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10 Cringe-Worthy Tech Moments In Movies
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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
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9/2/2014 | 9:42:15 AM
Sorry, Family
Given the countless problems I have with iTunes, if my world imitated "Firewall" and I played a real-life Harrison Ford, my famly would be history. I'd still be on the phone or instant messaging service with Apple support, trying to reset my password again.
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
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9/2/2014 | 11:47:49 AM
Destroy the... monitor?
I get a kick out of how often in movies and TV shows that someone destroys a computer, thereby destroying the data/program/etc, by smashing the monitor.
msmith801
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msmith801,
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9/2/2014 | 12:00:45 PM
Re: Sorry, Family
A bigger queston in Firewall: who is playing the "role of tape"?
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
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9/2/2014 | 12:04:13 PM
Re: Destroy the... monitor?
And they always explode, too! In beautiful showers of red, gold, and blue.
MemphisITDude
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MemphisITDude,
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9/3/2014 | 8:13:40 AM
Excellent article
After WEP was cracked, I had to reverse a little of my disbelief on TimeCop, where Jean Claude jumps on the network and is in the police database instantly. On the subject of television, the tech of 24 is very amusing as well.... There is always a discussion of very low-level concepts (ports, hard drive sectors) by the highest-level executives, and the wiring closet is a very hazardous place to be.
rradina
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rradina,
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9/3/2014 | 8:39:32 AM
Doesn't "War Games" Explain Ferris' Feat?
I don't think "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" belongs on this list.  The '83 movie "War Games" does an extremely plausible job explaining how David broke into the school's system.  That film opened in '83 and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" opened in '86.  I've always thought Ferris' attendance hack scene in the later movie was a throwback to the earlier movie.  Regarding a school system being on-line, dialup modem access was extremely popular in the '80s.  Remote access for regular staff might not have been popular but there was always access for IT admins and I thought IBM required such access as a necessary part of their support contracts.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
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9/3/2014 | 9:45:29 AM
Re: Doesn't "War Games" Explain Ferris' Feat?
I love the scene in Ferris where the absent days disappear -- so who says Ferris can't war dial? I would bet on Ferris vs. a green screen.
majenkins
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majenkins,
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9/3/2014 | 9:54:13 AM
How Did You Do It?
My question is how did you pick these 10 or 12 movies/shows to single out for attention? It seems to me, and my wife, that I hardly ever watch a movie or TV show without complaining about some technical thing that isn't correct or is totally out of the question.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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9/3/2014 | 12:46:26 PM
Re: Sorry, Family
Good eye! ;)
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
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9/3/2014 | 12:58:42 PM
Re: How Did You Do It?
Indeed, there are hundreds (maybe thousands?) of movies that could easily have been part of this list. If you nitpick enough, relatively few movies fully pass technical muster.

Granted, I (and think many of us) could care less about the "reality" of on-screen tech; internal logic, even if fantastical, can be more important than real-world "realism" (e.g. the majority of Marvel movies). Moreover, as long as something "feels" real, that phenomenological experience is often more important than the accuracy of technical minutiae (e.g. I've heard physicists pick apart Gravity's errors, but on an experiential level, I don't think many viewers cared). Despite their tech flubs, I love several movies on this list-- not just for nostalgic appeal, but because they're genuinely good pieces of cinema.

I tried to pick a few infamous examples of bad tech in movies, a few less-known ones in which a tech plot hole is too big to ignore, a few in which the filmmakers really should have known better, and a few that are just silly. Not a comprehensive collection, by any means. For that, I don't think an online list would suffice; I'd need to write a couple books!

Any other particularly egregious examples of bad movie tech that some of your readers would have included?

 
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