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Liveblogging the '90s: Hackers

By Courtney Enlow | Liveblogging the 90s | August 1, 2014 |

By Courtney Enlow | Liveblogging the 90s | August 1, 2014 |

So, recently when I liveblogged a 90s, I shared with you the pain and suffering surrounding the death of my laptop and my excitement at the not-inexpensive purchase of a new laptop. It was to be all rainbows and puppytaints for the rest of my days, liveblogging all manner of ’90s—perhaps even ’80s or early aughts—from the comfort of my new toy. Then, tragically, after but five weeks, my laptop said, “FUCK YOU, BITCH, I’M OUTTA HERE ALSO I STOLE SOME OF YOUR SHIT AND ATE YOUR ICE CREAM” and I was all “GODDAMMIT WHY DO LAPTOPS ALWAYS BREAK AND EAT MY ICE CREAM?” After a brief nervous breakdown involving the release of actual sobs inside a local Best Buy, I am now in possession of my very own, very first MacBook.

If this thing breaks too, I shall break as well. And I’m taking all you fuckers down with me.

In honor of my struggles, as a sacrifice to the techno gods, that they might look over my new Mac and treat it delicately with the velveteen touch of a dandy fop, I reached out to you, the people, to select this week’s movies. You picked Angelina Jolie because of course you did; you’re internet. True fact: I’ve never seen Hackers. This is the first LBt90s I’ve watched with virgin eyes. Be gentle, movie.

0:00 - We’re mere seconds in and we already have the hallmarks of ’90s perfection: Seattle and slo-mo. We also have a Sandra Bernhardt-esque woman with large hair and scrambled eggs and angry cops.

0:01 - Felicity Huffman is in court talking about a terrifying e-criminal. The camera is slowly panning over to our defendant. It’s a kid. It’s a kid. Still panning past adults, but it doesn’t matter because it’s going to be a kid. It’s definitely a kid.


0:02 - Even the credits are slo-mo. Beyond slo-mo, it’s like single frames separated by flashes played over Enya music. This movie is an epilepsy trigger. But, like, the calmest one ever.

0:03 - Presumably over the next seven years, young blond e-criminal grows up to be older bleach-blond Jonny Lee Miller, which in terms of realistic aging-up casting is ranked somewhere near the documentary The Imposter. The guy from that movie might be a more passable aged version of the kid from the beginning then Jonny Lee Miller.

0:04 - Jonny Lee Miller is at a tiny computer (which looks dated even for 1995) wearing sunglasses, calling/hacking someone saying his name is “Eddie Vedder from accounting” talking about his “BLT drive” and “Mr. Kawasaki” wanting him to commit “Harry Caray.” This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, you guys.

0:06 - Jonny Lee Miller has…hacked…something. It’s possible he did it with his eyes and mind. His eyes and mind seem to be assisted by the dangerous love child of Johnny 5 and something you might find in Ferris Bueller’s room.

0:07 - Methinks the hacker has met a hacking friend and together they might be hackerz. I totally bet this movie was supposed to have a Z at the end originally.

0:07 - What the Natural Born Killers fuck is with all these cutaways to TV shows? I can’t tell if this is so annoying because it’s so lame now or because it would have been lame then. I was 10 when this movie came out. I might have loved it. I might have thought it was silly garbage. I DON’T KNOW. MIND IS DRY LIKE THE BLEACHY ENDS OF JONNY LEE MILLER’S HAIR.

0:10 - In the past 60 seconds, JLM’s mom has proven her existence as human backstory, giving us the following: JLM likes girls, JLM is not a virgin, JLM hooked “it” up to the phone line (his penis? Probably his penis), they had to move in his senior year of high school, he’s not happy about it, she got a new job and New York is the city that never sleeps. If realistic dialogue is an indicator of emotional wellness, mom is somewhere on par with the mom from Sleepaway Camp.

0:10 - JLM is at school. He is wearing a camo best with pockets all over it. He is lost. He meets Angelina Jolie. He pictures more bullshit with his computer mind. She is dangerously likable. She has breasts. He is not in her class. She tells him to go to a roof pool. I assume there is no pool and he will be stuck on the roof.

0:12 - There is no pool. He is now stuck on the roof.

0:13 - OK, this whole movie, I’ve been assuming JLM’s character name was Dave and it is apparently Dade and that is some bullshit and I refuse to type it so we’re just going to keep calling him JLM.

0:14 - A fetal Jesse Bradford is in this movie. He wants a handle.

0:15 - JLM is rollerblading.

0:15 - Matthew Lillard is wearing tiny sunglasses and shilling mix tapes. These past three lines have been the ’90sest things I’ll ever say. This movie is like being brutally beaten to death with a pillowcase full of Trapper Keepers and NES cartridges.

0:15 - Not only is JLM rollerblading, but he has rollerbladed into some manner of club where you can rollerblade and skateboard and Angelina Jolie is playing a giant Sega in a head-to-toe white bodysuit. OH FUCK ME she’s wearing…something…maybe lacrosse leg guards, too. I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING.

0:18 - Fetal Jesse Bradford looks exactly like that Josh person, the one who is not Drake, who was in Mean Creek and that movie with the rapping, I don’t know, my brain was not anticipating this level of bombardment. I feel like a baby who has been overstimulated. I need a blankie and a bottle and by bottle I mean this movie will be the drunken death of me.

0:18 - JLM is back to doing his computer things. He is not wearing sleeves. He has set the school sprinklers to go. I feel like computers in this movie are going to do lots of things computers probably can’t do now and definitely probably couldn’t do in 1995.

0:20 - Angelina Jolie is very angry because JLM beat her at a videogame. JLM is wearing a leather jacket with shoulder pads.

0:21 - Matthew Lillard is wearing one sleeves. This movie is going to have a real sleeves issue.

0:21 - JLM is home and his mom is asking about school. JLM is clearly back in his wardrobe from the first-day-of-school scene because this movie was edited by Crystal E. Meth, ACE.

0:25 - The most commonly used passwords are “love,” “secret” and “sex.” And maybe “god.” I feel like the actual most commonly used passwords are “1234” and “password.”

0:26 - OK I looked down to type for a second and now we’re in Tron and I don’t know what happened, is this real life, did one of you slip me a funny cigarette, what is why is what why?

0:26 - Now Penn Jillette is in this movie and his password is “god” because UNSUBTLE and he is also wearing tiny sunglasses because this movie was sponsored by Tiny Sunglasses, Inc., co-founded by Crystal E. Meth, ACE, because she was multitalented.

0:28 - Fisher Stevens is here and he’s evil and rich and lives in Tron and skateboards and wears a fur coat. My brain is melted gummy bears.

0:29 - OK if I’m following, and by following I mean stumbling around desperately trying to keep hold of my friend’s ponytail so I don’t lose her in the street, Jesse Bradford tried to hack Fisher Stevens and Penn Jillette and they tracked him so he’s going to be in trouble. Matthew Lillard has a friend and they are braid friends. They are watching a public access show called “Hack the Planet” and it is made of nightmares.

0:32 - Jesse Bradford is in the shower and there are gun men with guns. His mom is not played by Annie Potts but is definitely playing Annie Potts, the weirdest combination of Janine Melnitz and Iona from Pretty in Pink. We see Fetal Jesse Bradford’s ass which is unfortunate because of fetality. They should have saved that shit for Bring it On. Mmm-hmm, girl. You know it.

0:33 - There are anti-hacker G-men. One is Marc Anthony. AKA this guy:

0:33 - Has Lorraine Bracco ever gotten to wear her own hair in a movie or TV show? I feel like this is a rarity and she has a room full of wigs like in Return to Oz, a movie that left me greatly more emotionally stable than this movie is.


0:36 - Look. I’m not paying full attention here. Luckily, the dialogue is aware of this, and every five minutes or so, someone provides nonstop, detailed exposition, rehashing the scene we’ve just witnessed. Right now, it’s Lorraine Bracco’s turn:

“But you’ve created a virus that’s going to cause a worldwide ecological disaster just to arrest some hacker kid?”

Thanks Lorraine. Big help.

0:36 - This movie is 25 percent exposition, 25 percent stupid hair, 25 percent Fisher Stevens looking evilliy out windows and 25 percent cancer and madness.

0:39 - There are lockers in the boy’s bathroom. That’s about as realistic as anything else that’s happening here.

0:40 - Marc Anthony and the G-men are now coming for JLM. They are working with Fisher Stevens. I think. Maybe. I don’t know. But JLM and his stupid jacket made of football padding are concerned.

0:41 - I just want to tell you again that this character’s name is Dade and that is fucking ridiculous.

0:42 - JLM just asked Fisher Stevens “who are you?” WHO IS ANYONE IN THIS MOVIE IN RELATIONSHIP TO ANYONE ELSE IN THIS MOVIE. Fisher Stevens trashes JLM’s room in a rage. JLM is largely unconcerned. In fact, he’s angstily lying in bed fantasizing about Angelina Jolie.

0:43 - JLM with bleached hair looks like Taran Killam. Taran Killam does not have bleached hair. I don’t know how this math works, but it does.

0:44 - They’re at a party and everyone is dressed like they’re either in the Matrix or the B52s.

0:46 - Fetal Jesse Bradford is in an NA meeting because he’s addicted to his computer. I feel like NA is a very specific place for him to have ended up.

0:47 - Angelina Jolie is still mad about JLM beating her at Sega. They learn they’re each other’s hacker nemeses from all the way back at the beginning of the movie, that thing that has literally not come up since. Their online handles together are “Crash and Burn.” This is fucking garbage.

0:49 - I need to amend my math from earlier. Because a large percentage of this movie consists of stupid vests. OK, I’m downgrading Fisher Stevens to 10 percent staring out windows, 15 percent ugly clothing.

0:50 - Angelina Jolie just went British for a second. I don’t know why. I don’t think it was intentional. Everyone in this movie used to do A LOT of drugs.

0:52 - JLM and Angelina Jolie are now doing some manner of hacker war against each other to save Fetal Jesse Bradford. Step 1 of saving Fetal Jesse Bradford involves embarrassing main G-man at dinner by draining his credit card and giving his number to gay sex people. You know what percentage this movie isn’t? Actual hacking.

0:54 - Now they’re hacking from a very tall building. As most hacking is done in parental basements, I am certain there was absolutely no need to be on the roof of a very tall building, and even absolutely sureier that there was no dial-up up there.

0:57 - Nope. Not even doing this with you, movie. Not these pants. Not today.


0:57 - JLM just signed a package as “Dade Murphy.” Because his fucking name is DADE MURPHY.

0:57 - Fisher Stevens is some manner of Illuminati monster. I think that’s what’s happening in this movie.

0:59 - Fetal Jesse Bradford is tailed by Marc Anthony and other G-man who is bald. They are the literal worst at tailing people. Look at this shit. LOOK AT IT:



1:00 - Gun people appear in the window of nice Mexican teen hacker who I am convinced has not been given a name at any point in this movie. Now he’s in jail.

1:02 - Angie Jo is definitely wearing a snorkeling shirt to school like she does seventh-period SeaWorld training or something.

1:04 - Fisher Stevens is blackmailing JLM by framing his mom for all the crimes in the world. And I still don’t quite know why. At what point does the eco-terrorism happen? I feel like there was something about eco-terrorism at some point. It must have gotten lost in all the sleeves.

1:07 - Now JLM is just dissolving into multiples of himself for no reason, and Fisher Stevens just held onto a car while skateboarding to take a disc from JLM and this is the worst thing I’ve experienced since that time Batman and Robin tried to turn my brainhole into bubblemush. My soul is crying and my heart is experiencing a bad reaction to dairy.


I hate you guys.

1:09 - Things are being printed, things are being downloaded into JLM’s brain through the power of hackery and pizza has been eaten.

1:11 - JLM is going to hack his way out of hacking struggles of hackingship with the aid of his hack team of hackers. It’s hacktastic.

1:13 - Angelina Jolie just shot a security guard with a flare gun. I feel like that could still do some damage. This was after she was sexily told by JLM that he could take advantage of her and before Matthew Lillard assaults a woman with his buttcrack and rubs against her. Remember when women weren’t people yet? Good times, guys.

1:16 - Fisher Stevens is going to do something to some boats if he doesn’t get money and he’s blaming the hackers to get them arrested, but if they get arrested, he can’t have the money. Right? I feel like that’s how logic works, yes? But now everyone is rollerblading and cartwheeling through the subway like the goddamn Warriors and I can’t use my brainplace anymore because now it’s filled with Ring Pops and sugar cereals.

1:17 - Angelina Jolie just said “I’ll beep you” to someone and it’s the least ’90s thing that happens in this movie.

1:19 - The movie is not over yet. We’ve taken a musical interlude break apparently as our heroes wander around a dance club. I want the movie to be over. The movie does not want to be over. The movie and I will come to blows soon.

1:20 - OK, so a virus is going to cause oil spills and it’s connected to a worm that will take money and there are two Asian hackers from public access, one of whom is made up to look like Cesar Romero as the Joker, and now Matthew Lillard just got a page on his beeper while he plays electric chess. And yet all I feel is despair, the void, the absence of emotion. We are nothingness, drifting ever nearer to death, ever fumbling toward the inevitable decimation of everything we ever loved. Also, rollerblading.

1:25 - It’s Tron again and everyone has smiley faces and Lorraine Bracco is concerned and she is wearing a glitter pantsuit and Penn Jillette is still wearing tiny sunglasses and there’s Pac-Man and please god what have I done, what have I ever done but be your humble servant and they’re talking about cancer and rabbits and flu shots and there’s a boat and the boat will have an oil spill and also something about money and WHAT DID I FUCKING DO TO YOU PEOPLE EXCEPT LOVE YOU?

1:28 - More Tron bullshit feelings iz broke i broke broken broke jjgklaglnbnddddgiooah’gloa


1:32 - OK I need to process some things. Not, like, the universe or our greater purpose, but, like, what is this movie. It’s too earnest to be camp, it’s very comic book but also not at all and it’s kind of sci-fi and futuristic but it’s not and is it supposed to be an alternate universe and is it supposed to be a metaphor for like STUFF and is it supposed to be fun because I’m not having very much fun because everyone is very angsty and there is no fun to be had with all this angst. This movie is what would happen if weed and ecstasy could keep a dick hard enough to impregnate each other and made a baby and the baby is just too much and too many and I don’t know.

1:38 - Fisher Stevens just got arrested flying out of the country but the plane was already in the air and that makes no sense.

1:38 - Angie Jo and JLM are swimming. JLM doesn’t seem like he can swim very well. It’s possible he and Angelina got married in real life because she saved him from drowning during this scene and that’s how the fell in love.

1:40 - Now they’re having underwater sex and never coming up for air so they both die. THE FUCKING END.