Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Heather Graham, Camilla Belle, John Stamos, Virginia Madsen
When "Father of Invention" first showed up on my desk, I wasn't sure what to make of it. I had just recently re-watched "21, " however, and that movie reminded me that Kevin Spacey is actually a pretty cool actor. With that as an incentive I sat down and gave Anchor Bay's Blu-Ray release of "Father of Invention" a spin.
Robert Axle (Kevin Spacey) is a genius at combining things, creating sensational sellers out of them and raking in the millions. Apart from his inventive side, however, Axle is also the perfect pitch man, swaying millions of people in his favor and getting them to buy his latest products. Until some of them get hurt. Not his fault, really, as people should never have stuck their fingers in that place in the first place, but in litigious America, accidents in which people lose their fingers are seriously frowned upon. And so, Axle goes to prison, losing everything – his $1.2 billion company, his inventions, his money and his family.
Eight years later, Robert Axle is released from his incarceration and wants to start over. But his ex-wife refuses to give up the share of their money, and his daughter Claire (Camilla Belle) refuses to really speak to him. Nonetheless, she is not without a heart and allows Axle to stay in her apartment that she shares with two roommates.
The friction is palpable and Axle seems to stumble every time he tries to get a leg up. No one wants to do business with him or even talk to him in fear his reputation would tarnish their own. Left to his own devices, Axle needs to free himself from the morass and prove to the world that he is still the world's greatest inventory and a genuinely nice guy.
While the movie doesn't offer up anything particularly new, this story of redemption does have plenty of pay offs. While reminding me of the ill-fated "Wall Street 2" in parts, I found "Father of Invention" much more enjoyable. I think it has to do with way the characters are set up and played out. Kevin Spacey is definitely likable in the role and from the beginning viewers root for him. To contrast his persona, the film uses his daughter's roommates for color. Especially Phoebe, played brutally funny by Heather Graham, is such a wonderful highlight to add color to the film. Rude, smack-talking in one minute, she turns into a funny, wounded kitten the next, only to flick a mental switch and play the hardcore lesbian with a tough exterior again the next.
The release features a clean 1080p high definition transfer that brings the film to life with incredible clarity. No blemishes are evident, and the level of detail, combined with the strong color reproduction make this film a pleasure to watch.
The movie's DTS 5.1 HD Master Audio presentation also comes across as very balanced. It is not a mix that makes furious use of surrounds, but instead creates a lively ambiance that works perfectly within the confines of the movie itself.
As the lone extra, you will find a making of featurette on the disc that will go behind the scenes of the film a little with interview and some on-set footage.
I had a great time watching "Father of Invention" and enjoyed every minute and every little gimmick and setback Axle experienced in the plot very much. This film may not be on your to-watch list yet, but make sure to make a mental note and pick it up the next time you get the chance.