An unstable dad who after getting out of a mental institution tries to convince his daughter that theres spanish gold buried somewhere under suburbia. Studio: First Look Home Entertain Release Date: 05/20/2008 Starring:... more » Michael Douglas Evan Rachel Wood Run time: 93 minutes Rating: Pg13« less
This movie was fun to watch, the acting was great. Michael Douglas, especially, was awesome. The story was an interesting concept, and I'm sure somewhat true for some kids. I did find it hard to believe that the gorgeous teen girl had no friends,but overall we enjoyed this movie and the messages it sends regarding relationships, being human, and what is "important" and "real".
David H. (R8erDave) from REDDING, CA Reviewed on 8/19/2012...
Great movie, exciting and surprisingly funny. Charlie maybe a little crazy but he just wants to live the american dream. Miranda is just happy her dad is back in her life crazy or not, and she finds herself joining Charlie's outrageous antics. The ending was unpredictable. I enjoyed this movie and would recommend to anyone who likes a good comedy movie.
Mary S. from CLARKSVILLE, AR Reviewed on 11/16/2010...
I really enjoyed this movie. It was different, it used your emotions to understand the plot. Of course the actors were first rate.
KAT O. Reviewed on 11/17/2009...
I LOVED THIS MOVIE! I usually don't enjoy things with MD, but now I do! I hope he keeps making movies like these. Hilarious! I watched it so many times and its good every time ha ha ha!
Victoria G. from SAN ANSELMO, CA Reviewed on 2/25/2009...
unexpected, charming, funny good movie...
Danielle T. (sugarkane) from FITCHBURG, WI Reviewed on 6/27/2008...
I really liked this movie! I think Michael Douglas really excels at playing far out characters like this, he was great as the bipolar Charlie. Evan Rachel Wood is a great young talent, I expect to see her accepting an Oscar one day. You will like this movie if you enjoy character driven,and unusual storylines.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Tired Script but a Platform for the Skillful Acting of Dou
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"KING OF CALIFORNIA may not break any records for innovation of thought or script but it is a tightly made little film that allows veteran actor Michael Douglas a lollipop of a wacky role to remind us that he does have comedic talent! It also gives 20-year old Evan Rachel Wood the opportunity to compete with a Pro and come out an equal - quite a feat for such a young actress. Written and directed by Mike Cahill the story does have appeal, especially since it is set in Santa Clarita, California, a rapidly developing 'hinterland' that is suffering from the effects of too rapid industrialization, changing from a picturesque remnant of California raw beauty into yet another perky little town.
Charlie (Michael Douglas) has been in and out of mental institutions for his wacky behavior. His life as a jazz bassist and entrepreneur has always veered off the map, leaving him alone with his only daughter Miranda who has survived her father's irresponsible life by keeping the old family home (in the midst of a huge housing development) with the money she makes double shifting at the local MacDonalds. When Charlie is released his focus is on discovering the gold left behind by Catholic priests in the mid 1600s, a fact he has researched while hospitalized, on the Internet, and from the journal of one of the priests. Miranda slowly buys into Charlie's madcap scheme and adventure as a gold hunter and the caper results in a bonding between father and daughter that has been teetering on the brink of disaster for years. The manner in which Charlie, Miranda, and an old ex-con friend Pepper (Willis Burks II) go after the treasure provides most of the energy of the film.
Yes, there are bits and pieces of this project that have been done many times before (and often better), but the pleasure of KING OF CALIFORNIA lies in the bravura and touching performances by Douglas and Wood. This is a pleasant excursion of a movie, worth an evening's gander. Grady Harp, February 08"
A really fun movie
Mark Gray | Holland, PA United States | 11/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You can read the synapses above and I can't do any better so I'll just give my opinion.
I enjoyed this movie a lot. The wacky-father straight-laced daughter interactions are what make it so fun. I also loved Michael Douglas' character in this film. His character reminds me a lot of a castaway (both in appearance and in his quirky mannerisms). There are tinges of other movie genres in this as well but the director puts the whole project together in a good way that gives is a fresh twist and feeling.
This is a great movie for a Saturday night with a bowl of popcorn and you'll probably tell your friends about it too (I did)."
A rare indy treat
Nathian K. Gormley | Toronto Canada | 11/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These days, the lines between an independent film and a hollywood film are becoming more and more blurred. Films like Little Miss Sunshine and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind boast that indy feel, the themes and look and ideals that come with those trappings, yet they pack some real star power both on and off screen.
Kind of California is another one of those films, but after watching this great little gem of a film, I realized it really doesn't matter if this film is more of an indy flick or a Hollywood flick... in the end, when the movie is this good, who cares?
We could use more films like King of California, no matter who makes them. Michael Douglas and Evan Rachel Wood are fantastic here, at times quirky and manic, other times truly sad and tragic characters. I find it hard to believe anyone could not fall in love with these characters, and in turn not completely enjoy this film.
A must-see, and a must-buy, one of the better surprises of the year, hands down.
Head Of Lettuce Pray For The State Of Mind, California
El Lagarto | Sandown, NH | 04/04/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"(First of all, full disclosure. I wanted to like this movie because the subject matter is close to my heart. I am Manic Depressive; indeed I even wrote a memoir about it, Invisible Driving, which is available right here on Amazon. And I have a daughter who struggled to deal with the havoc my manic episodes caused. So it's possible I'm being unduly critical simply because I expected more.)
Nice to see Michael Douglas playing a character that makes less than $1,000,000 a year. His performance is actually very good, although he never plays more than one note throughout the entire movie. He certainly looks deranged, and has learned how to convincingly show the whites of his eyes. With nasty beard and ridiculous clothes he has that, "I sleep in a culvert" look down pat.
Evan Rachel Wood is stellar as his daughter Miranda, a girl who has had to become an adult too quickly. Abandoned by mother, virtually abandoned by her father, Miranda has brilliantly learned how to work the system and hang onto the house while her dad cools his heels in the cracker factory. It's an interesting dynamic, the inappropriately mature teenager and the mentally ill, irresponsible parent, but the film never delivers on its potential.
The failure of King of California is due entirely to writer and first time director Mike Cahill who seems completely lost at all times. He doesn't know if he wants to be serious about mental illness or portray it as cute and quirky - he flips between showing Miranda walking in on a botched suicide attempt - dark - and dad yucking it up with power tools in Cosco - zany! More ludicrous still is the rather magical transformation of Miranda from rightfully bitter and angry to cheerfully sharing daddy's idiotic quest. Cahill is so adrift in his tiny tale that even he does not know if there is any gold at the end of Charlie's rainbow.
There isn't, literal or metaphorical."
Michael Douglas and Evan Rachel Wood work well together
Cubist | United States | 02/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hoping to replicate the overwhelming positive critical response he received for his performance in Wonder Boys, Michael Douglas plays another quirky outsider in King of California. Despite being produced by Alexander Payne (Sideways (Widescreen Edition)), the film enjoyed a brief theatrical run and finally makes its debut on DVD.
Michael Douglas is excellent as the wildly eccentric Charlie. There is a mischievous glint in his eyes when he feels like he is getting closer to the treasure. The older Douglas gets and the more films he does, the more comfortable an actor he becomes. He delivers a nuanced performance that never veers off into showy scenery-chewing territory. With his mountain man beard, Douglas certainly looks the part of an ex-mental patient and, at times, seems to be channeling Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski (Widescreen Collector's Edition).
Evan Rachel Wood plays Charlie's extremely patient daughter and narrator of this unusual tale and so, naturally, our sympathies lie with her because she's, y'know, the sane voice of reason. Miranda is the responsible one to Charlie's childish antics. Wood is the ideal foil to Douglas, the straight man to his kooky eccentric.
King of California belongs to Douglas and the film sinks of swims based on how well he sells his character's mad quest - kind of like Robin Williams' traumatized bum in The Fisher King. And while Mike Cahill is no Terry Gilliam, Douglas is more than up for taking on this wild ride with the charisma to draw us in, much like Charlie convinces Miranda to follow him.
There is an audio commentary by writer/director Mike Cahill, cinematographer Jim Whitaker, production designer Dan Bishop and first assistant director Richard L. Fox. Cahill talks about how a lack of money forced him to rewrite the opening scene and improve on it. Everyone takes turns pointing out the various locations used in the film which is as boring as it sounds. They also point out dry technical details like the wonders of colour timing. It's amazing that this commentary can be so dull with all of these skilled artists at hand but unfortunately this is the case.
"The Making of The King of California" your standard electronic press kit with soundbites from the cast and crew mixed with clips from the film. Douglas claims that this was one of the best scripts he has ever read and compares his character to Don Quixote. Cast and crew talk about the film's two main characters and gush about the film in general.
"Outtakes" is a fairly amusing collection of blown lines, miscues and goofs.