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Since there aren’t many hacking movies around, I had to loosen the definition of hacking to include different genres of hacking (whilst trying to keep the list cohesive but most likely failing badly, haha).
This list of movies won’t teach how to hack. If you’re young then you will find all this very cool and won’t question the veracity of these movies (i know i didn't). Sadly when you get older, you start taking a deeper look at things and realise with regret how laughable all these English majors/story-writers are at writing a good techy script for us.
The problem is that real hackers or engineers can't really "write" without making things choky or boring (for example this very intro, lol!) and English majors lack all manner of practicality and think that owning a smartphone makes them a "hacker." So sadly I cannot crown any single hacker movie so far as being best in class. They are all lacking in "something" to make them a great movie. Here is something that could work: the guy who produced Fringe and James Cameron banging heads to come up with a hacker movie story that is up-to-date, deep and mind-blowing.
I hope my list will satisfy any nerd, tech savvy person, gamer, programmer, virtual reality fan, university and pre-university IT/Software Dev/CompSci/Eng students. If you think I missed a movie title, then drop a comment below.
End of Line. (Tron). Cheeeeese!
.:: Please, if you're going to export my list like that Indian kid did (all his movies are in the same order as mine), then at least remove the description I've typed next to each movie. This is my personal touch to an otherwise boring straightforward listing. Thanks. ::.
Note: By fast-food, I mean drinks too.
Feel free to intersperse your watching with documentaries I listed from position #20 onwards. These will keep your feet firm on the ground i.e. see for yourself how greedy corporations & banks can have real-life destructive repercussions. Let's hope that you, the next generation, will learn not to repeat the recurring wrongs of 'casino' banking & other shady investment people.
Last bubble bust / economic crisis: Sep 2008
I hope you enjoy this list. The difference between A.I here and A.I on the hackers list is that this A.I has a human or physical form. In the Hacker's list, the A.I is pure software.
Let me know if there's anything I missed. x
300: Rise of an Empire (2014)
Worst movie of 2014?
I wanted to rate it a big fat zero but sadly IMDb's lowest score is a 1. This is really unfair as a zero or negative number would more accurately describe my feelings for this horrendous piece of trash.
This movie should be a good discussion starting point on why IMDb needs to implement a scoring system which goes to -10. Movies like 300 Rise of An Empire, Sacry Movie 5 and Haunted House 2 really beg for negative marks.
Everything in that movie is bad and predictable. It's almost like they hired a child to write the story (which according to some IMDb reviewers does not even reflect what truly happened). The main actress was a pain to watch and listen to. The action scenes wreaked of 3D and not the good type of 3D. Everything dragged on and on and on, making me scream "When will this garbage end!" There are people dying of hunger in Africa but this sequel found the millions of dollars it needed to get produced. May God have mercy on us!
Before Midnight (2013)
Avoid and you will be happier!
Usually when the director happens to be one of the writers too, you can expect such heights of boredom and nonstop drivel. Don't get me wrong, I like this genre which I call 'yappy dee yap' movies. Movies which are about lengthy blabber, random tantrums and pointless conversations. Movies with no backbone except for chit chat. I loved the following:
- "Before Sunset" which seemed to have a point or driving towards one.
- The excellent "2 Days in Paris" and its inferior sequel "2 Days in New York."
- Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris."
- "The Trip (2010)" with British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
But "Before Midnight" is just too much. Every 3 minutes I felt like screaming "Will you please SHUT UP!" This is not a good sign. It reminded me of young me being stuck at the dinner table with boring self-castrated adults. Every now and then my imagination worked on how the movie would greatly improve if a tractor rammed into the (cliché cute) twins or if the roof collapsed on the old people at the lunch table. How about if the couple brought varying degree of bad luck everywhere they went but they didn't know it was their fault until it struck midnight and a giant meteor fell on their head? That alone would have kept my interest up instead of downward sloping.
I think the yapping was way over the top this time and nothing really happened in the movie. It's crossed the line of truly annoying and irritating. Even the nude topless scene was too much and disconnected with the rest. I cannot connect with the characters, their life or the story. If that couple were my friends, I would never invite over and permanently hide their status updates on social networks.
Sap ji sang ciu (2012)
What an absolute waste of time
I've seen some of the 21st century Jackie Chan movies and they were light and fun. A good watch when you have nothing else on. This one, "Chinese Zodiac" isn't one of them. It is mostly about gimmicks and technology gizmos that make sounds and bleeps. There's no intelligence gain in watching this. And clearly they went over the top with tech. The story itself is a let down. At first I thought of the old "Dragon Ball" series but the quest was nothing like that or as exciting. I've never felt so dis-interested in watching a team trying to find and re-unite some lost bronze heads.
There're I thought that Chinese movies would attempt to be purer and less shallow than Hollywood's worst movie in this category. It wasn't the case, they went even cheesier and shallower. This movie will surely make some 7 to 10 year old very happy (or someone with that level of mental faculty).
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
The 99% want their money back!!
This 4th sequel is absolute rubbish. If I watched it in the cinemas, you can be sure that I'd have walked out after 10 minutes to get my money back. It is that bad. You don't have to watch much to know how excruciatingly horrible this movie is. I can't believe how they even got the money to produce it or who was stupid enough to blindly put money into this.
Milla Jovovich is at her worst but this is only normal. At first I thought she lost weight but it was just the long hair. With the tom-boy hair, she looks fatter. Her acting is not up to scratch at all, actually you can plot a graph of her gradual worsening from the 1st movie to this one (rock bottom). Most of the action scenes make no sense and produce the yawnies. I'm not going to elaborate. Stay away from this pile of fecal matter. I wouldn't watch it or stream it even if it were free.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Not the best...
Am glad Woody Allen didn't also act in it. Something about this guy and the way he talks, doesn't gel well with me. As for the movie, it feels 100% Woody Allen, too Woody Allen actually. My criticism is that, the way the actors moved, posed, talked and even the camera pans, all felt like something I've seen time and time again. Call it his signature but I got bored in the end.
The script was brilliant though, I really liked the concept. Am not a big Paris fan but I can't deny that it has a nice setting for making movies. London (my city) in comparison feels grim and low quality.
I hated the blonde actress (Rachel McAdams). She was terrible (especially when she was stamping in and out of hotel rooms). I was scared about having Owen Wilson in a Woddy Allen comedy but he was great choice. No wonder the script had to be re-written to fit him, haha.
On a BBC Radio4 programme, Woody Allen asked "Why do People not go see his movies?" (as in, his previous movies). My answer is that he should either Direct or Write. Given his age and experience, I would lean on the writing side. What I want to see from ageing actors or directors is their take on the life that they've lived, boxed into a neat movie.
The Veteran (2011)
Absolutely loved it
At the beginning you hear distant voices of soldiers calling out orders and I started hoping it wouldn't be another Iraqi/Afghan war movie. And it wasn't! It's a movie with a really interesting urban plot (in this case, London). If you liked The Bourne Identity coupled with anti-terrorism and gang violence, then you will love this movie. Nothing about it is over-the-top or over-done (something which I always criticise whenever I watch a US movie). The main actor Miller (Toby Kebbell) is cold, composed and knows what how to handle combat situations. The ending was so good, I thought "i think they got Gamer (2009) beat." It's got all the bullets and bloodshed you'd ever want from a one-man mass shooting. However it goes beyond that for me. I hate Estates in the UK. They are a symbol of rot, drugs, teenage violence and guns. If I had a few hours to live, I'd probably do exactly what Miller did towards the end - clean up time!
The whole thing hinged on ONE thing
I totally hate movies like that. They usually have nothing to say or re-tell something that's been done to death. In this case, the whole story is based on the life changing miracle drug NZT. The lottery jackpot effect. So weak! In some other movies, you can substitute NZT with radioactive spider bite or an alien light coming from the sky (Phenomenon).
I can see why (young) people looking for a shortcut in life will like the NZT concept. Maybe you like super hero movies too. Such people are blinded by one aspect of a film and completely forget to rate the others. Did you give it 7 or more?
This movie is not special. In a few words, it's about drug addiction, excess, thugs and resulting problems. If it's supposed to reflect the Wall Street types, then well done! There's no "shortcut" even De Niro says that at some point in the film. If you like drugs so much, then get a copy of Requiem for a Dream. At least the latter has substance.
TRON: Legacy (2010)
I'm a fan of the 1982 movie but not this one...
I think the writers/producers completely lost the essence of the old Tron. I doubt they even understood what the original story was about. It was a server Operating System portrayed as a virtual world. Corporate servers were a big thing back then, not everyone had access to it. Such an OS allocated priorities & CPU time slices to users who ran programs. The first Tron was very effective in portraying this world ('Bit' was so cute) and stuck to the computer way of thinking and efficiency -- that's why there were no night clubs, fireworks or use of 4 female models to take one's clothes off. The game thing might seem off but hey, programs have to die in one way or another.
Back to the movie, the whole script felt patchy, as if they thought of different stories and put them together regardless of whether they fit or not. Very often I felt there were gaps as if they ran out of things to say or do. Acting-wise, I wasn't impressed. Olivia Wilde was pretty awful. I liked her in The OC and House but not in this movie. I don't think she knew what she was supposed to be doing, most time her mouth is left open as if she was in a daze. Was that supposed to reflect the non-acting of Neo (Matrix)? The rest of the movie was too much CGI and Starwars for me. Why would I want to re-see that? Even the sound effects sounded similar to X-Wings or whatever. The CG is big and maybe could explain Tron's lack of depth.
28 years in the making and they came up with that... 2/10!
This is the first time I watched a movie wanting it to end asap. However I did sit through the gruelling 2h30 ordeal. This sequel glorifies the fighting of two armies (and incredible abuse of CGI). This is no different from any other sword-battle movies. One army (usually the baddies) greatly outnumbers the other. And we the audience are supposed to feel pity for the smaller army of good and hope that they will find a way to win. This is quite generic and frankly, quite overdone! To make matters worse, those Narnia kids have the same strength of a fully grown men. One stab of their blade and the enemy soldier falls to the ground. So fake and a pain to watch! I felt a lot of background story was missing and maybe this would have helped the movie. When I think of Narnia and the main actors, epic battle isn't a thing that comes to my mind. This sequel has lost a lot of the charms of the first one.
Not Worth The Wait
Wall Street (1987) was so good, I felt that it was my duty to book myself a VIP seat for the sequel. However I did go in with the fear that Shia LaBeouf was in it and to me this guy is a joke. He's OK for kid movies like Transformers but Shia in a serious Wall Street movie, that's got to be a mistake! A few minutes into the movie and you get introduced to Shia and Carey Mulligan (Gekko's daughter but you don't know that yet). It's clear that they are a couple and I was then afraid that Oliver Stone was setting the tone of the movie: It won't be like the first one -- more like jello. Seeing Gekko getting out of jail was a quite anticipated moment. I did laugh at the brick-stone mobile phone being handed over to him (even though it was already in the trailer). I have to say Michael Douglas still looks & sounds as good as ever. From then onwards, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief... but that was short lived.
I eagerly anticipated a captivating Gekko speech, like in the first movie, but more tied up to 2008 climate. Unfortunately the use of fades and showing Shia's and the audience face ruined this moment for me. It was such a butch job that I could hardly concentrate on what Gekko was saying. As the movie progressed, I got the feeling that I was being rushed through it (most scenes were not concluding well). To that, I can only wonder whether the movie is actually final version.
Halfway through I got really bored. The movie is really about a triangle between Shia, the daughter and her dad - nothing to do with Wall Street. There was hardly any portrayal of Shia or Gekko or Bretton of having a high testosterone trader attitude. Actually the movie tried to stay clear from the jargon which made the first Wall Street so memorable. You just hear "moral hazard." Hello? Show us, this is a movie. Even the guys in Boiler Room (2000) payed a homage to Wall Street 1 by doing a little Gekko re-enactment. The sequel didn't even seem keen making another such mark in history (obviously not the same stuff but carefully researched & current trader daily speak material).
As for the rest of the cast, it's a major thumb down. Mostly gutless and pale, except for Josh Brolin who totally had the attitude for such a movie. Frank Langella was OK. His suicide scene was pretty shocking. You get to see Charlie Sheen (ah good old Bud Fox) but not for long.
When I came back home, I played the original Wall Street and the differences were really obvious. Oliver Stone has softened up over the years. He doesn't know New York as well as he did back in 1987. You hardly see that city life in the sequel. He completely missed out on showcasing the new-era busy & macho trading floor. It looked more like the Transformers NSA analyst floor. The romance and bike race were really cheap distractions. He could have worked a bit more on the financial collapse and rescue deals. Instead, he rushed through it by using graphics that were supposed to wow us. Instead, he uses a cliché gobblin old banker with white side-hair (and god knows how many earlobes) to make a strange pathetic bird sound, and we're supposed to feel a sense of impending doom. Terrible.
"Money never sleeps?" OK, here's one, "Everything that rise must eventually fall" and this is exactly what Oliver Stone & Shia did to that movie and hopefully themselves. I haven't't gone to a cinema in 6 years and that's what I get when I do.