Kirk Douglas in a triumphant return
flickjunkie | 07/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kirk Douglas is one of the all time great leading men in the last century. At 83 and having suffered a stroke, I'm sure no one ever thought he would be acting again. Think again. Douglas is back, and although he is hampered somewhat by the effects of the stroke, he is as feisty, energetic and dramatically potent as ever.Douglas plays Harry, the patriarch of a three-generation family in this bittersweet comedy exploring the relationships between a father, his son and his grandson. Harry is seen early in the film doing exercises to recover his speech and strengthen his facial muscles after a stroke. A former welterweight champion, Harry tells his son (Dan Akroyd) and grandson (Corbin Allred) that when he was younger, he had a friend hold 13 diamonds for him, and if he could find the friend; he could recover the diamonds. So, the three men set out on a mission in quest of the booty.The story is bittersweet character study of the three men, their relationships and misadventures. It is a bit overly nostalgic and the dialogue often meanders. However, the good points outweigh the bad. Douglas gives a plucky performance as the aging patriarch. This is his film, and he dominates every scene. His would have been an excellent dramatic performance for anyone regardless of age and health. When those facts are considered, it makes the performance truly inspirational. It speaks volumes about Douglas' indomitable character. It is obvious that he worked very hard to overcome his disability and he was determined not to let it get the best of him. There is also some great vintage b/w footage of Kirk Douglas, who played a prizefighter in the movie "Champion" (1949). Lauren Bacall was also delightful and the scenes that she and Douglas played together were touching and wonderful. Bacall is still lovely, poised and confident, and her portrayal was sensitive and powerful. Seeing the two of them together was like watching two masters at work.I enjoyed this film, even though the story and characters were somewhat unoriginal. I rated it a 7/10. It brought back two screen legends and more than a few magical moments in watching them perform."
A sad comedy
R. Maynard | Epsom, New Hampshire United States | 07/20/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Usually I watch movies to feel good or to be informed --- this one does neither. It made me sad to see Kirk Douglas struggling to sound coherent after his (real-life) stroke. To me, that was not funny for a film that's supposed to be funny.The only bright spot was the appearance of Lauren Bacall who was the sexiest woman on film in the 1940's. She must be in her mid-seventies now, but she is still beautiful and sexy."
Otto Yuen | 07/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a sloppy, sentimental, sweet and sour film that most critics will pan. They miss the point - for the film is a cameo piece of gutty acting, for both Douglas and Bacall, and most savvy viewers will recognize and appreciate this swan-song salute. It is a warm and intentionally cliched piece with an ending that is all but obvious - and I loved it because it was just plain fun. The last scene, music and all, sums it all up and is worth the price of admission. Buy the soundtrack and play the very last selection - over and over - a heartwarming paean to the triumph of the courage and iron will of ordinary people which this film celebrates."
4 White Brilliant, Some Fancy Yellow, Some Pink & Champage
Otto Yuen | Toronto, ON Canada | 11/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a story about diamonds but a beautiful story about the father and son's bonding. It begins with the old dad played by Kirk Douglas, who always brags about having a dozen of magic diamonds hidding somewhere, worth millions of dollars. None of his children believes him. Until someday, his grandson listens and excites about it. He drags his dad (played by Dan Aykroyd) to help his grandfather to find those diamonds. Adventure begins. Throughout the journey, they not only fix up but also strengthen their father-and-son relationship all together. And eventually, they find the magic diamonds but with a twist --- a $5 cubic zirconia necklace and a deck of card printed with grandma's picture. Yet, at the end of the film, there's another twist.
Overall, this is a very good movie. It will make you laugh abit and cry abit. Just the DVD is lacking of some extra features, which only comes with closed captions, bios, and a bonus material "The Life and Times of Kirk Douglas".
*** Otto Yuen's DVD Special Rating for Diamonds ***
1. Film Rewatchability: MEDIUM
2. DVD Featurability: WEAK
3. Picture Quality: VERY GOOD
4. Sound Quality: VERY GOOD
(Reviewed by Otto Yuen, 4-Nov-2004)"