Thursday, March 24, 2016

Inspiring Movie: The Ultimate Gift DVD {A TOS Review}

What would your ultimate gift be? In the movie we recently had the chance to watch, called The Ultimate Gift, the main character had the chance to see what his "ultimate gift" was. We were able to review this DVD thanks to The Schoolhouse Review Crew and is a family-owned, online Christian movie store where you can find a wide array of Christian movies, documentaries, Sunday School materials, cartoons, and so much more. Movies to help your faith grow, and to ensure you are filling your children with wholesome entertainment.

Let me start out by saying that The Ultimate Gift is an inspirational, emotional movie based on the book by the same name written by Jim Stovall. It is quite rare that I am moved to tears during a television show or movie. This movie is one that really tugged at my heart-strings. The movie revolves around the changing life of Jason Stevens. His grandfather has just passed away and he finds out he is named in the will. The thing is, Jason's inheritance is only hinted at and has to be worked for. Along the way he discovers what his grandfather hopes he will discover, how to have a meaningful life. 

Jason comes from a wealthy family and has not had to work a day in his life. Instead he lives off his trust fund, partying and squandering money. When we first see him, he is late to his grandfather's funeral, swaggering in with cigarette in hand after noisily driving up the cemetery road in his flashy sports car. Again and again we see his arrogance as he starts on his journey toward the "ultimate gift" his grandfather's recorded instructions send him toward. 

As the story moves forward he has to complete certain tasks to the approval of Red Steven's friend and lawyer, Mr. Hamilton. If he fails at any of the tasks, his inheritance, an as yet unknown amount, is forfeited. We discover that each task is in and of itself a gift from Red to Jason. There are 12 gifts he wants his grandson to receive:
  • The Gift of Work
  • The Gift of Money
  • The Gift of Friends
  • The Gift of Learning
  • The Gift of Problems
  • The Gift of Family
  • The Gift of Laughter
  • The Gift of Dreams
  • The Gift of Giving
  • The Gift of Gratitude
  • The Gift of a Day
  • The Gift of Love
At the beginning of his journey, all Jason cares about is getting the tasks over and done with so he can get his money. However, during the second task he befriends a young girl named Emily along with her mother, Alexia. As they enter his life, his attitude slowly begins to change. At first, it was still all about completing the tasks, which Alexia understands and resents. However, he starts caring for others more than himself. He starts giving of himself and becomes emotionally intertwined with their little family. 

I don't want to spoil any of the surprises for you by sharing too many details. Needless to say, in this 117 minute movie there is a lot of story being told and some interesting twists you probably won't see coming. There was suspense, drama, humor, and the wrenching of our hearts.

Even though the movie is rated PG, I did watch it myself prior to allowing the children to watch it. I was glad I did because I did find a scene that I wanted to shelter the children from. While Jason is in Ecuador on one of his tasks there is a run in with drug lords which is a bit violent and suspenseful. I just fast forwarded through it and the children didn't really feel like they missed anything. There is also a bit of language that some may find offensive, along with a couple of scenes involving alcohol and immodestly dressed women. Personally, we don't have a problem with our children watching it as we are able to discuss it with them as we watch. However, I am not sure our church would be comfortable showing it to the congregation as they have with other movies. And while I would consider this movie to be family entertainment and there are a few mentions of God, Jesus and heaven, there isn't any specific Christian theology going on here. Don't get me wrong, we watch plenty of movies that do not have Christian themes. I just wanted to clarify that this is not what I would consider a "Christian" movie, which some may prefer and others may opt to avoid.

Here are the children sitting down to enjoy the movie:

My husband and I did peruse the Special Features menu after the children were in bed. They don't care for that behind-the-scenes type stuff that the hubby and I enjoy. Here is what you will find:
  • Narration for the Visually Impaired
  • Behind the Scenes of The Ultimate Gift
  • Leave a Legacy
  • Live the Ultimate Gift
  • Something Changed Music Video
  • Legacy Music Video
  • The Ultimate Gift Theatrical Trailer
  • The Redemption of Sarah Cain: Sneak Peek
  • Trailers for Christy: The Complete Series, Love's Abiding Joy, One Night with the King
We really enjoyed the Behind the Scenes section. And I was intrigued by The Ultimate Gift Experience Kit that can be purchased and used with one's own family. 

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For this review, my fellow Crew Mates and I had quite a few different movies to choose from. Here is a list of the movies you will find reviews for by clicking the banner below: War Room, Woodlawn, Gospel of John, My Son My Savior, Theo, Superbook: A Giant Adventure, Captive, Owlegories: The Ant, The Fruit, The Butterfly, and Agenda 2. Review
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