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King of California
2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Mike Cahill

Written By:
Mike Cahill

Cast:
Michael Douglas, Evan Rachel Wood, Allisyn Ashley Arm, Gerald Emerick, Max Lee, Angel Oquendo, Will Rothhaar, Mousa Kraish, Branden Weslee Kong, Tarri Markell, Wes Sabo, Anne L. Nathan, Ashley Greene, Paul Lieber, Anna Khaja, Ho-Kwan Tse, Victor J. Ho, Willis Burks II, Jeanie Hackett, Willis Chung, Greg Davis Jr., Jeanie Hackett, Laura Kachergus, David J. O'Donnell


 
King of California (2007)
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Movie Review by Zara
February 11th, 2008

Favorite Movie Quote: ""Naked Chinese Guys... Heh....""

It's charming, it's quirky, it's (somewhat) original, it made me actually like Michael Douglas again and it's centered in my home state of California. What wouldn't there be to like?

Well, sometimes it tries a little too hard to be quirky. This seems to follow the SIDEWAYS trend of attempting to convince the states with no oceans bordering them that us West Coasters are just as cutting-edge as the New Yorkers, but in our own unique style.

Aside from that, the movie has this way of providing hope, making people who have previously been diagnosed as being mentally unstable look like the sane ones in a world where we build upon buildings and destroy real orange groves so that people can live in overpriced homes that on streets named Orange Grove Lane where they can't afford their second mortgage.

Douglas plays the very strange and bipolar father to a teenage daughter who has been forced to grow up too quickly and tend to herself, playing the system like the broken violin that it is. He teaches her the history of California that they don't talk about in books, all with the explanation that you should "look it up" if you don't believe that it's true.

The scene where the young daughter takes her version of the mission to school (This is something they force all 5th grade students in California to do, construct a replica of the local missions as a class project... and I am SOOOO doing what is done here when it's my daughter's turn if not outright protesting violently against it since I'm 1/8th Chumash myself) that her father has lovingly helped her to make and explains to the teacher that the dead figures represented within the mission's walls are the Chumash Indians who died of diseases that were brought to California by the missionaries who were attempting to force Christianity upon them.... well, I loved that scene.

It's really quite a pity that this movie didn't get more recognition, or at the very least a wider release in theaters when it came out last year. You'd think that in of all places for it to financially benefit from a wide-ish release, it would have been here in California.

It's smart, charming, touching, well-acted, and just tells a story that you want to believe in. It creates an existence that was questioned and then proven true. It's very good, yes. Like rice.

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