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"THE ULTIMATE GIFT"
(2007) (Drew Fuller, Ali Hillis) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Extreme Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Minor None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Mild Heavy Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A young, spoiled man must pass various tests arranged by his late grandfather in order to receive his inheritance of "the ultimate gift."
PLOT:
Jason Stevens (DREW FULLER) is a spoiled young man who's never had a job, lives off his trust fund, and has a shallow but pretty girlfriend in Caitlin (MIRCEA MONROE). When Jason's rich businessman grandfather, Howard "Red" Stevens (JAMES GARNER), dies, Jason doesn't really care, as he feels the man ruined his life.

Nevertheless, Jason's interest is piqued when Red's business associate and friend, Mr. Hamilton (BILL COBBS), along with his associate, Miss Hastings (LEE MERIWETHER), inform him that he's set to inherit "the ultimate gift" if he can pass a number of tests previously arranged by Red.

Jason reluctantly agrees to the challenge, where the first test is to perform manual farm labor for Red's old friend, Gus (BRIAN DENNEHY). Later ones lead to him meeting single mom Alexia (ALI HILLIS) and her young daughter Emily Rose (ABIGAIL BRESLIN) who's coping with having leukemia.

While he initially has a bad attitude toward all of them and his various tasks, Jason eventually has a change of heart as he slowly comes to the realization that Red's gift to him is far greater than some simple sum of money.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
With the film having something of a religious angle, that might draw some, especially if they're fans of the novel on which it's based.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic elements, some violence and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DREW FULLER plays a spoiled young man who's never had a job and lives off his trust fund. He has a bad attitude toward most everyone and everything, but eventually has a change of heart due to his grandfather's ultimate scheme for him. He smokes a few times and becomes interested in Alexia and concerned for Emily.
  • ALI HILLIS plays a single mom who finds herself attracted to Jason but is obviously preoccupied by her daughter's serious illness.
  • ABIGAIL BRESLIN plays her precocious daughter who shows some bravery and humor in response to having leukemia.
  • JAMES GARNER plays Jason's rich but cantankerous grandfather who -- via video following his death -- tries to shape Jason's life for the better.
  • BILL COBBS plays his longtime friend and business associate who administers his plan for Jason.
  • LEE MERIWETHER plays his assistant who's a bit more lenient than Hamilton in terms of dealing with his attitude and requests.
  • MIRCEA MONROE plays Jason's spoiled girlfriend who dumps him when she learns he no longer has access to his money.
  • BRIAN DENNEHY plays a rich farmer who takes in Jason as hired help as part of Red's plan for him.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated drama. A minor expletive, various colorful phrases and some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue is heard. Various women show some cleavage, while a single mom briefly comments on when she got pregnant, presumably in high school. Some brief kissing occurs.

    Some drug dealers take two men hostage at gunpoint, and there's some brief striking of others and threats to kill the two men. Those scenes might be unsettling for some viewers, while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Characters smoke and/or drink, with those drug dealers appearing to be passed out from drinking too much.

    A mother must contend with her daughter dying from leukemia, while other tense family material (mainly bad relations) is also present, as is some potentially imitative behavior.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a little bit of bouncy camerawork during a scene set in a moving jeep.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People drink beer at a party.
  • Jason sits in first class on a plane and cops an attitude toward a flight attendant when that man tells Jason his seat is in coach. Jason then grabs a glass of champagne as it passes by and takes a sip (the attendant takes it back).
  • Jason and his girlfriend have wine with dinner.
  • Jason's ex-girlfriend has wine with a date.
  • Various family members have wine with Thanksgiving dinner.
  • An uncle asks Jason, "Are you on crack?" regarding something Jason's said that he and other snobby family members find ridiculous.
  • Hamilton and Jason hold drinks.
  • There's talk that an Ecuadorian mountain is the province of the drug lords.
  • Some locals in Ecuador drink what's presumably beer, and Jason drinks something that's presumably alcoholic (and then does more so in a brief montage).
  • Some drug dealers drink liquor from bottles and briefly share it with their prisoners. They then drink some more, and later appear to be passed out during the day.
  • We see a glass of wine in front of Jason.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Jason somewhat sounds like he's going to vomit while in a primitive jungle cell.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Jason has a bad attitude toward most everything, especially early in the film, but it gets better, step by step, as the story progresses.
  • Jason shows up late for his grandfather's funeral, and when told he's late, he sarcastically replies, "For what?"
  • A young kid has a bad attitude toward an adult, saying, "Blah, blah, blah" to them.
  • Red's adult kids are upset when they don't inherit anything from him.
  • Jason sits in a boardroom with his feet on the long meeting desk.
  • Jason arrives at the airport on his motorcycle with the police in pursuit. He then leaves Miss Hastings to take care of his mess (we don't know why they were after him, although some sort of traffic violation is suggested).
  • Jason sits in first class on a plane and cops an attitude toward a flight attendant when that man tells Jason his seat is in coach. Jason then grabs a glass of champagne as it passes by and takes a sip (the attendant takes it back).
  • Jason has a bad attitude toward Gus and doesn't do the manual labor requested of him (planting fence posts) until he realizes that might affect his chance of getting the ultimate gift (although he doesn't know what that is yet).
  • Jason still has a bad attitude toward Hamilton when reunited with him a month after being with Gus.
  • Jason's girlfriend gets upset when he asks her to pay for their dinner bill when his credit cards are refused (she gets teary and leaves). We later see that she's dating someone else.
  • Jason tells a passerby to "shut up" when that man looks at him after Jason throws his cell phone to the pavement.
  • A homeless man steals a coin when it's flipped in the air. Later, he tries taking a sandwich from Emily's picnic basket, and is later seen going through Alexia's handbag.
  • After Emily tells white lies to Hamilton about being Jason's friend, Jason blows her off (since he got what he wanted from her regarding his inheritance).
  • Jason has a bad attitude toward Hamilton and his assistant after he thinks he's finally received his inheritance.
  • Alexia briefly comments about when she got pregnant, and that her boyfriend was going off to college and didn't want anything to get in his way.
  • Various members of Jason's family are rich snobs.
  • An uncle asks Jason, "Are you on crack?" regarding something Jason's said that he and other snobby family members find ridiculous.
  • Jason still has a bad attitude about the tasks he's given to perform.
  • Drug dealers take Jason and his local aide hostage for a long period of time, beat the aide and threaten to kill both (we briefly see that they have other hostages as well).
  • Jason's ex-girlfriend comes back into his life when she gets wind of him now having money.
  • We see previous, hidden camera footage of Jason committing various misdemeanors, including taking money from fountains, stealing property and reselling it, etc. all while he was poor.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Some viewers may worry that Emily has died when Jason arrives at her hospital room, she's gone, and the nurse says she's with God (she's just in the chapel).
  • A drug dealer holds a machine gun on a local man. Moments later, Jason is thrown to the ground in a small cell.
  • A drug dealer says to hold Jason and his aide for ransom, and then to kill them should no one come after them.
  • We see a drug dealer manhandle Jason's aide and then take him off. We then hear sounds of them beating him. Jason is then taken out, blindfolded and made to kneel in front of armed men who fire their guns into the air, but do so to celebrate Feliz Navidad.
  • About Jason and his aide, a drug dealer states, "Tomorrow they die."
  • Jason sneaks out of his jungle jail cell and then goes back to get his aide. As they flee, we hear gunfire in the distance, but the men make it out okay.
  • **BIG SPOILER ALERT**
  • Alexia gets a call (unheard from us) to rush back to the hospital. Jason then rushes there and hears Alexia crying, suggesting that Emily has died.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Machine guns: Carried and/or used to threaten others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Gus has rifles or shotguns mounted in the back widow of his truck.
  • Drug dealers fire machine guns into the air to celebrate Feliz Navidad.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Blah, blah, blah" "Let's cut the B-S" (said just like that), "This is whacked," "Screw him, screw both of you," "So this is hell," "What is your problem?" "This geriatric cowboy," "Shut up," "Whatever," "Poser," "It's pathetic," "Dude," "Let's not be delusional," "You're all pathetic," "You screwed up big time" and "Let's cut to the chase."
  • Jason sits in a boardroom with his feet on the long meeting desk.
  • Gus uses an electric cattle prod to get Jason out of bed (shocking him).
  • Emily makes the "loser" gesture with her fingers regarding Jason.
  • Alexia makes the hand to head gesture for "Whatever, loser" (while joking with Emily about Jason).
  • Jason's ex-girlfriend wears a midriff-revealing top that also shows cleavage.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny amount of suspenseful music occurs in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 hell and 1 use each of "God," "Oh God" and what sounded like "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • When asked what they inherited from Red, a woman tells her husband, "A place for your mistress."
  • A comment is made by Red about his dead son's wife whose male companionship is vast and varied.
  • Jason's girlfriend shows some cleavage.
  • Jason's mother shows some cleavage.
  • Jason's ex-girlfriend shows some cleavage.
  • Referring to Jason, Red states on video that he had "The latest in everything, including women."
  • Alexia briefly comments about when she got pregnant, and that her boyfriend was going off to college and didn't want anything to get in his way.
  • Jason and Alexia do some brief, passionate kissing.
  • Jason's ex-girlfriend wears a midriff-revealing top that also shows cleavage.
  • Jason and Alexia briefly but passionately kiss.
  • SMOKING
  • Jason smokes several times, while Hamilton holds what appears to be an unlit cigar and a drug dealer briefly smokes a cigar.
  • Jason asks Gus if he minds if he smokes. Gus says it's a free country, but Jason doesn't have any more smokes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see family members at Red's funeral, but considering how all of them viewed him (expressed later in the film), it's doubtful any are grieving.
  • When asked what they inherited from Red, a woman tells her husband, "A place for your mistress."
  • There's talk of Red's adult son Jay who died before him.
  • About Red, Jason asks, "What can he give me that he hasn't already taken away?" He also says that Red ruined his life. We later learn he's referring to his father, Red's son, who died, and Jason blames his father's death on Red.
  • Jason is upset with his mom when she won't loan him any money (she's been given directions not to).
  • We hear that Emily has leukemia and that her mom has problems paying her mounting bills.
  • Emily worries about her mom.
  • A doctor tells Alexia that chemotherapy will not be enough for Emily, leaving Alexia in tears.
  • Jason mentions that his dad is dead and that Red was the only person who knew the details.
  • Hamilton says his wife passed away not long after they were married (long ago).
  • Jason goes off to see where his father died on an Ecuadorian mountain and, with the aid of a local man, sees some plane wreckage from long ago (he gets emotional over that).
  • After Jason promises Alexia they'll have a great Christmas next year, she replies, "We won't have a next year."
  • **BIG SPOILER ALERT**
  • Alexia gets a call (unheard from us) to rush back to the hospital. Jason then rushes there and hears Alexia crying, suggesting that Emily has died.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • On his posthumously viewed farewell tape, Red asks how he can give Jason something that won't ruin him like his (Jason's) uncles and aunts.
  • Jason never having had a job and living off a trust fund.
  • The comment that you don't begin to live until you've lost everything.
  • We hear that Emily has leukemia and that her mom has problems paying her mounting bills.
  • Red's statement that one should look forward to problems as challenges that will strengthen us to be victorious in the future.
  • Emily wondering what Heaven will be like.
  • The comment that money changes things.
  • The comment that any process one is going through will get tougher before it gets easier.
  • Hamilton saying he has one of Red's kidneys.
  • The twelve gifts being that of work, money, friends, learning, problems, family, laughter, dreams, giving, gratitude, of a day, and love.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Gus uses an electric cattle prod to get Jason out of bed (shocking him).
  • Gus pulls down the fence posts Jason has planted (using his truck, and because he knows Jason's heart was not in his work -- which shows by his sloppy results).
  • Jason throws his phone to the pavement in anger.
  • Jason slaps some kids (relatives of his) on the head to retrieve a cell phone type device they're keeping from him.
  • A drug dealer holds a machine gun on a local man. Moments later, Jason is thrown to the ground in a small cell.
  • We see a drug dealer manhandle Jason's aide and then take him off. We then hear sounds of them beating him. Jason is then taken out, blindfolded and made to kneel in front of armed men who fire their guns into the air, but do so to celebrate Feliz Navidad.
  • Jason knocks out a drug dealer by hitting him on the head.



  • Reviewed March 6, 2007 / Posted March 9, 2007

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