Tag Archives: real genius

Wishful Skillin’: Real Genius

Speaking of Chris Knight

Sometimes when things are getting me down, I like to imagine myself as a student at Pacific Tech, hanging with Chris, Mitch, Jordan, Ick, and Lazlo. I would spend my days discussing subatomic particle theory, playing pranks on Kent, jumping around in huge piles of popcorn created by a giant laser beam from space, and following dudes who live in my closet down into underground abandoned mine shafts.

Sounds pretty good to me!

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“They’re student beauticians…”

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“It’s a moral imperative.”

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everybody wants to rule the world

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“Do you think it’s getting weird around here?”

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Panda Hat

One of my best friends from high school is in town this week on business so we met up for dinner last night and he gave me an early birthday present:

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Amazing, right??

He said that it reminded him of my obsession with the panda earmuffs from Real Genius, which apparently I have been talking about not only on this site, but since as far back as high school.

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Obviously not many people can rock the panda accessories with as much aplomb as Chris Knight. But I look pretty adorable in my hat, if I do say so myself:

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Welcome to your life, there’s no turning back…

Today, a song for you, from the movie Real Genius, which I am obsessed with.

The final scene in this movie is one of my favorites of all time. I too would like to cavort in a giant mountain of popcorn that was created by a laser beam from space. Is that really so much to ask from life? Perhaps it is. But I like to dream big.

Buttered Popcorn Jelly Beans

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Literally the grossest idea ever, right? Who came up with this? But they taste amazing. I just ate about a thousand of them. I kind of feel like I’m going to throw up now, but it was worth it.

I have this daydream where I’m jumping around in a huge pile of popcorn jelly beans while ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ plays in the background. Sort of like the final scene in Real Genius, but with jelly beans instead of the regular popcorn.

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popcorn skillin'

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Greaser vs. Soc

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The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, is a remarkable book for a number of reasons. First of all, despite the fact that almost all the main characters are male, the book was written by a woman. A girl, actually. Susan Eloise Hinton was still in her teens when she wrote the novel, and when it was published in 1967 (when she was but a freshman in university) her publishers suggested that she use her initials instead of her full name on the book cover. They didn’t want the novel to be dismissed by critics, who would have undoubtedly found it implausible that a story about a gang of high school toughs was written by a female author.

The Outsiders is also noteworthy for it’s film adaptation, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring a whole slew of actors who were relatively unknown at the time of their casting but went on to become huge stars, including Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio, Diane Lane, Matt Dillon, and C. Thomas Howell. Bravo to you, Janet Hirshenson, Casting Director*. You obviously have quite an eye for discerning up-and-coming young talent.

*Side note: I was just looking at Janet Hirshenson’s IMDB page and she is also listed as the casting director for Real Genius, among other things. Janet Hirshenson, you are officially my new hero. Here is a question for you though: what made you cast skateboarding legend Stacy Peralta in the role of the Shuttle Pilot in the opening scene of Real Genius? Not that I have a problem with this decision, it’s just that it’s so random. I mean, it’s such a small part — the scene is only a couple of minutes long, and I would understand if it was a star cameo, but you can’t even tell that it’s him. I have always wondered about it. Since you are such a master of your craft though perhaps it is insulting for me to even ask. You are clearly brilliant. Carry on.

Anyway, I’m not going to talk about the plot of the novel, or the characters, themes, or anything along those lines. We all studied this book in high school. We know the deal. Instead, I am going to share with you a game, inspired by The Outsiders. It is very straightforward. This one is called Greaser vs. Soc, and it’s similar to Flake vs. Straight. The rules are basically the same, except that instead of taking two people and considering their relationship with one another, you just choose an individual and try to determine whether they are a ‘Greaser’ or a ‘Soc’. I guarantee you that every single person you know falls into one category or the other. Some people are harder to determine than others, but deep down everyone is either a Soc or a Greaser. For example, I am a Soc. My brother is a Soc, Woogie’s pal is a Soc, and Woogie himself was obviously a Greaser.

Since you don’t know any of us, though, I will use the cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 again to illustrate:

  • Brandon – Soc (and a hugely annoying one at that)
  • Brenda – Greaser
  • Dylan – Greaser
  • Kelly – Greaser
  • Donna – Soc
  • David Silver – Soc
  • Steve – Greaser
  • Cindy Walsh – Soc
  • Jim Walsh – Greaser
  • Valerie Malone (the Walshs’ slutty family friend) – Greaser
  • Ray Pruit (Donna’s boyfriend who played guitar & beat her) – Greaser
  • Jack McKay (Dylan’s shady dad, fake murdered by the mob) – Greaser
  • Antonia Marchette (Dylan’s wife for one day, actually murdered by the mob) – Soc
  • Emily Valentine (stalker, drug pusher, would-be arsonist) – wanted so badly to be a Soc, but was inherently just a straight up Greaser

Chris Knight’s Wardrobe

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There are many things I could say about 1985’s Real Genius. It is basically the best movie ever made, in my opinion, and whenever I try to write about it I literally get so excited that I have to take deep breaths to calm myself. However, for the purpose of this post I will be focusing on only one of the key elements that make this movie great – Chris Knight’s outfits.

This movie was made in the ‘80s, a decade in which a lot of people were running around looking fairly demented. But Val Kilmer as Chris Knight is amazing. It’s not even like his ensembles were all that complicated – t-shirts and button-downs, mainly – but it’s the small details that really bump everything up into the fashion stratosphere by about a billion points. For example:

Martian Antenna Headband

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Nobody rocks these like Chris Knight. Except for maybe me. Seriously, not to brag, but I look amazing in them. Some people were born to wear diamonds, some people were born to wear pearls. I was born to wear novelty headbands.

Ray-Ban Wayfarers

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Always classic.

Printed T-shirts

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Chris sports a variety of these in the movie, including ‘I ♥ Toxic Waste’, ‘International Order for Gorillas’, ‘Surf Nicaragua’, and ‘Summer Games 1984’.

Bunny Rabbit Slippers

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He owns not one, but two, pairs of this stylish footwear. And wears them to his final exams.

*Note: Upon further consideration, I believe that the slippers pictured in the second photo are Mouse slippers rather than Bunny Rabbit slippers. Still amazing, obviously.

And the pièce-de-résistance…?

Panda Earmuffs

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Any dude who can look hot in a pair of panda earmuffs has got my devotion for life. Actually this entire ensemble is fantastic, from the plaid shirt worn as some sort of cape/sash situation, to the striped gloves, to the…board shorts over sweatpants…? Is that what’s going on here? I don’t even know. Whatever it is, it’s amazing. What panache!