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The 411 Movies Top 5 4.18.14: Top 5 Tech Movies
Posted by Shawn S. Lealos on 04.18.2014

Welcome to Week 422 of the Movie Zone Top 5. My name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.

The 411mania writers were given the following instructions: Computer/Technological Movies - What we are looking at here are movies where the main plot focus is on technology. This can be something like War Games, The Matrix, the Terminator movies, Total Recall, etc....


Bryan Kristopowitz

Honorable Mentions: Blade Runner (1982), The Matrix (1999), Chopping Mall (1986), Cyborg Cop (1993), Short Circuit 2 (1988), Iron Man 3 (2013), Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), You've Got Mail (1998)

5. Office Space (1999)

Peter Gibbons is a man who hates his job and his life. He's stuck in an endless rut and firmly believes that every day is the worst day of his life. Everything changes, though, when Peter is hypnotized by a group therapist into loving his life. Suddenly, all of that dread and anxiety and hate disappears and Peter is able to enjoy his life. Well, that's very nice, but what the heck does any of that have to do with computers or technology? Peter and his friends work at a software company called Initech. They're fixing screwed up computer code in preparation of the year 2000 switchover. And they're just surrounded by endless bullshit. Look at poor Tom. He needed his job at the company but even he couldn't explain what he did. Technology doesn't lead to utopia. It just leads us all to more and more bullshit.

4. Robocop (1987)

In the world of Robocop technology is one of the sectors that mega company Omni Consumer Products (OCP) makes money from. OCP buys the Detroit Police Department and then, in the midst of a massive crime wave and social unrest in the city (parts of it actually engineered by executives of OCP) OCP decides to put a cybernetic cop on the streets to "help" human police. The reality, of course, is that it's just another thing for OCP to sell and to use to sell other things (like Delta City, the thing OCP hopes to replace Detroit with). Dick Jones was upset because his robot cop program, ED 209, failed miserably in a test in front of other executives. What would he have received from the 209 program if it had been implemented? Money and prestige? That would seem to be the case. Good business is where you find it, and the right customer is always the one right in front of you.

3. Nemesis (1992)

You have to pay attention to the dialogue in this Albert Pyun directed sci-fi action flick as it's chock full of plot about what it is the robots and the cyborgs and the humans are fighting about. I still don't understand half of it, but there's lots of talk about memory chips, putting a person's consciousness inside a computer, and then general end of humanity because a kind of "body snatcher" scheme has been hatched where humans are replaced by cybernetic versions. So you've got all of that stuff on top of the swift and exciting low budget violence. Think of the opening of the movie; a human cop with cybernetic parts deals with a cyborg hooker and a bunch of heavily armed humans. And the part cyborg cop wants everyone to know that he doesn't consider himself a cyborg. He's still human enough to be considered human. That will probably be everyone's future; trying to figure out if we're human or just a cobbled together machine of some kind.

2. The Terminator (1984)

This sci-fi action slasher movie is all about a killer cyborg from the future traveling back in time to take out the leader of the future human resistance before he is even born. The scheme doesn't work as the human resistance is able to send back a protector, a human who is able to keep the machine, the Terminator, at bay. On its surface The Terminator and its sequels seem like anti-technology screeds, but the real villain of the franchise, in an overall sense, is humanity itself. It creates the technology that eventually destroys everything. It's also guilty of not knowing when to quit. You don't get to see it in the theatrical release version of the movie, but there's a cut scene at the very end of the movie where we find out that final confrontation between Sarah Connor and the Terminator took place at the then HQ of Cyberdine, the company that builds the technology that eventually becomes Skynet, the computer defense system that destroys the world. Quite the coincidence wouldn't you say?

1. Automatic (1995)

Goddard Marx (John Glover), the owner of Robgen Industries, keeps saying over and over again that the big announcement he has planned is going to change the future of mankind. Some would say that his J-series of cyborgs has already changed the face of mankind. The cyborgs protect people (those that can afford to buy one, that is) and, to a certain extent, have taken on the guise of humanity's best friend. But then, the night before the big Robgen announcement, a J series protector does something that it isn't supposed to be able to do; deliberately kill a human. Terrified that a J-series cyborg killed someone, Marx locks down his main office complex and hires a team of badass mercenaries to kill the "malfunctioning" cyborg. Why did the J-series cyborg, J269, kill someone? Because that human tried to rape a woman. However, as we find at the end of the movie the woman in question isn't just any woman. In fact, the woman is a kind of prototype for Marx's big world changing scheme. If you haven't seen Automatic yet you need to. It's a mind blowing experience. It really is, especially when you realize what Marx is ultimately up to. Track it down and see it.

Shawn S. Lealos

5. Looper

So, Looper is a time travel movie, but it is one that uses a unique form of time travel from the future and is used for pretty nefarious reasons. The underworld in the future send back people that they want killed to assassins in the past called Loopers. The Looper then kills the target and eliminates the body years before the person ever disappeared. Things go wrong one day when one Looper (Joseph Gordon Levitt) finds himself face to face with himself, sent back for him to kill. It is a brilliant movie and one of the best sci-fi / tech thrillers of the last decade.

4. Total Recall

I'll just talk about the original movie here although the remake wasn't as bad as everyone claimed it was. In the movie, there is a new tech that allows people to sit in a machine, get hooked up to the computer and then travel to a virtual reality world where they set out on an adventure. It is so realistic that often a person won't even realize that they are not in the real world anymore. That goes bad with Arnold Schwarzenegger's character gets blasted out of the machine and might or might not be in the middle of a giant conspiracy where everyone wants him dead. The original was a ton of fun, with some fantastic practical special effects, a ton of gore and a chick with three boobs.

3. Minority Report

Steven Spielberg has made some pretty good sci-fi movies, but when he adapted Philip K. Dick's Minority Report, it was really one of his best sci-fi movies since Close Encounters. Of course, in literature, Dick is the master of the computer/tech movies, especially when it comes to conspiracy theories. In this movie, the future has technology to indicate when a person will commit a crime before it happens. This is done through a pair of pre-cog siblings as well as technology that alerts the police. They are then able to arrest the person before the crime is committed. When one of the force's best cops (Tom Cruise) is implicated, he goes on the run to figure out what is going on, as he knows he would never commit a cold blooded murder. Awesome film.

2. The Matrix

The first movie was pretty much the cream of the crop for cyber-tech thrillers. When we start out, it looks like a basic tech thriller with Keanu Reeves hacker suddenly running for his life from assassins while a chick in leather named Trinity promises to give him all the info he needs. Then, he realizes that nothing is as it seems, the entire world is a virtual reality world ran by computers who have taken over earth and enslaved humanity. It is a brilliant concept that has often been ripped off in many areas, but no one has come close to the original Matrix movie.

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The computer AI in the Terminator franchise gets so smart that it decides to eradicate the humans, who are the biggest threats to the planet. It is then up to the humans to fight for their planet back after Judgment Day causes a giant nuclear attack to eliminate almost everyone in the world. This second movie is the best of the bunch, as we see the future where the robots and humans are at war. The first movie saw a man sent back to protect Sarah Conner from the murderous Terminator robot sent back to kill her. This second movie sees that original Terminator model sent back to protect her son (and future leader of the rebellion) from a new advances Terminator assassin, played perfectly by Robert Patrick. Honestly, action movies don't get much better than this. Screw Avatar and Titanic, this is James Cameron's masterpiece.


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