This Week on the 5: Nineties Hacker Movies
In the 80′s War Games was the first film to feature the hacker, and by the time the 90′s rolled around, the PC had become a true household item. Soon after, a few high profile hackers getting busted, and as the internet became more and more popular, hackers became known to everyone. Hollywood even got hip to it, bringing a number of films to shed light on the hacker lifestyle. Well….maybe not shed light. These Hollywood screen writers created a completely made up world, then threw in a few buzzwords to make us feel like we were watching how hackers actually lived and worked. Here are 5.
* * *
- Sneakers – 1992. A hacker film with this outrageous cast: Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier and David Strathairn. How could this film not be huge? Well, it wasn’t, you probably havent even heard of it and if you have you don’t know what the hell it was about. Robert Redford’s an old school hacker on the run from the government who works with a team that gets paid to test out the security systems of companies. He ends up in a hunt for some mysterious black box that can decode anything on the planet, thus making the world free of secrets. It’s all very far fetched and they end up somehow getting huge amounts of money donated to various charities, in an effort to create world peace. Great cast, weird movie, and totally worth seeing. Watch the trailer.
- The Net – 1995. Sandra Bullock blew up in Speed. She followed that up with this 1995 hacker movie. For some reason her only interactions in life are through her computer, so in real life, no one can identify her. This is bad news for her since she gets targeted by a cyber terrorist syndicate. Why? Because a friend of hers sent her sensitive government information. Meanwhile, she’s been using that new fangled device called the internet to order pizzas to her house, live her life, and even get packages delivered to her door! After being targeted she gets her life erased from computer databases and has her social security number associated with a known criminal. In the film she has to deal with an assassin who’s been hired by the scary international cyber terrorist ring. Wonder if Anonymous has hired killers on their non existent payroll? Watch the trailer.
- Hackers – 1995. This is the big one, the real cult hit that people still love to watch today. It features Angelina Jolie in her first movie role, and it also features her 19 year old side-tit, and for that alone the film is worth a watch. Johnnie Lee Miller’s character moves to New York City after spending years being prohibited from touching computers because he hacked a government agency when he was a little kid. He makes hacker friends fast in his new school. Lucky for him a bunch of young punks love hacking and all hang out together. The most ridiculous part of this film is the idea that when someone is breaking into another computers system, they see it as a 3d rendered landscape of the inside of a machine. It’s totally insane and nonsensical. Youtube actually has the entire movie on their servers and it hasn’t been taken down yet. Do yourself a favor and watch it now. Watch the whole movie.
- The Matrix – 1999. If you think about, The Matrix is a hacker movie. At the beginning of the film, Neo’s identified as a hacker. When referring to the lives of Trinity and Morpheus, it turns out that before they took the pill, they were hackers too. Eventually Neo sees the actual code of the Matrix. It shows a bit of its age when Neo is being ripped out of the matrix, and you hear the old school modem sound at one point. That’s something you’ll never hear again. And since when did hackers go to industrial hardcore clubs and eat mescaline? Being a hackers in the Matrix is a lot weirder lifestyle than it is in the real world. Watch the trailer.
- eXistenZ – 1999. David Cronenberg’s mind fuck of a gaming/hacking movie wasn’t seen by many people, but it should of been. Starring Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Willem Dafoe, it centers around people playing a virtual reality game called eXistenZ where you have to plug into the world through organic devices. The creepy things people put into their bodies is a mainstay of David Cronenberg’s work where he plays with the human body like it’s silly putty. It’s a great film that keep you wondering what’s reality and what’s the game the entire time. Watch the trailer.
* * *
Got more? Leave a comment.