September 26, 2014


There's something magical in those childhood moments when you discover a great movie totally on your own and not because a friend or an adult sat you down and told you, "This is a good movie."  Those instances always seem few and far between and those films are the ones you will cherish forever, even if they don't exactly age well as you grow older.  Those movies are special because you actually began to assert your own tastes.  Those are YOUR movies.

Real Genius is my movie.

Young Val Kilmer is an eccentric young genius attending a Caltech-esque university and trying to build a powerful new type of laser for his dick professor, played by William Atherton in full on Walter Peck mode.  Kilmer takes in shy young prodigy (Gabe Jarret) as his roommate and plenty of crazy campus hijinks ensue, including one scene where they turn the dorm hallway into a frozen skating rink that may also explode at any moment.  Also there's a weird guy who lives in their closet.  Kilmer and Jarret eventually finish their laser project only to discover that they've unwittingly been constructing a military funded assassination weapon, thus prompting a mission of hilarious sabotage and juvenile revenge.

It is perfect in every way.

NBC is now developing Real Genius as a single camera comedy.  At first I was kind of excited at this prospect.  This could be like Community but with super geniuses!  That sounds amazing!  But then I kept reading Deadline's story and saw that it's being shifted into a workplace comedy.  So it's The Office with super geniuses?  BOOOOO.  The setting is one of the things that makes the film truly unique, along with the odd mingling of the military and the academic.  Plus Kilmer's Chris Knight is pure lightning in a bottle.

The original film isn't exactly a widely beloved title in the first place, so if you're going to make that big of a departure from the source material, why bother even calling it Real Genius?  Just because it's an existing property that will make it marginally easier to market?  Fuck that noise.

Still, I'll probably watch it.

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