Random Movie Discussion: Real Genius

Scott Weinberg

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In an effort to spark some movie talk amongst the HTF's finest cinematic minds, I came up with the (admittedly flimsy) concept of a Random Movie Discussion. If the responses warrant it, I'll mention a movie picked randomly from my brain and we can discuss that title.
Simple guidelines: Respect everyone's opinions, particularly those you don't agree with. And don't assume that if someone doesn't like a movie that means they didn't "get it". Man, that steams my clams.
My first choice is the fondly-remembered teen comedy classic Real Genius. Not surprisingly, I love this movie. Val Kilmer offers one of his most charming performances from a career that generally displays very little charm. The supporting cast is strong, especially everyone's favorite "mean jerk" character actor Bill Atherton.
But enough from me. Are you among the many who love this one? Or do you think it's overrated by us pathetic 80's-lovin' GenXers?
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Scott
Check out my Movie Reviews at Epinions. Help support my debilitating DVD addiction!
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Tim Hoover

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Ahh, yes. I've almost worn my VHS out! This is actually a pretty realistic depiction of college life. Remember the guy wigging out and screaming during a cram session? I have actually witnessed one of those happening.
"They're beauticians?"
"No, STUDENT beauticians!"
 

Kenneth

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I always loved this movie. Some of my favorite quotes:
"Just think, considering the type people you are and the jobs you'll work at, this might be the only time in your lives to have sex" (the scary part is that none of them argue with this
)
"I guess it goes from God, to Jerry, to you, to the cleaners"

I saw this movie a couple of times in the theater, and a bunch on pay cable and VHS. Alas, it's not on DVD yet. Too bad they can't make more thoughtful teen comedies like this anymore.
Cheers,
Kenneth
 

John Thomas

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Take 1...
[Edited last by John Thomas on August 22, 2001 at 07:32 AM]
 

John Thomas

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Realistic depiction of college?

Creation of high-powered lasers that can be fired from orbit targeting individuals on the planet (but were targeted at something else for humorous effect; some may not have seen this yet)
"Yeah man, like I skipped that class entirely."

I know what you're getting at however. A great 80's movie (yes, I am a GenXer, if you must know..) that ranks up there with Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off as far as 80's sentimentality. I saw this movie soon after it came out while I was in junior high school and my views of college changed drastically

"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."
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My Top 10 of 2000 My Top 10 of 2001
 

Michael Reuben

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The following is spoiler-protected for the sake of people who don't want to learn about the movie's ending.
Spoiler:I love the film, but I can never watch the conclusion with blanching. After the popcorn shatters every window in the house (and there are a lot of them), kids go tumbling through the popcorn piles like they were autumn leaves. Just after the credits end, they probably all discover that they've been cut to ribbons by broken glass.
Sometimes it's hard to suspend disbelief.

M.
 

Jonathan Gross

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This movie is one of my all time favorites. I can't tell you how many times I have seen it. I am hoping for a DVD of this one with maybe a commentary by Kilmer. That would be great. Here's hoping.
 

Joel Turpin

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Yes!
One of my favorite comedies. I find it more comparable to the rapid-fire dialogue comedies of the 1930's/40's than to its contemporary 80's teen films. Yes, there are a number of elements which would be out of place in the real world, but I think that they're consistent within the fictional setting in which they're placed. It's just nice to see an American comedy where the characters are intelligent, and even treat the audience as though it's smart too.
Joel
"Why am I the only one who has that dream?"
 

Sean Cauley

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Count me in as a big fan of this movie. For the record, I'm 25 (which is, for most people's purposes, Generation X, even though it is in reality just after that group and before "Generation Y", but that's a rant for another time
).
While I don't think the slapstick elements have held up well, at least for my tastes (basically everything that happens after they learn the purpose of the laser kind of wears me out to watch these days), I do have to agree that the rapid-fire dialogue is some of the best in the genre, and that Val Kilmer was really suited to it.
"All of my filth is arranged in alphabetical order. This, for example, is under 'H' for 'toy.'"
"If there's ever anything I can do for you--or, more to the point, do to you--you let me know."
"Can you hammer a six-inch spike through a board with your penis?"
"Not right now."
"I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, 'I drank what?'"
And I, for one, am a fan of the "random movie discussion" idea. I hope we can keep it going!
 

Bruce Hedtke

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"Kent puts his name on his license plates"
"My mother does the same thing to my underwear"
"Your mother puts license plates in your underwear? How do you sit?"
As mentioned previous, dialogue like that harkens back to the joke a minute comedies that Chaplin and The Marx Brothers put out. I mean, I can picture Groucho himself uttering just such a thing. And Real Genius is just so darn easygoing, it's a treat to watch. Never dull or without filler to keep the story moving, it also doesn't waste alot of screen time with concepts not revolving around the central theme. It just never gets sidetracked. And bouncing that off films put out today, it's a rare gem indeed. Todays films just want to become 3 hour bonanzas of hectic editing. Real Genius makes me recall when movies were more simple and infinitley fun. Wonderfully entertaining.
Real Genius

Bruce
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Rob Willey

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Great flick. Extremely funny and partially shot at my alma mater, Occidental College. It's great to see the intelligent kids as the cool ones for once.
Way overdue for a DVD release.
"It's coming, it's coming."
"Coming!? It's not even breathing hard!"
Rob
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Alphonse Brown

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This is one of my all-time favorite comedies. Everytime I look at it, it just brightens my day!
Favorite lines:
"This is Jesus, Kent!"
.
.
.
"...and stop playing with yourself!"
"Wow, you really are Jesus!"
 

Inspector Hammer!

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Oh man, I am SO glad this discussion came up! Something has been bothering me for a few weeks now, can someone PLEASE tell me the name of the Brian Adams song that was playing during the pool party scene when Mitch gets caught partying by William Atherton? It's been driving me mad!
My favorite line in the movie, one that cracks me up everytime...
Chris "Mitch, here taste this, come on just taste it, you won't hurt my feelings."
Mitch (tasting the substance) "Uggh!"
Chris "Too sweet?"
Mitch "No that's aweful! What is it?"
Chris "I don't know I found it in one of the labs."
Also...
William Atherton "I want to start seeing more of you in class."
Chris "Fine. I'll gain weight."
!!!
I love this film!
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Warner Bros. is officially dead to me.
[Edited last by John Williamson on August 23, 2001 at 01:26 PM]
 

Chris Nauert

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Like i said on the software post, this movie made me choose my major and become an electrical engineer...I was gonna go pre-law....whew...thanks Val! I'm so happy for Laslo...has Kilmer been this witty in any other movies? Maybe that German WWII flick (das boot?)
"Have you heard that hamburgers enlarge the breasts? Oh no, it's too late!"
somebody qoute that right if you can remember!
chris
 

Chris Nauert

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"now lets just take a step back.....
now a step forward.....
now a step back....
now we're doing the cha-cha!"
 

Joel Mack

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As mentioned previous, dialogue like that harkens back to the joke a minute comedies that Chaplin and The Marx Brothers put out. I mean, I can picture Groucho himself uttering just such a thing.
Interesting. I was going to comment that another favorite "obscure" movie of mine that has dialogue like this is "Brain Donors". When I made a quick stop at the IMDB to look at it, I discovered that Pat Proft has writing credits on both "Real Genius" and "Brain Donors". Go figure.

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Jodee

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That Bryan Adam song was "One Night Love Affair", I do believe.
My favorite "Real Genius" song is the Comsat Angels' "I'm Falling" (played during the class tape recorder montage).
 

Dana Fillhart

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I love this movie as much as I love Better Off Dead, which is to say, greatly. Both movies, by the way, have something in common: Both are not out on DVD!!

"Okay God ... lemme HAVE IT!"
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Seth Paxton

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Obviously the film is stylistically tied into the 80's era of teen comedy. However, the writing style does recall something like Marx Bros, Hope and Crosby, or even something like Philly Story.
BTW, Brain Donors was mostly just a remake of the Marx Bros. Night at the Opera, including many of the same jokes plus some stuff from other Marx Bros films. Done in the spirit of tribute as best I can tell. But that tells you that Pat Proft was really into Marx Bros and their style of dialog, which adds merit to the "like a Marx Bros film" statement for Real Genius.
Kinda a vaudvillian, "keep the one-liners flowing" pace. And I always thought Kilmer was perfectly suited to it. Of course, he is also great in Top Secret!, but that's Zucker and therefore a bit more slapstick and sight gags. You wonder why Val ran away from comedy after doing those 2 films since they were generally well received by the public.
Yes, Bill Atherton is great in that type of role (just think of his Ghostbusters effort - terrific). Another guy that is equal to Bill as the comedy bad guy is Christopher McDonald of Happy Gilmore, Iron Giant, etc. Both excel at setting themselves up and making the jokes pay off, which is easier said than done and is a big reason why the Marx Bros. kept using Margaret Dumont as their "straight man" since she was so good at it too.
Interestingly, McDonald starred in Gilmore, which was directed by Dennis Dugan, who also directed Brain Donors. And also Pat Proft has written with the Zuckers and also Abrahams, which together seem to account for damn near every film in this genre over the last 20 years.

Basically that team "created" it, or perhaps resurrected it would be more accurate.
I think Real Genius is one of their stronger efforts for sure.
BTW, my fav line is the "ice" line as well.
 

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