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The Ultimate Gift

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When his wealthy grandfather dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens inherits his grandfather's crash course on life: 12 tasks-or gifts-designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways. The "course" sends Jason on a journey of self-discovery that forces him to reevaluate his priorities and determine what he thinks the most important things in life really are.

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The Ultimate Gift is a tale of one man's tumultuous journey toward personal growth and fulfillment. Surrounded in life, and death, by avaricious family members fueled by a sense of entitlement, billionaire Red Stevens (James Garner) wants to bequeath at least one member of his extended family "the ultimate gift": something he perceives as immensely more valuable than material wealth. Red's arrogant grandson Jason (Drew Fuller) holds a deep-seated hatred for his newly-deceased grandfather, so he's surprised to learn from his grandfather's friend and lawyer Mr. Hamilton (Bill Cobbs) and assistant Miss Hastings (Lee Meriwether) that he's been mentioned in his late grandfather's will. Far from a straightforward gift of cash, land, or stock, Red's bequest comes in the form of a series of mysterious recorded instructions, the first of which requires Jason to hop on a plane for Texas the very next morning without a hint of the trip's purpose or the nature of the gift that awaits him. Dropped into a life of hard physical labor on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, Jason's bad-tempered fury eventually turns to resignation and he finds himself engaged in, and even taking pride in, the first real manual labor he's ever done in his life. Unbeknownst to him, his journey toward claiming the ultimate gift has only just begun. When he returns from Texas, Jason finds his home cleared out, his car confiscated, and instructions to produce one true friend. While Jason is reduced to sleeping in the park, a young child name Emily (Abigail Breslin) and her mother Alexia (Ali Hillis) make his acquaintance and lead him to re-examine his personal prejudices and perceptions of what's truly important in life. Jason's journey of self-discovery continues throughout a series of other trying experiences and, in the end, Grandpa Red's "ultimate gift" of life lessons profoundly and permanently improves the quality of Jason's life. What's more, Jason's new perspective of his place in society has a very positive affect on the larger community. This very powerful film is funny, heartbreaking, and intensely thought-provoking. --Tami Horiuchi



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Product Details

  • Actors: Drew Fuller, James Garner, Abigail Breslin, Bill Cobbs, Lee Meriwether
  • Directors: Michael O. Sajbel
  • Writers: Cheryl McKay, Jim Stovall
  • Producers: Cleve Landsberg, Dave Ross, Jim Van Eerden, John Shepherd, Paul Brooks
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: August 21, 2007
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,300 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QUU7KC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,290 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ultimate Gift" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

171 of 173 people found the following review helpful By C.J. Darlington on August 14, 2007
Format: DVD
Jason Stevens (Drew Fuller) is a trust fund baby--he's eaten from a silver spoon his entire life. At his grandfather Red's funeral he makes a showy (and late) entrance, perhaps punctuating his low opinion of the man. But from his grave Red (James Garner) has words for his money hungry relatives at the reading of his will. No one gets what they expect, including Jason.

In a closed conference room with only his grandfather's trusted attorney (Bill Cobbs) and secretary (Lee Meriwether) in attendance, Jason is advised by Red via a video recording that he's being given a series of gifts. The catch? He isn't told what the gifts are, only that he's to arrive at the airport and await further instructions. Is this his grandfather's form of a joke, or is Red Stevens trying to reach out and teach him things he never learned from his materialistic family?

Based on a novella by noted motivational speaker and author Jim Stovall, the filmmakers endeavored to preserve the heart of his story while still producing a relevant movie. Says screenwriter Cheryl McKay in an interview conducted by Rene Gutteridge who wrote the novelization of the screenplay, "The biggest challenge was figuring out how to handle all the gifts and not come off with a movie that felt episodic. We had to blend a couple of them together and de-emphasize a couple of them because twelve is a lot to cover in a two-hour movie."

Winner of the Heartland Film Festival's Crystal Heart Award, The Ultimate Gift features an Oscar worthy cast. Drew Fuller (best known for his recurring role as Chris Halliwell in Charmed) pulls off Jason's cockiness and spoiled brat ways, but also believably portrays his transformed self. His facial expressions alone made me laugh out loud a few times.
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105 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Lisa M. Hendey VINE VOICE on August 8, 2007
Format: DVD
I'm not up on the latest movies, so when a screener of a film called The Ultimate Gift arrived in my post office box on Tuesday morning, I didn't give it much thought. I hadn't heard of the movie when it was released in theaters, but was reviewing the screener for potential review at the request of a colleague. The fact that one of my favorite young actresses, Abigail Breslin of Little Miss Sunshine fame, was involved did pique my curiosity.

Imagine my shock two hours later when I came to the stunning conclusion that this film now ranks in my top five favorite movies of all time. The Ultimate Gift is based on an inspirational novel by author Jim Stovall and tells the story of one young man's life transformation from a spoiled rotten trust fund leech into a loving philanthropist. The main character, Jason Stevens, must navigate a series of twelve tasks/gifts given to him posthumously by his paternal grandfather in order to earn a mystery inheritance. The "gifts" are designed to teach him a series of life lessons and become progressively more challenging and life wrenching. Jason comes from the most despicable breed of wealthy snobs you've ever seen and is nursing a lifelong grudge against his grandfather. He launches into the challenge with one sole goal in mind: getting the money. It's his assumption that more money will equate to happiness. Happiness appears to be one of the only commodities that's sorely missing in his life.

I won't give away the ending of this remarkable film, but I do challenge you to get to the conclusion without feeling your own heart grow three sizes and reaching for the tissue. The Ultimate Gift is a movie to be shared and discussed with family members of all ages for the wonderful life lessons it shares.
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120 of 123 people found the following review helpful By "Rocky Raccoon" VINE VOICE on August 23, 2007
Format: DVD
The Ultimate Gift' is a fun and surprising inspirational gem. Not knowing quite what to expect, the movie quickly develops an emotional and entertaining core. Often funny, sad, mysterious, and uplifting in different measures, the film pulls out a unique bag of tricks. Sort of like the `Willy Wonka' of spiritual cinema, `The Ultimate Gift' is more than a "Hallmark" Christian experience.

It all begins after the death of oil tycoon, Red Stevens (James Garner) who has left videotapes for his family. Gathered around the conference table in his lucrative company headquarters, all members wait on pins and needles to see what they will inherit from him. Crassly, the greedy family can't help but commiserate over the lack of possessions he's bequeathed to them. As his custom, Jason (Drew Fuller), his black sheep grandson, comes late to the proceedings, fully expecting nothing, but wanting to make sure nonetheless. What he gets is a treasure hunt. If he performs a series of feats for the edification of his board of trustees, he will win "the ultimate gift". Heading that board is fellow associate Mr. Hamilton (Bill Cobbs), who anchors the whole deal as a living negotiator. If Jason flubs on any one of the "assignments," he loses the gift.

A lot of the proceedings depend a great deal on Red predicting what Jason will do next during the videotape. It works admirably and there's enough good humor to smooth out the edges of our disbelief. Events are often unpredictable, and the acting ranges from genuine to genuinely good. Particularly noteworthy is Abigail Breslan (Oscar nominated child prodigy from 'Little Miss Sunshine') who gives another fine performance as Emily, a sick girl with a sharp tongue, but a good heart.
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Ok, Ok, Everybody Just Slow Down Here...
I agree with you Jane. I am sure the objective was not to teach that evil exists in the world since we all already know that or so I hope, but rather to encourage individual reflection. What have you done to make the world a better place, to impact one life positively, to impact all the... Read More
Dec 2, 2007 by wawewe |  See all 4 posts
dvd debut
I heard that it comes out on dvd on July 16.
May 5, 2007 by Jane Austin |  See all 2 posts
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