May 17, 2004

DVD Quick Take: WarGames

WarGames (1983) (d. John Badham, s. Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, Dabney Coleman, John Wood)
Here's a blast from the past. A movie about a teenage computer hacker, original huh? Well back in 1983 this was relatively new. Computers were in the early stages of making it into the home and we were still in the Cold War, with the threat of nuclear war hanging over us. Then along comes WarGames, a fun little movie combining high school dramady and social commentary on nuclear war. The result is a charming film that, although pretty dated, still is a lot of fun.

The movie follows high schooler David Lightman as he tries to hack into a game companies computer, only to end up in the machine that controls the nuclear weapons of the country. We are faced with the chase, will he be caught, will he find the computer's designer, can they beat the clock. Pretty standard fare. The acting is solid, the technology is quaint (when viewed today), direction is solid. I was surprised how much I still enjoyed it.

It was fun looking at the dated computer systems, especially the modem which had its own cradle to place the handset on. The lack of real looking technology in the war room, complete with passing tour groups (Do you really think they would allow civilians in a sensitive area like this?). We have the government agents who effortlessly track down our hero. The girlfriend who must help at all costs. And let's not forget the recluse with a heart.

The DVD itself looks pretty good, colors are solid, there is a little bit in the way of dust and marks, but nothing distracting. Audio is decent, unspectacular. We do get a nice extra in a commentary track featuring the director and writer's, I haven't listened to it yet, so I cannot comment on whether it is any good yet.
Overall, this can be found relatively cheap and is still a lot of fun to watch. Recommended.


Anonymous said...

I like to scream "bleurrggghhhh."

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