Sunday, October 25, 2009

Review: War Games: The Dead Code (spoiler)

I was scrolling through the digital cable guide and spotted the words “War Games” so I had to check it out. It was a new movie, 2008 called War Games: The Dead Code starring Matt Lanter and Amanda Walsh. The description in the guide said:

In 1983, a teen computer hacker played a doomsday game against a government computer. In this thrilling sequel, another high school online whiz wreaks havoc when he hacks into a secret government program.

I went into it expecting that it wouldn’t be the greatest move ever, and nowhere near as good as the original. It is a good thing that I set my expectations low, because, well, it just wasn’t a blockbuster. But here is the reason I’m not a movie reviewer, because, I enjoyed watching it anyway!

Now, for some plot. Basically, instead of playing global thermonuclear war, there was something else that I can’t quite remember. Global thermonuclear war made a cameo, of course, it was on the list of games, they pointed to it with the mouse and acknowledged it, but went on to the other game. Basically, the computer, R.I.P.L.E.Y. is some sort of automated anti-terrorist computer that is supposed to automatically find terrorists based on computer algorithms and kill them. Of course, through a series of mostly innocent actions, the teen gets flagged by the computer as a terrorist, and the chase is on.

Guess who is back? Dr. Stephen Falken, back from the dead, again. Not played by John Wood this time, but Gary Reineke makes a good older Falken. An even more important returning character from 1983 is Joshua, AKA the W.O.P.R., which has been running a power grid somewhere up in Canada. The plan is to use Joshua to fight against R.I.P.L.E.Y. There is a lot of cheesy action, this time, instead of tic – tac – toe they teach R.I.P.L.E.Y. that the only winning move is not to play with antichess, which they call suicide chess.

Yes, its cheesy, but I still enjoyed it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Left wallet home, nearly ran out of gas, and other things that went wrong today

What a crazy afternoon I had. It started this morning, or, actually last night. When I got out of the van, I dropped my wallet and it was on the ground all night in the rain, soaked through and through. Thankfully, it was still there. After I dropped Alex off to faith formation I returned to wait in the car for a while because I had a meeting with the Director of Elementary & Family Catechesis. While in the car, I emptied my wallet of all the various things that were inside and ran the heat on high to dry things out. I put the credit cards in my jacket pocket because I didn't want to leave them in the car while parked on the street while I went to my meeting.

Fast forward to later today. The Ravens game was starting to get good as I was about to leave to take Andrew home. So, trying to get out the door while catching the game, I forgot some things. Andrew's overnight bag for one, and I didn't put on my jacket, which is where the credit cards were. I'm about two thirds of the way when I realized that I wouldn't have enough gas to make it all the way, then realized that I didn't have any cash or credit cards on me. I didn't have enough gas to make it home either. So I was in trouble.

Fortunately, there was six dollars in change in the van's little coin holder, whew. That was enough to get Andrew home, but not quite enough to get back home so I called my mom and she met me at a gas station and gave me a little more. Thanks mom!