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BABY GENIUSES

SYNOPSIS:
Dr. Elena Kinder (Kathleen Turner) is the scheming, wildly ambitious boss aBabyco, the world's largest manufacturer of baby products. However, what the public does not know is that she also funds a secret research lab together with her partner in crime, Dr. Heep (Christopher Lloyd), that is devoted solely to cracking the code to this special baby language which she is sure does exist. When Sly, the best and brightest of these baby geniuses, escapes from the secret lab into the outside world, Kinder and Heap have to get him back before he blows the lid off their secret forever. Sly organises the babies in the outside world to invade the secret lab in order to free the baby geniuses and bring down Dr. Kinder's evil empire.

"Just when you thought American cinema couldn't sink any lower, along comes Baby Geniuses to confirm that mainstream Hollywood has its quintessential dark side. Why was this made? Clearly, this attempt at somehow recapturing the success of an earlier franchise (Look Who's Talking, abominable at best) is a failure. The kids are cute and the effects clever, but the film is so devoid of intelligence that it's an insult for a studio to expect audiences to farm out money in order to suffer through this innocuous, incompetently directed piece of cinematic flatulence. Writer/director Bob Clark did some wonderful things when he helmed A Christmas Story, but he directs with overstatement, creating situations that are forcibly funny, but fall flat. Featuring dull performances by a stellar cast, this is the kind of movie you decide to do when you check your bank balance. Baby Geniuses is a concept film devoid of a script or a single interesting idea, packaged to appeal to the young, but succeeding to bore us all, while at the same insulting us to excess."
Paul Fischer

"This is a film for people with no taste. People who enter their children in beauty pageants. People who will pay to see a digitally enhanced two-year-old dancing like John Travolta. People who can accept the idea of ‘baby geniuses’ talking their own secret language – though the dubbed-on dialogue consists of cheesy wisecracks and lines such as ‘Let’s kick butt!’ Cute precocious children are one thing, but (in the hands of Bob Clark, director of Porky’s) this film pushes things so far it winds up trashing the idea of childhood altogether. Much of it is deliberately grotesque: the monstrous robotic ‘baby’, the nightmare scenario of being trapped from birth in an underground lab, the gloatingly violent slapstick. Real-life children are liable to be alarmed or bored by the cynical overtones, unfunny adult jokes and mechanical action sequences – though they’ll probably like the karate-kicking toddler who beats up numerous hired goons (and other hapless extras). I’m not saying that children’s films shouldn’t contain disturbing elements: in its use of digital effects to create a heightened, mock-Gothic universe, Baby Geniuses is in the mode of several much better recent kids’ flicks, including Small Soldiers, Mouse Hunt, and the brilliant, underrated Babe: Pig In The City. The really horrifying thing is the way the preschool children on-screen have been unwittingly degraded and humiliated. Their cretinous parents had better watch out. If I were a baby genius, I’d be calling my lawyer."
Jake Wilson

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

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TRAILER

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

BABY GENIUSES (G)
(US)

CAST: Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Kim Cattrall

DIRECTOR: Bob Clark III

PRODUCER: Steven Paul

SCRIPT: Steve Paul, Francisca Matos, Robert Grasmere

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Steven M. Katz

EDITOR: Stan Cole

MUSIC: Paul Zaza

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Francis J. Pezza

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 1, 1999







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