Next on the menu was the new Denzel Washington joint: Deja Vu. in addition to starring one of the best actors in America (just TRY to watch Glory without getting choked up, Tough Guy... I F^&$KING DARE YOU!!!), this puppy was directed by Tony Scott (Man On Fire, Crimson Tide, Last Boy Scout, Top Gun), so my watching it was a done deal! like any Jerry Bruckheimer flick, there's madd skills, madd drama, and madd explosions. oh. and a hot chick... like every good movie, this joint swings on the hemline of a fly honey. in this case, relative newcomer Paula Patton (Idlewild) gets the nod as the racially ambigous damsel in serious distress (as in, by the time we first see her, she's already dead)... but i've already said too much... go watch it ASAP!!!
next, i snuck into Casino Royale. i only watched about 60% of the movie, yet i can easily say this is now my favorite James Bond movie. without having much in common with the other Bonds, Daniel Craig (Road To Perdition, Munich) OWNED this role from the jump off!!! he is so believable as the lady killin'est, martini-drinkin'est, gun-clappin'est british bastard alive. Besides which, Casino Royale has the kind of nervous suspense the last few joints sorely lacked, driving me nuts throughout the time i was in it. i didn't see the very end, but i could tell it would end well, and i'll definitely go watch it again!
the reason i had to miss the end of Casino Royale, of course, was to go wander into Stranger Than Fiction, a movie i've wanted to see since i first saw the trailer months ago. i'm a big fan of the film's star, comedic genius and SNL alum Will Ferrell (Elf, Talladega Nights, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), but what excited me most was that the quality of rest of the cast (which includes Queen Latifah, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emma Thompson, and Dustin Hoffman!) suggested i would get more than the usual comedian-driven string of gags... and boy, did i!!! like Punch Drunk Love (the 2002 Adam Sandler/Paul Thomas Anderson collabo/absurd romantic comedy), this is a drama that you laugh at, about a likeable, yet truly pathetic human being trying to have the defining moment of his life... and in the case of Stranger Than Fiction's Harold Crick, that moment may be his last!
see, Crick is an IRS auditor that starts hearing a woman's voice in his head. but he isn't crazy! that voice is the narrator of a novel in which Harold is the main character. Crick is already getting sick of it when the voice lets him know that his death is imminent! Though pretty clueless, he's at least smart enough to find a literary expert to help him sort out what's happening and what he can do about it: a college Literature professor brought to life by veteran actor Dustin Hoffman (Runaway Jury, Outbreak, Kramer vs. Kramer), who acts as his counsel throughout the film. after at first concluding he was nuts, he becomes at least intrigued enough by his situation to help him along. without giving away the whole movie, i will say that this is the best film i've seen in a long time. the cast is brilliant and the story never overworks. it touches on so many subjects (writing and the creative process, life, love, death, and our fear of them) that could have been very heavy and sentimental , but treads them all lightly and avoids all the right trap doors. Ferrell submits to the understated process of acting, being funny without winking at the camera... and is BRILLIANT!!! i would recommend this movie to just about anybody, even though many people will be unable to enjoy it fully (like little kids eating food that's for adults), it will still be good, and good for you!