Thursday, January 7, 2010

Extraordinary Measures

Today is only the 7th day of the new year, and this is the 3rd movie I have seen in the theaters. I love going to the movies - I would go everyday if I could.

I was lucky enough to go to this advance screening of Extraordinary Measures, which isn't released until Jan 22nd. If you think I like going to movies, then you must know I LOVE going to advance screenings!

I wasn't sure how this movie would be. I haven't heard a lot of buzz about it but I had seen a preview for it. It is based on a true story. John & Aileen Crowley (Brenden Fraser & Keri Russell) have 3 children. Their 2 youngest have Pompe Disease, a severe neuromuscular disorder, which is fatal - at the time of their diagnosis they were not expected to live past the age of 9.

John has a MBA from Harvard Business School and a high position a Bristol-Myers but his daughter had a very close call and he decided he had do something - he couldn't just watch his children die. He has spent years researching this disease and found out about Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford), who has done a lot of research about this disease. He left messages for Dr. Stonehill but just can't get in touch with him so he drops everything and flies out to meet him.

Dr. Stonehill tells him he knows what they need to develop - what other scientist are not doing - that will help Pompe kids, but he doesn't have the funding. John (right on the spot) sets up the Pompe Foundation and decides to raise the money on his own - all $500,000 thousand of it. The thing is, he only has a month to do it. Does he reach his goal? Well, I won't spoil that for you, you'll have to see the movie to find out.

Eventually, Dr. Stonehill and John decide to start a bio-tech company together, which is later bought out by a larger bio-tech company. They know they can't cure John's kids but the goal is to save their lives - which is what John wants. Dr. Stonehill is a brilliant scientist, but he also knows that and as a result can be a difficult person to work with. He likes things his way, he does not like others having control of his work. He doesn't like the business end of the drug business - luckily John can handle that but he doesn't always like the way John handles things.

A drug is finally developed but then they have to do a clinical trial and John's kids don't qualify since they are only testing the drug on infants. John is heartbroken of course, all this work and his kids won't get the drugs they need. In addition, there is another problem, since John works for the drug company, it is a conflict of interest so even if his children were infants, they still wouldn't qualify because of his position. It was like a double-whammy.

To make matters worse, he is on a race against time since they've been told that one child had about a year to live and the other had even less. He doesn't know what to do now, but Dr. Stonehill has an idea.

Does his children get the medicine they need? Do they both live? Well... once again I won't reveal that especially since the movie hasn't been released.

It was a good movie - a nice steady pace. It is heart-wrenching at times and funny at times - Harrison Ford delivers a lot of great one-liners. I enjoyed it a lot as well did others that saw it.
A bit of trivia: Harrison Ford also directs this film and it is the first film to go into production for CBS films.

This is probably not a movie that would have been at the top of my list to go see but I am glad I did.
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  1. That one is on my list of "must sees" and I'm glad to read I might not be disappointed when I do see it! I usually have to wait for DVD though as I rarely go to the movies these day.

  2. It is nice to go out and see a movie once in awhile.
    Is this one of you Resolutions? To go out more? Sounds like a good one to me.

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my new blog. Actually you were the first.


  3. Sounds interesting...I wonder when it is out in NZ.

    My guess it that one kid makes it and one doesn't. I'm such a cynic! I'll have to see if I am right when it comes out!