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New on DVD: Stranger than Fiction

When a voice in Harold Crick's head starts narrating his every move and thought, he's understandably confused. And when the voice portends "his imminent death," he's understandably freaked out. Crick (Will Ferrell) has discovered he's the doomed protagonist in a gloomy Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson) novel; she is trying desperately to find a brilliant way to kill him. Like sketches from Ferrell's "Saturday Night Live" days, the film's concept is funnier than its execution. The goofy idea plays well in the beginning. But 90 minutes in, when the joke suddenly needs a moral, the gag feels a bit tired. What saves the movie is the romance between the robotic Crick and rebellious Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Extra features include extensive behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, but not the old DVD staple: audio commentary. Then again, a director track on top of this movie would seem a little meta, don't you think? Grade: B+

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