Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Is it a game, or is it real?
High School student David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) has a talent for hacking. But while trying to hack into a computer system to play unreleased video games, he unwittingly taps into the Defense Department's war computer and initiates a confrontation of global proportions! Together with his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy) and a wizardly computer genius (John Wood), David must race against time to outwit his opponent...and prevent a nuclear Armageddon.
Today, WarGames is a nerd’s time capsule, possibly the biggest of them all, a celluloid equivalent of that box you have in your basement with obsolete technology kept out of misplaced sense of attachment, or maybe just because recycling electronics is hard and annoying.
Shall we even try to count it all? Eight-inch floppy disks, early VCRs, microfichés, paper library catalogs, dot matrix printers, galvanic modems, video game arcades with 8-bit shoot ’em ups, first hobbyist microcomputers, ASCII graphics (or was it ANSI?), analogue telephony, public phones, mainframe data centers with tape drives and blinkenlights.
Mr. Moore would be proud: it is astonishing to realize just 30 years later literally none of this exists any more. Without context – and…
It’s difficult to look back on a childhood favourite with fresh eyes, and not romanticise one’s memory of what it was like to watch first time round (and second… and third…). I watched the hell out of this in the years following its release, and while its politics, technology and production values have dated, the pace and youthful energy still hold up.
Broderick and Sheedy have great chemistry, largely because they don’t play quite to type: he’s more aloof and she more confident than was typical in other films of this era. Elsewhere the archetypes are more clear-cut (the suits, the parents, the Linux types), but there’s enough humour mixed with the serious and the ludicrous (nobody realises the supercomputer is playing a game simulation despite it saying so on its display?) that it all makes perfect sense.
Bonus points for recognising Michael Madsen and John Spencer as the two silo commanders in the pivotal opening scene.
In which Matthew Broderick nearly starts World War 3 via his shitty Freeserve dial-up.
In reality, if I'd known being a computer nerd would have the chance of attracting a girl like Ally Sheedy then I would have stayed in computer club at school rather than only going in there if it was raining and we couldn't play football at lunchtime.
WarGames is still tremendous fun and still stands out as something a bit different from the usual family friendly blockbuster fare. Broderick still has that slightly smarmy air about him that always made him less likeable than Michael J. Fox or John Cusack but he's still good here, and Sheedy is surprisingly convincing as someone excited about computers putting up some numbers on a screen.
The end message is a cloying one but you can't beat this, really.
I watched this, because 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' reminded me to. I was pleasantly surprised. A very thought provoking film even though it's about the virtual (or not-so-virtual?) 'game of war'. In the end it all comes down to the point that whenever it does come to a global thermonuclear war, there is no other end scenario except for mutually assured destruction, and this film proves that no one really has any need for that. Good that it just takes a film for us to realize this, and not the real deal. A recommended watch, and it does manage to still make a point even after 30 years.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Wow. Okay. I was not expecting this. I'm gonna go ahead and list the positives and negatives of this movie starting with the negatives:
She has pretty much no character. No offence to the actress, but damn this girl is bland. Also, considering she's pretty damn hot, how in the hell is she attracted to Matthew Broderick pretty much from the get go? The whole thing just doesn't ring all that true to me.
-Some of the logic with the machine.
So Joshua, who is bent on winning the game, sends the missiles at the US, and hits. When the US don't retaliate it....sends the missiles for them? That's not the rules of a game, which would…
"Confidence is high. I repeat, confidence IS high."
I've seen this a dozen times, grew up watching it. Is this a nostalgia fueled, 5-star review of a movie made the year I was born? You betcha.
While I do see some silly logic holes in this, I just don't care. This is near the beginning of a string of 80's cold-war to WWIII Soviet paranoia films, including Red Dawn, Top Gun, Rambo II/III, Octopussy and even Rocky IV. Each one of these is a neat time capsule of what the evil Soviets could do if we didn't keep them in check, and WarGames adds to that a paranoia and lack of understanding about putting computers "in control".
I remember thinking how cool Matthew Broderick's tricks with changing his grades and getting free phone calls were, and still do.
Also Ally Sheedy makes my pants area feel funny.
Saw this today for the first time since I saw it in the cinema when it came out. Have to say - a total fantasy, of course, but does actually hold up a lot better than I expected when watched in 2015.
One of my favourite films from my childhood and a seminal 80's movie still lives up to its billing.
Still chilling today
"WarGames" perfectly captures a moment in time: it is the perfect combination of burgeoning early-'80s sci-tech computer culture, and Reagan-era Soviet-phobia. There are good characters, fascinating techie scenes, and a terrifyingly exciting conclusion.
It's told mostly from the perspective of David (Broderick), a high school computer geek in Seattle. (Even when I saw this as a pre-teen, it wasn't hard to relate to David.) David unknowingly hacks into the missile command of the mainframe of the U.S. government, and sets off a would-be Cyber-War.
The movie is both a technical showcase for then-state-of-the-art computers (pre-mouse, apparently), and a philosophical case for humanity over machinery.
I always admired the technical plot-points, because whether they could actually work or not, the sheer ingenunity of trying them shows great imagination at work.
Even more than three decades later, it's an outstanding thriller housed in a monochrome-monitored time capsule.
Ahead of its time
"I don't have to take that from you, you pig-eyed sack of shit!
My my, a tantalizing young Ally Sheedy and Matthew Broderick save the world from World War 3 in this 80s classic, by outwitting a computer by making it play tic-tac-toe against itself. It was a good deal funnier than I expected. Broderick is like a young McGyver in this.
I'm really sorry the Cold War had to happen for this glorious thing to be made
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Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.