Father of Invention [Blu-ray]
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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.
Would I watch again? - I don't know if I would.
*Also try - Casino Jack & Extract
But overall I can't really recommend it as good entertainment.
I do agree that "Father of Invention" didn't turn out to be as funny as the trailer led me to believe, but that is okay because while watching it I didn't get the impression they were really trying to be that funny in the first place. I would label this as a light-hearted drama, if such a thing could exist. It's not too heavy and it will not make you cry, though I did find the speech at the end touching, but it is not a comedy either.
This movie simply tells the story of Mr. Axle trying to obtain some semblance of a life after serving eight years in federal prison; originally that meant regaining wealth and power but eventually includes regaining a quality relationship with his daughter Claire. While the first few minutes of the movie shows him at his peak and some of his successful products, the movie does not address how and why Mr. Axle was found criminally and financially liable for a product that caused bodily harm to thousands of people. Mind you, in the beginning Mr. Axle states before going to prison, his self-made business was worth 1.6 BILLION (not millions!) dollars, certainly in real life the chances of a CEO billionaire going to prison for any reason is highly unlikely but especially for a defective product; I noticed in some reviews this bothered people as it was not realistic, it didn't bother me much though. I think Phoebe (Heather Graham), Claire's roommate, could've been eliminated entirely.Read more ›
This, in-turn, lands him in federal prison for gross negligence for the better part of a decade. Meanwhile, 1/2 his fortune goes to his ex wife, while the other 1/2 goes to the victims of his invention (ostensibly via a Class Action lawsuit).
Poor Robert. When he finally gets out of prison, he's still remembered, but not as the great inventor. Rather, he's remembered as the guy who screwed-up so many people's lives. Emerging from the prison gates, he finds that he has less credibility than George W. Bush!
The only person left in the world who gives a darn about him is his estranged daughter. She tries to help him out & gets mixed results. One of her roommates (portayed by Heather Graham) wants Robert gone for good. Obviously, Heather has a grand old time playing a woman who is a militant lesbian (who actually may or may not be militant OR a lesbian!).
The reconciliation with the daughter is heartwarming, but ultimately it seemed to me as though the movie didn't do a good job in tying up some loose ends. There are a few scenes that seemed to be thrown into the movie arbitrarily, and they're not really addressed by the ending.
All in all, this is a fairly enjoyable movie. Not a great film, but not horrible. Kevin Spacey fans are sure to be delighted with the film due to the fact that....well....it stars Kevin Spacey!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Script could have been a little stronger but it was entertaining, if not another 'getting to acceptance' film by Spacey.Published 5 months ago by JWH
I didn't think it was Spacey-worthy. Dull and lame humor. Sorry. I wanted to like it. Shut it off after 30 minutes or so.Published 21 months ago by Elizabeth D.
I enjoyed this movie. There was some cute scenes that were sweet funny and sad at the same time. Kevin Spacey and Heather Grahm were really cool.Published 21 months ago by frances burgoyne
Has Kevin Spacey ever made a bad movie? I think not. Has he ever made an average movie better? Absolutely. And this is one. Read morePublished 21 months ago by MrOldMan
Family movie with a great plot great action great acting I love this this is as good as it getsPublished 23 months ago by edward ervin