Saturday, May 26, 2012

Real Genius

I've been wanting to do a post about one of my fave '80s movies... one that has all the great things about that decade rolled into one: quirky characters,  zany fun, lots of color and humor, and an ever present ability to make you smile, no matter how often you've watched it.

The movie is a 1985 cult-favorite directed by Martha Coolidge, called Real Genius. Its a great treat for lovers of oddball nerdy types.

Mitch Taylor (played by Gabe Jarret), a teen prodigy science genius, is accepted into Pacific Tech University at the early age of 15. He's there to work under the scheming Professor Hathaway (William Atherton) on a project to create a powerful new laser. Mitch is a bit uptight and nervous, and looks like he requires a bit of loosening up.

As he is getting used to his new surroundings at Pacific Tech, he meets his new roommate, fellow genius Chris Knight (a young Val Kilmer). Knight is in his senior year, and every bit as brilliant as Mitch, but unlike Mitch is more of a free-wheeling, fun-loving, nonconformist type. He makes an effort at loosening up Mitch, and making him comfortable with his high IQ.

Mitch is introduced to some of the other quirky, brainy, high IQ characters which populate the dorms at Pacific Tech. Included is the hyperkinetic, always thinking, highly technical girl nerd Jordan (Michelle Meyrink).

And the reclusive, '70s burnout genius, Laslo Hollyfeld (Jon Gries), who lives in the steam tunnels underneath the college. (By the way, its from this character that I've taken my online nickname, Lazlo!!)

And lastly, the annoying, brown-nosing, antagonistic Kent (Robert Prescott). 

For most of the first part of the movie, we get acquainted with the hard-studying habits of the students at Pacific Tech.

And also the hard partying, fun side of being brainy... as shown by this scene above, which features some of the aforementioned characters.

And, of course, our resident geniuses, Mitch and Chris, continue their research into that big laser project they were assigned to.

But soon things become interesting. Our young geniuses become aware that the laser project is really a terrible weapon that they were conned into creating by the scheming Professor Hathaway. This, of course, results in further hi-jinks, and a daring plan by our brilliant crew to prevent use of the weapon, and redeem their integrity.

The plan involves sneaking onto a military base, re-targeting the laser . . . 

And making a whole lot of popcorn. 

I'm obviously not going to give away the whole plot of the movie, so you'll have to check it out on your own.

Really, the movie is a blast... worth your time.