Sunday, March 18, 2018

PODCAST: Simon and I talk "Big Trouble in Little China", "Buckaroo Banzai" and "War Games"

Buckaroo Banzai
Already covered

War Games
Watched:  03/17/2018
Viewing:  Fifth or Sixth
Format:  Alamo Drafthouse/ Village
Decade:  1980's

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
Watched:  03/18/2018
Viewing:  Seventh or Eighth
Format:  Shout Factory BluRay
Decade:  1980's

Join SimonUK and I as we ponder some cult favorites of the 1980's!  And, boy howdy, do we go all over the map on this one.  But, mostly, we stay on task.


Stuart said...

I coincidentally watched Cloak and Dagger again just the other day and had that same thought about kids movies and stakes. I mean, they gave Henry Thomas a gun and had him shoot a terrorist! But it was great, I mean they played the scene with him realizing the horror of it, and the movie in general seemed to be saying that all these juvenile fantasies are built on ugly realities. I feel like in a way that's a lot less damaging than Spy Kids or Agent Cody Banks.

Anyway, Wargames: you're right that they didn't think they were making a kids movie, but it turned out that way. For me at nine or ten, David Lightman was an aspirational character. I mean, that kid had it all. He spent all his time playing video games. He could hack his own grades. His parents had no idea what he was doing. AND his best friend was Ally Sheedy?? Yeah, sign me up for that life.

The only thing WarGames got wrong was that the government designed its own systems and had all those guys on staff who could work on the problem. In real life, it's contracted out, and the details of how the AI makes autonomous decisions is cobbled together using different proprietary tools that don't necessarily work well together, and no one person even knows how it works.

The League said...

Yeah, that seems right. I don't really follow how the defense department does things, but now that you mention it, I know Cray and others have these super deep secret contracts with the government, and that would have been true back then too. I mean, I guess the suggestion was Falken was on contract or something... at least on a grant from DOD. And then McKittrick maybe wasn't a contractor...? He wasn't in uniform, so that's my read. But a single person, in any case, seems like a recognizable point of failure for, oh, our entire nuclear arsenal.

Groboclown said...

I remember how about two years before WarGames came out, my brother got into tge hacking community. He complained how the movie made a lot of kids talk their parents into buying them a modem so they could try it out. He was hipster before it was cool.

Anyway, I'm really enjoying these podcasts when I get the chance to actually sit down and listen to them. I'm anxiously awaiting your analysis of D-Wars - my family has seen that film about four times together.

The League said...

Your brother was the only real hacker I knew during that era, so of course whenever I watch the movie I think about him.

I've seen Dragon Wars twice and it is mind-blowing. I'm not sure when or if we'll get to it, but my brother and I watched it the week it was available to rent and... hokey smokes.