MY SCIENCE PROJECT (1985)
Article 4416 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jonathan R. Betuel
Featuring John Stockwell, Danielle von Zerneck, Fisher Stevens
What it is: Offbeat science fiction comedy
In order to complete a school science project, a teenager discovers an artifact from an alien aircraft that was destroyed when it landed on earth in the fifties – an engine that can warp space and time.
I’m going to have say at the outset that I don’t think this movie really works; it’s one of those movies where I often don’t get a sense of how I’m supposed to feel about the events going on, and this is especially true in the big special effects-laden climax to the movie. Yet, despite this problem, I found myself rather liking the movie. Why? For one thing, it doesn’t seem like it’s trying to imitate or emulate any other movie I’ve seen, and I do admire that. There’s also an odd but fetching nonchalant quality to the whole affair; the movie has a casual, tossed-off feeling. I genuinely like the love affair between the car-loving teen and his bookish girlfriend; there’s something genuine there. And even the wise-cracking comic relief character manages to keep (just barely) on the right side of annoying, though he’s hardly as funny as the movie would like to make him out to be. Yes, the movie leaves me scratching my head a bit, but at least it was something of a pleasant itch. Incidentally, Dennis Hopper plays a sixties radical turned science teacher in this one.