Saturday, August 22, 2009

Six big horses and a rubber-tired hack, Taking him to the cemetery, but they failed to bring him back.

Is there a better bit of techie-geek cheese than 1995's Hackers?

A 20 year old Angelina Jole as Acid-Burn, a tomboyish but still super hot hacker teen, going head to head with Jonny Lee Miller (late of Eli Stone) as hacker-extraordinaire Crash Override, newly transferred-in high school classmate and former world infamous child hacker Zero Cool. As is her want to do, Angelina fell in love with her co-star in real life and ended up marrying the guy (can you say 'Billy Bob' and 'Brad'?).

All the tech scenes are over-the-top ridiculous with crazy graphics as the hacker kids work their skills cracking into various anonymous corporate mainframes, always for innocuous 'bragging rights' only. Until they're targeted by a vigilante government agent who's been made a fool of and wants revenge, partnering with one of the biggest/baddest of corporate bad guys.

In real life, hacking is (and certainly back then was) generally done using the decidedly non-graphical command line, but that wouldn't make for much of a movie.

Still, it's the script and hamtastic mugging .. er, 'acting' that makes this movie fun.

When catching Jonny 'borrowing' her brand-new wiz-bang laptop, Angelina purrs "That's too much machine for you." Later, in the same scene, after watching his fingers blazing across the keyboard as he penetrates one firewall after another, she teases "I hope you don't screw like you type."

Fisher Stevens (!?) plays 'God', the chief security officer and wanna-be adult hacker for the bad guy corporation. He's apparently an executive for the company but cruises around on a skateboard browbeating his underlings (Penn Jillete among them, in a small cameo). And he's torn between bringing down all the hackers to prove he's the best and his admiration for the squirts.

The Spoprano's Dr. Melfi rounds out the cast as (I think) the chief executive officer, who happens to be screwing 'God'.

As Pat Healy might say, "Next time you're up that way, I suggest you take a ganders - it's a fine example."

For a more contemporary chuckle, check out Lars and the Real Girl floatin' around Showtime. It perhaps hits a bit too close to home for some of us. Sort of a romantic variant on Harvey - well, not really. Maybe closer to Jan Brady and George Glass. With a touch of Being John Malkovich, not in plot but in attitude.

Basically, a delusional guy brings his new girlfriend home to meet the family. She happens to be a life-size blow-up sex doll named 'Bianca' and he believes she is real.

Pretty fun ride. And it has a stronger point than most 'serious' movies regarding the nature of love and companionship. And perhaps also on the treatment of the disabled on multiple dimensions: emotional and mental (Lars) and physical (Bianca appears to be a paraplegic).

Get ya popcorn ready.