Idol Chatter

Watch a clip from “The Ultimate Gift”:Movie Review:If you enjoyed the idea behind “Brewster’s Millions,” and can put up with the kind of preachiness that Steven Seagal (“One Deadly Ground“) and Michael Moore (“Farenheit 911“), then “The Ultimate Gift,” newly released on DVD, may be worth renting or picking up (and rest assured, though its preachiness rivals Michael Moore, its tone is, as you’d expect, is gentle and unlike his). James Garner stars as Red, a wealthy, aging grandfather who leaves a series of 12 tests for his trust-fund stepson, who obviously would have rather just received the cash. When making “The Ultimate Gift,” Garner said he chose this as his last film, which is saying something. Drew Fuller (TV’s “Charmed”) plays Jason Stevens, the kid whose journey of self-discovery embodies the power of the movie. This movie has a fine cast and decent pedigree. It features Abigail Breslin of “Little Miss Sunshine,” Ali Hillis of “Must Love Dogs,” Brian Dennehy (one of my favorites from “Silverado,” “F/X,” and “Presumed Innocent”), and Hollywood vets Lee Meriweather and Bill Cobbs. It won a “Crystal Heart Award” at the Heartland Film Festival and is backed by Fox Faith. If you’re like me, once you know that the movie has a clear agenda (and can get over it!) and that its message is a good one, then you’ll be free to survive the journey through the 12 “gifts.”The drama lies not in the potential for the emergence of the son’s personal growth or apathetic slide, but in the fact that we know what’s coming and yet it’s still inspiring and worthy of reflection for anyone who actually cares about spiritual development. Few of us choose to go through what we need to in order to achieve personal growth, and Fuller’s Jason is no different. But this movie is worth what you’ll gain in terms of perspective about love, money, relationships, and the relevance of God in real life.”The Ultimate Gift” can actually be a wonderful gift to you and your family in its DVD version, as long as you’re willing to do some work, separate yourself from typical expectations, and put up with a little bit of sloppiness in order to get a great message.

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