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Father of Invention [Blu-ray]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Camilla Belle, Heather Graham, Johnny Knoxville, John Stamos
  • Directors: Trent Cooper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005CA4SR4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,015 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Two-time Academy Award® winner Kevin Spacey gives one of the most unexpectedly funny performances of his career as Robert Axle, an arrogant infomercial mogul whose empire collapses after one of his products maims thousands of consumers. After 8 years in prison, he tries to rebuild his fortune, but must first reconnect with his estranged daughter (Camilla Belle), her man-hating roommate (Heather Graham), his boneheaded new employer (Johnny Knoxville), the ex-wife who squandered his fortune (Academy Award® nominee Virginia Madsen of Sideways), and the ruthless executive who took over his company (John Stamos). Can a man who's lost everything devise a way to get back on top? Craig Robinson (''The Office''), Michael Rosenbaum (''Smallville'') and Anna Annisimova co-star in this surprising comedy about fabrications, complications, and the situations people invent to find out who they really are.

Customer Reviews

It did not seem to add much to the movie, and come off as just a confusing afterthought.
CG
It's unclear if the intent is to take the character seriously, or laugh at him (although nothing is very funny in the film).
Jessica Teel
There were quite a few funny parts but there were also some parts that were not so great.
StillWaters

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steve VINE VOICE on October 25, 2011
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Yes, I realize "not bad," is lukewarm praise at best, but it's fitting. This is a sweet little movie that probably could've been more but it's certainly better than lots of other movies that have received much more media attention and hype. I didn't even know this movie existed until it was made available through the Vine Program and that says more about the hype machine than it does about the quality of this movie.
The cast is good, particularly Spacey (pretty much in every frame of the movie) and Heather Graham, as a woman dealing with her self-esteem issues. Spacey's daughter Claire is flatly portrayed by Camilla Belle and Craig Robinson and Virginia Madsen play cliches, but they are both talented enough to add just enough to elevate their characters above their weakly written roles.
There is a sweetness in Spacey's huckster character Robert Axle, and the movie is less about satirizing the infomercial business (how can you satirize something that is funnier than any satire of it could ever be?) than it is about the fragility of relationships. Sure, most of what is said and done in Father of Invetion is unoriginal, but that doesn't mean it won't bring a smile to your face and keep your interest for the ninety minutes it takes.
My recommendation is to wait until it gets into the budget bin and pick it up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 27, 2011
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Yes, I saw the less than stellar reviews for this film, but I'm a Spacey fan. The man can wring a dynamic performance out of even the most hackneyed script. Unfortunately, that's exactly what he had to do here. Actually, there are several nice performances, but they still don't add up to a good film.

Father of invention is the story of Robert Axel, not an inventor, but a "fabricator," and the king of an infomercial empire. His reign at the top, however, comes crashing down when a product's design flaw causes hundreds of users to loose fingers. He's convicted of a felony and serves eight years. The film opens with Axel's release, and deals with his attempt to heal his relationship with his estranged daughter and to rebuild his life. He's starting from rock bottom.

Reading that description, it has some potential, but very little is realized, and I really do place most of the fault on the embarrassing script. In addition to Mr. Spacey, there's a strong supporting cast with many familiar faces, and as noted above, the performances were strong. However, there weren't scenes I liked, so much as individual moments. That's a little sad.

The only DVD extra was a brief "making of" featurette. Not only was it not even remotely interesting, it was borderline offensive when the director compared Father of Invention to a Billy Wilder film. Listen, this isn't the worst film I've ever seen, but I can't in good conscious recommend watching it.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
I can imagine the pitch session for Trent Cooper's satire "Father of Invention," and I'm willing to bet it was quite good. I have no doubt that you could cobble the ideas behind the film into a gut-busting parody on the age of infomercials. It's such a fantastic target as that industry exists almost solely on parodying itself. Sadly, though, the cleverness that you might expect going after such a rich and comical topic is not mined with very much efficiency in this film's screenplay. As Kevin Spacey kicks off the movie introducing some delightfully silly products, I thought we had a winner. But then the movie instantly takes you away from its funniest moments to set up a premise that I didn't believe for even one second. That's okay, though, I decided to go with the flow and see what kind of zany comic antics were in store. For my taste, though, the slapstick shenanigans and kicks to the groin didn't rate many laughs. There is a talented cast at work here: Kevin Spacey, Virginia Madsen, Heather Graham, Johnny Knoxville, Craig Robinson, and Camilla Belle. Sadly, however, the film is wildly uneven with obvious jokes and physical humor that fall flat and scenarios that don't make a lot of sense and/or aren't particularly amusing.

Spacey plays Robert Axle, a fabricator (not an inventor, but someone who puts two existing ideas together to make an even better product). Wildly successful, one of his triumphs ends up mutilating the consumers that have bought the item. The film asks us to believe that Spacey (a multi-millionaire) went to prison for eight years because of this and that his wife (Madsen) was allowed to keep half of his fortune untouched by lawsuits.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dangerboybb on November 11, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I've always liked Kevin Spacey, and I thought it was a good movie. Guy that invents things, loses his shirt and ends up doing time, due to a dangerous product he marketed. The main story is about him trying to get back in the game after prison, and trying to have a relationship with his daughter, and ends up realizing he was never there for her before, and tries to change that. I enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By new yorker VINE VOICE on November 29, 2011
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Kevin Spacey's performance is the only thing that kept me from giving this a lower rating.
What starts off as a satire on all those "as seen on TV" products soon degenerates into a not so feel good relationship comedy.
The script misfires on most cylinders and the rest of the cast seem wasted.
One viewing was more than enough. Not recommended.
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