Check out my dvdsnapshot review of the Peter Jackson produced film:
JACK BROWN, GENIUS
A thousand years ago in England, the crazy monk Elmer (Stuart Devenie) wears a pair of wings and tries to fly from a high tower. He dies, and his soul is doomed to an eternity in hell for committing suicide. Now, in New Zealand, Elmer has one last chance to prove that men can fly and save his soul: his spirit enters into the mind of a very intelligent inventor, Jack Brown (Timothy Balme), and forces him to try to fly. Jack uses his latest creation, an amplifier in a tape recorder, to help him succeed in the attempt, but his invention is coveted by his former boss and his lover, who want to sell it to a Chinese investor.
Jack Brown Genius is a 1994 New Zealand comedy finally getting released in the States. The reason looks to have more to do with the fact that Peter Jackson is a writer and producer on this title, teaming back up with Timothy Balme, the star of his film Dead Alive (aka Brain-Dead).
This is a pleasant fun comedy with dashes of adventure and slapstick, but it's otherwise pretty slight. A few sequences have some good, simple special effects (a dream of hell, the flying scenes) and it's technically accomplished all-around. There's just not much "there" there. The villains of the piece, Jack's boss and his masseuse girlfriend, are practically Boris and Natasha. The romantic triangle isn't much to invest in since it's pretty clear pretty quick who lands with who.
Beyond that, there's not much more to say about it. It felt like a late 80's offering from Hollywood Pictures and would make a good double bill with something like The Year of the Comet or The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag. Come to think of it, the lead actress here did remind me of Penelope Ann Miller...
Jack Brown Genius is presented in anamorphic widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16 x 9 and 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio. Special features include stills gallery. Subtitles.
PG-13 and pretty appropriate for teens on up, Jack Brown Genius is a perfectly passible lark you'll want to see if you're a Peter Jackson fan. It's a bit of fluff for a rainy day, not much to it though.