Sunday, October 25, 2009

Texting During Hackers

I was in Austin a week or so ago, which meant that I got to see movies at the Alamo Drafthouse. I'll watch practically anything there! And I'll also watch Hackers at practically any moment. So imagine my delight when I realized I was going to get to see a special showing of Hackers at the Alamo Drafthouse! Seriously, go ahead and imagine it. I'll wait.

Of course, most people have to be in the right mood to see Hackers. They need some sort of excuse or something. I don't know why. Maybe they just want to limit their exposure to things that are fun. The Drafthouse was going with a weird gimmick: members of the audience would send text messages that would appear on the screen. It's like everybody shouting during a movie, but quieter and nerdier.

Sooooo anyway, here are the things I texted during the movie.

Featuring a star of Sports Night! -- this is because Felicity Huffman plays the prosecuting attorney at the beginning of the movie. Who doesn't like Felicity Huffman?

Poor Dade

The movie begins and ends in an airplane -- Actually, I guess it's the second scene and third-from-last scene. I still think it's interesting to have an airplane scene sort of bookending the action.

NORM! -- I have no idea why I texted this. I assume there was a fat guy on screen.

The challenge is clearly to text far enough in advance that it makes sense when it finally shows up. -- there was a lot of lag at this point, because the automatic system was slowing down the texts, so you didn'treally know when the queue would show yours.

College is the secret theme of this movie. That and the word ELITE -- It's true. Dade's motivation is apparently "get into college", while Joey's is "become ELITE"


The kid is Bring It On's Jesse Bradford! -- Well, it is.

This is the most realistic depiction of nerds EVER -- You know, with all the leather, latex, and rollerblading.

He just looks slick all day! -- I love this line, which is used to describe a character who promptly vanishes from the movie.

Wow. Normally you have to pull a lever to set off the sprinklers. -- As opposed to Dade's method of elaborately hacking into the school computer.

Those sunglasses are so small! -- Cereal Killer's sunglasses are barely big enough to shade his pupils.


The pink shirt book is just a Peter Norton guide -- Most of the manuals that Cereal Killer uses are, in fact, classically helpful (and taken directly from the Jargon File), but this one is just pointless.

Booooo -- At this point, the movie froze up. Turns out they were using a bad DVD.

So then the kid says he hit a bank, see... -- I was thinking we might just narrate the rest of the movie via the texts.

Hack the Movie! -- The movie's still frozen.

Now no one will see my hilarious jokes about Penn Jillette -- Because we skipped ahead a couple of scenes, which meant that we missed a scene where Penn plays a security guard.

Yay! Numbers!

Hapless technoweenies are the worst kind. -- The Plague calls Penn a "hapless technoweenie", which is a weird way to talk.

Never use your computer without proper eye protection -- Most of the characters (including Penn) are wearing sunglasses whenever they're using a computer. This is so they can have groovy animations projected on their faces.


Razor and blade? They're flakes!

This song is not on the soundtrack -- Joey was singing "Wild Child" in the shower. Incidentally, other texts around this point made the argument that Hackers has the worst shower scenes ever.

Ooh! Escalators! Now we're in the future!

Why not talk about our secret plan right here? -- Seriously, they just got out of the big meeting, they're still surrounded by officers, and they just start babbling about the millions of dollars they're stealing?

Nice read, Lorraine -- Lorraine Bracco's read of "Find the file or else you'll lose all your toys" is just awful.

Loyd wrote this manifesto -- Loyd Blankenship, writer of GURPS Cyberpunk.

He doesn't look like a Nirvana fan. -- Dade's got a GIANT Nevermind poster in his room.

The Plague HATES radios! And hard copy.

It ain't a party until the geeks show up!

What about the pooper? -- We skipped another scene when the DVD froze up again. So we missed Cereal Killer's line about "Lookit that pooper!"


We missed the part where Angelina spraypainted her computer! I love that scene!

Sexay! -- This could have gone almost anywhere, but I wrote it for Acid's dream sequence where she sees Jonny Lee Miller in a latex dress.


Now in this scene, I want you to be reaaally annoying...

Phreak doesn't get laid in his dream sequence. -- Doesn't seem fair, really.

It's in that place put that thing that time... That's what she said? -- I'm worried that I've stopped saying "That's what she said" ironically.

Cereal is also a Bible scholar.

I'm threatening you over a wireless headset and open phone line because I'm an elite hacker.

When is the next freezeframe scheduled? -- They were not using a good DVD at all. At the end of the movie, the audience all got free movie passes! Which will come in handy if I get back to Austin in the next year!

This is actually a pretty realistic scene. I mean, look at the pizza boxes! -- This is the scene where the good hackers deconstruct the virus/worm. It's realistic, I tell you! Look past the graphics!


They care more about Dade getting into college than the inevitable jail time

Erotically, as it were

She coulda killed that guy! -- Seriously, you can't just shoot a a flare gun at some guy doing his job!

Great. Lillard's butt. Thanks, movie.

Nice tape machine from the 1930s.

Couldn't they theoretically be elite flakes? -- Razor and Blade, that is.

I hate these movies that cast Asian actors in whiteface. So racist.

I also need an electronic army.

What's a Voodoo People?

Let's commit our federal crime in public! It'll be more ELITE! -- I just think they could have found a better place to work from than the Grand Central Station payphones, is all.

Oh, that Penn! What a technoweenie!

I love the smirk on the Italian guy. Unless he's French. You know, the Euro from five minutes ago when I started typing this.

Nappy: North, up, get egg, down, south, east, open window -- Someone using the handle "Nappy" asked if anyone wanted to play Zork I. I normally grab the egg right away so that I can get it into the treasure case before I attack the troll, since it shortens the fight. Fascinating!

Joey's getting stupid busy! He used to be just stupid.

I am not talking to you, actually.

Arf Arf!

LOLlerblades, actually. -- Someone said the fashion in this movie was "LOLlerskates", see...

Fine, I'll hack the stupid planet already. Get off my back!

A heinous scheme, you say?

Unlucky! -- Lillard's weirdest line reading.

Same jail

Why did they let the plane take off? Did the cops get first class tickets too? -- Seems like a weird way to arrest him. Now they have to go all the way to Tokyo and back.

Wash off some makeup?

So... it was a romance? -- These last scenes don't have much to do with the theme of the movie, in my opinion.

They had to rent an underwater camera for this one scene?

Needed more UNTZ -- Someone was posting UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ every time those songs showed up on the soundtrack.

Play it again!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Whip It Plus Five

Before we start, I should mention that I was a scorekeeper for the Rat City Rollergirls for a season. So I might possibly be biased in favor of a movie about roller derby. And I did enjoy it, although I admit that it was awfully formulaic. Between the trailer and my knowledge of How Sports Movies Work, there weren't that many surprises to be had. But who cares when I can watch Zoe Bell being a roller derby girl?

I was also predisposed to like it because it's set in Austin (well, mostly) and I'm going there in a week. So I was already pleased about going to see movies at the Alamo Drafthouse, and now I got to see a movie with the Drafthouse in it! So that was cool.

I don't really have much else to say about Whip It, since it was a straightforward fun movie. I don't feel like dissecting it or anything. Although I did feel that it was inappropriate for a seventeen-year-old character to make out with someone who thought she was 22. And if making out was all they did, I'd be very surprised. Anyway! Here are five other movies you might like if you liked Whip It!

5. The Fireball (1950)

Mickey Rooney is an orphan with a bad attitude who discovers a natural aptitude for speed skating. So, just like Bliss in Whip It, he immediately becomes great at roller derby. But this is back in 1950, when derby was a national sport, so he becomes a massive star and develops an even worse attitude. Then he gets polio (!), recovers, and makes an inspirational return to the track, all while being a huge egotistical jerk.

4. Double Dare (2004)

Zoe Bell plays Bloody Holly in Whip It, and she's a lot of fun to watch. You might recognize her from the Death Proof half of Grindhouse, but I recommend this 2004 documentary, which splits its time between two stuntwomen: Zoe Bell (who did Xena's stunts, which means all that flippy-flippy was her) and Jeannie Epper (a million roles in the Old Days, including doing Lynda Carter's stunts in "Wonder Woman"). This movie is why I spent so much of Whip It watching a character with very few lines.

3. Unholy Rollers (1972)

Roller Derby sort of comes and goes, you know? This is from the Seventies version of derby, and it's kind of like Flashdance. Except instead of being a steelworker, Claudia Jennings works in a cannery, and instead of becoming a Flashdancer, she becomes a roller derby skater. Then all the usual things happen, but it's entertaining anyway.

2. The Demon of the Derby (2001)

Ann Calvello was a tough old broad who skated in the Very Old Days of roller derby. She dyed her hair crazy colors and gleefully played the bad guy. She was awesome. This documentary is from when she was even older, but no less tough. It makes a great double feature with Lipstick and Dynamite, about the tough old broads from the old days of women's wrestling.

1. Kansas City Bomber (1972)

This is probably the best roller derby movie. It's got Raquel Welch! And some of the same background skaters as Unholy Rollers, so you can learn all about the standard Roller Derby Moves from back then. You know, like the Double Clothesline and the, um, Hop Up and Down on One Leg for Half a Lap!