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Vendor: Fox Faith
Publication Date: 2007
Availability: No longer available.
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James Garner (The Notebook, TVs The Rockford Files) plays billionaire Red Stevens who has died and left various parts of his fortune to his dysfunctional family. Drew Fuller (TVs Charmed) plays Jason Stevens, Reds grandson and a trust fund baby. Jason is a selfish young man who lives to party and live the high life. Jason is surprised to find out that he is included in his grandfathers will. In fact, his grandfather leaves him a series of gifts awarded after Jason completes various tests. We see Jasons character and attitude change for the better as he passes each test along the way which of course, was his grandfathers intention.
Fuller does a convincing job of showing Jasons transformation from a spoiled brat to a mature man. Seasoned veterans like Garner and Brian Dennehy (Cocoon, First Blood), who plays Reds longtime buddy and is instrumental in Jasons first test, are always a pleasure, despite their minimal screen time. Abigail Breslin, in her first role since earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Little Miss Sunshine, steals the show as a young girl, Emily; she befriends Jason and is central to his transformation. Of course, Emilys mother, played by Ali Hillis (Open Water 2) develops a romance with Jason, too. Although pretty, Hillis presence adds little depth to her character.
The Ultimate Gift is definitely a nice alternative to the countless remakes of B horror movies and second-rate comedies the studios tend to dump on the public this time of year. Of course, the final revelation of what Jason earns as his ultimate gift is somewhat predictable, yet still feel-good-satisfying.
All that said, as a Christian reviewer, I must also critique this movie in light of its Christian content and biblical message which is, surprisingly, very little. This movie is produced by FoxFaith (an imprint division of 20th Century Fox geared at faith content films and marketed mainly to Christians). That said, there is only a vague semblance of faith in this movieI suppose the vague reference to Jesus in the hospital chapel keeps it in the faith movie category.
In fact, the underlying message of the movie contradicts the Gospel of Christ. Rather, it perpetrates the gospel of boot-strap theology, which is the American notion that if you work hard, treat people with respect, and live a good life, then you will be somebody of significance and the Big Man upstairs will surely shine down on you. That contradicts the message of the biblical Gospel which is the genuine Good News that sinners can receive grace and forgiveness from a Holy God because Christ died on the cross in our place offering us all the pleasure that is found only in God and living for His glory. That doesnt mean that the themes in Gift arent good and make decent point about how we live our lives. However, if Gift was truly a faith movie, Jasons ultimate gift would not have been what he earned or received from his grandpa it would have been Christ.
Some might say Im making too much of the sparse Christian content present in an otherwise entertaining and well-acted movie. Yet, I must point out its deficiencies in this area since it is marketed to Christians as a movie of faith. I recommend seeing this movie, not because it is light for the Gospel, but because it is a nice diversion and has the potential to make one feel great for having gone to the local Cineplex. Todd Burgett, Christian Book Previews.com
KathraeSouthern IdahoAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Example of how desperately God loves usJune 23, 2015KathraeSouthern IdahoAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The story of a grandfather pushing a grandson to do things beyond what the grandson can imagine, all to get a large inheritance, is a great example of what God does for us. He works throughout each of our day to motivate us towards His purposes. Even when we have no clue why, it's for our own good. And at the end of it, we become better for it ~ foregoing the desires for riches. At the end of the strife, we gain understanding that helping others is more precious than gold.
christian dvd5 Stars Out Of 5christian dvdJanuary 30, 2015christian dvdbest movie ever!
Speedy5 Stars Out Of 5Appropriately named.January 29, 2015SpeedyQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5At first, I thought, "Oh, no, what a bunch of snobs, and could hardly bare the thought of watching "brats". As the movie progressed we became more impressed how "Red" Stevens implemented goals for Jason to strive for and how that affected his life in a very positive way. Also thought-provoking and makes you think of how we are living our lives- for ourselves or for others, to make the world a better place.
JP5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Family FilmDecember 31, 2014JPQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5We have watched this movie several times as a family and each time it is just as great as the first! It is a wonderful story that takes in all the important things in life. Our culture needs more movies such as this. I have shown it to my highschool classes before Christmas break and have had good responses...nothing negative what so ever! We purchsed it to give to relatives and friends this past Christmas.
Nan4 Stars Out Of 5The Ultimate GiftDecember 15, 2014NanEnjoyed this movie very much. It had everything from joy to tears and the message was something that everyone should hear.