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sagebeast

Swordfish (2001)

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Hugh Jackman is challenged to hack or die in an extremely short time period... while receiving fellatio.

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Oh god, this movie... I like to imagine that John Travolta just said "you know what, fuck it.." and put on his wig from Pulp Fiction.

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I remember it being a big deal that Halle Berry showed her boobs in this movie...and literally nothing else about it.

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I remember it being a big deal that Halle Berry showed her boobs in this movie...and literally nothing else about it.

 

you just hit the nail on the head

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I think that Travolta may have played the ultimate douchebag in this film.

memAX0J.jpg

 

Having this image on your screen causes it to radiate Axe body spray.

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Didn't she get like $500,000 extra or something to go topless?

And then she had them out for way longer for what had to be way less money later in the year in "Monster's Ball".

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Would be the 2nd entry for Dominic Sena (Season Of The Witch), and yeah, I enjoyed this movie but on a level whereby I have to disengage my brain... Travolta is hammier than a thousand pigs in this movie, and his hair is ridiculous.

 

Huge Action is great though, and we need a whole season of movies in which Vinnie Jones guests.

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I liked the movie in that in was hacking written by people who didn't know what the fuck they were talking about. I did like that they were inventive with the action, the opening scene especially, and Travolta's knowing-that-I'm-winking-but-still-talking opening monologue perfectly showed that what you were going to see was a whole lot of WTF. I also found it humorous that they did a spin on the Julianne Moore/Boogie Nights custody battle where she loses the right to her child because her religious husband claims she does drugs and porn in an actually normal house wherein this movie Hugh Jackman loses his kid because he was a hacker to Drea de Mateo who is actively shooting porn next to her daughter's bedroom. Also how much of a coincidence must there be for Travolta to look like not one, not two, but MANY known terrorist wherein he only has to change his hair color and style?

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Would be the 2nd entry for Dominic Sena (Season Of The Witch)

 

It's strange, he directs one movie that seems worth a damn ("Kalifornia"), takes 7 years off, makes two crappy movies in a row ("Gone in 60 Seconds" and this), takes eight years off, then makes two more crappy movies ("Whiteout" and "Season of the Witch"). We should see him making another few crappy movies sometime in 2020.

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Another movie that tried its damndest to make "hacking" sexy by adding guns and naked people and sexy lighting and Hugh Jackman to try and cover that so much of hacking is just typing, and typing is super un-sexy.

 

There was a big trend in action screenwriting in this era that, if you were trying to sell an action script on spec, you needed to put your biggest, craziest stunt in the first five pages, because you couldn't count on a studio executive reading any further than that; which led to these story structures where you'd open with a giant, crazy WTF stunt, then flash back to everything that led up to it, since blowing your biggest stunt in the first five minutes is nice for short-attention-span readers, but a terrible way to make a movie.

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Another movie that tried its damndest to make "hacking" sexy by adding guns and naked people and sexy lighting and Hugh Jackman to try and cover that so much of hacking is just typing, and typing is super un-sexy.

 

There was a big trend in action screenwriting in this era that, if you were trying to sell an action script on spec, you needed to put your biggest, craziest stunt in the first five pages, because you couldn't count on a studio executive reading any further than that; which led to these story structures where you'd open with a giant, crazy WTF stunt, then flash back to everything that led up to it, since blowing your biggest stunt in the first five minutes is nice for short-attention-span readers, but a terrible way to make a movie.

 

A pet peeve of mine in stories has always been the "flash forward" opening. It only works if there's some kind of twist to what we saw in the opening vs what actually happens when the story finally catches up. Memento is really the only one that works I can think of off the top of my head.

 

Otherwise it's like you said, just a desperate plea fo the audience to stay awake right away. It was the only part of Fight Club I hated. It would have been a lot more fun seeing the club get more out of control without knowing exactly where it would end up from the very first scene, and there's no twist to what we saw in the beginning to the final act.

 

Anyway, remember how they described Devil's Advocate as "this is what's cool to cigar shop guys"? Swordfish is the cigar shop cool guy's teenage kid getting to make a movie.

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A pet peeve of mine in stories has always been the "flash forward" opening. It only works if there's some kind of twist to what we saw in the opening vs what actually happens when the story finally catches up. Memento is really the only one that works I can think of off the top of my head.

 

Otherwise it's like you said, just a desperate plea fo the audience to stay awake right away. It was the only part of Fight Club I hated. It would have been a lot more fun seeing the club get more out of control without knowing exactly where it would end up from the very first scene, and there's no twist to what we saw in the beginning to the final act.

 

Anyway, remember how they described Devil's Advocate as "this is what's cool to cigar shop guys"? Swordfish is the cigar shop cool guy's teenage kid getting to make a movie.

 

It sort of has the mini twist in that you think that Travolta is just having a dumb meta conversation about Dog Day Afternoon while having a cappuccino but actually there are guys with guns pointed at him.

 

I also couldn't get past Travolta's ridiculous goatee or Jackman's single earring.

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I really should rewatch this movie.

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I remember this being one of the very first DVDs I ever got, because the first DVD player I ever got was a PS2 for Christmas and my parents bought 2 or 3 DVDs to go along with it.

 

I also remember, even at age 12 or 13 or whatever, the prime age for a Joel Silver production in which Halle Berry is nude, thinking: wow, this movie is abjectly awful and I am now ashamed to own it.

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FYI this movie expires on Netflix on 4/1 so watch it while you can.

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And then she had them out for way longer for what had to be way less money later in the year in "Monster's Ball".

 

Doin' what you gotta do to get an Oscar for the art, man.

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