Paul Stephens, a high school student in Ithaca, New York, is generally unmotivated academically despite being a science geek, his interest, as per his age, mostly in those science items that have a wow factor. It is his interest in science that connects him to Dr. John Mathewson, a scientist recently having relocated to Ithaca and who is interested romantically in Paul's soon to be divorced mother, Elizabeth Stephens. It is in that want to impress Elizabeth through Paul that John invites Paul to Medatomics, a medical research facility, so that he can demonstrate some of those "wow" type experiments on which he and his colleagues are working. While impressed enough, Paul is nonetheless more interested in something else in the facility that John only makes passing reference to when asked, that "green goo" which in combination with other things Paul discovers around the facility making him believe that the facility really a secret government nuclear one, the green goo radioactive ...Written by
Both Robert Sean Leonard, "Max" and Ned Eisenberg uncredited Army C4 seller, have tiny one scene, one line parts. Both would go on to have recurring roles in Law and Order:SVU. Leonard as an ADA, Eisenberg as a high price attorney See more »
During the process of making the sphere of plutonium Paul doesn't use any type of protection (filter) from airborne plutonium particles. There is a high probability of death when plutonium is inhaled. As a minimum it results in radiation sickness. See more »
Dr. John Matthewson:
Now, the beta synchrotron sends the electrons through this magnet which bends the course of them down to the reaction vessel. Stay away from that elbow joint. All right. Bran, you want to get that? Now, this is a tunable excimer laser. It's tuned to the exact resonance of the plutonium-239 that's in the reaction vessel down at that end. Now, I think we're all set. Hit it.
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I don't know why, but this movie has a strange fascination that makes me want to watch it. Not a great movie, but passable. But as far as Before They Were Stars, someone needs to realize that the highpoint of John Lithgow's career is NOT a stupid TV show about aliens. He was a big star WELL before this movie came out. He had two Oscar nominations and won an Emmy. Meanwhile, the other two known stars in this movie, John Mahoney and Cynthia Nixon were also quite well known before their TV roles, each with over 10 movies under their belts by 1986.
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