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Extraordinary Measures (DVD Review)

7 May, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey

Street 5/18/10
Sony Pictures
Box Office $12.1 million
$28.95 DVD, $34.95 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG’ for thematic material, language, and a mildly suggestive moment.
Stars Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser, Keri Russell.

Based on a book (which in turn is based on a true story) Extraordinary Measures asks a very simple question: How far would you go for your children, especially when everyone tells you there’s no hope?

John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) is the father of two young children with Pompe disease, a genetic disorder that damages muscle and nerve cells. Told by doctors that both children will be dead within a year, Crowley refuses to give in, tracking down a reclusive medical researcher (Harrison Ford) whose studies could hold the key to a cure. Working together, they hunt down the seed money to start a corporation dedicated to curing the disease, going head to head with the medical establishment, and each other, along the way.

This is a sweet and uplifting flick, a perfect date DVD, sometimes funny, often poignant, and it’s almost completely carried by Fraser. He’s purely awesome as Crowley, a desperate, restless, driven, risk-taking father who’ll do anything to cure his kids. You’re rooting for him from the start.

The only problem here is Ford’s Dr. Robert Stonehill, an abrasive ass who’s hard to be around in the film, and hard to watch as a viewer. He’s twice divorced for a reason. I’ve loved most every character Ford has ever played, but Stonehill is such a complete jerk, I found myself hoping he’d cross in front of oncoming traffic, the kids and a cure be damned.

Keri Russell as Crowley’s wife is pretty much a non-factor in the film, though Meredith Droeger, playing their sick daughter, is cute and works wonders with the few lines she’s given.

In the bonus area, most of the deleted scenes were good cuts, though one especially funny scene could have been left in. A heart-warming featurette about the real-life father’s journey is outstanding, if a bit on the short side. The making-of featurette is high-production and a great summary of the story. Previews are also included, though absent is any commentary. It would have been nice to have the real Crowley sit down with the director and actors and examine the movie for us.

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