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War Games (25th Anniversary Edition)
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Product Description

Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 07/29/2008 Run time: 114 minutes Rating: Pg

Cute but silly, this 1983 cautionary fantasy stars Matthew Broderick as a teenage computer genius who hacks into the Pentagon's defense system and sets World War III into motion. All the fun is in the film's set-up, as Broderick befriends Ally Sheedy and starts the international crisis by pretending while online to be the Soviet Union. After that, it's not hard to predict what's going to happen: government agents swoop in, but the story ends up in the "hands" of machines talking to one another. Thus we're stuck with flashing lights, etc. John Badham (Saturday Night Fever) directs in strict potboiler mode. Kids still like this movie, though. The DVD release has a widescreen presentation, theatrical trailer, Dolby sound, director commentary, optional English, French and Spanish subtitles. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • One of the most memorable films of the 80s
    Looking back on my formative years, several theatrical releases stand out above all others, films such as the Star Wars trilogy (of course), E.T., Grease, and - yes - Wargames. Back in 1983, this film was incredible. Home computers were still mysterious contraptions I knew little about (I doubt I even had my Commodore 64 yet), and here was a guy hacking into other computers to change his grades, play cool new games, and who knew what else. And if that weren't enough, his computer actually talked. Looking back now, I have to wonder how many hackers became hackers because of Wargames. I know the film produced plenty of kids just like me who suddenly wanted a computer more than anything else in the world. Younger generations might not appreciate Wargames as much as I do - many will never have seen an old school computer room, computer tapes, an external modem that actually holds the phone receiver, gigantic floppy disks, or even an old-timey command prompt, nor will they know what it was like to grow up in the shadow of a possible full-scale nuclear was between America and the Evil Empire - but I have to believe they will enjoy this film nonetheless. It had been many years since I last watched Wargames, and I'm actually a little surprised at how well the film holds up all these years later.

    In the event of a first strike nuclear attack by the Soviet Union, response time is of the essence if you want to live up to your end of the mutually assured destruction bargain, so it makes sense to let a computer handle as much of the response action as possible - especially when that computer is the W.O.P.R. (War Operation Plan Response). After all, the W.O.P.R. spends all of its time calculating different nuclear war scenarios, and - more importantly - it does not fall subject to the fallibility of human beings, the kind of unpredictability that sees 22% of nuclear launch commanders failing to release their birds during the most realistic of tests. Unfortunately, the W.O.P.R. has a secret backdoor that no one knows about - until, that is, a geeky teenager manages to get in through that backdoor. While trying to hack into a software company's computers to sneak a peek at their upcoming games, David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) manages to gain entry into a much more interesting game server. He and would-be girlfriend Jennifer Mack (Ally Sheedy) get a kick out of targeting American cities for destruction in a game of Global Thermonuclear War, having no idea that the folks at NORAD are staining their shorts over reports of incoming missiles from the Soviet Union - not until the three-minute scare makes the news the next day. When the W.O.P.R. actually calls back, David realizes that the game he started is still running - and that it is much more than just a game.

    There's plenty of excitement and suspense as the wargame races toward an end-game scenario which could well result in the very real deaths of hundreds of millions of people. It's going to take more than a kid to convince the brass at NORAD that the incoming missiles they see on all of their screens are actually illusory, especially when that kid is suspected of treasonous espionage. Broderick, Ally Sheedy, and Dabney Coleman turn in excellent performances, but my props have to go to Barry Corbin, whose character, the eminently quotable General Jack Beringer, gets all the best lines, such as "I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it'd do any good!" and "after very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new defense system sucks."

    Man, I love the 80s - and Wargames is one of the true classics from that greatest of decades....more info
  • Great Movie
    I bought this movie because it has a very nostalgic feeling for me, but the movie is quite well, is not that well made, and the acting is not that really good.

    With all his flaws this is a great movie because of the Plot which is great, and creates the feeling of not knowing what is going to happen....more info
  • War Games
    Good movie.
    My wife and I have enjoyed this movie very much.

    Jim...more info
  • Still engaging thriller & Excellent transfer to DVD (25th Anniversary Edition)
    I first saw "War Games" in 1983 and thought it was an engaging thriller/doomsday/computers gone berserk/cold war type of film. Twenty-five years later, even though there have been many changes in all forms of technology (computers, cell phones, etc.) and in the poltical landscape (no more Soviet Union, but a still-powerful Russia), this well-crafted movie still has lots of charm, plot twists, and relevance. It's fun to watch all of those big, clunky, room-sized computers, the pre-Windows software, and the large, Dr. Strangelove-type monitors that diplayed the impending disaster of a massive nuclear attack. With a great cast (especially the young Matthew Broderick and Dabney Coleman) and an interesting plot, this film is still very entertaining. With its PG rating, the kids can watch it too.

    The picture and sound quality of the 25th Anniversary Edition are excellent. The format is anamorphic widescreen which is enhanced for 16 x 9 aspect-ratio TVs--the image fills the entire screen, no black bars. The picture is fairly sharp and the colors are perfect--it almost looks like a new film. The movie looked great on my large-screen, high-definition LCD TV (played on a Toshiba 1080p HD DVD player, the "upconversion" helps). Highly recommended! ...more info
  • One of the best hacker movies of all time
    I only saw this movie in its entirely recently. I thought Matthew Broderick's portrayal of hacker was very realistic. I even thought he was a real hacker until I came to my senses. He has the mannerisms down well. As someone who is a penetration tester, I thought the methods were pretty good for that period of time and many of it still applies today except it is applied differently. Same concepts. It's almost as if they had a real hacker as a technical consultant unlike the modern hacker movies which almost have no basis in reality. The movie and storyline were excellent. Very believable. ...more info
  • C'mon, all you 80s Fans!! You know you LOVE this Film!!
    You know it, you love it. WarGames is a film that's even more poignant now that we're celebrating its Silver Anniversary (that's 25 years, Dubya) - with one of the biggest threats we face as a planet being the spectre of loose nukes.

    For those WarGamers who simply can't wait until Amazon posts the specs of this oh-so-muy-especial edition:

    Disc One:
    * 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen Transfer
    * Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Audio
    * Commentary by Director John Badham and Writers Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes

    Disc Two:
    * Loading WarGames
    * Attack of the Hackers
    * Inside NORAD: Cold War Fortress
    * Tic Tac Toe: A True Story
    * Interactive Superpower Weapons Briefing Gallery
    * Sneak Peek at WarGames 2: The Dead Code
    * WarGames Theatrical Trailer

    Now, don't nuke me: These specs are **UNCONFIRMED**. And yes, it appears there is no new commentary *and* there is that trailer for the upcoming direct-to-DVD release of WarGames 2 with a completely unknown cast. Oh well, c'est la vie, and la vie goes on...
    ...more info
  • The original W.O.P.P.E.R.
    This animal is a whopper in more ways than one. All you have to do is suspend any type of belief in reality and it is a lot of fun trying to outguess the next move. Even after you have seen it a million times you will find your self kibitzing "look look look it is still running." And what is Joshua doing at the back door?
    A teenager, David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) that is too tech savvy for his own good is searching for the new game on the net. He stumbles into the NORAD mainframe evidently it was DARPA/net. For those with a short lifespan DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) was the precursor to the internet. We all know what happens when you do this. Yep, now David with the help if his teenage sweetie, Jennifer (Ally Sheedy) must worm his way into NORAD and stop the game or we are toast.

    Short Circuit DVD ~ Ally Sheedy...more info
  • amazing movie about being careful, trusting computers, security
    This is an amazing movie starring Matthew Broderick. Shows what happens when you leave computers unsecured, and give them too much power and control over your life. ...more info
  • Scientific Phenominon
    If this were a true story, it makes you think just what happens in reality....more info

    If this film is dated and obsolete, then so is the desire for peace. Most teenagers connected with this film 22 years ago when it did nearly $40 million at the box office and today's kids will consider this a novel antiquity with a universal theme still just as relevant today. Sure, the Soviet Union is no longer in existence and dial-up modems are mostly passe, but the idea of universal armageddon has returned again in the wake of 9/11 and seems likely to be a bane to humanity for the forseeable future. "Wargames" goes beyond the obvious and looks hopefully at the future, for if we can get past what happens in this very suspenseful thriller, then perhaps there is hope for us after all.

    The film opens and closes in exactly the same way but with different players. There is an order to launch missles and we see a crew [one man in particular] who won't launch. It is a simulation, but it reveals that 22% of the crews would behave the same way. The Strategic Command reluctantly gives control of the nuclear response to their master computer, "W.O.P.R." [War Operations Planned Response], in an effort to take humans out of the loop. The rest of the movie is a desperate struggle to put human control back into the loop with Matthew Broderick forcing the issue as a teenage hacker. And so the film ends exactly where it begins, except this time it is the General who reluctantly takes control of the response and chooses not to launch just as in the simulation where the film began. This is an anti-war theme which is always popular with the young, and peace is a topic that certainly never goes out of vogue with people of any age or background.

    -- * MAJOR PLAYERS -- *

    Matthew Broderick - David
    Dabney Coleman - McKittrick
    John Wood - Falken
    Ally Sheedy - Jennifer
    Barry Corbin - Gen. Beringer

    -- * PRODUCTION CREW -- *

    John Badham - Director
    Leonard J. Goldberg - Producer / Executive Producer
    Harold Schneider - Producer
    William A. Fraker - Screenwriter / Cinematographer
    Walon Green - Screenwriter
    Lawrence Lasker - Screenwriter
    Walter Parkes - Screenwriter
    Arthur B. Rubinstein - Composer (Music Score)
    Michael Ripps - Editor
    Tom Rolf - Editor
    Angelo P. Graham - Production Designer
    Richard Hashimoto - Production Designer / Associate Producer
    James Murakami - Art Director
    Jerry Wunderlich - Set Designer
    Barry Delaney - Costume Designer
    Linda Matthews - Costume Designer
    Willie D. Burton - Sound/Sound Designer

    -- * MAJOR AWARDS --*

    Best Cinematography (nom) William A. Fraker 1983 Academy
    Best Original Screenplay (nom) Walter Parkes 1983 Academy
    Best Original Screenplay (nom) Lawrence Lasker 1983 Academy
    Best Sound (nom) Carlos DeLarios 1983 Academy
    Best Sound (nom) Michael J. Kohut 1983 Academy
    Best Sound (nom) Aaron Rochin 1983 Academy
    Best Sound (nom) Willie D. Burton 1983 Academy

    IN THE END - -

    A very interesting film ,that although apparently dated in its look and thematic focus, still resonates, especially among teen viewers.

    ...more info
  • It's stood up well
    The last time I saw this movie must have been at least 20 years ago, i.e. still during the real Cold War. I saw it recently again out of curiosity and it's stood up well. How to explain those tens of thousands of U.S. and Soviet nuclear warheads on hair triggers to youngers who have no personal recollections of those times? If you lived during those times and/or served in the military then, you knew that hair-triggerism was damn real. When toward the end of the movie the war room screens go wild with their portrayals of the thermonuclear strikes, my blood did run cold. Yeah it's only a movie but yeah too, the means then were such that it could have happened.

    On the lighter side, 20 years ago I knew squat about computers. DOS was Boss and utterly alien to me; I began to get my feet wet with Windows 3.0 around 1992 at 50 years of age. It was fun to see in the movie the relatively primitive state of home computers and even mainframes. Monochrome CRT screens? Dot-matrix printers? REAL floppy disks? Quaint. ...more info
  • The original W.O.P.P.E.R.
    This animal is a whopper in more ways than one. All you have to do is suspend any type of belief in reality and it is a lot of fun trying to outguess the next move. Even after you have seen it a million times you will find your self kibitzing "look look look it is still running." And what is Joshua doing at the back door?
    A teenager, David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) that is too tech savvy for his own good is searching for the new game on the net. He stumbles into the NORAD mainframe evidently it was DARPA/net. For those with a short lifespan DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) was the precursor to the internet. We all know what happens when you do this. Yep, now David with the help if his teenage sweetie, Jennifer (Ally Sheedy) must worm his way into NORAD and stop the game or we are toast.

    ...more info
  • Muy buena pelicula
    Una pelicula que muestra mucho de la tecnologia de vanguardia que actualmente tenemos,es buena para recordar como han evolucionados los sistemas, buena tematica. saludos....more info
  • Fun & Games to the Max
    This is a very fun film which also has a serious point about how much havoc "hackers" can create. Matthew Broderick has always been a favorite, and he's at the top of his form here. Funny and thought provoking at the same time. This is one of those you have to see several times over....more info
  • A Film to Help Students to Think
    The Cold War ... what the heck is that? This film helps to reveal to high school students the magnitude of this worldwide crisis. (You know that there are tens of thousands of ICBMs still out there?) Of course, most high school students relate mostly to the characters, but soon some begin to understand that this is about the survival of us all. Questions follow, and we can slip in a few concepts that may hang around after adoloscence. ...more info
  • Futility
    During a test of readiness, 22% of the ICBM officers failed to launch their missiles. Dr. John McMittrick, former assistent to Stephen Faulkin convinces the President's military advisor to install automated systems to launch the missiles. The silos would be controlled by the "War Operation Plan Resource", WOPR.

    WOPR is a special machined developed by Professor Stephen Faulkin. The WOPR has an artifical hippocampus and cortex letting it symbolize expressions of emotion and when talking with David Lightman, it asks, "How do you feel?" for which Lightman replies, "I feel fine. How do you feel?" and the WOPR nicknamed named Joshua answers, "Excellent, how about a nice game of chess?" Faulkin purpose in creating Josuha was to prove through game theory the fulity of nuclear war. Faulkin tells Lightman that he taught Josuha poker and games of chance to demostrate "bluffs", but that he taught him tic-tac-toe to teach the futility of certain games. Faulkin said Joshua failed to grasp the concept of "no win". Josuha central purpose was to win the game. Josuha child like consciousness prevented the machine from distinquishing between game and real. Joshua tells lightman that his central purpose is to win the game.

    David is trying hack in and play new games by protovision, a game company. David associates with game developers. David accidentally uncovers a communication line left by the telephone company by a california satelite. David gets a prompt that says login and eventually types "help games" and gets a list of games. David seeks gamer consulting advice and Melvin tells David to start researching "Faulkins-Maze" after Jim discloses that their may be a "backdoor" in the system. David's girl friend Jennifer, whom he electronically grade alter makes a comment about Faulkins, son that was killed in a car accident with mother. David says, "It can't be that easy" and types Josuha's name. Once in the David requests to play "Global Theronuclear War" twice and selects Russia as his character. NORAD responds by raising the decon level to 3 expecting 300 incoming ICBMs, but David's mother interupts the games and the simulation stops; General Beringer wants to know what happened; and the FBI traces the call to Seattle Washington and arrests David. Joshua is thinking; he gathers information for all military systems throughout the world and evaluations weakeness and strengthens and potential actions and probabilities of success; Josuha calls David at this home and David discovers Joshua is still trying to win the game; Josuha tells David, he will win the game once he gets to Decon 1; the machine has problem solved a solution to the game and created a series of predictable senarios to create a raising of Decon levels until the machine reaches DEFCON 1 which it will then decode the launch codes.

    David and Jennifer reach Faulkin but he has a fatalistic view of the world telling them that "man will become extinct like the dinosaurs". David ask Faulkin, "what is the last thing that you cared about" and Jennifer says, "I'm seventeen and I don't want to die". The two leave Faulkin and go in search of a boat, upon, not finding a boat, Jennifer says to David, "Lets swim". David says "no", "it two or three miles to shore" - Jennifer insist on swimming and David says, "I can't swim." "I always thought that I'd have time to learn how to swim. I really intended on learning." Faulkin arrives by Helicopter and the group rush to Norad, as Josuha manipulates General Beringer to Defon 1, by a first strike ICBM visual of 2,300 warheads. The Russian deny any nuclear weapon activity.

    Faulkin asks the General, "This is a computer hallucination. Does this make sense? Do you think the Russia would launch this many missile by land and submarine without provocation? Let the scenario run out." General Beringer does not trust machines, he had previous said to McKittrick, "Do you want to trust our national security to a pile of chips? Do you want launch decisions done by a silcon diode?" General Beringer does respond; the system is on launch lockout; the simulation is proven a farse. Joshua continues playing the game. The General says, "just unplug the thing"; McKittrick tells the General that if they disconnect the WOPR, it will be interpretted as the destruction of NORAD and launch will be automatic. The group moves from celebration to crisis.

    Machine learning: David accesses games and selects Tic-Tac-Toe and has Josha play against himself; Joshua has decode all ten launch codes; somewhere in his artificial cortex, he becomes aware of the futility of the game; Joshua runs every possible first strike scenario and realizes there is no survival possibility in any. Joshua says "the only winning not to play." General Berringer yells out, "Take us to DefCon 5."

    The machine capable of self preservation and seemingly wise. A machine capable of understanding complex systems and deriving wisdom from the concepts it conceives - fasinating.

    ...more info
  • Excellent, excellent movie
    This movie is WONDERFUL.

    Besides the fact it captures the 80s incredibly well, its fashion, it's atmosphere, it also manages to depict what was back then state-of-the-art technology in a very coherent way within the plot (a real treat for those who happened to know it and work with it), and shows some tricks of the old hacker ways long gone (war dialing, phone phreaking, manual hacking, etc.)

    The plot is very good. So is the acting. And it's a great trip down memory lane, right back into the heart of the 80s.

    You really have to get this movie!!!...more info
  • Back to the 80's
    This is an excellent movie and one of the first about computers hackers. I was 13 when I saw this movie for first time. It was a magical time for me because it was the time when the firs Commodore 64, Atari 800, ZX Spectrum, etc, appeared and every single kid who loved computers had to watch this movie.
    Still today it's a really fun movie and I recommend it for everybody....more info
  • What's a modem?
    Fun watching this 20 years later and explaining to my young teens why Matthew Broderick's character takes this huge, corded phone receiver and docks it to get "online"...also the old DOS language and computer-generated voice (DO-YOU-WANT-TO-PLAY-A-GAME?) were fun. Surprisingly, the storyline riveted my 13 & 14 year-olds despite the antiquated technology. The whole teenager who is doing something silly and funny (tickets to Paris? OK!) and getting in over his head (and it was Ferris Bueller, after all, every kid's hero) resonated with them. ...more info
  • The only prevention to war is peace
    Remember Ronald Reagan, the actor-president, the acting president, the president-actor, we will never know. Was he serious about his empire of evil or was he joking one of these good words produced by black humor, or at least very dark grey humor? No one will even know, because Reagan himself did probably not know. The film is a direct reflection on that period from that period. If we entrust our own security to machines what would happen? Machines have no sense of life and death and for them everything is nothing but an exercise, a game, a playground dare or challenge or discussion because they have no ethical sense at all. The film, or rather this question is at the basis of the Terminator series too. Machines, if we let them develop too much, will take over and destroy or try to destroy the human species that would stand in their way. We also remember it is the fundamental element of the Dune series and that the survival of the human species was due to the Butlerian revolution that banned all intelligent machines and made it a crime to develop such machines. What is the originality of this film then that goes back to the command-line computers that no one knows how to use any more. That was the good old time before the invention of the GUI (Graphical User's Interface). That was a beautiful time when computers were an elite tool and when the Internet was still nothing but an intranet of the military establishment. That was then a field of mystery that we were just discovering and it took little imagination to understand that it could only be child play to penetrate such a system because it was only based on declarative identities and passwords and human beings are very simple-minded as for passwords since they want THE password they will never forget, as if it were possible. So it is simple to think of birth dates, death dates of close relatives, names of one's children, etc. That's exactly what a 17 year old teenager does: he penetrates the computer that governs the whole defense of the USA in case of a thermo-nuclear war and finds out that the computer considers it is a game, a game he is willing to play but he plays it for real and he can absolutely fool all commanding levels of the security system because they trust the machines and do not even ask their own eyes to check what is happening. The worst point about this film is that security rules make the commanding chain decide at one point to lock the system so that no change can be introduced that could change the management of the situation, or the orders given to the military by anyone in the chain of command. But the film remains entertaining and yet very moralistic indeed. So the game cannot be stopped but the military commander can be persuaded that it is a game played by the machine, but, and then it becomes rather sickening, the machine can by-pass that human chain of command and give the orders itself. At this moment there is no way to escape the apocalypse, except by playing another game the machine accepts as the key to make it think, if it can think, in the right direction. So why not try tic-tac-toe, a game that cannot be won at all. And that leads the dear machine of ours to the conclusion that, after examining all scenarios, a thermo nuclear war cannot be won except by not engaging in one. And we can only wonder why human beings are dumb enough to start wars all the time if there is no winner in present day war. McCain who knew how to win a war lost the election that should have been his major battle. Bush who was not prepared for a war, got into one desperately and stubbornly, and even into two for good measure. If he had been prepared he definitely would not even have hesitated with Iran or North Korea and maybe two or three more. Is a machine more intelligent than the human species? Probably. At least this film is trying to tell us so.

    Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
    ...more info
  • OR, get it cheaper EVERYWHERE else!
    You can play the Amazon pricing games here, and get it for $13, OR, you can get it for $10 at Best Buy, or even LESS at Deepdiscount. AND, FREE SHIPPING. When will Amazon learn. I know, I know, you HAVE to milk as much revenue out of people who don't know how to shop as possible. It's the Retail Motto, take advantage of those who don't know. Why get ripped off??? STOP PLAYING THE GAMES! As for the movie, it's a classic. Lots of fun and nostalgia, get it, just get it where it's being offered for a reasonable price. Oh, don't worry, the price here will go up and down up and down over the next few weeks. It's the retail way. Funny though, the cost of it to the sellers doesn't change. GO FIGURE!...more info
  • WarGames
    Order was received within a few days of ordering. The DVD was in excellent condition and plays very good. I would definitely order from this person again. Thank you ...more info