Hollywood's Hackers are Horribly Hilarious



In this week's Cinematical Seven, Alison Nastasi writes about those figments of screenwriters imaginations - the hackers. From the ridiculous to the implausibly miscast, these guys and girls litter films with their fingers flying over keyboards, and their allure showing through their quirky costumes.
Every movie with a character who is a hacker is touted as being the world's uberest of all uber hackers. While certain films try to maintain some semblance of reality when it comes to portraying their leet haxors, other movies beg you to completely suspend your disbelief -- arming their geeky geniuses with an array of outlandish talents and tools of the trade. I don't have a particularly nerdy background in computers, so I'm ok with letting this kind of film take me where it wants to -- but there are some instances where the ridiculous segues into the absurd.

Suspiciously absent from the list is the movie, Hackers (pictured above, ©MGM/United Artists). Every hacker character in this movie is an over-the-top stereotype that should not be taken seriously. Link to article.

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Hackers is a fun and great movie. :-) Yes, it has many an exaggeration. I'm guessing a similar movie about some kid that lives in his mom's basement and doesn't get out much would not be as entertaining.

As hilarious as some things in this movie are (the nemesis riding the skateboard, lol), it does have many things ground in reality ("Dragon book. Compiler design", hehe).

The funny thing is that what annoys people in the know most sometimes becomes reality (and could later be considered visionary, hehe). Remember the scene in The Net (shudder) where Sandra Bullock's character is on some awesome looking (at the time) website with animations and multimedia (I remember an animated character playing a guitar or something)? It wreaked of utter bullshit at the time, but that could easily be done in Flash today (the movie still sucks, hehe).

HACK THE PLANET!!!
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I dunno... I think that Hackers was definitely a movie filled with over-the-top caricatures, but the stereotypes they were based on definitely have a basis in reality. I loved that movie because, much like with the cast of the book MicroSerfs, I knew an iteration of each one of them.
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Heh. Did you know that Emmanual Goldstein served as a technical adviser for the movie Hackers? Yes - *that* Emmanual Goldstein - the one that works with 2600 (aka the hacker quarterly mag).

So, sorry Johnny... that would be why that movie would most likely be absent from the list.

As with most movies it took liberties (the "Gibson" supercomputer is actually an inside reference to William Gibson, one of the fathers of the cyberpunk movement) but the movie doesn't belong on a list of terribad hacking movies from a technical standpoint.
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