Stranger Than Fiction.

Featured In Issue 119, April 2007

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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For some disturbing images, sexuality, brief language, and nudity
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Marc Forster
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Dolby Digital 5.1
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Sometimes life is Stranger Than Fiction. Like when IRS Agent Harold Crick (Ferrell) starts hearing a voice that appears to be narrating his life as he lives it. With the help of Professor Jules Hilbert (Hoffman), Harold discovers that Karen Eiffel (Thompson), an author who is famous for killing off her lead character, has made Harold the star of her next novel. But after meeting the lovely Ana Pascal (Gyllenhaal), Harold has reason to live and becomes determined to track down Eiffel and ask her to keep him alive. (Tricia Spears)

Special features include the following featurettes: Actors In Search Of A Story (19 minutes), Building The Team (8-1/2 minutes), On Location In Chicago (10-1/2 minutes), Words On A Page (9-1/2 minutes), Picture A Number: The Evolution Of A G.U.I. (17 minutes), and On The Set (three minutes); an extended scene and a deleted scene; previews; and up-front ads.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 DVD exhibits a very pleasing image, with well-captured details, healthy fleshtones, and well-balanced contrast. Deep blacks are rarely present, but shadow delineation is good, with details in the darker scenes easy to pick out. Details are very well rendered, with each of the different textures depicted well. The high-definition Blu-ray Disc takes most of these aspects and kicks them up a notch, with better color fidelity and improved details. Still, the finest details are not as well resolved as the best releases, as can be seen in the relatively soft and smeared stubble on men's faces. Still, this is a very good picture on both formats. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack is crafted with a broad front stage with good phantom imaging to create a detailed soundstage. Dialogue is recorded and played back well, although it can sound slightly forward. The surround channels are not incorporated as well as they could be, generally being limited to subtle atmospheric effects and the extension of music. Effects are recorded well, and the low noise floor combined with decent dynamic range makes for an enjoyable experience. The Blu-ray Disc's uncompressed linear PCM provides slightly improved fluidity to the soundtrack, making the Dolby Digital encoding (which is also included on the disc) sound slightly digital. The same mix is used, which is enjoyable. (Danny Richelieu)