Flash of Genius 2008 PG-13 CC

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(120) IMDb 7/10
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Academy Award nominee Greg Kinnear stars in this inspiring true story about an ordinary man and his extraordinary fight against one of the most powerful corporations in the country.

Starring:
Greg Kinnear, Tim Eddis
Runtime:
2 hours, 0 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Marc Abraham
Starring Greg Kinnear, Tim Eddis
Supporting actors Warren Belle, Karl Pruner, Bill Lake, Dermot Mulroney, Lauren Graham, Landon Norris, Shae Norris, Steven Woodworth, Victoria Learn, Dylan Authors, Ronn Sarosiak, Gavin Kuiack, Ben Kuiak, Tom Rooney, Kate Parker, Andrew Gillies, Duane Murray, Kate Greenhouse
Studio NBC Universal
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

The story and acting are well paced and presented.
J David Keefe
The movie FLASH OF GENIUS is a very REAL MOVIE (THE EVENTS DID REALLY HAPPEN), and is also a very sad movie on many counts.
Always Good!!!
He says that the Kearns family consulted on the film and it is a very accurate portrayal of their true story.
Kat Crane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Chris Pandolfi on October 8, 2008
Format: Theatrical Release
I don't know how accurately "Flash of Genius" portrays the real Robert Kearns. If he was anything like Greg Kinnear's representation, he may be one of the most relatable people I know of. In the film, Kearns is passionate, determined, stubborn, and cursed with a one-track mind. He was a college engineering professor and an independent inventor with an absolute sense of right and wrong, and because the Ford Motor Company wrongs him, he puts all his energy into making it right. We may not all be inventors, but I think it's safe to say that most of us understand why he does what he does, and that's because we've all been passionate about something. This isn't to say that we can completely side with him; as admirable as his intentions are, he ends up neglecting his wife, his children, and his job, and he unfairly drags his family through a twelve-year legal nightmare. One wonder whether or not the journey was worth it.

The Kearns character is the lifeblood of "Flash of Genius." He holds everything together, and that's because the filmmakers develop him far more than any other character. This was done on purpose, I suspect. This is his dream, his effort, his obsession--everyone else is either along for the ride or left standing at the curb. The film's structure is just as narrow-minded as Kearns is, which will be problematic if you want a story that develops all of its characters. I wasn't bothered by it, and that's because I wanted to see things from his perspective. I wanted to understand why he believed so strongly when others didn't. I wanted to be convinced that he was doing the right thing by fighting a gigantic corporation that ripped off his windshield wiper design.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Danny G. on October 13, 2008
Format: Theatrical Release
This is absolutely the best movie I have seen, so far, this year! I sincerely hope Flash of Genius gets a few Academy Awards! But one thing is for certain! People will be watching this powerful film a 100 years from now! It's that good!

When I left the theater and reached the safety of my car, I sobbed uncontrollably! Why? The reason is simple! I can identify with what Dr. Kearns went through, having had a somewhat similar gut-wrenching experience as a whistleblower.

I really don't think most people can begin to understand what it is like to stand up for one's honor and to confront a powerful institution, such as a huge transnational corporation, (or in my case a government agency) - no matter what the personal cost.

Making matters even more difficult is that many politicians with a conservative bent love to turn the issue of litigation awards into a political football! Oh, how rich and powerful institutions are the "victims" of shady lawyers and questionable plaintiffs, they cry! But what these unethical politicians don't tell you is the mind-boggling amount of work that goes into preparing your case before you can even find a lawyer willing to take it! Or, that no matter how serious the injury, there's no guarantee your case will ever see the light of day!

This true story is also about love & family! Dr. Kearns is so fortunate to have such wonderful children. It's amazing how much can be accomplished when a human being gets emotional and logistical support from those he loves! Ultimately, I think that's the bottom line, here!

See: Patent Law Essentials: A Concise Guide Second Edition, and A Civil Action/The Insider
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Yee on April 21, 2009
Format: DVD
Despite my aversion to trite David-and-Goliath stories that end with a courtroom battle, I was drawn to the idea of an extraordinary tale behind an ordinary object (in this case, the intermittent windshield wiper). In the film, there is a line to the effect of "A new invention doesn't have to consist of new parts. It just has to arrange those parts into a new pattern." Under that definition, I wouldn't consider this movie a new invention, but it's certainly an old invention done very well. Greg Kinnear is captivating in his first leading dramatic role (that I can think of, at least). After "The Matador" and "Little Miss Sunshine," he's quickly becoming one of the great "everyman" actors.

I admire how the film doesn't shy away from the fact that Kearns's obsession cost him his family, his mind, and a good chunk of his life. What he did was undoubtedly courageous, but the movie doesn't really decide whether it was right or wrong. Is integrity and truth more important than family? Should you stand up for yourself even if it means pushing away the ones you love? I don't know the answers. It's this thought-provoking dilemma that sets the film slightly apart from others of its type.

Bottom line: Unoriginal and formulaic, but well-made, well-acted, and even a little provocative.

Richard Yee, author of Deliveries: A Collection
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David R. Eastwood on October 16, 2009
Format: DVD
FLASH OF GENIUS is a based-on-fact film that presents one more instance of a big company stealing from a lone inventor. Perhaps you already know how Edwin Howard Armstrong, the inventor of FM radio, was ripped off? Or Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television?

Usually big companies are able to get away with their thefts. Their executives and employees are often willing to lie, they can afford lawyers who can tie cases up in court for decades, and sometimes they can even buy congressional support. Remember what disastrous things happened to Preston Tucker in Francis Ford Coppola's TUCKER: THE MAN AND THE DREAM starring Jeff Bridges?

In this film, in an unusual turn of events, the little guy wins. Bob Kearns (played earnestly by Greg Kinnear) is a college physics professor who invented the intermittent windshield wiper, demonstrated it to Ford Motors (who agreed to let him supply his new wiper to them)--and then found they were manufacturing intermittent wipers for themselves using his design.

After years of frustration, heartbreak, and battles with Ford Motors, Kearns earns a heartwarming victory in court--but at great cost to himself and to his family. This is a film that will simultaneously fill you with admiration for the little guy--and disgust for the unethical behavior of money-hungry business executives.
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