Posts Tagged ‘Jonny Lee Miller’

I really have been flummoxed about how to write about Hackers; between the frustrating hubbub of the holiday season, the mad dash to get all the shopping done and the fact that I’ve had some sort of odd malaise that’s made me feel downright exhausted most of the time, all I could brainstorm was LOLINTERNETS.   Because that, essentially, is what Hackers boils down to.

Instead of giving you LOLINTERNETS (you come here for more than that, right?   I’m not sure what you’re coming for, the witty banter, the inspired comedy, or any of the other number of things I attempt and fail at), I give you the five best things about Hackers:

1.   Fisher Stevens

Stevens plays the network security dude for a large corporation who attempts to pawn the blame off for his nefarious theft scheme on a group of high school hackers, headed by the unnaturally attractive Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller.    Stevens’ baddie isn’t content to just scheme and plot in dastardly ways, nor is he happy to just mess around with one of the executives, played by Lorraine Bracco.   No, he must mess with Dade Murphey (Miller’s character), a computer genius struggling to stay out of trouble after he hacked the NYSE at a young age.   And it’s there that Stevens’ character really shines, after all, since he’s working for the man and yet totally against the man.   Hell, Stevens’ character is against everyone who’s not Fisher Stevens.   And he skateboards everywhere, even holding on to his super fancy limo and skateboarding down an abandoned street to pick up a floppy disc (remember those?) from Dade.

2.   The Internet Is Fluorescent

Image found here.

While it’s a definite upgrade from Johnny Mnemonic‘s surfer dude meets Japanese fashion sense interpretation of the Internet, Hackers‘ vision is no less funny, with shots running through circuit boards and wiring lit up neon and bright.   Even funnier is the depictions of a massive corporation’s networked computers, with Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame as the computer jockey running the board.

3.    The Random Celebrities

Dude, everyone is in this movie.    Angelina Jolie, before she was famous.   Poor Jonny Lee Miller, who married and divorced Jolie and went on to star in such abysmal fare as Dracula 2000 and Mansfield Park and lead a quiet, ‘hey, it’s that dude’ sort of existence.   Marc Anthony who was a singer once upon a time and is probably most famous for being Mr. J-Lo pops up as an FBI Agent.   Matthew Lillard is freaking hilarious as a permastoned hacker named Cereal Killer; Lorraine Bracco portrays a nervy corporate exec in league with Fisher Stevens’ villain.   And as mentioned before, Penn Jillette took a break from his busy magic schedule to be in this one.

4.   Teenager Hackers Save The Planet

Environmentally conscious and disgusted with corporate greed, these teenagers can tackle anything!   Sure, they can barely attend Pre-Calculus, but when they’re not taking down anti-hacker government agents and uncovering plots to destroy oil tankers and steal money, these kids are always up for a good time.   They’re like the cyberpunk Planeteers or something, but hotter.

5.   The Takedown of Richard Gill

One word:  Montage-tastic!   The hacker teens conspire to figure out who’s the best hacker – Jolie or Miller – by having a competition to see who can ruin Richard Gill’s life the most.   Gill’s a government agent who focuses on cybercrime, so it’s only natural that he’s hacker enemy number one.   The hackers add Gill’s name to an erotic personal ad, nearly bankrupt him, ruin his credit rating and have him classified as ‘deceased’.   It’s a funny sequence of moments, mainly because the guy who plays Richard Gill plays the straight man exceptionally well, but also because of the slightly inventive ways in which the hackers take him down.

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I can think of no finer example of genuine movie crack than Dracula 2000.

It’s a godawful movie.   It hammers you over the head with the subtext; the idea of (spoiler!) Dracula originally being Judas Iscariot is nothing new; it takes characters from the original Bram Stoker novel and warps them beyond recognition.   It’s nothing new or inventive, but yet it somehow manages to entertain me and my admittedly low standards.

The plot is ridiculously simple:    Van Helsing now owns an antiquities dealership in London, England.   He has stayed alive for many years to keep watch over Dracula by injecting Dracula’s blood and using its restorative powers to keep his body going.    (And here I thought milk alone did a body good.)    Some of his shifty employees break into his ubersecret vault to steal whatever precious jewels lay inside only to discover a single, silver coffin containing – GUESS WHO?    Ignorant of its contents, the sneaky employees smuggle it over to America to sell on the black market, but Van Helsing finds out and follows them.   A non-shifty employee of Van Helsing’s, Simon, tags along against Van Helsing’s wishes and soon discovers that Van Helsing has two missions:   recapture a now-escaped Dracula and protect his daughter Mary, who was born after Van Helsing started shooting himself up with Dracula essence.   This makes her a prime target for Dracula, who now wants her.   And not just in the whole “I shall suck your blood” kind of way.   More like the eternal kind of way.

Sucks to be Mary!

Jonny Lee Miller is in this movie and he is bad, bad, bad.  Not in a villainous way, in a “I really needed the money but I’m phoning this one in” way.   He’s got to be the most boring performance in the movie.   This movie could use a lot less Jonny Lee Miller.   He basically just runs around and is all English.    Really.   He pretty much is like, “Cheerio, where’s the Earl Grey?”  Oh, Jonny – you had such potential post-Trainspotting.   Stupid Sick Boy.

You know who else is in this movie?


You guys remember her, right?   Her annoying Graduation Song is on the radio at the end of every school year; it’s practically a rite of passage nowadays to be forced to listen to this song on repeat if you’re graduating ANYTHING, I think.   Yep, she’s in this one too as Mary’s semi-skanky friend who thinks she’s going crazy.   Her name?   Wait for it…wait for it…Lucy Westenra.

Ohhh, yeah.   She’s nothing phenomenal as an actress, but she beats Mr. Union Jack Lee Miller up there, that’s for damn sure.

Here’s the selling point of the movie.   The one, the only…Gerard Butler.

Screencap courtesy of Movie Screenshots, since my screencapping software decided it was TOO GOOD to cap Dracula 2000.   Uh huh.


It really was the first movie role that brought Butler to the attention of American women everywhere and even I have to admit he looks positively gorgeous here.   Plus, I will say that Butler does pull off the whole ageless evil thing quite well, considering what he had to work with here (:cough: not much :cough:) and the quality of the acting near him.   Sure he’s cheesy at points but not only is he pretty, you can tell he doesn’t take himself QUITE that seriously as Dracula, which is actually…nice.

Bottom line is that the special effects are pretty awful and shockingly, Danny Masterson of That ’70’s Show Fame and Omar Epps, he of the future role of Dr. Foreman, put in bit appearances here.   It shouldn’t charm me.   The movie falls somewhere distinctly in the middle of the heap as vampire flicks go, but there’s something redeemably charming about the movie.   Is it doddering Christopher Plummer as Van Helsing?   Or perhaps Gerard Butler’s blank, vacant, listless Dracula?    Maybe it’s Dracula’s badly-acted Vampire Brides.   Who knows?

I probably have no excuse for liking it but what really puts me into the realm of the pathetic is the fact that I’ve seen at least one of the sequels (there are two).   And yes, they were nothing to write home about either – but they also lacked the charm of the first.

However, if you asked me any day to pick between Dracula 2000 and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I would easily choose the Gerard Butler fare ANYDAY over that Coppola piece of crap, even if it does have Gary Oldman in it.

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