For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
Who ELSE can turn lasers into light shows, aircraft into armchairs, and high-tech into hijinks?
Chris is the top brain who just wants to party, Mitch is the 15-year-old college wiz kid. Supposedly hard at work on a lab project with a mysterious deadline, they still find time to use their genius to discover new ways to have fun.
It's kind of a moral imperative to love this film.
“The film was inspired and based loosely on actual events at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California” says IMDb and indeed, leafing through the movie’s references to real-life nerdy hijinks, and all the inside Caltech jokes, is an entertaining endeavour.
Not that it necessarily salvages the movie, though. Then again, I suppose it serves me right for trying to watch this 1980s production for the first time in 2012. And it is unmistakably 1980s, with the hair, the make-up, the awesome montages set to the pop hits, and many other things… none of which aged particularly well. Among them the plot, which after half the running time of pure unthrottled zaniness, wakes up and tries to develop some…
A fun, highly quotable movie from 1985. A college genius program at Pacific Tech and Mitch is the youngest student ever accepted. His roommate is the previous reigning genius the quirky and rebellious Chris Knight, played by Val Kilmer. Together they are working on a high-powered laser program completely unaware of their professor's plans. Oh, and their is a former student, Lazlo Hollyfeld living in their closet.
My favorite scene is the instant ice in the hallway...what fun I could have had with that in college. Chris Knight: "This? This is ice. This is what happens to water when it gets too cold. This? This is Kent. This is what happens to people when they get too sexually frustrated."
Good movie for a lazy weekend and when watching be sure to have plenty of popcorn.
I live my life by this film's teachings.
Can't go wrong with Kilmer. I don't like other actors because THEY'RE DANGEROUS.
I live my life by this film's teachings.
Interesting movie. Again, looking at this through the eyes of the 80s genre, it has an interesting mix of themes. It follows the Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds style where there's the cool jocks and the dorks, but then there's Val Kilmer's character who's kind of both. He's three stereotypes, really: he's cool, he's the slacker type, but he's also a geek who can build lasers and use math. At any rate, I respect these kinds of movies more than John Hughes movies, which makes the geeks into awful leeches.
The movie gets most of its charm from its humor, mostly through Kilmer's likeable character, but the plot is interesting at times as well, if a bit formulaic.
For a film about geniuses this is surprisingly goofy and facetious, reminding us that intelligence can inhabit any vessel and that we should never be too quick to Judge outward whimsy as a marker for what lies within. Starts out well with cult classic underpinnings but numbingly descends into genre as it loses its wit.
i think it's classic.
Part of a very odd, basically accidental double feature with In The Mouth of Madness. The movie's funny and a little ridiculous, but there's such a sweetness and warmth in its characterizations and treatment of science that it wins you over. How I wish I'd seen this in middle or high school.
Enjoyable '80s movie with some memorable scenes. Good cast. And Vilmos Zsigmond as DP?
I'm a child of the 80's, but lately I've realized there are plenty of movies from that decade that I have not seen. After hearing it referenced on a number of occasions recently, I decided to give Real Genius a shot. I thought it was a blast. Remember when Val Kilmer had this much enthusiasm? What I liked about this was that most of the characters were unique, weird, and quirky. Kent & Prof. Hathaway come across as stereotypical villains, but even they are not cardboard cutouts. Martha Coolidge directs this with a sense of fun and heart. Obviously it is dated and as a product of the 80's it is cheesy, but that only makes it increasingly watchable in my…
Sometimes you just gotta build a laser. That's mostly what this movie's about. Gabe Jarrett and Val Kilmer help each other be less uptight and slightly more uptight, respectively. William Atherton is great, as always, as a big jerk. Two of the best montages ever. Great final scene with the song Everybody Wants to Rule the World. Michelle Meyrink is bubbly and nice.
- Donnie Darko
- Morvern Callar
- Irma Vep
- Miami Blues
- Babe: Pig in the City
- When Harry Met Sally...
- Back to the Future
- Dumb and Dumber
- Singin' in the Rain
- My Neighbor Totoro
Amidst all the sadness and douchebaggery in the world, I thought I might do something a bit more uplifting.
- The Exterminating Angel
- Day for Night
- Ordinary People
- Big Night
Ever since I joined Letterboxd a few weeks ago, I have gotten around to watching some incredible films that I…