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Few Good Years
     

A Few Good Years

4.0 2
Director: Fred Schepisi, Michael Douglas, Kirk Douglas, Rory Culkin

Cast: Fred Schepisi, Michael Douglas, Kirk Douglas, Rory Culkin

 

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Fred Schepisi's family comedy It Runs in the Family, featuring many members of the Douglas clan, debuts on DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. Spanish and French soundtracks have been recorded in Dolby Digital Surround. Subtitles are

Overview

Fred Schepisi's family comedy It Runs in the Family, featuring many members of the Douglas clan, debuts on DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1. Spanish and French soundtracks have been recorded in Dolby Digital Surround. Subtitles are accessible in all three of those languages as well. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by the director, a making-of featurette, a short documentary on the career of Kirk Douglas, deleted scenes, a still photo gallery, and the original theatrical trailer. This is a first rate presentation from MGM/UA.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The reconciliation attempts of a dysfunctional New York family make for an affecting drama based on a single, clever conceit: The male relatives are played by successive generations of the Douglas acting dynasty -- father Kirk, son Michael, and grandson Cameron. What's more, Kirk's first wife, Diana, from whom he was divorced 50 years ago, plays the mother of Michael's character. While not an altogether original concept (Henry Fonda and his real-life daughter, Jane, played parent and child in 1981's On Golden Pond), it works here because the performances are uniformly strong; the eldest Douglas, having suffered a devastating stroke some years ago, exhibits energy that would be remarkable in even a healthy man of his age, and there seems to be scant diminution of his acting ability. He plays Mitchell Gromberg, cofounder of the prosperous law firm to which son Alex (Michael) devotes too much of his time. Alex's son Asher (Cameron Douglas, Michael's son from his first marriage), a college student who hasn't gotten much attention from his dad, is busted on drug charges, precipitating the latest in a series of family crises that range from Alex's suspected infidelity to his inability to have a civil exchange with his still feisty father. The interaction of members of this famous showbiz family makes for an unusually engrossing film, although script contrivances weaken it ever so slightly. Among the few non-Douglas cast members, Bernadette Peters registers solidly as Alex's long-suffering wife, and Rory Culkin scores as the lovestruck youngest scion of the Grombergs. Director Fred Schepisi could have sat back and let the novelty of the casting carry this picture, but he works hard to overcome minor script weaknesses and pulls disparate story points together. Thanks to him, It Runs in the Family succeeds as a strong, cohesive dramatic piece, not just a gimmicky bit of fluff.
All Movie Guide
Being Hollywood royalty means you get to make movies like It Runs in the Family, where one of the leads is a stroke victim, another is an acting neophyte. But this is no mere vanity project. Michael Douglas and family aren't interested in a sentimental monument to their own success, and everyone carries his weight -- regardless of age, infirmity or experience level. In fact, the poster for It Runs in the Family -- three generations of Douglas men grinning on a fishing boat -- gives a decidedly false impression of simplistic hominess. Fred Schepisi's film tackles a host of less-than-cheery issues -- death, aging, infidelity, drugs, veteran care, liberal guilt, alienation -- all while remaining light enough to qualify as a comedy, one that benefits greatly from real-world family chemistry. In one scene that perfectly combines the movie's two selves, Mitchell Gromberg (Kirk Douglas) and his son Alex (Michael Douglas) attempt an impromptu (and illegal) Viking funeral for Mitchell's brother -- on a lake surrounded by summer homes, under cover of darkness. As Alex cracks wise about his father's hair-brained idea, it's a hilarious use of gallows humor, made authentic by the real father-son relationship informing it. Even better, the movie never panders to the elder Douglas, whose 1996 stroke severely impacted his speech. The audience quickly discovers it doesn't need to pity (or cringe at) Kirk Douglas, but rather, do what comes naturally: laugh at the veteran's comic instincts, still plenty sharp. Even Cameron Douglas proves capable as the college-aged stoner, making his casting more than gimmicky nepotism, while Bernadette Peters and Rory Culkin hold their own as the two non-Douglas Grombergs. It Runs in the Family refuses to wrap things up neatly, making for an affecting portrait of family members -- both real and fictitious -- who are grounded enough to recognize their own shortcomings.
Village Voice
Goes easy on the schmaltz, and the catastrophes have the puncturing feel of real life. Ed Park
New York Times
Throughout the movie you can feel the actors' offscreen relationships resonating with their performances and enriching them immeasurably. Stephen Holden

Product Details

Release Date:
10/21/2003
UPC:
0027616896544
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
PG-13
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:49:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes; "Family Makes You Nuts: The Making of It Runs in the Family" featurette; "All That Grit: Kirk Douglas and the Movies" documentary; Audio commentary by director Fred Schepisi; Photo gallery; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Douglas Alex Gromberg
Kirk Douglas Mitchell Gromberg
Rory Culkin Eli Gromberg
Cameron Douglas Asher Gromberg
Diana Douglas Evelyn Gromberg
Bernadette Peters Rebecca Gromberg
Michelle Monaghan Peg Maloney
Geoffrey Arend Malik
Sarita Choudhury Suzie
Irene Gorovaia Abby Staley
Annie Golden Deb
Mark Hammer Stephen Gromberg
Audra McDonald Sarah Langley
Colman Domingo Actor
Marc Damon Johnson Professor Edwards
Robert Montano Officer Crane
Keith Nobbs Marc Stein
Stephen Singer Dr. Kaplan
Jerome Bates Officer McDonough
Cameron Boyd Skateboarder
Ian Boyd Skateboarder
Antonio D. Charity Jogger
Alvin Crawford Male Nurse
Roy Milton Davis Homeless Man
Ray Demattis Italian Waiter
Brenda Thomas Denmark Teacher
Lisa Ann Frisone Homeless Woman
David Greenspan Howard
Adam Grupper Principal
Shantell Herndon Young Jogger
Linda Johnson Teacher
Bob Kaliban Jim Lindsay
Derek Kelly Driver
Demetrius Kiprakis Skateboarder
Wynter Kullman Katie
Mark Ledbetter Young Jogger
Carmen Lopez Rosario
Adrian Martinez Mitchell's Doorman
Sara Meyer Jogger
Jonathan Mondel Morgan
Adam Mucci Officer Samms
Erik-Anders Nilsson Jogger
Kelly Overton Erica
Josh Pais Barney
Joel Rooks Suit
Sho Ma "Xiao" Skateboarder
Louie Torrellas Jeremy

Technical Credits
Fred Schepisi Director,Executive Producer
Marit Allen Costumes/Costume Designer
George Allison Art Director
Ian Baker Cinematographer
Michael Barosky Sound/Sound Designer
Patrizia Von Brandenstein Production Designer
Joel A. Douglas Associate Producer
Michael Douglas Producer
Marcy Drogin Co-producer
Paul Grabowsky Score Composer
Susan Jacobs Musical Direction/Supervision
Avy Kaufman Casting
Diane Lederman Set Decoration/Design
Kerry Orent Executive Producer
Todd Pfeiffer Asst. Director
Jesse Wigutow Co-producer,Screenwriter
Kate Williams Editor

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Title
2. Regrettably Healty
3. A Moment of Sanity
4. The Laid-Back One
5. Some Digits, Some Skin
6. Little Peacemaker Award
7. Every Boy Should Know
8. Running From Duty
9. Not Around Forever
10. Comfortable Talking
11. Run, Don't Walk
12. The Perpetual Student
13. A Little Florence
14. Katie for the Morning
15. "Hold Me Like You Love Me"
16. A Woman of Grace
17. Do Unto Others...
18. The Zen of Fishing
19. Mitchell's Quick Pointer
20. The Panty Explanation
21. Nights Without Evelyn
22. A Father-Son Moment
23. Before the Deal Closes
24. The Tardy Muse
25. Knight in Mini-Armor
26. Uncle Stephen's Wishes
27. First Kiss
28. End of the Party
29. The Viking Funeral
30. Still Here
31. Life Getting in the Way
32. End Credits

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A Few Good Years 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently had the chance to see this film and genuinely liked it. I empathized with Alex very much and loved the line when his father, Mitchell says "You're a much better father than I am" in which Alex replies, "You didn't really set the bar that high, Dad." How true at least for me. Fathers wake up! Your sons are listening!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great family movie..we enjoyed it even my 20 year old.