War Games (1 & 2)

Is it a game, or is it real?
Is it a game, or is it real?
D: John Badham
MGM-United Artists/Sherwood (Harold Schneider)
US 1983
113 mins


W: Lawrence Lasker & Walter F. Parkes
DP: William A. Fraker
Ed: Tom Rolf
Mus: Arthur P. Rubinstein
PD: Angelo Graham

Matthew Broderick (David Lightman), Ally Sheedy (Jennifer Mack), Dabney Coleman (John McKittrick), John Wood (Dr. Stephen Falken), Barry Corbin (Gen. Jack Beringer)

Computer technology has come a long way in the last 30 years so many aspects of this film are terribly dated, though the threat of nuclear war still remains incredibly real and that's where this movie excels as a cyber-thriller.
Matthew Broderick made his breakthrough performance as geeky high school student David Lightman, who hacks into what he believes is a games company so he can investigate their new range. Completely unaware he has actually hacked into the US government's military programme, he begins a virtual game of Global Thermonuclear War which is treated as a very realistic threat from the (then) USSR.
Released when Cold War paranoia was very much still a chilling subject War Games was the first film to deal with computer hacking and the first to introduce jargon which we've since become very familiar with (modem, etc).
It's a huge shame that this film has suffered through age, it's still quite enjoyable despite its archaic software, though may now be considered a Commodore 64 or Spectrum 48k in an age of Apple Mac's and Smartphones. 

Ally Sheedy & Matthew Broderick in War Games
Ally Sheedy & Matthew Broderick in War Games

The game isn't over
The game isn't over
D: Stuart Gillard
MGM (Irene Litinsky)
US 2007
95 mins


W: Randall Badat
DP: Bruce Chun
Ed: Robin Russell
Mus: John Van Tongeren

Matt Lanter (Will Farmer), Amanda Walsh (Annie D'Mateo), Nicholas Wright (Dennis Nichols), Colm Feore (T. Kenneth Hassert)

A teenager completes a virtually impossible computer game and becomes a target for government assassination.

A rather pointless sequel to a film which didn't need one. Filmed mostly in Canada with a next-to-nothing budget and snatching plotlines from the Stargate: Universe pilot & Bourne movies. Still, it could have been much worse... With any bigger a budget the casting of the lead role could have gone to Ashton Kutcher!

Definitely one to ignore.


Matt Lanter in War Games: The Dead Code
Matt Lanter in War Games: The Dead Code