Michael Caine begat Christopher Walken, who begat Josh Lucas, who begat Jonah Bobo.Got that? Eccentric patriarch Caine is approaching the end of his days, and wants to bring theestranged Walken back into the family fold. After a tense family reunion at a KFC, Caine dies,but leaves behind an elaborate testament that sends the three other generations together on across-country trip. Tentatively, with many a misstep, Lucas begins to reconnect with the father hehasn’t seen sinc… his earliest childhood.
Though at the heart of the film lie such tough issues as death, abuse and the question ofredemption, writer/director Jordan Roberts keeps a light touch, and the movie never feels cheeapor manipulative, despite a fairly familiar plot. There are some very funny elements (thoughGlenne Headly’s Danish au-pair who watches horror movies because they relax her is arguably abit too broadly comical), and Walken and Lucas, who have made something of a specialtyplaying disturbing creeps, are very moving and sympathetic. Caine’s accent wobbles all over theplace, but doesn’t detract from the movie’s charm. It’s a tearjerker for guys, but it works.
The volume on the soundtrack is very low, and the 5.1 mix seems redundant, since there areessentially no surround elements (even the music barely touches the rear speakers). That said,this is, generally speaking, a quiet film, and the dialogue comes through without any kind ofdistortion.
The picture is very solid: a very cleary, sharp image, with good blacks and colours, and fineflesh tones. Grain and edge enhancement occasionally appear, but are held to a bareminimum.
Jordan Roberts’ commentary is informative, articulate, and personal, covering both techincaland thematic aspects of the film. The making-of documentary is one of those rare beasts that isactually worthy of its designation. Fifteen minutes of deleted scenes have optional commentaryfrom Roberts, and then there’s the trailer and an ad for the soundtrack. The menu’s main screenis scored.
This one rather took me by surprise. I approached with only minimal interest, but was quitecapitivated.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
- Making-of Documentary
- Theatrical Trailer