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 Flash of Genius 

What grade would you give this film?
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 Flash of Genius 
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:41 pm
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Post Flash of Genius
Flash of Genius


Flash of Genius is a 2008 American biographical film directed by Marc Abraham. The screenplay by Philip Railsback, based on a 1993 New Yorker article by John Seabrook, focuses on Robert Kearns and his legal battle against the Ford Motor Company when they developed an intermittent windshield wiper based on ideas the inventor had patented.

The film's title, the phrase "flash of genius," is patent law terminology which was in effect from 1941 to 1952, which held that the inventive act must come into the mind of an inventor as a kind of epiphany and not as a result of tinkering. Although this test lasted little more than a decade, it was most likely an appealing and easy standard for judges and unsophisticated jurors to apply to any given patent dispute when the technology being disputed was beyond their scientific acumen.

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Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:46 am
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Post Re: Flash of Genius
This seems irredeemably silly (the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper?), but I like Greg Kinnear. Maybe. Let's see how the week goes.


Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:20 pm

Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 5:47 pm
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Post Re: Flash of Genius
Very good little film with an award-worthy lead performance. Ford has to be happy that basically no one saw this because it makes them look like a horrible company.

Grade: A-

Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:19 am
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2004 8:47 am
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Post Re: Flash of Genius
It almost works because of Kinnear. He's solid in the film. I also appreciated the implications of Kearns proceeding with the trail and how it impacted his family, and how the film didn't sell out with a typical Hollywood ending. What brings the film down though is that it doesn't drive to be anything special. It's a by the numbers David vs. Goliath story that we've seen a thousand times instead this time we get windshield wipers. I also thought the film was poorly shot and edited in certain places. We get way too long takes, awkward zooms (both are especially evident in the court room scenes) and it sometimes felt out of focus (granted that could've been the projectionist's fault).

Kinnear's performance is good, the story is mildly interesting, but the film is nothing special.


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Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:11 am
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Post Re: Flash of Genius
Enjoyable little movie.

Though I'm still not at all convinced of Greg Kinnear's acting ability, he did seem to suit the part here.

I got the feeling that the movie didn't tell the whole story about Bob Kearns - - I suspect he was somewhat more crazy / less heroic in person - - the original New Yorker story seems to get a little closer to the truth.

4 out of 5.

Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:52 pm
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