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Father of Invention [Blu-ray] [Import]

 PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 21.94 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

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.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie May 29 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Being a movie collector I am very fussy which I order usually from seeing previews. I enjoy watching the many hours of entertainment.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  61 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad... Oct. 25 2011
By Steve - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good performances, bad script Nov. 27 2011
By Susan Tunis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
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.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Potential For Comic Gold Is Never Mined In This Satiric Misfire That Wastes A Great Cast Oct. 25 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
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. Neither half of the preceding sentence was believable to me, but as it was the film's premise established in the first five minutes--I had to go with it. Apparently Spacey's corporate mismanagement was enough to have him treated like a hardened criminal and he is completely ostracized in the outside world. Still hoping for a clever comedy about how he gets back into the game, we are treated instead to a more lackluster story line of him trying to reconnect with his daughter (Belle). Of course, the movie is rife with wacky characters each more sketchily drawn than the last. When the screenplay is at a loss about how to get its next laugh (and they are few and far between), it goes for a cheap shot (aforementioned kicks to the groin, lesbian humor, slapstick pratfalls) that oftentimes have nothing to do with advancing the plot.

Eventually, the movie does get Spacey back into the business (with Knoxville as his partner in another turn of events that makes little sense). Finally hoping for some hard edged satire, the movie then wants to go soft and play out as a relationship drama. What has Spacey learned about his evil ways? And is it too late to reconnect with his daughter? At a launch party for a new idea, Spacey gives the most awkward, unprofessional and baffling speech imaginable that would absolutely be disastrous for his business partners, but (this being a movie) the crowd is rapturously enthused. Who says you can't have it all? Not funny enough by half already, any good will you might have goes south with these "lesson learned" moments.

Spacey does his best, it's nice to see him in a change-of-pace role. Knoxville in underutilized and underwriten. Madsen and especially Robinson (he's the only one I actually liked as a character) fare the best in terms of bringing a few laughs. Graham, a likable actress, is stranded in the piece's most obnoxious role. Seriously, I like all of these actors but the screenplay lets everyone down. I guess I'm still waiting for the great infomercial satire that I had hoped this would provide. Clumsy and unfunny, this takes a good idea and wants to be something for everyone when it should have attempted a scathing and hard-edged wit that befits its subject matter. A curious misfire recommended only if you are a passionate fan of one of the actors. KGHarris, 10/11.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad Nov. 11 2011
By dangerboybb - Published on Amazon.com
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wasted premise Nov. 29 2011
By new yorker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
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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