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John Travolta's should've-been-nominated-for-an-Oscar performance is the best reason to see this largely moving work, which is a little reminiscent of the novelFlowers for Algernon(basis for the filmCharly). Travolta plays a mechanic who sees a bright light in the sky one night and wakes up the next morning a genius, hungry for knowledge and so smart he figures out national defense secrets in his own living room (and gets in hot water for it). The more interesting drama, however, is not with the government but with the character's longtime neighbors and friends, who come to reject him for being different. Robert Duvall gives a stirring performance as a doctor who has known the hero all his life, and Kyra Sedgwick is very good as an ambivalent love interest. If you missed this one in the theaters, then you haven't seen one of Travolta's best performances since his comeback. The DVD release presents a widescreen image, optional French soundtrack, optional Spanish subtitles, and theatrical trailer.--Tom Keogh
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Details

CastRobert Duvall, Forest Whitaker, John Travolta, Jeffrey DeMunn, Kyra Sedgwick
DirectorJon Turteltaub
Genre:  Drama
Screen WriterGerald Di Pego
DVD Release Date:  December 3, 1997
Runtime:  123 minutes
Studio:  Walt Disney Video
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review by . May 08, 2009
This is a fun film about a country "bumpkin" who appears to be zapped in the head by something from the sky. All of a sudden he becomes super smart and has telekenetic powers. The more he tries to help the townspeople with his new wisdom and powers, the more they fear him and are also jealous of him. Throughout the film the two people who stand by him are his best friend and the girl who makes wicker chairs (Kara Sedgewick) that he continually buys even though he doesn't need them. When the truth …
review by . February 19, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
This is a fun film about a country "bumpkin" who appears to be zapped in the head by something from the sky. All of a sudden he becomes super smart and has telekenetic powers. The more he tries to help the townspeople with his new wisdom and powers, the more they fear him and are also jealous of him.Throughout the film the two people who stand by him are his best friend and the girl who makes wicker chairs (Kara Sedgewick) that he continually buys even though he doesn't need them.When the truth …
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