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ISSUE #111
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Features

ArrowBig Baby Brown
Buffalo Mayor Tramples BEAST Publisher

ArrowThe Vilsack Buzz
As the nation looks to ‘08, excitement is high
Matt Taibbi

ArrowCut -N- Fun!
2 dimensional fathers better parents, say experts

Rich Herschlag

ArrowDialing for Santorum
My last-ditch heroic effort to save the GOP’s holiest hatchet man
Matt Taibbi

Local BEAST

ArrowAn Important Message from our Fearless Leader
Paul Fallon

ArrowBeast Product Review
Buffalo Rising Magazine

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Featureless Internet Kitsch

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Casino Royale, Déjà Vu, Stranger Than Fiction, Bobby, Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny, Happy Feet

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
[sic]entology, Xenuphobia, Russian Says Get Out, Kill!, Castrate! and more

Kino Korner

 


Casino Royale | Déjà Vu | Stranger Than Fiction | Bobby
Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny | Happy Feet


Stranger Than Fiction

Stranger Than FictionIt’s an age-old story. You’ve got a sketch comedy TV show where one cast member shines above the rest and eventually receives the call from the lights of their dressing room mirrors to move on to bigger and better things. Once in a while this means a usually short-lived TV show that lets out its death rattle once its air time gets changed around half a dozen times. But more likely than not said star is moving from the small screen to the big one. With luck, he’ll make more than a few people laugh playing a total idiot, then next thing you know the world’s lining up around the corner to kiss his ass. Which brings us to the career of Will Farrell.

We’ve seen him in such movies as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and to this point he’s been playing the idiotic man-children that could easily dominate his career. Take a look at Adam Sandler’s resume if you doubt me. Something’s eventually got to give.

And it gives plenty with Stranger Than Fiction. Farrell plays a should-be suicidal IRS agent who wakes up to find the voice of a British woman narrating his life and somehow almost making it seem more interesting than it actually is. Eventually he discovers the narrator is a real author after discovering he is going to die. Farrell visits a literary professor played by Dustin Hoffman, rehashing his role from I Heart Huckabee’s, to find out what the hell’s going on. Along the way, Farrell audits a peacenik baker, played with angry dyke conviction by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who suddenly teaches him how to live life. Of course, in a story where a depressive author kills off an actual person after narrating them endlessly in a very distinct manner, they have to meet.

While Stranger Than Fiction isn’t the usual frat boy chucklefest fare, it’s not exactly art in the Charlie Kaufman realm that it seems to borrow so liberally from. Yes, it’s got a lot more going on than any other Will Farrell movie and yes, it’s got an incredible soundtrack featuring such bands as Spoon and Califone (yeah, that one seriously threw me too), but it’s more like a dumbed-down version of Adaptation or Being John Malkovich, more concerned with a happy ending than turning out something great.

That’s not to say that Stranger Than Fiction is terrible. It’s got a lot of great moments. It’s kind of like when a band you always made fun of puts out a good album, and when you listened to it you were forced to question your reality.

 

 

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