MOV052: “ZeroCool”

In this 52nd Reel, the boys go back in time to revisit “Hackers”. Does it still hold up today? As for what’s currently in the theater, they tackle “Thor” (and they like it! 😉 – haha!). Does it hold up to the plethora of comic book movies that are out there and coming up? Then, speaking of comic book movies, the boys check out the multitude of trailers for “X-men: First Class”. Do any of them actually excite the guys? All this and movie news including updates on the plot of “Expendables 2”, David Hasselhoff in he next “Piranha” movie, “Amityville Horror” goes 3-D, and “Dinosaurs vs. Aliens”? Pikachu…we choose you!!

News:

The Past: Hackers (1995)

Rotten Tomatoes: 32% Rotten; 66% Audience

Director: Iain Softly

Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Matthew Lillard,Lawrance Mason, Angelina Jolie, Fisher Stevens

Trivia:

  • The high school scenes were filmed at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, one of a few elite, exclusive high schools for students gifted in math, science and computers. Real school seniors were extras in many scenes. In the real school, the pool is on the first floor.
  • The computer they break into is a fictional mainframe computer called a “Gibson” – a homage to cyberpunk author William Gibson.
  • The character name “Emmanuel Goldstein” is taken from George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. It is also used as a pseudonym by Emmanuel Goldstein aka Eric Corley, who publishes the magazine “2600, The Hacker Quarterly”. Corley was an uncredited consultant for this film.
  • The “Hacker Manifesto” read by Agent Bob was actually written by a hacker of great renown in the 1980s named Loyd Blankenship, who went by the name of The Mentor. It was published in PHRACK magazine, issue 07, file 03 in 1986.
  • Eugene Belford uses the pseudonym Babbage at the end of the film. Charles Babbage was the inventor of an early form of the computer.
  • Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie were married shortly after the making of the film, and then were divorced four years later.
  • Around the movie’s release, the official website was modified by its webmasters to appear that it had been “hacked into,” and digital graffiti and instructions to “see ‘The Net’ instead” was added to the site’s graphics.
  • All of the hacker handles proposed by the Joey were actual handles already used by real hackers.
  • The game being played in the arcade is a high-quality prototype of the Playstation game “Wipeout” by Psygnosis. It is done on a high-end SGI server and allowed the development team to try out tracks and gameplay, before porting it to the Playstation. As a result, there are features and graphics in the movie that do not exist in the actual game, including the “high score smashing” sequence.
  • The “hacking”-sequences – the scenes where you see the “inside” of a computer – are mostly motion-controlled models, because director Iain Softley thought that actual computer graphics would look too artificial.
  • The poster for this movie shows Acid Burn and Crash Override with various words and ASCII symbols transposed on their faces. Amongst the words are: – 1. Names of hackers in the movie, including Lord Nikon, Acid Burn, and Crash Override – 2. Some of the commonly-used passwords, according to Plague, such as God, Sex, Love, and Secret – 3. Phreak – a “phone freak” – a hacker who concentrates their knowledge on telephone systems. (Phantom Phreak was the main Phreaker in the hacker group)
  • Cyberdelia was built from scratch in an abandoned indoor swimming pool on the outskirts of London, with the center of the club in the depths of what was the pool. Producer Ralph Winter notes, “We never knew why, but the pool was designated an historic landmark, so great care had to be taken not to damage anything and to return it to its original state.”
  • The part of Kate “Acid Burn” Libby was originally offered to Katherine Heigl, but due to prior commitments to Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) had to turn it down. The director auditioned Hilary Swank, Heather Graham and Liv Tyler for the role which ultimately went to Angelina Jolie.
  • At the beginning of the movie when Dade phones the security desk of the television station he is hacking in to he gives the name of Eddie Vedder, the singer of the rock band Pearl Jam.
  • The distinctive ring Kate Libby wears is the “Original Armour Ring” by jewelry designer Marche’ Noir.
  • The film’s writer, director, and some cast members attended the New York City 2600 meeting, a monthly hangout of the local hacker community, to observe and talk with real-life hackers.

Talking Points:

  • The competition

What We’ve Learned:

  • God gave men brains larger than dogs so they wouldn’t hump women’s legs at cocktail parties
  • Spandex is privilege not a right.
  • You wanna be elite you gotta pull a righteous hack
  • Hacking is more than a crime, its a survival trait
  • It’s in that place where I put that thing that time
  • There is no right and wrong, only fun and boring
  • Hackers used a lot of hard copy back in 1995.
  • HACK THE PLANET.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Totally unrealistic nerdy film. I adore it. Way dated though.
Ray: The Movie that made it “Cool” to be a computer nerd…. love it, although the tech aspect of this movie really dates it
Steve: Dated, but not as cool as other early computer-based movies like WarGames. To be honest, is early EMO to me. Not my fav, but others may like.

Intermission: Top 5 Computer Themed Films

  1. Tron
  2. WarGames
  3. The Matrix
  4. 2001: A Space Odessey
  5. Hackers

The Present: Thor
Rotten Tomatoes: 78% Fresh; 83% Audience

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, Stellen Skarsgarrd

Trivia:

  • Comic writer Stan Lee who created Thor in 1962, appears as the truck driver who attempts to tow Mjolnir out of the crater it landed in… and fails miserably.
  • This is Anthony Hopkins’s first comic book film. He was previously offered the role of Alfred in Batman Begins (2005).
  • The Eye of Agamotto, a very powerful magical amulet, can be seen in Odin’s treasure room. This was a weapon wielded by a Marvel hero, Doctor Strange the Sorcerer Supreme.
  • According to producer Kevin Feige, the Bifrost bridge is the films’s most interesting set: “In the comics, it’s literally a rainbow that extends out from Asgard and pops down on Earth. We’re not necessarily doing that; we’re not having the big hard solid lines of colors. We’re saying it’s some sort of energy, almost a solid quartz bridge that as the light catches it and flows through it, you get some of that rainbow-esque quality to it.”
  • Anthony Hopkins signed on as Odin despite never reading a “Thor” comic or knowing anything about the Thor mythology. It was the concept of the father and son relationship that intrigued him about the role.
  • To prepare for his role as Loki, Tom Hiddleston trained in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira.
  • Thor holds a drawing of a crossroads with nine orbs in it. This is his perception and representation of Yggdrasil, in Norse mythology a great tree around which the nine worlds are tethered, making up the universe.
  • A model of the Infinity Gauntlet, an all powerful weapon capable of controlling aspects of reality (soul, time, space, power & mind) in the “Marvel Comics” universe, was constructed for this film. The model is made from bronze and copper (with jewels made from resin) and weighs 60 pounds. It was built to be operational so that animatronics could be built on it.

Talking Points:

  • There was very little exposition for a origin story film
  • Story – what you expected?
  • Natalie Portman…good or bad?
  • Loki looks like Johnny Weir
  • Chris Hemsworth..hottie or nottie?

What We Learned:

  • What you need is a rainbow bridge
  • I need sustenance!
  • A pet store is not the place to get a horse

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I really liked it, not the best Marvel movie but not bad at all.
Ray: Tolerable, one of the weaker marvel movies as far as story goes. Don’t waste your money on 3D. Can we have the Avengers already?
Steve: Enjoyed it…was much more pleased than I thought I would be going in. Definitely worth a look…3D unnecessary.

The Future: X-Men: First Class

Director: Chris Miller

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Bacon, Lucas Till, Zoë Kravitz, Jason Flemyng, Edi Fathegi

Trivia:

  • Bryan Singer, who directed X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003), was approached to direct this film in October 2009, but in March 2010 declined due to his commitment to Jack the Giant Killer (2012) and was replaced with Matthew Vaughn in May 2010. Singer however stayed on as producer.
  • Taylor Lautner was considered to play Hank McCoy (aka Beast) but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Nicholas Hoult was later cast.
  • The uniforms the X-Men wear are colored blue and yellow, in homage to the original blue/yellow suits the X-Men wore in the comics from 1963 (their debut) to 2001 (when X-Men (2000) inspired a change to black leather).
  • Filming was originally to take place on Tybee Island, but a producer browsing on the online map program Google Earth found Jekyll Island to be a more suitable location.
  • Sirs Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were considered to appear in the film as the elder Professor X and Magneto, but the idea was rejected as the filmmakers wanted to start a new X-Men trilogy, without any connection to the previous films.
  • A telepathic battle between Professor X and Emma Frost was going to be in the film, but upon the release of Inception (2010) the concept was scrapped.
  • This is the first X-Film without Wolverine or Cyclops.
  • Matthew Vaughn instructed the cast to do away with all accents in their performances. James McAvoy had planned to copy Patrick Stewart’s voice (since McAvoy was going to play a younger version of Stewart’s Xavier), but Vaughn quashed it; Vaughn also told Rose Byrne that Moira MacTaggart would not have her trademark Scottish accent in the film (to the Scottish McAvoy’s mild disappointment).

Talking Points:

  • How many versions of this trailer are there?
  • Trailer at least acknowledges the previous films, which I’m surprised at.

Summary:

Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. In the process, a rift between them opened, which began the eternal war between Magneto’s Brotherhood and Professor X’s X-MEN.

Trailer:

TRAILER #1:

TRAILER #2:

TRAILER #3: International

Excitement:
Jeff: Stoked, but I’m easily stoked when it comes to comic book movies.
Ray: I am skeptical.. X3 really left a bad taste in mouth.. hopefully by going back to the past they can fix what they mucked up in the future.
Steve: Seems like it’s something I’ll like…origins of several characters versus a single movie on one. I’m down for it!

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV038: “Fuck Me Your Majesty”

How beautiful do the boys think American Beauty is?  Is The Rite the right movie to go see, and do Cowboys and Aliens truely mix?  This, Superman, must see Best Picture Award winners, and more in this Reel of COL Movies.

News:

The Past: American Beauty (1999)

Director: Sam Mendes

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Thora Birc

Trivia:

  • Terry Gilliam turned down the chance to direct
  • Jeff Daniels was considered for the lead
  • The Smiley Fast Food Restaurant is Carl’s Jr
  • The Spartanettes routine was choreographed by Paula Abdul
  • The Area Codes in Jane’s Phonebook are all 312, and the Realestate signs all have 847 area codes, both of which are Chicago area codes. The License plates of the cars are not Illinois plates though as the filmmakers made an effort to make the locale more generic the aerial shots over the town were filmed above Sacramento, California
  • The title of the film refers to a breed of roses that while pretty and appealing in appearance, is often prone to rot underneath at the roots and branches of the plant. Thus, the tagline “…look closer” tells the viewer that when they look beyond the “perfect suburban life” they will find something rancid at the root.
  • Executive Producer Steven Spielberg personally recommended Sam Mendes to direct this film
  • Director Sam Mendes personally filmed the pivotal POV shot of Ricky’s camera when he zooms past the figure of Angela to “look closer” at Jane’s smiling reflection in the mirror.
  • The first day-and-a-half of filming – including Carolyn’s open house scene – had to be thrown out after the film turned out too dark, making Annette Bening almost impossible to see; director Sam Mendes and cinematographer Conrad L. Hall concluded the problem had been their overly polite relations, and agreed to be more open with one another.
  • According to his Oscar speech, Alan Ball was sitting at the World Trade Center plaza when he saw a paper bag floating in the wind and was inspired by it to write the film, which was originally conceived as a stage play.

Talking Points:

  • Why do you think this film won they year it was nominated? “The Cider House Rules”, “The Green Mile”, “The Insider”, “The Sixth Sense”
  • Was Lester’s character creepy to you?
  • This movie was originally intended to be a stage play.. do you think it would have worked? or got the same awards as it did as a motion picture?
  • With so many twists and turns, what was the biggest to you?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Never underestimate the power of denial
  • Nothing makes you feel more powerful than firing a gun
  • Its Just a couch!

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Might have to watch a couple of times more, I liked it but I didn’t all at the same time
Ray: A modern take on the deconstruction or destruction of the Modern American Family.. I love this film
Steve: I get the point and the performances are great. Just not my kind of sardonic movie. I’m more a “Juno” guy.

Intermission: Top 10 Best Picture

1. Silence of the Lambs
2. Schindler’s List
3. The Godfather Trilogy
4. Braveheart
5. Gone With The Wind
6. The Sound of Music
7. West Side Story
8. Casablanca
9. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
10. Ordinary People

The Present: The Rite

Director: Mikael Håfström

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Ciarán Hinds, Colin O’Donoghue, Alice Braga

Trivia:

  • The first trailer for the film features music from Wojciech Kilar’s score of Dracula (1992), which also starred Anthony Hopkins.

Talking Points:

  • Was it what you expected?
  • This Film is getting blasted by critics.. do you think it deserves it?
  • Pacing made the “The Way Back” look like it was in a fast forward

What We Learned:

  • Rome is infested with cats
  • Rome is also infested with frogs.. which is odd considering all the cats
  • Always turn your phone off before beginning an exorcism
  • Bow your head, Keep Praying, and Good Luck!

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Maybe a little bit too suspenseful with it’s pacing but a decent movie. Wait for the DVD to rent
Ray: Could have been a great exorcism movie..But it wasn’t.. Pacing was slow. Not sure I can recommend this
Steve: I wanted to enjoy this movie so badly! The exorcism scenes were awesome. However, the pace was waaaaay too slow. So much could have been cut out to make it a better movie.

The Future: Cowboys & Aliens

Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell & Olivia Wilde

Trivia:

  • Robert Downey Jr. was set to play Jake Lonergan, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
  • Daniel Craig was chosen because of his distinct likeness to Yul Brynner, who starred in the cowboy epic The Magnificent Seven (1960).
  • Daniel Craig recommended Eva Green for the role of Ella after working with her in Casino Royale (2006). However, Eva turned the role down and Olivia Wilde was cast.
  • An early draft of the screenplay was written by Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus.
  • This is DreamWorks’s third comic-book adaptation, after Road to Perdition (2002) and Over the Hedge (2006).
  • The filmmakers cite Alien (1979) and Predator (1987) as an influence on the look of aliens in the film.
  • Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman described the film as “Unforgiven (1992) with aliens landing.”
  • Director Jon Favreau was constantly harassed with demands to shoot/convert the film in 3-D, but he held his ground, claiming Westerns should only be shot on film.
  • Steven Spielberg screened The Searchers (1956) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) for Roberto Orci and Jon Favreau so that they could get the atmosphere of the film.
  • Roberto Orci feels that the title, humorous as it may sound, will raise interest and put people off guard about the film, which will surprise them.
  • Harrison Ford wanted to go bareheaded in the film and not wear a hat (he is most famous for his performance in Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones films, where Jones wore a fedora), but since it was a Western film he was convinced to wear a hat.
  • Once again, with the involvement of Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford is cast opposite a James Bond, in this case, Daniel Craig. The last time with when he worked opposite Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Craig has also appeared in ‘The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Daredevils of the Desert (1999)’.

Talking Points:

  • Does this have potential of being a schizo movie done right?
  • Casting…thoughts?

Summary:
A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys are all that stand in their way.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Really excited for this one, I’m expecting more than what the trailer is showing.
Ray: Excited! Lets hope its as good as the Trailer is hinting at.
Steve: Overall, looks to have promise! I like the idea and hope that it comes together.

Coming Attractions
The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV037: “Thank you Andre, I’ll have the Veal Picatta”

The boys review a wide variety this week. Does “Hot Shots!” still deliver on the spoof comedy front? Is “The Way Back” just too long to hold their attention? Will “Thor” hammer his way into their hearts or just be eye-candy? It’s also Oscar and Razzie nomination time, so the boys weigh in on their predictions. All this and more in this episode of COL Movies!

News:

The Past: Hot Shots! (1991)

Director: Jim Abrahms

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Cary Elwes, Valeria Golino

Trivia:

  • Charlie Sheen (Topper), Jon Cryer (Washout) and Ryan Styles (Mailman) would all go on to work together on the TV show “Two and a half men”
  • Several of the Aircraft Carrier scenes were re-used stock footage from “Flight of The Intruder” and “The Final Countdown”
  • Valeria Golino claims the scene in which she catches an olive popped out of her bellybutton was accomplished without trick photography.
  • Lloyd Bridges replaced George C. Scott
  • The aircraft carrier on which the movie takes place is actually a wooden deck built on the edge of a cliff at a deserted Marineland facility. The film was shot at an angle that made the deck look like a ship at sea.
  • Topper Harley’s name comes from Harley-Davidson’s 1960’s motor scooter, the Harley Topper.

Talking Points:

  • Where would you say this movie rates within the genre?
  • Lloyd Bridges, nuff said.
  • Did you have a favorite character?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Always check your chair for chihuahuas before sitting down
  • Charlie Sheen would have possibly made a good superman
  • Not playing to win is like sleeping with your sister
  • You can’t be an admiral without your cap
  • Movie credits are a good place for recipes

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Now this is the type of comedy I love.
Ray: Took me a while, but it had me laughing at the end of it.
Steve: Spoof classic. Clever from everything from visuals, writing, and delivery of lines. Surprisingly cerebral at times. I like this a ton more than Airplane any day.

The Present: The Way Back

Director: Peter Weir

Starring: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell

Trivia:

  • The film is based on a memoir by Slavomir Rawicz depicting his escape from a Siberian gulag and subsequent 4000-mile walk to freedom in India. Incredibly popular, it sold over 500,000 copies and is credited with inspiring many explorers. However, in 2006 the BBC unearthed records (including some written by Rawicz himself) that showed he had been released by the USSR in 1942. In 2009 another former Polish soldier, Witold Glinski, claimed that the book was really an account of his own escape. However this claim too has been seriously challenged

Talking Points:

  • Did anyone find the switching between subtitles and non-subtitles confusing
  • Escape was anticlimactic
  • Was the passage of time adequately conveyed?
  • Was the Prison sequence itself too long? Could this movie been about.. an hour shorter?

What We Learned:

  • In Siberia, kindness can kill you
  • Grateful is for dogs
  • Snake Tastes like Chicken
  • This is a great movie to watch if you need to fall asleep.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Great movie, just suffers from extreme lag.
Ray: “yaaaaaaaawn” I think there was more walking in this movie than The Lord of The Rings movies.
Steve: Although I liked it, I did take about a 15 minute nap in the middle. It did feel very “epic” and the settings/locations were very authentic looking and gorgeous. Definitely made me feel for the characters.

The Future: Thor (5-6-2011)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman

Trivia:

  • Director Kenneth Branagh conceptualized this film as a Norse/comic-book twist on William Shakespeare’s ‘Henry V’, which was about a young king who underwent trials and tribulations: fighting a war, courting a girl from another land, and basic character development.
  • The Original Screenplay written in 2006 would have taken approx 300 million dollars to make
  • Sam Raimi had planned to direct this movie after the film “Darkman” (1990)
  • Jim Carrey was a long time favorite to play the Role of Loki
  • Daniel Craig, Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum, Triple H were all considered for the part of Thor
  • Natalie Portman took the role of Jane Foster because she couldn’t resist the opportunity to do a comic book movie with Kenneth Branagh “I was just like Kenneth Branagh doing ‘Thor’ is super-weird, Ive Gotta Do it”
  • Anthony Hopkins signed on as Odin despite never reading a “Thor” comic or knowing anything about the Thor mythology. It was the concept of the father and son relationship that intrigued him about the role
  • Stan Lee claims he’d always wanted to play Odin, but was happy with Anthony Hopkins’s casting and performance in the role.

Talking Points:

  • Costumes? Anyone else think they look like Stargate + Power Rangers?
  • Anyone else thing Tom Hiddleston looks like Johnny Weir?
  • Thor = Dickhead?

Summary:
The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: The trailer is actually making me excited. I’m still concerned for two words, “Kenneth Branagh”
Ray: Not doing it for me.. Can we have the Avengers now?
Steve: I fell for the trailer. I think it looks good and so does Thor himself! Sir Anthony Hopkins can lure me in anytime because he’s not going to be associated with crap.

Coming Attractions:
The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV033: “Shall we play a game?”

This Reel we take a look at WarGames, True Grit, and the trailer for The Rite. We also take a look at Cinema Blends Most Disappointing movies of 2010 and what’s coming up in 2011.

News:

The Past: WarGames

Director: John Badham

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, John Wood, Ally Sheedy

Trivia:

  • The studio had a Galaga and a Galaxian machine delivered to Matthew Broderick’s home, where he practiced for two months to prepare for the arcade scene.
  • The computer used to break into NORAD was programmed to make the correct words appear on the screen, no matter which keys were pressed.
  • When David comes home the day after the NORAD computer break-in, the newscaster on the television is talking about a prophylactic recycling center.
  • The NORAD command center built for the movie was the most expensive set ever constructed up to that time, built at the cost of one million dollars. The producers were not allowed into the actual NORAD command center, so they had to imagine what it was like. In the DVD commentary, director John Badham notes that the actual NORAD command center isn’t nearly as elaborate as the one in the movie; he refers to the movie set as “NORAD’s wet dream of itself.”
  • NORAD HQ set was built in the Cascades, the “Oregon” airport was really Boeing Field, “Goose Island” is really Anderson Island in the southern part of Puget Sound (all in Washington). The last ferry off the island really is at 6:30, and you really are stuck there if you miss it.
  • The delegation from the city of Birmingham, Alabama, visiting NORAD is a tribute to director John Badham’s hometown.
  • The original director was Martin Brest, and several of the scenes he shot are still in the movie. Martin Brest was fired as director a short while into production due to creative differences. He has stated that he took NORAD’S control center layout and did a scaled down version of it for “Beverly Hills Cop”‘s police control center.
  • When John Badham took over as director he changed the photographic process. It’s possible to see changes in the frame lines between old and new footage.
  • According to John Badham, the scene of the jeep trying to crash through the gate at NORAD and turning over was an actual accident. The jeep was supposed to continue through the gate. They added the scene of the characters running from the jeep and down the tunnel and used the botched jeep stunt.
  • The writers’ main inspiration for the character of Professor Stephen Falken was Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking. Hawking was originally approached to appear in the movie, but he declined because he didn’t want the producers exploiting his disability.
  • When the message for the tour group in NORAD is activated, the sound effect that plays is actually used in the video game Galaga, and can also be heard if you listen carefully when David is playing it in the beginning of the movie.
  • The part of Prof. Falken was originally written with the idea of John Lennon playing the part.
  • First cinematic reference to a “firewall” – a security measure used in computer networking and Internet security. This does not predate the existence of the Internet, however, which is considered to have started in 1969.
  • The WOPR, as seen in the movie, was made of wood and painted with a metal-finish paint. As the crew filmed the displays of the WOPR, Special Effects Supervisor Michael L. Fink sat inside and entered information into an Apple II computer that drove the countdown display.
  • A video game version of this movie was made in 1984 for the ColecoVision, Commodore 64 and Atari 8-Bit Computer. The game started out greeting you as Professor Falken and you would play a game of Global Thermonuclear War. Your objective was to stop nuclear war from occurring by protecting the country with various military vehicles and weapons in a set time limit without reaching Defcon 1.
  • The NORAD Computer System (NCS) used 1950’s-era systems in 1983. After WarGames, visitors for the NORAD tour constantly asked to see the modern computer rooms. Partly driven by this, in coming years color displays (mostly on Sun workstations) started replacing the much older equipment. Incidentally, NORAD only detected threats. Strategic Air Command, until 1992, handled responses to threats.

Talking Points:

  • This film definitely set the trend for many technologically-based films in the future.

What We’ve Learned:

  • Given the chance to change grades, even the good girl will.
  • Yes, there was a time when you could smoke inside government buildings.
  • Everything goes back to Tic-Tac-Toe.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Classic movie. Honestly, don’t know how this past me by in my childhood.
Ray: This movie is one of the most influential of my childhood.
Steve: Love it! Classic movie. The technology is what I grew up with.

The Present: True Grit

Director: The Coen Brothers

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin

Trivia:

  • The original True Grit (1969) featured Robert Duvall. Duvall appeared with Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart (2009). His cousin Wayne Duvall appeared in the Coen Brothers’ earlier film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000).
  • The original True Grit (1969) starred John Wayne in the role of Marshall Reuben J. ‘Rooster’ Cogburn which is played by Jeff Bridges in this film. Both actors have very similar nicknames. Wayne is also known as Duke while Bridges is known as The Dude.
  • Michael Biehn auditioned for the role of ‘Lucky’ Ned Pepper but lost out to Barry Pepper.
  • Jeff Bridges and Josh Brolin have both played the character of Wild Bill Hickok in separate productions before starring in this film together. Bridges played Hickok in Wild Bill (1995) and Brolin played Hickok in The Young Riders (1989).

Talking Points:

  • Did this come off more as a period film than a “western”?

What We Learned:

  • Sleeping in a coffin for free is better than being out on the street.
  • Texas Rangers think they’re better than US Marshalls.
  • You’re not Labeef

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Very well done movie, loved the entire cast, but like alot of westerns, I myself got bored. Still think that should win some Oscars.
Ray: I enjoyed it, and im not a fan of westerns. I think Mattie deserves some sort of award for this, gonna keep an eye on her in the future for sure!
Steve: Enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Mattie was annoying, but Matt Damon made up for it. 🙂 I’d be shocked it if it’s not nominated for Best Picture.

The Future: The Rite

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Alice Braga, Ciaran Hinds & Rutger Hauer

Trivia:

  • The first trailer for the film features music from Wojciech Kilar’s score of Dracula (1992), which also starred Anthony Hopkins.
  • Supposedly based on a true story.
  • The film is based on the book The Making of a Modern Day Exorcist by Rome based Matt Baglio, which was released in 2009 over Doubleday. To research the book, Baglio participated in a seminar on exorcism by the Vatican.
  • The book follows Father Gary Thomas, an parish priest from Saratoga, California, who is tasked by the local bishop in San Jose, California, with becoming the exorcist for the diocese. Skeptical and reluctant, Father Gary becomes an “apprentice” to a Rome-based exorcist and his skepticism is soon replaced by the cold reality of evil and the ways it sometimes takes the form of demonic possession.

Talking Points:

  • This seems to be an interesting spin on the exorcism genre…what do y’all think?

Summary:

  • The Rite centers on a disillusioned young American priest. In the Vatican, he learns to carry out exorcisms and finds his faith renewed through encounters with demons.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: A new type of exorcism, I’d kinda like to see it.
Ray: I love anything that messes with or puts a spin on church history or theology.. im there.
Steve: With all the exorcism movies of late, this one seems to be one they are going to get right! I’m liking that it has a deeper “meaning”.

The Past

The Present

The Future

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