Friday, August 17, 2007

The Ultimate Gift DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Heir Learns Valuable Lessons in Life in Inspirational Faith-Based Flick

When Red Stevens (James Garner) passed away, all of his likely heirs were summoned to the billionaire tycoon’s corporate boardroom by Ted Hamilton (Bill Cobbs), his long-time, trusted friend. The reading of the will dashed the hopes of the collection of greedy relatives who arrived with expectations of receiving big inheritances, as each was sent away with relatively-modest bequests.
Yet, for some reason, Red retained a special interest in his grandson, Jason (Drew Fuller), an irresponsible playboy who had been frittering away his future, just living off a trust fund. So, before his demise, the family patriarch recorded a videotape in which he specifically addressed the spoiled brat directly, offering the lazy lad a dozen “Gifts” leading to an “Ultimate Gift.” To receive that grand prize which he anticipates are his grandfather’s millions, the underachieving ne’er-do-well is ordered to follow a set of detailed, step-by-step directions.
But what Jason doesn’t know is that these so-called “Gifts” are actually a set of spiritually-oriented tasks designed to help him become a responsible and caring man who understands what really matters in life. Thus begins the very meaningful journey of self-discovery which comprises the core of The Ultimate Gift, a touching tale of empowerment based on the best-seller of the same name.
As the plot thickens, Jason is sent out into the world on a series of assignments, whether to make one true friend, to save a person with a real problem, or to perform other selfless acts. This modern morality play is wholesome, family-oriented fare for those interested in instilling old-fashioned values in their kids.
Perhaps predictable, sentimental and sappy, but who cares, when it also oh so effectively delivers the salient message that much is expected of those fortunate enough to have been born blessed with so much.

Excellent (4 stars)
PG for mature themes, language and violence.
Running time: 118 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Introduction by Jim Stovall, author of the novel the movie was based upon, two music videos, a theatrical trailer, a public service announcement, a sneak peak at a Fox Faith film entitled “The Redemption of Sarah Cain,” plus “Behind the Scenes” and another featurette.

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