Sunday, July 15, 2007

mindless movie-watching (Die Hard 4.0)

last night i was in the mood for doing s.thing mindless, so i went to the movies to watch Die Hard 4.0. i´d last seen Die Hard 1, and maybe 2, but never 3, so it seemed like the least likely option to go watch vis-à-vis my movie tastes, but i went after seeing the movie plot summary which rang: "Bruce Willis returns as John McClane for the fourth Die Hard movie. This time he tackles internet terrorists threatening to take down the entire American computer and technological structure (sic)." I thought, ok, let´s see how they tell thát tale.

if you want to know the plot summary, see the (very detailed, this-must-be-a-twelve-year-old-summing-up synopsis) over at IMDB. if you plan on seeing the movie, don´t read the synopsis...

ok. let it be noted that i had not seen one of these gratuitously violent movies in quite some time. so, there i sat, and in one of the very early scenes, one of the bad guys smashes the car window in order to grab Willis. thing is, you don´t see it coming. i didn´t. so, i jumped in my seat. which then had the effect of the guy in the seat next to me also jumping. at which point i burst out laughing! that was so ridiculous. jajaja.

ok. the movie itself. it was good as sheer entertainment. interestingly, it is based on a piece called "A Farewell to Arms" by John Carlin (see it in Wired, May 1997), but with Carlin´s idea updated for a post 9/11 world. the movie is credible in the sense that the disruptive events described seem all plausible (although some members of the audience, upon exiting, commented that the movie made no sense...). thing is, the events weren´t high-level in a technological sense at all, since that would have made for a difficult-to-grasp movie.

the tech destruction scenario referred to is called a "fire sale" in the movie. here from wikipedia:
Use as plot device
The term "fire sale" is used in the 2007 movie Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4.0 in EU) to describe a hypothetical attack by computer hackers on vital networks of the United States government, infrastructure, and economy. Use of the term is explained with a reference to a typical fire sale: "everything must go." Any computer-operated system will be a target for such an attack, although the movie focused on four primary objectives: disrupting transportation, stealing and destroying financial records, disabling all public utilities, and creating fear with a PSYOP media campaign. This theoretical process drives the plot of the movie, threatening to bring the United States of America to its knees through widespread chaos and fear.
Retrieved from ""

some things that came to mind: so how come the baddies are always European/Continentals? in Die Hard 4.0 the bad guy´s henchmen are all French-speaking, and in the first movie the bad guys were all German. how come the techies are always weird marginal i-don´t-go-outside types? interesting that the suggestion is that the bad guy is privy to all this system information because he is a disgruntled ex-employee rather than that he was some random outsider who was able to find his way into the systems.

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At Thu Jul 19, 05:22:00 PM GMT+1, Blogger runnerfrog said...

Even so, I guess Ratatouille is better. :-)


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