Friday Night Double Feature: Heckling The Hackers
If you visit Cinema Blend with any regularity, you probably noticed the site wasn’t really here for part of the week. If you visited the site, you were forwarded to some silly YouTube anime clip. No, we weren’t celebrating some newfound love for Japanese animation. We were hacked.
As frustrating as it was to have the site down for almost 24 hours, and the amount of cleanup that has followed, the truth is, the hacker or hackers behind the act were pansies. See, if the movies have shown us anything, it’s that hacking computers can be done on such a larger scale than a couple of cowards, living in their parents’ basement, shutting down a movie website. Real hackers have real goals, and, as a reminder, we celebrate the mundane efforts of this week’s frustration with a double feature of what real hackers can do. To the guys who hit this site this week: take note. Here are characters that put you to shame.
Live Free or Die Hard
Forget about shutting down a single website. John McClane’s fourth adventure sees the hero facing off with an enemy who is trying to shut down an entire country. To be fair, Timothy Olyphant’s Gabriel has a slew of resources at his disposal to help him complete his agenda, which just shows you need to be organized to take on a real target. The movie may put a highly capable face on a hacker for its villain, but it also plays on every negative stereotype, including Justin Long’s apartment shoot-out, which destroys some of his highly valued collectables, and Kevin Smith’s basement “command center,” which frankly makes this movie worth watching just for his scenes alone. John McClane may be an analog hero, but the movie is a lot of fun watching as he enters the digital world, and it also has a nice message - sometimes old school is the best school.
If a movie website is small-time for the hackers in our first movie, the United States is just as small for the heroes of The Matrix, who are hacking reality as we know it throughout the movie. While I’m one of those weird people who actually prefers this movie as a complete post-modern trilogy, the first movie still stands alone really well (just not as post-modern). A lot of the elements that made the first movie so entertaining - instant programming increasing skills, the white chamber giving the protagonists an endless supply of materials (in this case guns) - disappeared after the first movie, or were only hinted at in the sequels. Here, where the battle takes place almost exclusively inside The Matrix, it’s easy to remember we’re watching hackers at work - but hackers who have the ability to change the scope of the world as we perceive it. You don’t get much bigger than that.
Other hackers better than you: Hackers, The Net, Johnny Mnemonic, Sneakers, Ghost in the Machine, The Lawnmower Man
Enjoy our Double Feature suggestions? and maybe we’ll use them in a future column.