September Blind Spot Review: Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

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“The only way to find out what story you’re in is to determine what stories you’re not in.”
– Professor Jules Hilbert

SYNOPSIS: An I.R.S. auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death. – via IMDB

I have always heard that Stranger Than Fiction is a solid movie and that Ferrell is excellent in it (this reason is always cited when I say I am not a huge Ferrell fan) and I have always said I will get to it at some stage and then I never do, which is how it ended up on y 2018 Blind Spot list. I needed to cross it off my list.

Right off, I didn’t know what to expect from this movie when I started it. Was it going to be one of Ferrell’s ridiculous movies, would it be different, what was going to come from it? Well, let me tell you, Ferrell rocked this one. Completely. It was a more contained performance than I am used to seeing from him, and the humour landed for me from him now more than ever. I feel he is sometimes just too OTT and not my cup of tea. I think the cast all worked well together in this to deliver a pretty good comedy drama, and I enjoyed it.

The pacing was good, and I was sold on seeing what, exactly, Harold’s life was all about, because it was super bland, doing the same thing day in and day out. Emma Thompson as writer and narrator fit the role perfectly, and it was entertaining to watch her whenever she was on screen. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s insistence on being a kind anarchist is sweet, too, and Ferrell’s lonely Harold is quite sad. Dustin Hoffman, too, as the weird and quirky writing expert is quite fun, and just to see how all the characters interact and pull together to change the initially drab story is a satisfying experience.

The humour is rather sharp and low key in this, not forceful or over the top or anything like that, and it just worked completely for the story being told. I liked how the story paced itself, never too slow to be boring, never too fast to be confusing. I found myself delighted with Stranger Than Fiction coming to life, as a reader and a moviegoer, there was plenty that worked so well.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Stranger Than Fiction, and I might very well check it out again someday. Ferrell did not irritate, and it had enough quirk to keep it fun and sweet but not grating or excessively cheesy and with a cast that worked well together, and I can highly recommend it.

Rapid Review: The Dark Knight (2008)

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The Dark Knight movie Poster

“Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it!”
– The Joker

SYNOPSIS: Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker. – via IMDB

the joker hidark knight truck flip

GRADE 10I get the same thrill every single time I watch it, without fail. Yes, let me rave about it some more. This is truly another masterpiece from Christopher Nolan, and everything was just as it was supposed to be. The cast was fantastic (again), and Heath Ledger brought so much to the table with his performance, though it was heartrendingly his last. The day he died we really did lose one of the greats and I will always maintain this. Hans Zimmer composes us a beautiful and perfect score for this, and it only makes everything you see that much more amazing. He truly is a phenomenal composer, and adds so much to all the projects that he works on. I love that this was also not a simple plot, and it was constantly being changed up. This is the Joker, after all. Nolan gets the villain thing. Again, we know Batman must triumph, but the Joker is so mesmerizing you want to give him free reign of Gotham and just see him tear to it to the ground. The Joker thrives on chaos, no more, no less, and I think The Dark Knight captured that perfectly. The effects were also incredibly well done, and the cast all came together to give us something to chew on. Aaron Eckhart was so good as Harvey Dent, he was the White Knight of Gotham, he was someone you could back, a man of integrity and honour and nerves of steel, and his descent into the underbelly of Gotham and being thrown from his pedestal was intense and painful to watch, and you can get why he would lose his mind. The movie is infinitely quotable, and there are so many cool little things strewn throughout this (the small tidbits) that make it so great (think the Joker’s vegetable peeler between all his knives). I am still a fan of Christian Bale as Batman, he is fantastic, and he really handled the material well for the film, being torn between fighting for Gotham as well as turning himself in to stop the Joker. Bruce’s relationship with Fox is still one of those fantastic ones. I was also a fan of the brief sighting of the Scarecrow, because you all know how much I loved Cillian Murphy in that one. There is so much to rave about in this movie… the action, the script, the performances, the score, the effects, truly. It is a phenomenal watch, and remains my favourite of the bunch just because it is so chaotic, crazy and out there.