterpiece, but good, and entertaining enough. Britt Daniel of the band Spoon worked on the dynamite soundtrack. --Doug Thomas

Synopsis

Known to most audiences for his hilarious characters, funnyman Will Ferrell continues to try his hand at more serious material with Stranger Than Fiction. The film comes as relatively light fare for director Marc Foster, whose previous works were Finding Neverland and Monster's Ball. While not exactly a drama, the film shifts between humorous and heavy realms, one of its central questions being: 'What makes a comedy or a tragedy?' In Winter Passing and Melinda And Melinda, Ferrell awkwardly occupied a strange space that was neither clearly dramatic nor comedic, leaving audiences confused over whether to laugh at the actor or with him. Here, in the role of boring Harold Crick he appears a bit more at ease, as Harold is not expected to be funny--funny things just happen to him. Instead of depending on Ferrell for jokes, the film delivers laughs on its own by exploring what happens when an IRS agent with a dull, solitary life receives unwanted company in the form of an intrusive female voice narrating his every move. As distracting as this is, things become truly worrisome when the narrator (Emma Thompson as an eccentric author) informs Harold of his looming death. How Harold’'s life changes as a result of this terrifying knowledge depends largely on wacky Professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman) and on tax evading baker/love interest Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal). While Queen Latifah'’s role as an author’'s assistant is underdeveloped, Tony Hale brings an innocent charm as Harold’'s co-worker and only friend. At times, the film’'s take on existentialist themes feels strikingly familiar, and is clearly influenced by features like Adaption and I Heart Huckabees. Among its strengths, the film features interesting sets seemingly influenced by the 1950s version of the future, and functions as a small step forward for Ferrell.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Said That?! 2 Mar 2007
By Mark Baker TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) lives a boring life. He has no friends or social life. He works as an auditor for the IRS. He's so boring that he counts the number of times he brushes his teeth in the morning and the number of steps he takes.

All that changes one Wednesday. When he wakes up that morning, he hears a voice narrating his every action. Of course, this creeps him out, and his co-workers begin to notice his odd behavior. But things get even worse on his way home from work when the voice predicts his imminent death.

Harold doesn't relish that idea, so he begins to look for help with his problem. Eventually, he comes in contact with English professor Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman), who tries to help him figure out what to do from a literary standpoint.

Meanwhile, famed novelist Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson) is trying to figure out how to end her latest book, DEATH AND TAXES. She's got everything except how to kill off her main character, Harold Crick.

As far as I can remember, I've only seen one other Will Ferrell movie. Most of the previews look too over the top for my taste. This one intrigued me, however, so I set aside my prejudices and went to see it. I'm glad I did.

To be honest, I expected a funnier movie. This isn't Ferrell's normal over the top gag fest. It is funny, and I laughed through most of it. Just not as often as I thought I would.

That's because there's an underlying pathos to the story. Facing death, Harold realizes that he's never really lived. This gives him the boldness to go for some things he's always wanted to do and make some friends. The performances by the entire cast wonderfully walk the balance between the comedy and the more elements of the film.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony Do Justice To An Amazing Film 8 Mar 2008
By DL Productions UK TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Blu-ray
Stranger Than Fiction is the story of Harold Crick; a maths genius who's working for the IRS. He's got to audit a beautiful baker, Ana Pascal, but he's got an annoying problem: he's got a female narrator following him around. Things get worse for Crick when she announces he'll die, and his only hope is a professor to save him, but the big mistake he's made is he's forgotten to free himself.

Will Ferrell and Emma Thompson are amazing in this film, Farrell showing that he can do serious roles as well as be very funny (Anchorman, Starsky And Hutch, just to name a few), and Thompson with her typical English Rose flair. I also enjoyed Queen Latifah's role, often overlooked by many and has redeemed her from her poor role in Taxi and Bringing Down The House. If you're expecting a lot of comical moments, then you won't be disappointed, but it's not a comedy as per say, and the bottom line is that it's more of a love story.

The blu-ray is a delight, beautiful colours and well produced by Sony (but what would we expect, this is their format?) - with it's crystal clear uncompressed PCM audio, 4.5mbps constant, and the 1.85:1 is quite nice too, as it's full screen for 16:9 displays. The video is 1080p and runs at a steady 25Mbps - which is pretty good. The blu-ray disk is the full BD50, which is great too, as you get ALL the extras from the DVD edition.

Talking about the extras, you get quite a few too: Actors in Search of Story, Building the Team, Words on a Page, On Location in Chicago, On the Set and Picture a Number: The Evolution of a GUI are excellent featurettes. There's also deleted scenes and an extended scene, and the trailer too.

If you love this film, have blu-ray, stop reading this and buy, you're in for a treat and is a flagship blu-ray release.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars is that really will ferrell? 8 April 2007
Format:DVD
just watched this film on dvd and i have to say it is the best film i have seen in a long time.will ferrell is excellent in a semi straight role. and the way he brings a subtle humour into his character shows he is a better actor than i ever thought. dutin hoffman is great as always, as is emma thompson. and i can always watch maggie gylenhal. (gorgeous). to put it simply, watch this film because its fantastic
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let down 2 Dec 2007
Format:DVD
Stranger than fiction deserves 4 or 5 stars for the most part. The beginning creates a lot of intrigue by being at once funny, abstact and compelling, which then slowly slips you in to a far different and more sombre story than you may have expected. Usually I hate Will Ferrell, but he proves in this to be a pretty decent actor despite his reputation for jovial slap-stick and plain sillyness. The rest of the main cast are altogether a slightly more reputable bunch of thesps to which Will Ferrell really holds his own.
I feel the big let down comes at the end, I can't really go into anything without spoiling it though. Sufficed to say it leaves a distinct taste of "cop - out" lingering in your brain. Perhaps knocking it down to three stars for this reason is a bit harsh, but then it's my review so I'm allowed to.
Well worth a watch however and don't let Mr Ferrell put you off.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love It 18 Aug 2007
Format:DVD
Quite frankly i love this film, and i think it would be impossible for others not to fall in love with it. The dialog is subdued and toned down but also excellently timed for some truly hilarious moments, there's some great pathos, and all of the actors (especially Will Ferrel) give brilliant performances. Many compare this film to 'The Truman Show' starring Jim Carrey (presumably because a renounced comic actor is playing a more serious role) and 'Stranger Than Fiction' is as good as that modern masterpiece.

I was hooked from start to finish, and although the ending was slightly clumsy and obviously targeted towards a mainstream audience, it didn't ruin the film.

Highly recommended if you are looking for something different, but not too strange.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars SHARE THIS FILM WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY! THEY WILL LOVE IT
GREAT MOVIE EVER! YOU CAN LEARN NEW WORDS FROM THIS!
Published 1 month ago by matthew
4.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic emotive and comedic feast!
This wonderful dark comedy is one of the finest movies of its type I've seen for some time. The cast do a wonderful job bringing theis quirk drama to life. Fantastic!
Published 3 months ago by Kanachi
5.0 out of 5 stars this one is 'must see'
The move is amazing, interesting full of very good actors and exelent directorial. I rhighly ecommend this move for everyone.
Published 3 months ago by Milica Zelenovic
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Brilliantly original & really amusing, this is the sort of comedy film that Hollywood needs to plough more money into rather than Adam Sandler / Judd Apatow / Hangover rubbish.
Published 3 months ago by Edmund Cox
3.0 out of 5 stars "Stranger than Fact".
I don't think I can add much to the range of comments already expressed for this film. Since the film is a story that is a piece of fictional writing perhaps the title might better... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Wilberfalse
5.0 out of 5 stars Stranger than fiction
This dvid arrived on time and in excellent condition. I really enjoyed the light hearted story. It made me smile more than once.
Published 6 months ago by thecolonelwhoneverdied
1.0 out of 5 stars doesnt work!
doesnt work on dvd, blu ray, playstation or laptop we tried them all!!! im in england!! not impressed at all.!
Published 8 months ago by lucy davies
4.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, fairly well executed
The premise of this film is actually genius, and the execution is pretty well done as well. Good cast, Emma Thompson in particular is great, and who doesn't like seeing Dustin... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Anthony Carlile
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual
Not everyone's cup of tea I would imagine but I thoroughly enjoyed this; a gentle and unassuming film. Read more
Published 9 months ago by crazy diamond
4.0 out of 5 stars This really is fiction. Isn't it?
The combination of Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman would have had me buying this film. I am not a fan of Will Ferrell but to be truthful I cannot imagine anyone better suited to... Read more
Published 9 months ago by verity
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