I would qualify this as a launch problem and a design problem

By Phil Plait | April 25, 2010 8:16 am

Hey Hollywood, why are you evaporating my youth from a solid directly to a gas?

Stop it. OK? It’s a moral imperative.

Tip o’ the green jello to Swoopy. Mmmmm, Swoopy™.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Piece of mind, TV/Movies
MORE ABOUT: Real Genius

Comments (53)

  1. VA Classical Liberal

    I will never forgive Kari, Tory and Grant for proving that popcorn can’t actually burst a house.


    That’s another precious childhood (ok, mid-twenties) memory shot down.

  2. No good can come of this.

  3. Old Grey Geologist

    This is a science blog, so you must mean “sublimating” rather than “evaporating”?!

  4. Why !!! Why!!!! WHY???? Well, movies are something I know about so i guess I can answer my own question. When ever money is tight, Hollywood goes into defense mode and looks for “Guaranteed Audience Recognition”. At one time, a stars name was enough to pull it off. Or a pair of stars (Think Redford and Newman and a host of others). But the problem with that , you still gotta produce a movie. But take a title, of and older movie, or TV show, and your half way home.

    There also used to be something called RE_RELEASE. Send a movie back to the theaters. Almost pure profit. Most of the time, you didn’t even have to pay the stars or anybody else again.

    Then the video revolution happened, re-re’s went the way of all flesh and we have what we have now. A Hollywood more interested in making deals than movies.

    I’ll be in my room watching “Destination Moon”.

  5. Max Fagin

    I think you mean “Why are you SUBLIMATING my youth from a solid directly to a gas?”

  6. I loved that movie. So disappointing…

  7. Shailaja

    I seem to remember when there were actual original ideas/movies coming out, rather than re-makes of everything under the sun. Seems like the animation industry’s the ones capable of that lately.

    Seriously, Real Genius? Why you gotta mess with a good thing?

  8. Tim G

    No, substituting “sublimating” would result in a redundancy. Put in “transitioning”.

  9. Ken (a different Ken)

    @3 BuffaloDavid: Hollywood has two choices – either dig into their archives and rehash all the old stuff, or come up with a new idea.

    New ideas are hard. They also sometimes do not work. Sounds like an easy choice to me – and to Hollywood.

  10. Goodnitemush

    Someone’s going to re-make “Gotcha” aren’t they. It can only be a matter of time now.

  11. DemetriosX

    This is going to suck so bad. And the thing is, the target audience already expects it to suck, which means it won’t do well. I can’t even begin to imagine the casting for this. The original was such a perfect combination of writing, acting, and a sense of the times that simply cannot be reproduced.

    @8, there is no way they can remake Gotcha. People running around a school campus with vaguely gun-shaped objects, pointing and shooting them at each other? That alone will kill the idea. And without the Cold War, there’s no story. This one is safe.

  12. I’d give 9 out of 10 odds this is going to be a terrible “why did they bother” thing. But there’s some chance what they really mean is just to make a whole new movie based on a similar premise, but set in the current day, and with a new plot and new characters (apart from a few “tip of the hat” cameo homages). If they do that… it might not be too bad.

    If they do mean a literal remake… definitely a design problem, not a launch problem.

  13. Grizzly

    Hey, with any luck it will star Will Ferrell! I felt the same way when I heard that they were remaking “Land of the Lost”. Okay, hokey Saturday morning serials aren’t perhaps in the same league, but why can’t they leave well enough alone and stop messing with our childhood memories?

  14. That’s nothing. They’re also remaking Short Circuit. I mean, Short Freaking Circuit!!!

  15. “I was just pondering the immortal words of Socrates who said, ‘…I drank what?'”

    Classic movie with some of the best one-liners of all time. The movie machine should really find better things to do with its time than remake and ruin the wonderful movies of my youth. Next thing you know, they’ll be talking about re-doing Better Off Dead or One Crazy Summer.

    “So if there’s ever anything I can do for you…or, more to the point, to you…” Good times.

  16. Douglas Troy

    A part of me died a little when I read this.

  17. pcarini

    “So if there’s ever anything I can do for you…or, more to the point, to you…” Good times.

    “I’ll show you the ol’ hammer later”

  18. Chief

    People, don’t give Hollywood any ideas on other movies. Maybe they haven’t thought of them yet.

    As for the remake idea. Seems anything over 25 years is game. I think they just want to make the fans of the originals feel old. Come on, the 80’s was just yesterday to us ‘Old Timers’

    Of course, they could really kill Real Genius (aside from duplication of same story) by casting Tom Cruise. (remember the original Mission Impossible series, which I have). :)

  19. Messier Tidy Upper

    Off topic, sorry but BA any thoughts on this breaking news (via Wikipedia) :

    “The U.S. Air Force launches the X-37B military spaceplane (pictured) on its maiden flight.”

    See : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37

    @ 15. BigHeathenMike Says:

    “I was just pondering the immortal words of Socrates who said, ‘…I drank what?’”

    Actually I’ve read that one of the classic lines Socrates said just before drinking his hemlock was this :

    Apollodorus [Socrates friend] : “O Socrates how it grieves me to see you die so undeservedly.”

    Socrates : “My dear Apollodorus, would you rather see me die deservedly?” 😉

  20. Sili

    Don’t know that one. Liked War Games and the one with the kid who built a nuclear bomb by stealing uranium from a local plant and substituting shredded alumin(i)um foil in VO5 shampoo, though.

  21. KC

    No, No, BA has it right – Hollywood doesn’t know the word ‘sublimation’ – they can only evaporate our dreams because that’s all they know!

  22. John Paradox


    You’re referring to The Manhattan Project, with Lord John Worfi… er, John Lithgow as the second one.

    As for remakes… for the FSM’s sake, they’re redoing Plan 9 From Outer Space!!! What next, Manos?


  23. NAW

    Really, Plan 9? More like what is next Robot Monster?

    But this is just sad news. I really don’t want to know who they get to play who.

    My bet is that it will be like The Sandlot 2, now that was a really sad remake.

  24. Dr. Rocketscience

    I really think Hollywood just needs to take a step back.

    No, I’m sorry, they should take a step forward.

    And a step back…

    …and a step forward…

    …and a step back…

    …and now we’re cha-cha’ing!

  25. Is it wrong that I got the reference from the headline, before I even realized that the post was _actually_ about Real Genius?

    If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

    It’s headed for the gas tanks! DOWN!

  26. brad

    I’m madder then I’ve ever been. Hollywood must be stopped.

  27. It’s just that Hollywood didn’t want you guys to think it was stuffy. You know, no fun. All brain, no penis.

  28. jb

    Maybe they should remake Val Kilmer’s Red Planet as well 😉

  29. >.<


    And all of the principles are still alive!


  30. Floyd

    Could be worse. They could try to remake “2001” and “2010.”

  31. mike burkhart

    Lets face it Hollywood has run out of ideas altho some remakes I’ve liked some are just stupid.May be they will remake 2001 and call it 2101 or Space 1999 and call it Space 2099 .They made to many remakes to Invasion of the body snachers .And Tom Cruses acting runied The remake to War of Worlds.The only thing we can do is save our money and don’t go see them.

  32. brad

    Don’t you ever say that. Don’t even think it. Most importantly don’t let anyone hear you say or think it.

  33. Jamey

    Mmmm… Jordan, she of the floor refinishing at 3am, of the wetsuit to test the rebreather…

    “Are you going to take me home to meet your parents?” Ahhh, yes.

  34. NAW

    Well as I posted elswhere about this. What they need to do is have someone that sits in on movie pitch sessions that has the right to slap the people with a rolled up newspaper who think remake and say. “No, bad Hollywood hack. Stay away from good movies.”

  35. Ron

    “Sir, let me take this moment to compliment you on your fashion sense, particularly your slippers. ”

    “It is possible to synthesize excited bromide in an argon matrix! Yes, it’s an excimer, frozen in its excited state … As soon as we apply a field, we couple to a state that is radiatively coupled to the ground state.”

    Ah, that movie was pure poetry – a celebration of intellect!

    btw, I work at “Pacific Tech” (a software company named after an abiding love for that movie)

  36. Adam

    This is simply not the kind of movie that can be remade… it can’t. They simply do not make movies like they did in the 80s and this is a quintessential 80s movie. It was what I thought college was like all growing up.

    I think they should file this remake “under H for toy.”

  37. A sequel might work. A remake…bah. But, I said the same thing about a “reboot” of Star Trek.

    Someone of the linked post suggested Zac Efron as Luke Skywalker in a remake of Star Wars. I suggest Justin Bieber, especially if any such remake is still a few years off

  38. MadScientist

    Will the rehash be better than the original? The only such story I can recall in which that would be answered in the affirmative would be the Lord of the Rings (the previous attempts were all very badly scripted and very poorly portrayed).

    Coming up next: Remake of the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

    Here’s a novel idea: why not pay good storytellers and good script writers rather than digging up the corpses of films long forgotten?

  39. Timmy

    Gosh, I really hope they change it into an environmental message!

  40. Thomas

    A safer option is to do remakes of foreign movies that Americans rarely have heard of, because, obviously, you can’t expect Americans to understand a movie with foreign stars set in a foreign country with foreign cultural references.

  41. kevbo

    Attack of the 1524 cm woman!

  42. GuruOfChem

    “Why are you wearing that toy on your head?”
    “Because if I wear it anywhere else, it chafes…”

    With ya on this one – scares me to death thinking how badly a remake could be done.

    “Hello, your Joggingness…”

  43. CR

    Leave it alone!!! For the love of all that is decent, leave it alone! I wouldn’t even want to see a sequel, but a REMAKE?! Bah! Real Genius is still one of my favorite films, a gold mine for quote mining, a fun romp. Just re-release the original, don’t screw with it.

    Mitch (eating pink gooey substance offered by Chris): “Mmm… what is it?”
    Chris: “I don’t know. I found it sitting out in one of the labs.”
    Mitch: “Augh!” (panicked, rinses mouth in nearby sink)
    Chris: “Relax. It’s just yogurt.” (munches on pink goo)
    I have wanted to do this to someone ever since seeing this film!

  44. Mark Chandler

    I have no sympathy for all of you youngsters. Hollywood has already ruined most of the TV shows from my childhood: Bewitched, Mission Impossible, Beverly Hillbillies, I Spy, and yes, Star Trek (this latest was an abomination, Phil). The only one left untouched is The Man From UNCLE.

  45. Stuart

    I’ve heard rumours of a sequel, but this is the first I’ve heard of a re-make. Ugh. That’s all. Just ugh.

  46. Tom

    Let Tarantino do it. That way it’ll be original.

  47. Speaking of Val Kilmer comedies, anybody remember ‘Top Secret’?

  48. Chris A.

    They’ll rue the day they remade this film. (“‘Rue the day’…who talks like that?”)

  49. Kaleberg

    It was a great movie, but awfully sexist. It was definitely of the 80s what with all the obvious Lawrence Livermore Labs references. Wasn’t the villain modeled on Lowell Wood? They had everything but the “When you care to send the very best ads.”

  50. Daetrinnn


    “And without the Cold War, there’s no story. This one is safe.”

    That’s what they said about “Red Dawn,” and yet…

  51. Cindy

    As long as they don’t redo “Buckaroo Bonzai” or any of the classic John Hughes movies, I’m happy.

  52. Captn Tommy

    Personally Waterworld with Kevin Costner in the Dennis Hopper role. That would be justifiation.

    How about Clint Eastwood in a Western Musical… no that’s been done.

  53. Chris Winter

    John Paradox wrote: “As for remakes… for the FSM’s sake, they’re redoing Plan 9 From Outer Space!!! What next, Manos?”

    I’m with NAW — Robot Monster is more likely. Not that either of them should see celluloid.


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


See More

Collapse bottom bar