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JulyDiaz

EPISODE 124 - Hackers

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I didn't know glamour shots were a part of one's school profile...

 

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These also don't seem like the kind of kids that would show up for yearbook picture day.

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I didn't know glamour shots were a part of one's school profile...

I figured they hacked their school profiles to put whatever they wanted on. Of course if you're going to hack your profile you should put a dick pic on it or maybe goatse/hello.jpg - was that pic around in 1995?

 

You know what it just occurred to me that you could say well they can hack it can't they to any problem that comes up which ends up being the equivalent of saying "a wizard did it"

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Aside from the fact that in the 1990's three letter passwords were already not a thing- every time the password GOD is entered in to a computer there are only three character spaces. As if the virus... or the Gibson... or whatever it was being logged into... could ONLY be three characters long. The 70's and 80's were already ahead of the notion of a three letter password. I know the episode addressed the preposterous passwords, but in the film the computer login screen wouldn't have even allowed for more than three letters. That doesn't make sense at all... ever.

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With the level of absurdity in this film, I wouldn't have been surprised if they hacked into someone PLAYING a Gibson, like all of a sudden, someone's guitar started playing itself all crazy-like.

 

Oh, and was it really necessary to hack into the school's sprinkler system? Couldn't he have held a lighter under them and had the same effect? It looked like the entire hall full of kids was just running around in a circle in that one spot anyway.

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I didn't know glamour shots were a part of one's school profile...

 

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To be fair that could be a senior picture. For my high school they did that for us where instead of the normal "get your crappy picture in the gym and that's your yearbook photo" they would use the one that was professionally taken for our families.

 

Also concerning the hacking bet, how does making a person legally dead on paper only equal out to the same points as putting what is basically a craigslist ad for men into bondage or cancelling his credit card? What kind of shitty scoring system is that?

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With the level of absurdity in this film, I wouldn't have been surprised if they hacked into someone PLAYING a Gibson, like all of a sudden, someone's guitar started playing itself all crazy-like.

I'd love it if Zero Cool is such a leet haxor that he hacked into a Gibbon, cut to a zoo enclosure and a monkey going fucking bananas

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I'd love it if Zero Cool is such a leet haxor that he hacked into a Gibbon, cut to a zoo enclosure and a monkey going fucking bananas

Or hacked into MEL Gibson and made him say all sorts of crazy racist and sexist stuff! I WOULD say "Someone should get Sherlock Holmes on this", but he and the culprit are one and the same!

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First and foremost, forget my wife and two loving children - What I'm most thankful for is this podcast and June's continuing fear of robots.

 

Now on to Hackers...

 

So within the first few minutes of watching this film, I was floored by a few things:

 

1) Zero Cool, as an 11 year old boy, caused a 7 point drop in the NY Stock Exchange. So based on this small piece of information, I think we can assume this equated to millions of dollars lost and a large amount of people losing their savings. So what's his punishment... Don't use a computer or a touch tone phone for 7 years and $45,000! $45K? I mean they should have hit his family with a $500K penalty or something that would make us feel that his punishment put the family in ruins, thus causing late night arguments between his parents and eventually leading them to divorce.

 

2) I can't get a handle on Dade's mom. We all know that on his 18th birthday, Dade is allowed back on a computer. First of all, what 18 year old is now mature enough to not cause mayhem? Be that as it may, his mom asks him on the day he is allowed back on a computer... "What are you doing?" How does Dade reply, " I'm taking over a TV Network." No concern comes from the mom. But then when she confronts him in the shower, she gets angry that he's back online. But isn't he allowed to by law and honestly, did she just think he was playing Doom or Duke Nukeum?

 

3) If Dade stayed true to his 7 year sentence of staying offline, is he some kind of genius? After that kind of hiatus, he still knows all the ins and outs of hacking? There has been no advancement in security systems since he last hacked?

 

In the novelization they go into more detail about how Dade had been still hanging out with hackers while on probation and keeping up with the tech.

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Edit: Joke sounded more mean than funny. I didn't want any accidentally offend my friends on her so enjoy this gif from the Hackers making of or something.

 

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Oh, and was it really necessary to hack into the school's sprinkler system? Couldn't he have held a lighter under them and had the same effect? It looked like the entire hall full of kids was just running around in a circle in that one spot anyway.

 

Not to fixate on the sprinkler scene, but I did have another issue with it.

 

If you are going to hack into the sprinkler system at school, and you wish to avoid punishment for doing so, wouldn't being the only dude standing indoors, completely dry, and holding an umbrella be a piss poor way of deflecting attention from yourself?

 

I mean, I don't know much about hackers in the real world, but I would have to imagine, that in order to be a successful hacker, one would have to possess a certain degree of subtlety, nuance, and maybe even a little bit of paranoia that is inherent to their character--qualities none of the hackers in this film seem to have. There's a reason why a hacker group would call themselves "Anonymous."

 

And this kind of flagrant disregard for discretion happens multiple times during the course of the movie. One of my favorite moments is when Double Smoker meets up with Phreak in Central Park. The scene opens with him nervously smoking on a fountain and pans out to about 15 feet in front of him where two suspicious looking characters are sitting on a bench. When Phreak shows up, Double Smoker just loudly launches into all their super secret hacking bullshit. He makes zero effort to lower his voice or even try to move the conversation to a more secluded area. What the fuck?

 

Actually...you know what? Nevermind. You're right movie. If a person is being actively being pursued for committing a felony, they should absolutely ignore their instinct to be discrete and just shout the details of their crime over the din in a crowded public area.

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Paul... Can you explain the logic behind recording the sound of $5 in change being deposited into a payphone will in turn get you free calls when you play it back?

 

My name is not Paul, but this is easy to explain. Back in the day the telecom system worked by interpreting tones transmitted over the wire. You could theoretically record a the sound (in the earpiece) of a someone dialing 876-5309 on any phone and play it (into the mouthpiece) of another phone and it would call that number. Similarly payphones worked by telling the phone company that someone had deposited a coin by sending a specific sound (iirc it was a like "s" in morse code). You would be recording the signal that change was deposited in the phone and playing it back to the phone company to fool the system into thinking that you had deposited money. I had tried this, but never got it to work, I think the phone company had gotten wise to this by the mid 90s

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Anyway, I wanted to talk about the use of "elite" for hackers. I know that is sort of a thing. Everything used to be "l33t!!" (leet). I looked it up and apparently this originated with techy people in the 80s because bulletin board systems (BBS) would give you certain privliges when you reached elite status. But I don't think it was ever a level you would achieve as a hacker? Like a gold star some hacking organization sends you in the mail?

 

From what I remember it went fro 31337 to 1337 to l33t

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This movie is missing a scene where we see them hoarding all those "100 Free Hours of AOL" discs in a vault or something, ensuring that they'll never have to pay for Internet EVER! Well, just as long as they're still using a landline. "Hackers 2" needs to begin with them using the very last one...

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So at the end, Bunk's plan to catch The Plague is to let him get in an old man costume and get on a plane to flee the country. Then wait for the plane to take off and then wait for Plague to ask for a pillow to slap the cuffs on him?

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So at the end, Bunk's plan to catch The Plague is to let him get in an old man costume and get on a plane to flee the country. Then wait for the plane to take off and then wait for Plague to ask for a pillow to slap the cuffs on him?

And that makes me wonder, who got on the plane first? I imagine Plague booked that flight in a hurry, and this was still during the time where he probably could have walked into an airport, said "I would like to get on the next departing plane, please", pay in cash, and be on his way. Either the cops and/or Secret Service were on him the whole time, or they had people on like EVERY plane looking for him, and they just got lucky that he was on the very same plane as the agents we'd been following the whole time.

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So at the end, Bunk's plan to catch The Plague is to let him get in an old man costume and get on a plane to flee the country. Then wait for the plane to take off and then wait for Plague to ask for a pillow to slap the cuffs on him?

 

Wow, until you brought this up I honestly could not remember how this movie ended. All I could remember was the neat little bow they tied it all up with--with them swimming in a pool on a roof somewhere. So well done. It was like the phone charger callback on a recent Netflix show.

 

Also, since Paul plugged his guest appearance on the Worst Idea of All Time podcast, I'd like to go ahead and recommend Til Death Do Us Blart.

 

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It's a new annual podcast in which the guys from Worst Idea and the McElroys from My Brother, My Brother, and Me and The Adventure Zone review Paul Blart 2 every Thanksgiving from now until the end of time--the hosts only being replaced upon their deaths. I assume if you listen to either of those shows already you're probably already aware of it, but just thought I'd give it--and their other shows--a quick shout out.

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So, was I the only one pining for the 90's while watching this horrible movie? Not that Hackers represents in any way, shape or form the things I miss about the 90's, but there are pieces here and there. Like, I was never a huge Pearl Jam fan back when, but now every time I hear one of their songs in passing, they kind of make me all misty of the salad days.

 

I purposefully avoided this movie when it was released. I worked at Tower Records when it came out on VHS, and one of my fellow, seriously annoying coworkers played it once everyday in the video section of the store (It was her, "...favorite movie of all time!") The scenes of this movie I would catch in passing seemed tone-deaf, cheesy and patronizing. After finally watching this film recently in it entirety, I'm glad to see that I was completely correct in that earlier assessment of it, salad days feels be damned.

 

Also, there was a time there when Angelina Jolie's pixie-haired tough girl was totally my type. I say was, but that aesthetic still totally does it for me. Homina, homina, homina! Sorry, June.

 

Okay, corrections and omissions:

 

1. I love the scene when Jonny Lee Miller is about to take a shower and his mom apologies for moving them to New York City. Like, "Sorry I moved you to one of the most exciting cities on the planet son. I know that this city (as depicted in this film) is practically a playground for teenagers, and there are access ramps everywhere for your rollerblades. How can I make moving to this hell hole up to you?"

 

2. Why don't the cops simply raid the TGI Fridays Hackers den? All of the Hackers are there, like, all the time. They could have saved themselves a ton of trips arresting Hackers in one obvious location?

 

3. The scene where Nikon realizes that Jonny Lee Miller's character is the famed Zero Cool, he acts surprised to learn that Zero Cool isn't black. Did the 12 year-old Zero Cool hack in a certain race-based way?

 

4. Lorraine Bracho's acting was absolutely fuckin' terrible. Her ADR'd line on the escalator is particularly - laughably - horrible. "I don't wanna go to jail for this"

 

5. Would you trust your company's computer system to a man who insists on being called "Plague" and rides a skateboard in a comically evil way?

 

6. Did anyone else besides Plague not see the horrible design flaw with those oil tankers? Flooding the ballasts would cause them to capsize!?! Get on fixing that, multi-billion dollar net worth company!!!

 

7. Jonny Lee Miller's American accent is barely passable. Also, you gotta love his Caesar hair cut. With all this 90's revivalism going on now, when will we see that hair style making a comeback?

 

8. The television station's robot movie-grabber hand fight at the beginning of the film: that right there is the "Genisys" of Skynet!

 

9. This film would pair nicely with another absolutely shit, teen slacker pandering film from the same time: Empire Records. Talk about self torture viewing.

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Also, this thread would not be complete without "1 4|\/| 4|\| 31337 |-|4><0|2 |>|-|33|2 |\/|3"

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I want to second Astronaut Down's omission: Renoly Santiago was not only the most exciting part of this movie but epitomized all of its amazing fashion choices. My favorite scene is when he tells off Jesse Bradford for wearing a plaid shirt -- he is in a leopard print shirt and differently styled leopard print pants.

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The more I think about it, the more I wonder if we are even supposed to like Miller's character. Like, we can all agree he's a piece of shit, right? For example, he arrives at the school, he's surrounded by people walking hither and yon, he looks around helplessly for a second, and then immediately goes right to a person (Phreak) talking on the phone to ask for directions to the principal's office. Calm your shit, dude. Why don't you ask one of the one hundred other people around you who aren't currently on the phone? Or maybe use that genius brain of yours to suss out that the school's office is most likely right by the main entrance we just saw you roller blade through.

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Now a couple of totally random things that went through my head when l saw the movie and then heard the episode...

 

* I hope that the do "The Net" soon on the show... A Sandra "Biloxi Blues" Bullock classic!

 

* The english class scene is at the minute 21 mark on my DVD copy exactly at the same time mark in the episode Paul adresses Matthew Lillard's Jesus Shirt... Mind blown!

 

* Speaking about Matthew Lillard I think his character pretty much raided Perry Farrell's closet

 

* Back in 2013 June was on Comedy Bang Bang talking about technology and predicted the Google Car but she thought that Apple would be the first company to get in on that... http://www.earwolf.com/episode/butthole-baby/ ( Around the minute 3 mark )

 

* The wierdest thing / conection my mind did was when I heard the song from the opening credits I recognized it from the ending scene in Mortal Kombat a movie that was also relased in 1995 (

) and I also remembered that on the "2nd opinions" segment from the Mortal Kombat episode Jason joked that a reviewer named "LB worshiper" was a big fan of Lorraine Bracco who was also in Hackers... 1227c32e4c9eccafd355175bcf6174adbb35b9e9120c627d0251b44532e50bf2.jpg
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This was the first time I watched a movie ahead of the podcast (as I've caught the announcement in the last minisode, listening to which was also a first for me) and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I've heard them discuss movies I knew and ones I was unfamiliar with, but somehow I expected them to mention things I was noticing while watching. I'm so unsettled by this that I've listened to the thing twice now and still barely remember it.

 

Edit: I also expected to be attracted to at least the young Jolie, which I'm still not. I don't get it, she should be hot. I just don't see her that way. Hairstyles and clothing (for everyone) were atrocious, and the skateboarding... Why wasn't the skateboarding a bigger deal? I really don't think I liked anyone in this movie, and when cereal killer (?) was named as favourite actor in the thing, I damn near lost my mind.

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This was the first time I watched a movie ahead of the podcast (as I've caught the announcement in the last minisode, listening to which was also a first for me) and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I've heard them discuss movies I knew and ones I was unfamiliar with, but somehow I expected them to mention things I was noticing while watching. I'm so unsettled by this that I've listened to the thing twice now and still barely remember it.

 

I believe this is the whole reason they do Corrections & Omissions on the mini's. You can't be too disappointed if they don't mention something that stood out to you. All of us are unique little snowflakes.

 

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