Flash of Genius (2008)

Genre(s): Drama
Universal || PG13 - 119 minutes - $29.98 || February 17, 2009
Reviewer: Morgan Wilson || Posted On: 2009-02-09


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Marc Abraham
Writer(s): John Seabrook (article); Philip Railsback (written by)
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham, Alan Alda, Dermot Mulroney


Theatrical Release Date: October 3, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Flash of Genius is the story of Bob Kearns (Greg Kinnear), who created the intermittent windshield wiper before the Ford motor company stole his invention. Now, with his patents in hand, Bob's on a mission to get recognition for his work.

I have a small problem that I would like to get into first. The amount of years that have passed are shown periodically, but, they never show us the year this whole ordeal started (I checked, they really don't). It's very annoying seeing “18 Months Earlier”, “4 Years Later”, and all of the other various periods of time lapse without even knowing when this was supposed to be taking place.

After some research on the real Robert Kearns I've found that the he got the initial idea in 1963, and the lawsuit was finally carried out in 1990. However, considering the estimated age of his children at the beginning and end of the film and because intermittent windshield wipers hadn't been invented in the beginning of the film, they set the hearing in a completely different time period.

There are large gaps between the scenes with his family towards the beginning of the movie. Bob Kearns doesn't seem to pay much attention to his wife and children for a lengthy portion of the film. You're part sorry for him, and then on the other hand you want to kick him in the teeth.

But Flash of Genius is not without its good aspects. The courtroom scene is very interesting and will probably keep the average viewer on the edge of their seats. And the rest of the movie isn't that bad either. I've shown you my complaints, but they're really nothing major.

As far as performances, Greg Kinnear really shows that he's leading man material and the rest of the cast does a great job as well. Flash of Genius' performances are part of what gives the viewer the ability to be sucked into the story. I applaud both the actors and the director (Marc Abraham, in his directorial debut) for their ability to build a feasible film out of a terrific true story.

While Flash of Genius may possess the ability to make you weep, it's still a bit short from being a great movie.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Audio Commentary by Director Marc Abraham: As with a lot of solo audio commentaries, there are several moments of silence. The track is mainly Abraham talking about how wonderful the film is and how great the performances are, but he still gives his share of information on the production of the film as well. This one's a bit dry, folks.

Deleted Scenes: The deleted scenes are actually a lot more like deleted clips. They run in total about 4 minutes, with about five to six deleted “scenes” total.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

There's really nothing to complain about on the video side. The colors are a little washed out in spots, and a little overly warm in others. But, this was most likely an artistic decision and not the fault of the transfer. Flash of Genius is presented in anamorphic widescreen in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

Flash of Genius is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital surround, and the score for the film makes use of the rear surround channels quite well. There’s nothing to complain about on the audio side as well.



.::OVERALL::.

The film may not be the best drama to come out in recent years, and the DVD may not be loaded with extras, but Flash of Genius is definitely worth a rental.