about history of hackers

In 1988, Seattle boy Dade "Zero Cool" Murphy (Jonny Lee Miller) is arrested and charged, at the age of 11, with crashing 1,507 systems in one day and causing a single-day 7-point drop in the New York Stock Exchange. Upon conviction, he is banned from owning or operating computers or touch-tone telephones until his 18th birthday.

Shortly before Dade turns 18, his mother (now divorced) takes a new job in New York City. Upon turning 18, Dade calls a local television station, dupes the security guard into giving him the modem's phone number (a tactic known as social engineering) and successfully hacks into the station's computer network, changing the current TV program to an episode of The Outer Limits. However, Dade is "attacked" by a hacker on the same network, (who goes by the handle "Acid Burn") and is eventually kicked off. During the conversation, Dade identifies himself by the new alias, Crash Override.

Dade enrolls at Stanton High School, where he meets the beautiful Kate Libby (Angelina Jolie), who is responsible for taking him on a tour of the school. After being told of a "pool on the roof" (which results in Dade and several other students being locked on the roof during a rainstorm) and learning that Kate is "Acid Burn" a feud erupts between Dade and Kate.

The real trouble erupts when Joey Pardella (Jesse Bradford), the younger, novice hacker of the group, successfully breaks into an Ellingson Mineral Company supercomputer to prove to the rest of the group that he is an elite hacker. In order to validate this feat, he downloads part of a garbage file. Unfortunately, the company's IT employee Hal (Penn Jillette) detects this unauthorized entry into their systems and summons computer security officer Eugene "The Plague" Belford (Fisher Stevens) to deal with the problem. He realizes that the file that is being downloaded can prove that The Plague is stealing money from the company via salami slicing. The Plague enlists the US Secret Service to recover the file by claiming that it is the code to Da Vinci, a computer virus that will capsize the company's oil tanker fleet stating that he needs that code to destroy the virus.

Joey is arrested and his computer is searched, but the Secret Service finds nothing, as Joey has hidden the disk containing the files in a vent in his room. In response, Dade and Kate find a way to settle their differences: a hacking duel, with hacks focused on harassing Secret Service agent Richard Gill, a known enemy of hackers who was involved in Joey's arrest. Kate and Dade's mutual friends in the hacking community, Ramon Sanchez a.k.a. "The Phantom Phreak," Emmanuel Goldstein a.k.a. "Cereal Killer" (a reference to John Draper aka Captain Crunch), and Paul Cook a.k.a. "Lord Nikon" (so named for his photographic memory), act as judges in the contest.

After being released on parole, Joey reveals the disk to Phantom Phreak in a public park, but they quickly realize that they are being followed by the Secret Service. The next day, Phreak is arrested. He uses his phone call to inform Kate that he hid the disk in a men's bathroom at school, that evening Kate and Cereal Killer ask Dade for his help but because of his record he states that he can't get involved. Kate then asks Dade to copy the disk so that if anyone else is arrested, they have the disk as evidence.

After determining that Dade is not the one who hacked into Ellingson, Plague attempts to enlist Dade's help to find the one who did. First he offers Dade a gift of a free high-powered laptop. Later, he threatens to have Dade's mother incarcerated with a manufactured criminal record. At this, Dade agrees to deliver Kate's copy of the disk.

Meanwhile, Kate, Lord Nikon and Cereal Killer attempt to discern the contents of the disk. Dade joins them, and after working all night, they find out the truth: it's designed to salami slice $25 million from Ellingson transactions. Dade reveals that he knows Plague is behind this scheme, because he was the one who wanted Kate's copy of the disk. He admits he gave Plague the disk and reveals his history as Zero Cool.

Determined to stop the scheme, the assembled hackers plan to hack the Gibson again. Kate and Dade go dumpster diving for employee memos with passwords, Cereal Killer installs a hidden microphone in the Ellingson offices, and Nikon poses as a delivery boy and wanders the Ellingson cubicles, memorizing employee passwords as they enter them. From the memos, they discover the Da Vinci virus, which is set to capsize the fleet the next day, and which would provide the perfect cover to distract from the salami-slicing worm. In need of help, they seek out the help of Razor and Blade, the producers of a hacker-themed pirate TV show, "Hack the Planet."

The next morning, they evade arrest by the Secret Service and converge on Grand Central station, from whose payphones they begin their assault on the Gibson. At first, their attempts are easily rebuffed by Plague, who calls Dade to warn him to escape before he is arrested. However, Razor and Blade have contacted hackers around the world, who lend their support with virus attacks, distracting Plague long enough for Dade to download the incriminating file to a floppy disk.

Shortly after crashing the Gibson, Dade and company are arrested. As they're being led away, Dade surreptitiously informs Cereal Killer, hiding in the crowd, that he's tossed the disk in a trashcan. As Dade and Kate are being interrogated, Razor and Blade jam the local television signals and broadcast live video of Cereal Killer, revealing the plot and Plague's complicity. Plague attempts to escape to Japan under the alias, "Mr. Babbage"(a reference to the Charles Babbage), but is arrested in mid-flight.

Their names cleared, Dade and Kate go on a date, Kate even wears a dress as were the stakes if Dade had won their earlier hacking duel. While relaxing in a pool on the roof of a building, Dade shows off his latest hack: the lights in several adjacent office buildings spell out "CRASH AND BURN."
[edit] Cast

Jonny Lee Miller as Dade Murphy alias Crash Override aka Zero Cool
Angelina Jolie as Kate Libby alias Acid Burn. The director auditioned Hilary Swank, Heather Graham, and Liv Tyler for the role which ultimately went to Jolie. The part was originally offered to Katherine Heigl, but due to prior commitments to Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) had to turn it down.[3]
Renoly Santiago as Ramόn Sánchez alias The Phantom Phreak
Matthew Lillard as Emmanuel Goldstein alias Cereal Killer
Laurence Mason as Paul Cook alias Lord Nikon
Jesse Bradford as Joey Pardella
Fisher Stevens as Eugene Belford alias The Plague
Lorraine Bracco as Margo
Alberta Watson as Lauren Murphy
Penn Jillette as Hal
Wendell Pierce as Special Agent Richard Gill, U.S. Secret Service
Marc Anthony as Special Agent Ray, U.S. Secret Service
Michael Gaston as Special Agent Bob, U.S. Secret Service
Felicity Huffman as Prosecuting Attorney
Darren Lee as Razor
Peter Y. Kim as Blade
Max Ligosh as Young Dade Murphy

[edit] Production
[edit] Screenplay

The screenplay, written by Rafael Moreu, is highly influenced by the hacker and cyberpunk subcultures.[4] He saw the film as more than just about computer hacking but something much larger: "In fact, to call hackers a counterculture makes it sound like they're a transitory thing; I think they're the next step in human evolution."[5] He had been interested in hacking since the early 1980s. After the crackdown in the United States during 1989 and 1990, he decided to write a script about the subculture. For research, Moreu went to a meeting organized by the New York-based hacker magazine 2600: The Hacker Quarterly. There, he met Phiber Optik, a.k.a. Mark Abene, a 22-year-old hacker who spent most of 1994 in prison on hacking charges.[5] Moreu also hung out with other young hackers being harassed by the government and began to figure out how it would translate into a film. He remembered, "One guy was talking about how he'd done some really interesting stuff with a laptop and payphones and that cracked it for me, because it made it cinematic".[5]
[edit] Pre-production

The cast spent three weeks learning how to type, rollerblade and got to know each other. They also read a lot about computers and met with actual computer hackers.[6] Actor Jonny Lee Miller even attended a hacker's convention.[7]
[edit] Shooting

The school scenes were filmed in Stuyvesant High School and the surrounding area in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan in November 1994.[8]
[edit] Post-Production

Softley did not use CGI for any of the sequences in cyberspace. He said they used "more-conventional methods of motion control, animation, models, and rotoscoping to create a real, three-dimensional world, because... computer graphics alone can sometimes lend a more flat, sterile image."[4]
[edit] Marketing

MGM/UA set up a website for Hackers that soon afterwards was allegedly hacked by a group called the "Internet Liberation Front." A photograph of the film's stars Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller were doodled upon, and the words "this is going to be an entertaining fun promotional site for a movie," were replaced with "this is going to be a lame, cheesy promotional site for a movie!" The studio maintained the site during the theatrical run of the movie in its altered form.[4][9][10]
[edit] Soundtrack

The music soundtrack was released in 3 separate volumes over a number of years.[11] The first volume was composed entirely of music featured in the film (with the exception of Carl Cox's "Phoebus Apollo"), while the second and third are a mix of music "inspired by the film" as well as music actually in the film. Among others, the song "Protection", by Massive Attack featuring Tracey Thorn[12] of Everything But The Girl,[13] which plays during the scene where Angelina Jolie's character is on a balcony during the party setting, does not appear on any of the three soundtracks. The most featured song in the movie is Voodoo People by The Prodigy.
[edit] Reaction

Some critics praised the film for its stylish visuals but criticized its unconvincing look at hackers and their subculture. Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and wrote, "The movie is smart and entertaining, then, as long as you don't take the computer stuff very seriously. I didn't. I took it approximately as seriously as the archeology in Indiana Jones".[14] On the show Siskel & Ebert, Ebert gave the film thumbs up while Gene Siskel gave the film thumbs down, saying, "I didn't find the characters that interesting and I really didn't like the villain in this piece. I thought Fisher Stevens was not very threatening... The writing is so arch".[15]

In his review for the San Francisco Chronicle, Peter Stack wrote, "Want a believable plot or acting? Forget it. But if you just want knockout images, unabashed eye candy and a riveting look at a complex world that seems both real and fake at the same time, Hackers is one of the most intriguing movies of the year".[16] In her review for The New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote, "Despite her sullen posturing, which is all this role requires, Ms. Jolie has the sweetly cherubic looks of her father, Jon Voight".[17] USA Today gave the film three out of four stars and Mike Clark wrote, "When a movie's premise repels all rational analysis, speed is the make-or-break component. To its credit, Hackers recalls the pumped-up energy of Pump Up the Volume, as well as its casting prowess".[18] In his review for the Toronto Star, Peter Goddard wrote, "Hackers joy-rides down the same back streets Marlon Brando did in The Wild One, or Bruce Springsteen does in Born To Run. It gives all the classic kicks of the classic B-flicks, with more action than brains, cool hair and hot clothes, and all the latest tech revved to the max".[19]

However, in his review for the Los Angeles Times, David Kronke wrote, "All this is courtesy of the short-circuited imagination of Rafael Moreu, making his feature screenwriting debut, and director Iain Softley, who hopes that if he piles on the attitude and stylized visuals, no one will notice just how empty and uninvolving the story really is. All the sound and fury in the world can't disguise the fact that yowling music, typing montages and computer animation do not a gripping finale make".[20] In his review for the Washington Post, Hal Hinson wrote, "As its stars, Miller and Jolie seem just as one-dimensional—except that, in their case, the effect is intentional".[21] Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "D" rating and Owen Gleiberman wrote, "What's most grating about Hackers, however, is the way the movie buys in to the computer-kid-as-elite-rebel mystique currently being peddled by magazines like Wired".[22]

The film has a metascore of 46 on Metacritic[23] and a 37% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[24]
[edit] See also

Cyberpunk

[edit] References

^ Hackers Poster. IMP Awards Gallery. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
^ Hackers. The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
^ Hackers (1995) - Trivia. IMDb. Retrieved 2010-09-06.
^ a b c Hackers MGM DVD 8-page booklet featuring trivia, production notes and a revealing look at the making of the film.
^ a b c McClellan, Jim (January 8, 1995). "Cyberspace: The Hack Pack". The Observer.
^ "Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie - The Happy Couple". Empire. June 1996.
^ Penfold, Phil (May 3, 1996). "Good Work If You Can Hack It". The Herald.
^ "Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association, Inc. - SHS | Stuyvesant High School". SHSAA. 2006-05-06. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
^ Hacked website - Original MGM/UA website after defacement by the Internet Liberation Front (on Archive.org)
^ Original MGM/UA website (on Archive.org)
^ "from Hell do "Hackers"". Mutant Reviewers. 2005. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
^ Ankeny, Jason. "Everything But The Girl > Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
^ Ankeny, Jason. "Massive Attack > Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-11-29.
^ Ebert, Roger (September 15, 1995). "Hackers". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
^ Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert. (September 15, 1995). Siskel & Ebert At The Movies: Hackers. [Television Production]. Chicago, IL: Buena Vista Television. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
^ Stack, Peter (September 15, 1995). "Hackers Computes Visually". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
^ Maslin, Janet (September 15, 1995). "Those Wacky Teen-Agers and Their Crazy Fads". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
^ Clark, Mike (September 15, 1995). "Hackers accesses thrills". USA Today: pp. 4D.
^ Goddard, Peter (September 16, 1995). "Great road movie for info highway". Toronto Star: pp. C8.
^ Kronke, David (September 15, 1995). "Hackers: World of Hip Computer Nerds". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-09-02.[dead link]
^ Hinson, Hal (September 15, 1995). "Hackers". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
^ Gleiberman, Owen (October 6, 1995). "Hackers". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
^ Hackers. Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
^ Hackers. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-04-20.

[edit] External links

Hackers at the Internet Movie Database
Hackers at Rotten Tomatoes
Hackers at Metacritic

[hide]v · d · eFilms directed by Iain Softley
1990s
Backbeat (1994) · Hackers (1995) · The Wings of the Dove (1997)
2000s
K-PAX (2001) · The Skeleton Key (2005) · Inkheart (2008)
Categories: English-language films | 1995 films | 1990s thriller films | Crime thriller films | Teen films | Computers in films | Films set in New York City | United Artists films | Films shot anamorphically | American films

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