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'In a World...' has fun with voice artists on DVD

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In A World...

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Any and every movie buff is all too familiar with movie trailer narration that begins with "in a world..." Those three simple words have become as iconic as the voice of Don LaFontaine, the man who coined them. Writer, director and star Lake Bell, who has done some voice work herself for TV's "Robot Chicken" and the big screen's "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," uses LaFontaine's death as a launching pad for a quirky send-up of trailer voice artists titled after his legendary introductory phrase. "In a World..." is now available on DVD, including through the Roanoke Valley Public Library.

Bell plays a struggling vocal coach named Carol who offers assistance to stars such as Eva Longoria as well as unknown actresses with hindering baby voices. She lives with her father, Sam (Fred Melamed). Sam is a pompous though respected voice artist who fashions himself the new heir to the throne of the king of movie trailers. His only reel competition is the younger but equally self-inflated Gustav (Ken Marino). Or so he thinks.

Through a twist of fate, Carol lands a coveted trailer narration job unbeknowst to Sam and Gustav. Things get ugly as the two first seek her identity and then plot to derail her fledgling career. A crazy series of romantic complications real, imagined, and stopped before really getting started also ensues amongst the various characters of the large and delightfully wacky cast.

Each of them is distinctly individual and believable without ever being an ungrounded parody and that's the real strength of the movie. "In a World..." pokes tremendous fun at the inflated self-importance of the film industry with affection and heart. It's a clever, amusing and sometimes hilarious look at people inhabiting the frame surrounding the real work of art and desperately striving for their own sense of greatness that will be a real kick for movie buffs.

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