Archive for the Cult Film Corner Category

Cult Film Corner: Lifeforce

Posted in Cult Film Corner, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2012 by Bjorn Grainger

Tobe Hooper, eh? We’ll always love him for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, an exercise in sustained terror, implied violence, and pitch black comedy. He also directed Poltergeist, but it’s dogged with rumours that producer Steven Spielberg ghost-directed the flick (Heh, yes, I’m proud of that pun), so strong is the Spielbergian influence on the film. What you may not know is after the success of Poltergeist, Hooper went on to direct another big budget, effects-laden feature. You might think you can’t possibly follow up a film about a murderous family based on real-life serial killer Ed Gein, or the tale of vicious and vindictive spirits terrorising a home, but you’d be wrong. Dead wrong. You make a film about space vampires laying waste to London town… Wait. What? SPACE. VAMPIRES. IN. LONDON. Yup. This is Lifeforce. Continue reading

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Cult Film Corner: The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford

Posted in Cult Film Corner, Movie Review, Movies, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2012 by Bjorn Grainger

Some films wallow in their depression. Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem For A Dream comes to mind. A film so unrelentingly bleak that in envelops you in a cold dark blanket of despair. It’s brilliant, but after watching it once you wouldn’t ever want to sit through it again. Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford is not one of those films. Continue reading

Cult Film Corner: Tron

Posted in Cult Film Corner, Movie Review, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2011 by Bjorn Grainger

The fourth and final movie in Cult Film Corner’s Hacking special is prolly the cultiest of cult films reviewed so far – Tron.

Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), an arcade owner and gifted software engineer, tries to hack into software company ENCOM. Once an employee, now he’s trying to find evidence of senior executive Ed Dillinger (David Warner) stealing his code for five extremely popular video games and taking credit for himself. Blocked by an increasing intelligent and malevolent Master Control Program, Flynn has to break into ENCOM with the help of current employees Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) and Lora Baines (Cindy Morgan). Working from a science lab within the ENCOM building, Flynn tries accessing the files again while Alan releases his brilliant security program, Tron. The MCP threatened, it zaps Flynn with a conveniently placed laser and beams him into ENCOM’s mainframe… Continue reading

Cult Film Corner: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Posted in Cult Film Corner, Movie Review, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2011 by Bjorn Grainger

So we find our way to the third movie in my Cult Film Corner hacking special – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Mikael Blomkvist (Mikael Nyqvist) is a brilliant journalist for news magazine Millennium. Opening in court, where he is charged with libel after being set-up in his latest investigation into corporate corruption, Blomkvist is convicted of libel and sentenced to three months in prison. His reputation in tatters, he resigns from Millennium and wonders what to do with his career until he’s approached by the lawyer of the powerful Vanger Group. Mikael is invited to meet with former head of the Vanger Group, Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube). There Blomkvist is told of Henrik’s niece, Harriet, and how she disappeared on one fateful day in 1966. Henrik believes that Harriet was murdered, and every year after her disappearance for his birthday he has received a pressed flower from a different place in the world, taunting him. Henrik asks Mikael to look into the investigation just one more time, to discover what happened to Harriet. Continue reading

Cult Film Corner: Hackers

Posted in Cult Film Corner, Movie Review, Movies with tags , , , , , , , on September 18, 2011 by Bjorn Grainger

Cult Film Corner continues its little foray in to the world of hacking, this time with 1995’s Hackers.

It’s 1988 in Seattle. A house in a picturesque neighbourhood is raided by a fully-armed SWAT team and an eleven year old Dade Murphy arrested. In court, we find out that Dade, under his moniker Zero Cool, hacked and crashed 1,507 systems and caused the stock market to dip by seven points. Convicted, he’s banned from own a computer or operating a touch-tone telephone until his eighteenth birthday, and his parents fined $40,000.

Fast forward seven years, his parents divorced, Dade (Jonny Lee Miller) is now eighteen and has moved with his super hot mother to New York. Allowed a computer again, and enrolled at a new school, he’s back to his old ways. Going under the new name of Crash Override to cover up past misdemeanours, he hacks a television station. He’s confronted by another hacker, Acid Burn, and they battle until Crash find himself booted from the system.
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Cult Film Corner: WarGames

Posted in Cult Film Corner, Movie Review, Movies with tags , , , , , , , on September 18, 2011 by Bjorn Grainger

I’d been struggling for ideas of what to watch for Cult Film Corner recently, but a conversation with myself on Twitter (isn’t that always the way?) brought to mind an interesting theme. With the prominence of LulzSec and Anonymous in the news, why don’t I look back at movies involving hackers and hacking! So I have, starting with 1983’s WarGames.

Opening during a secret test of a nuclear launch, it’s discovered that up to 22% of all officers with the nuclear release keys will fail to launch their missiles. With such a high failure rate, those in high office decide to take out the human element from the launch and hand all control over to Dr. John McKittrick’s (Dabney Coleman) supercomputer WOPR (War Operation Plan Response), a computer that is designed run complex military simulations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and learn over time.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, a young gifted but easily distracted schoolboy, David Lightman (Matthew Broderick), passes his time hacking the school computer and changing his grades for the better. Spying an ad in a magazine for a company making games, he decides to hack it and play the games for himself. Coming across an unlisted directory he assumes to be the games company, he’s blocked by a password. Doing a bit of research, Lightman discovers the games are designed by an AI expert called Stephen Falken and that the password is that of his late son Joshua. Once in, David decides to play a game. He chooses Global Thermonuclear War. Little does he know that it isn’t the games company he’s hacked into, it’s WOPR. And WOPR doesn’t think it’s a game… Continue reading

Cult Film Corner: The Parallax View

Posted in Cult Film Corner, Movie Review, Movies with tags , , , , , , on August 30, 2011 by Bjorn Grainger

Opening in Seattle in the shadow of the Space Needle, an idealistic and individual US senator celebrates the fourth of July with the public and possibly announcing a campaign for the presidency. About to give his speech atop the tower, the senator is brutally assassinated by one of the waiters, who appears to be working in tandem with another. One quietly makes his way from the scene, while the waiter who pulled the trigger manages to evade capture and takes a running jump off the side of the building. A committee decrees that the assassination was the act of a lone gunman, an obsessed nut, and closes the case.

Three years later, Lee Carter (Paula Prentiss) a paranoid and clearly terrified TV reporter who witnessed the killing firsthand, turns up at her at Joe Frady’s (Warren Beatty) apartment. Joe was also there that fateful day and is also a journalist for a Seattle-based paper. Carter says that somebody is trying to kill her and shows Frady evidence of six other people dying since the assassination. He dismisses her and sends her on her way. The next day she’s in the morgue having died of a drug overdose.

Frady takes up the investigation and his first port of call is a small village where a judge had drowned while fishing. The local police force don’t take kindly to his questions and try to kill him. Joe escapes, and snooping around the police officer’s house, he discovers some forms for the Parallax Corporation…

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