"We're still at war, Plissken. We need him alive."

"I don't give a fuck about your war... or your president."

Real Genius

August 7th, 1985

REAL GENIUS is a Summer of 1985 movie that’s completely new to me. I’ve seen the cover and known for most of my life that it was a comedy starring a young Val Kilmer that certain people swore by, and that’s about it. So the whole tone and content was a surprise to me. I had no idea it was a college movie, or that it’s grounded in a little bit of serious world. It opens like a thriller, telling us about a CIA militarization-of-space initiative called the Crossbow Project, which is very similar to the Grazer One satellite in UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY. Using lasers, it could zero in on and assassinate people from space. But at this point it’s imcomplete, and they’re putting pressure on professor (and TV host) Jerry Hathaway (William Atherton, after playing a punchable prick in GHOSTBUSTERS, before playing one in DIE HARD) to push his team of young geniuses at the Pacific Technical University to crack that problem with the energy source so they can “have a working weapon by June.”

Another thing that surprised me is that Val Kilmer (TOP SECRET!)’s Chris Knight, the only character on the cover, is kind of the second lead. It wasn’t as shocking as learning that CADDYSHACK was about teenagers, but still, I wasn’t expecting it to center on 15-year old physics prodigy Mitch Taylor (Gabriel Jarret, “Boy at Funeral,” GOING APE!) who, while other whiz kids his age are staying home doing weird science with their horny friends, is personally recruited by Professor Hathaway to go to college and work on this project. He’s a genius, but very aware of how physically young and socially inexperienced he is, making this a very scary move. He’s heard legends of Chris, the only other person recruited to the team when he was a freshman, and can’t believe it when they turn out to be roommates.

Chris is every bit as brilliant as his reputation, but also a frustration to the professor, since he’s more interested in goofing around than fulfilling his academic potential. He’s introduced on a job recruiting visit wearing Vans, an “I ❤︎ TOXIC WASTE” ringer shirt and novelty antennas, which do not stop him from hitting on the boss’s assistant (Patti D’Arbanville), on account of he’s a rascal.

It struck me that Kilmer is playing a Johnny Depp character before such a thing existed. He knows he’s handsome but is way more interested in fucking with and confusing people than being cool. He’s got a Bugs Bunny sort of approach to human interaction, pretending everything is very normal while intentionally talking above and below and around everybody’s heads. He’s always aware of what other people expect or want from him, and goes out of his way to not give it to them.

I always thought that was some kind of sci-fi device that the movie is about him inventing, but it’s just a drone he flies through his dorm room in one scene at the beginning.

In many ways this is like a less broad, less rapey, less constantly-having-a-boner version of REVENGE OF THE NERDS. It shares an interest in showing that nerds can have a fun time in college, but it’s a more true-to-life version of nerds, and of fun. Yes, they’re smart and sometimes socially awkward, but they’re proud of their quirks; there are no popular kids to compete with. They love decorating everything with clutter and graffiti, and to apply their skills to elaborate goofs and pranks, usually of a less cruel nature than in the other movie. In one of the scenes I found most amusing, Chris and a guy named Ick (Mark Kamiyama) have somehow created a layer of ice in the hall and stairway of their dorm and people keep skating and sledding by while Mitch converses with them, still getting a hang of the school.

My actual favorite absurdist joke is that Mitch keeps seeing an older, tired-eyed longhair guy (Jon Gries, MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI) come into his dorm room and go into his closet. And then he’ll open the door and nobody’s in there. I actually think it would be funnier if there was never any explanation, but it’s also kind of cool that he eventually finds a secret passage/elevator/carnival ride to where this former student is squatting beneath the school.

Ooh, another good one is that some of the students set up tape recorders to record lectures instead of attending, and then one day Mitch shows up to a lecture hall with no people in it at all, just a bunch of devices recording a lecture by a reel-to-reel player.

In other ways it’s a more standard teen comedy, with multiple song montages to get through all the sciencing they gotta do. The soundtrack is mostly bands I’m not familiar with (The System, The Call, The C.S. Angels, The Textones) plus “One Night Love Affair” by Bryan Adams, “All She Wants to Do Is Dance” by Don Henley and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears For Fears (all of those from previously released albums).

Hathaway is a perfectly hatable villain with a disingenuous friendliness with civilians and open arrogance with students. He’s not only part of an immoral government project, but he’s skimming the till to build himself a new house. And he yells classist insults at the people building it. But for much of the movie the antagonist is his most ass-kissing student, Kent (Robert Prescott, BACHELOR PARTY). He’s way broader and less dimensional than the rest of the movie, a sniveling, tattletale shithead in Coke-bottle glasses, braces and preppy sweater. But I can’t lie, I sorta enjoyed seeing him lose.

Jarret as Mitch has a good Freaks & Geeks type of likable awkwardness. There’s a delicate balance because Chris is the fun character but he’s also obnoxious enough that Mitch remains relatable. Chris acts as his wacky mentor who yanks him out of the lab to a pool party he set up in a lecture hall. While Chris has the more standard ‘80s movie obsession with blondes and boobs, Mitch is only interested in Jordan (Michelle Meyrink, THE OUTSIDERS, VALLEY GIRL, REVENGE OF THE NERDS), the cute and literally manic weirdo who comes to the pool party to test out the re-breather she’s working on. The party is valuable learning for Mitch’s social life but also gets him in trouble with the school, which is something he actually cares about.

I was young in ’85 and I’ve never been to a school like this, so maybe it was different then and there, but there are a few things that I had a hard time buying. One was that 19-year-old Jordan falls for visibly-high-school-age Mitch and nobody seems to think anything of it. But maybe it’s just a fantasy for teenage boys to enjoy (along with him turning down sexual advances from a woman in her thirties). The other thing is the scene where Kent makes a recording of Mitch crying on the phone with his mom, and plays it to everyone in the cafeteria, and they laugh. Obviously people can be assholes, but I can’t picture this many college students openly enjoying the public humiliation of a kid. I think almost all of them would feel sorry for him and turn on Kent for doing that shit.

The pranks played by everybody else are more playful and subversive. The main one hinges on the random character detail that Hathaway hates popcorn. Good thing he mentioned that. Cinematic practical jokes were such a big part of ‘80s comedies such as the POLICE ACADEMY series (by some of the same writers). I like that here they’re not using them against the preppies, the rival frat or the uptight boss – well, they kind of are, but in the bigger picture they’re sort of against the military-industrial complex. They discover the true purpose of the project Hathaway has had them working on and they feel an obligation to sabotage it.

The American intelligence agencies and military are not only portrayed in a sinister light, but as a white dominated old boy’s club. In the opening scene the council of receding-hairline white dudes in suits headed by David Decker (Ed Lauter, DEATH WISH 3, THE ARTIST) sit at a mini DR. STRANGELOVE war room table to watch a movie about the Crossbow Project (with skateboard pioneer/future documentarian Stacy Peralta playing the shuttle pilot, for some reason). Asked his opinion, an Air Force General (Charles Shull) jokes, “I think there weren’t enough girls in it.” When George (Beau Billingslea, 10 TO MIDNIGHT), the one Black member of the council, objects to the secret program, another guy asks, “So it’s both immoral, and unethical?” And he keeps a straight face until the others laugh.

“When do we get it?”

George says “this is too much” and walks out right after the General makes a dick joke and right before Decker says he’s “afraid we’re gonna have to liberate George.” Then the rest of them settle in for “that film on blinding techniques.”

So it’s a college campus comedy with a point-of-view about the larger world, and an optimistic view that the scientific geniuses whose technology those systems depend on can rebel against them with puckish mischief. That’s how they make it entertaining, but the real message there is just that they should think and care about the applications of their work. That’s a little more than I expect in this genre. Good for them.

This is the fifth narrative feature by director Martha Coolidge, two years after her success with VALLEY GIRL. She took the screenplay by Neal Israel & Pat Proft (POLICE ACADEMY) and, after months of researching lasers, CIA policy and life at Caltech, had it rewritten by uncredited Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel (NIGHT SHIFT, SPLASH), then SCTV/WKRP writer Peter Torokvei, who did receive credit. From what I’ve read, the look of the dorm and all the writing on the walls and stuff comes from Caltech traditions, with students acting as consultants and extras, which explains why it rings more true than REVENGE OF THE NERDS college life.

Amazingly, the cinematographer is Vilmos Zsigmond, known for McCABE & MRS. MILLER, DELIVERANCE, THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, THE DEER HUNTER, HEAVEN’S GATE, BLOW OUT, etc. It looks pretty nice, but I wouldn’t have guessed, you know?

It’s only the third movie produced by Brian Grazer, his first not directed by Ron Howard.

REAL GENIUS was released on a Wednesday, so it hadn’t even been a week since the release of fellow teen science comedy WEIRD SCIENCE, which still made more money than it that weekend. But this one did make a little bit more than its modest budget and more importantly earned a pretty favorable reputation among those who did see it. Reviews were pretty good, with strong nerd advocate Roger Ebert seeming to appreciate it more than most. He liked that it “allows every one of its characters the freedom to be complicated and quirky and individual,” that Coolidge’s characters “don’t have to be John Belushi clones, or fraternity jocks, or dumb coeds. They can flourish in all of their infinite variety, as young people with a world of possibilities and a lot of strange, beautiful notions.”

Yeah, this is a unique twist on the college comedy, with some laughs and a pretty good attitude. I can see why it stuck with so many people.

NOTES:

Summer of 1985 connections:

There’s a wall that has a picture of (I think) Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and another one of Elvira. Both of those people appear in another comedy that was released wide that Friday and will be reviewed here soon.

Pop culture:

Like several other Summer of 1985 movies there’s a Star Wars reference – this time to Yoda, not “May the Force be with you.” One of Chris’s quirky t-shirts is for The Monkees. But there aren’t many visual references to popular music like in most of these ’85 comedies, and none of the modern association between nerds and sci-fi.

Legacy:

Martha Coolidge (director) followed this with the pilot for DIRTY HARRY/Hunter parody show Sledge Hammer!. But she did quite a few theatrical movies – PLAIN CLOTHES (1988), RAMBLING ROSE (1991), LOST IN YONKERS (1993), ANGIE (1994), THREE WISHES (1995), OUT TO SEA (1997), THE PRINCE AND ME (2004), MATERIAL GIRLS (2006) – before settling into her current career directing TV shows including CSI, Shark, Weeds, Psych, Madam Secretary and Angie Tribeca (a fitting followup to Sledge Hammer!). She also got Emmy and DGA nominations for her 1999 HBO movie INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE starring Halle Berrry, and was the first female president of the DGA (2002-2003).

Pat Proft (screenwriter) became the writer of the NAKED GUN and HOT SHOTS! movies, plus BRAIN DONORS, HIGH SCHOOL HIGH, MR. MAGOO, WRONGFULLY ACCUSED and SCARY MOVIE 3-5.

Neal Israel (screenwriter) later directed COMBAT ACADEMY, SURF NINJAS and a bunch of Disney Channel shows. Somehow he got a producer credit on FINDING NEVERLAND (2004). As an actor he appeared in IT’S ALIVE III: ISLAND OF THE ALIVE.

Torokvei (screenwriter) came out as a trans woman in 2001 and went by PJ Torokvei. BACK TO SCHOOL, ARMED AND DANGEROUS, CADDYSHACK II and GUARDING TESS are among the movies she wrote before her death in 2013.

Gabriel Jarret (Mitch) went on to play the guy who gets his nose broken by Daniel in THE KARATE KID PART III (1989).

Seven years later Dean Devlin (Milton) made his screenwriting debut with UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, and was Roland Emmerich’s writing/producing partner for STARGATE, INDEPENDENCE DAY and GODZILLA. He also directed GEOSTORM and BAD SAMARITAN.

In 2014, Adam Sandler’s company Happy Madison announced they were doing a REAL GENIUS TV series, but it hasn’t happened so far, not even on the USA Network.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 6th, 2020 at 10:13 am and is filed under Comedy/Laffs, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

33 Responses to “Real Genius”

  1. This being from the same writer as BACK TO SCHOOL makes a lot of sense in ways I’m having trouble putting my finger on (setting aside).

  2. Aaaaaaaaaand another US cult classic that nobody cares about in Germany. It’s maybe unnecessary to point this out every single time, but it fascinates me, how certain things capture the imagination of people in one part of the world, but land with a thud in another.

    I remember seeing parts of it on TV back in the 90s and was kinda excited to see that Jon Gries, who was on THE PRETENDER, one of my favourite shows at this time, was the guy in the closet, but apart from that, I don’t remember anything.

    Coincidentally I recently rewatched SLEDGE HAMMER and judging by the audio commentary in the pilot (“just” from creator Alan Spencer and not Martha Coolidge, sadly), Coolidge is the kind of director, who would always bring some extra stuff to it. For example she saw it as an opportunity to prove that she can direct action and surprised everybody with how much care she put into the final shootout of their silly comedy pilot. So it doesn’t suprise me at all that she did some serious research for this movie.

  3. Jon Gries has had kind of an interesting career. Mostly in supporting roles. He went from playing Christopher Walken’s muscle in THE RUNDOWN to Uncle Rico in NAPOLEON DYNAMITE in less than a year. A few years before that he was the lead in a very quirky indie, JACKPOT, about a guy traveling around singing in karaoke bars. Much more recently he was on FX’s THE BRIDGE, playing a sort of dim-witted but dangerous avenging angel type.

  4. I’m starting to think maybe Germany isn’t a gigantic marketplace for American comedy or something.

  5. I think this movie was my introduction to Val Kilmer and his swagger (ex: when asked if he still runs and he replies, “Only when chased.”) may have influenced my preferences more than I realized until just right now.

    I still occasionally use the quote, “As Socrates once said – I drank what?”

  6. MaggieMayPie beat me to one of my favorite movie quotes ever. Although the final line in an exchange between Kilmer and Atherton’s “girlfriend” comes close: “A girl’s gotta have standards”.

  7. grimgrinningchris

    August 6th, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Couple thoughts first…

    1) It is a crime that Jarrett never got to play Oscar Wilde. The resemblance is UNCANNY

    2) This is a favorite of mine. Like Top Ten. To the point that I own an “I <3 TOXIC WASTE" t-shirt. Though it has certainly gained its fans and cult status via cable and video… I still think it stands neck and neck with 3 O'Clock High and Last American Virgin as most underrated teen/college comedies of the 80's.

    3) The only movie of its kind ever that is not SLOBS vs SNOBS, but SMART PEOPLE vs SMART PEOPLE THAT ARE ASSHOLES

  8. grimgrinningchris

    August 6th, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    onthewall

    All good stuff, but I will always know Gries as having played werewolves in TWO DIFFERENT 80s movies… Monster Squad and Fright Night 2… and for his recurring role on Seinfeld as a homeless guy

  9. grimgrinningchris

    August 6th, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    snowden

    She was actually the daughter of a military guy that Atherton’s character was meeting with.
    Also, that is Deborah Foreman, she of Coolidge’s previous joint, Valley Girl… and an unheralded 80s scream queen for her roles in APRIL FOOLS DAY and WAXWORK

    She’s a super in demand artist and graphic designer now. I wish she did more con appearances.

  10. Love this movie! Also, I didn’t realize how close to WS this came out. Mitch and Wyatt are so similar to me as these very bland nerd POV characters and it’s crazy that they came out less than a week apart.

    Speaking of other releases less than a week from this one: I can only think of one 1985 movie with Dee Snider in it and I’m excited to read the review of what is probably the most unique comedy of the 80s in my opinion

  11. grimgrinningchris

    August 6th, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    Dyroyt

    I’m positive you’re right. And the other person mentioned backs that up – even though she doesn’t appear in it as “herself”.

  12. Majestyk, nah, it’s actually a big market for American comedy, or American movies in general. 1984’s most successful movie in Germany was POLICE ACADEMY for example, but that’s what makes it so fascinating when for example something like PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE isn’t even popular enough to get a DVD release here.

  13. Yeah this one was rewatched constantly in my house. I’m actually on a quarantine vacation with my folks right now, and we’ve quoted it non stop since arrival. (Beats talking about politics and weather)

    Kilmer had the 1-2 punch of Top Secret and this and solidified himself as a comic god in my opinion. Then never made comedies again. (Not intentionally anyway). Still I can watch this repeatedly and love it.

    There were a bunch of sci-fi teen flicks this summer, and I always liked this best and this review made me realize why. Thanks Vern.

  14. 2 things forgot to mention: the Thomas Newman score is awesome and I always wished for a release of it.

    And I could’ve sworn Gabe Jarrett shows up as a pilot in either Executive Decision or The Rock (one of the pilots charged with having to kill civilians before our heroes save the day at the last minute) but imdb.com does not confirm this. Fairly certain end credits do. Either way I was jazzed when I recognized him as a NASA tech in Apollo 13.

    Thats all.

  15. Yeah, this was that weird week in August 1985 when THREE young-people and-science comedies came out: Weird Science, Real Genius and My Science Project. Hopefully Vern has a review for MSP headed our way too; that one is easily the most obscure of the three.

    In my book Real Genius was ok. I don’t have the same affection for it that a lot of other people do but it’s a little harmless fun and fine for what it is. William Atherton is really great in it in particular though. He is so good at playing a particular kind of jerk, and this movie gave him more runway to do it than Ghostbusters or the Diehard movies did. He was the perfect villain for a story like this.

  16. As a guy who went to the Canadian analogue of Caltech, I thought this captured the atmosphere really well. So many American high-school and college movies, with their cool kids cliques and frats and football games, are completely alien to anything I ever experienced. With the cliques especially, at least the regimented and stratified kind you see in John Hughes movies — well, I’m dubious that those really exist anywhere. But the people in REAL GENIUS — smart, nerdy without being Trekkie caricatures, some of them cool, some of them uptight pricks — I knew people like that. The film’s a farcical teen comedy with scifi elements, but it’s grounded in something I recognise.

    (Except for the constant pranks. But maybe those are more of an engineering department thing?)

    When I first saw this I was the same age as Mitch, and the romantic age-gap didn’t bother me, but I sure notice it now. Not quite as creepy as it would be if the sexes were reversed, but still uncomfortable. The filmmakers must have been vaguely aware that it might be an issue, because they’re careful to set all that stuff after Mitch has had his 16th birthday.

  17. Happy Birthday, Broddie, if you’re reading this.

  18. “It was hot, and I was hungry!”

    Ah, Kent.

  19. As for CJ, this one means nothing to me; IMDB doesn’t even list a UK release date, which at least it does for good old West Germany. So I thought I’d have nothing to say.

    But I have to ask how Sledge Hammer! (note the exclamation mark) holds up. It’s not like it was a big hit in the UK or anything, and when I tell people about it, which I do whenever David Rasche turns up in something – Yes it was a sitcom based around a Dirty Harry-style cop – they struggle to believe me, but back in the day it seemed funny to me and genuinely appreciative of its sources, which I guess links up with those commentary remarks. Much of my late ’80s wardrobe owed much too much to Sledge Hammer (the character not the show, hence no exclamation mark).

    Absolutely no one here believes me when I tell them that Matt Stone and Trey Parker made a sitcom based in the Bush Whitehouse called That’s My Bush! (another exclamation mark). I’m pretty sure it never screened here; I’ve only seen a few episodes while on trips in France.

  20. I rewatched this recently as an adult, and enjoyed it rather thoroughly. I did think the part with the girl who initially appears to be groomed for the audience as Kilmer’s interest, but then instead goes on the “night consultations” with Professor Villain, felt a little underdeveloped, as if it went through some script cuts and changes.

    I remember watching this in childhood on TV in Poland; it was shown every once in a while. It wasn’t as massively popular as “War Games”, but much more than “The Manhattan Project”. And my little self thought of those three as my own thematic trilogy.

  21. SLEDGE HAMMER!, which by the way is a huge cult classic in Germany, does hold up really well, although the 2nd season, that focuses more on spoofing all kinds of movies, from old Bogart flicks to Robocop, is not as good as the first. I would even say it is surprisingly “unproblematic” in today’s climate, since it’s more a parody of Hollywood’s glamorizing of police brutality, although of course one can argue that Sledge is also supposed to be likeable, despite being a violent moron. But let’s not start a discussion about this here. To be honest, some jokes about Sledge’s ignorance toward the rights of suspects became “too real”, including a line about choking suspects, that actually got a big “Oh fuck!” out of me this time. So yeah, maybe the show is, at least in parts, more timely and satirical than it was 30 years ago.

    Apart from that: It’s still funny as fuck most of the time and even the two dreaded “Hey, let’s explore the feelings of our one-note joke characters and pretend any of the viewers give a shit about that” episodes work better, than these things usually do. (The 2nd one, which is also the series finale, even has a surprisingly heartbreaking moment between Sledge and his gun.)

  22. Turns out it’s David Rasche’s birthday today (76)! I last saw him in IMPASTOR, an enjoyable little sitcom that sadly ended on a cliffhanger.

    I think my favourite joke on SLEDGE HAMMER is when he recommends the parents of a kidnapped new born name him Rob.

  23. Yeah this one really stands the test of time on a rewatch- it’s likable and funny with a ton of memorable scenes and characters, it flies by quickly, and Kilmer is amazing. I always considered Real Genius, Willow, and Tombstone a trilogy of sorts (The “Val Kilmer steals the movie so much as the rogue-ish sidekick that I think he might actually be the main character” Trilogy). So yes, now I think about it Vern may be onto something and this might totally be the genesis of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow right here.

    Sidenote: I taped this off of Disney Channel when I was a kid (which is weird b/c it’s not a Disney movie) and that VHS tape was the version I re-watched for years – now everytime I see the real version with the mild language/innuendos back in, I’m always like “Whoa! Whoa! Unnecessary!”. Other note: I really like that even though Kent was a giant asshole to them the entire movie, they seem really worried about him getting hurt at the end.

    Also: not to be that guy but “One Night Love Affair” is by Bryan Adams, not Don Henley. I don’t know if I can hear that song or Henley’s “All She Wants to do is Dance” without thinking of this movie.

  24. This is the rare 80s cult movie that I have no particular attachment to. For some reason, I never saw it as a kid and I’ve only watched it once as an adult. I liked it but it didn’t imprint on me the way, say, WEIRD SCIENCE did. The key to these 80s movies is their rewatchabiity, which burns the lines into your brain and makes them seem much funnier than they actually are. I should probably make it a point to watch it a few more times just to keep my 80s cred up to date.

  25. One thing some friends of mine in HS had shorthand with was the scene with Kent in the house talking to “God”. I’ve only ever seen it on cable so never on DVD, so one thing I clearly remember is how it goes into the full widescreen again when Jerry goes back to his house, how much more obviously cinematic it looked when in the right aspect ratio. I’ll have to rent this someday to see it as such.

    Atherton gives a really charming performance here, compared to his two more famous roles where you suspect this guy is a prick right away. Someone mentioned Bugs Bunny in reference to Kilmer’s performance. It’s funny how Bugs is in a lot of comedic leads from around this time, as much as say someone like Bill Murray, who’s roles in movies like STRIPES was a template for leading men throughout the decade.

  26. If I was Quentin Tarantino, I would point out that Jon Gries is son of Tom Gries, VERY prolific television (and sometimes film) director in the ’60s/’70s (AND the Helter Skelter mini-series that got Steve Railsback typecast as Manson for the rest of his career)

    onthewall2983 makes mention of Jackpot, which I fucking hated when I left the theater. Then decided maybe wasn’t so bad on the way home, which then made me go see it again the next day where I found it hilarious. I bought the DVD. Weird movie.

  27. Tom Gries made two very decent Bronson movies in the mid seventies; BREAKOUT and BREAKHART PASS. And one of Raquel Welch’ best: 100 RIFLES in 1069.

  28. Isn’t 100 Rifles the movie that Burt Reynolds admits to doing an Eli Wallach impersonation through the whole thing?

    Anyway, I read Heston’s autobiography, and on one hand he kind of disses Tom Gries (he says that he didn’t possess the temperment of a great director) BUT he also states that the Will Penny script was one of the best he’s ever read. So it seems that Tom is batting .500 in Chuck’s book

  29. You may know the CS Angels better as The Comsat Angels (later Dream Command), an English post-punk also-ran that had some decent tunes. Their turn to The CS Angels was the start of their swing at the big leagues which never came to be but that went on through the 90’s.

    I have fond memories of Real Genius. I haven’t revisited it in awhile but glad it’s less hateful than I feared it would be.

  30. neal2zod, I really like your Val Kilmer trilogy. Though not the same in terms of stealing the show, his HEAT supporting character has a central-character-type impact for me also.

    The sense of humor of REAL GENIUS also holds up well for me. I’d never thought about Mitch having a FREAKS AND GEEKS vibe, but now I totally see it. But it is a bummer to think that the villainy of the REAL GENIUS villains is that they want to use new tech to basically do drone strikes, knowing that the most progressive presidential administration of the past several decades was also cool with that/couldn’t find a better solution.

  31. I’m not German but I’ve never even heard of this one.

    Does sound like a fun mix though.

  32. jojo, I guess it is. Nice that you bring up that aspect and not his behaviour towards Raquel.

  33. You know what’s weird about this is I never realized until this review that the guy who played Mitch was really a kid in this movie. I figured it was the usual deal, kind of like Ralph Macchio, that he was like a 25 year-old guy who kind of looked and sounded a little young. Color me surprised to see that he actually growed up after this and appeared as an actual adult as NASA guy in Apollo 13.

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