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Masterpiece Cinema - Hackers

 article about Masterpiece Cinema - Hackers
Okay, so before we start out this week, I'd just like to take a little time and relate something to you, my loyal readership.

Last week, I mentioned how there had been a great deal more hits being made on the column, with a surprisingly large amount of people taking a look through the backlog of articles.

As it turns out, Masterpiece Cinema was featured last week on whedonesque.com – a website dedicated to posting links to articles regarding Joss Whedon and his stable of talent – thanks to the piece I did ages ago on Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

I just wanted to say thanks to whedonesque.com for the traffic. Like I said to a couple of friends; this either shows that Masterpiece Cinema is growing in popularity…or it shows just how incredibly widespread Whedonesque's scouring of the Internet is.

That said, I thought it was kinda funny that it was the Atlantis article that was linked to because of the one line that mentions Whedon, rather than the entire column dedicated to Whedon's TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

But anyway, onto this week's film;

Hackers Starring Jonny Lee Miller, Angelina Jolie, Matthew Lillard, Fisher Stevens.

Written by Rafael Moreu.

Directed by Iain Softley.

Genre: Drama / Comedy / Thriller.

Released: 1995

Running time: 107 mins.

Rated: PG-13 (American rating)

IMDb link: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0113243/





Back in 1995, a movie was released that hoped to be the mouthpiece for an entire counter-culture that was growing beyond its infancy into a fully-fledged force to be reckoned with. That movie was Hackers, and that movie bombed. Big time. But hey, that's to be expected, right?

Hackers is, objectively, a pretty bad film; it's wildly inaccurate in its depictions of both technology and hacker culture, the villain – played by Fisher Stevens – is absolutely ridiculous and the plot is absurd. But you know what? It's still a really enjoyable film, and the amount of people you'll find that love it is a testament to that.



I would mostly credit the cast with the "why" of this film's likeability. The ensemble works very well together, creating dynamic and entertaining characters. Jonny Lee Miller has long been an actor I keep an out for; it's an interest born from both Trainspotting and his role in this film. Playing Dave, alias hacker Crash Override, Miller is sarcastic, relatable, cool and dorky, all at the same time.

Of course, there's also the young Ms. Jolie, who simply smoulders on the





screen. With a destructive smirk on her lips and a pixie-like hairdo, she cuts a mean figure of a cyberpunk character for the real world. With the palpable sexual tension that she and co-star Miller share, it's no surprise they ended up getting married after filming had finished.

All of this isn't to dismiss the work of the supporting characters. Matthew Lillard tends to be a fairly divisive guy. Some people care for his neo-stoner shtick and others find that it drives them up the wall. Personally, I like the guy, and with his character Cereal Killer, he has perhaps the best venue for his film persona he's ever had (that said, I haven't seen either of the Scooby-Doo films, of which pretty much all I've heard is how good he is as Shaggy).

Fisher Stevens is another guy that's always been close to my heart, ever since I was a kid watching the Short Circuit movies (I never said I was a very discerning kid). To his credit, he takes a bizarre villain that's clueless to how uncool he is and makes him…well, not threatening, because Stevens is so short and petulant that his villainy is like having a fourteen-year-old try to push you around…but he's certainly funny.

And that's what Hackers is. Fun. Funny. Watching it, it seems director Iain Softley wasn't overly concerned with accurately depicting the hacker sub-culture. Rather, he wanted to make a slick, cool film that took elements of the cyberpunk genre and grafted it onto reality. What we're left with is a film that it's easily the definition of a cult favourite, and something that is now, ten years later, still entertaining to watch.

Unless you're actually a hacker. Then it just pisses you off.

Next week: Another dip into the Masterpiece Cinema archives.



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