Archive for the War Games Category

10 custom Atari 2600 cartridges based on movie video games

Posted in Atari, movies, Tron, video games, War Games with tags , , , , , , on March 2, 2012 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

In May of last year I wrote an article talking about video games in movies that I thought were fake but were actually real. Then, CT over at Nerd Lunch used an image of a Nerd Lunch Atari 2600 cart for Episode 26 of the Nerd Lunch podcast. This immediately got me thinking about all those movie games I want to exist. So, I went out to the custom Atari 2600 label generator and just went buck wild.

Here are some of my creations (click the images to make them BIGGER).

Global Thermonuclear War
Global Thermonuclear War (War Games) – I did a bunch for WarGames. This was the first one that popped into my mind. How cool would this game be?

Falken's Maze
Falken’s Maze (War Games) – Another WarGames creation. The name of this game appears in the scene where David Lightman lists the games available from Joshua (aka WOPR). I think Eddie Deezen even tells Matthew Broderick to research Falken’s Maze to learn about the enigmatic programmer. Atari released a similar maze game called Maze Craze (from which I got the picture on the cartridge).

Joshua's Tic Tac Toe
Joshua’s Tic Tac Toe (War Games) – Essentially just a themed Tic-Tac-Toe game. This may seem a bit thin, but Atari actually released a 3D Tic-Tac-Toe game which could probably be re-branded and maybe skinned to match the movie game.

WarGames: NORAD
WarGames: NORAD (War Games) – This is not necessarily based on anything specific in the movie.  It could be a conglomeration of all the Joshua Games or maybe even a video game recreation of the final NORAD sequence in the film.  I just thought it sounded cool.

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I ponder a modern day WarGames sequel with the original cast

Posted in 80s, movies, pop culture, War Games with tags , , , , on February 24, 2012 by Paxton

LEB logo

We have a new assignment for The League this week. The League of Extraordinary Bloggers, that is.  This week, Brian asks what 80s kid/teen movie would we want to see a sequel to today, including the original cast members. And what do we envision those characters to be doing now?

Great question Brian, and I really had to think about this one. I’ve talked about my views on movie sequels here. I also talked about them for Episode 20 of the Nerd Lunch podcast.  Essentially, I like sequels.  If I enjoy the characters then I want to see those characters again.  However, Hollywood has totally perverted the idea of a sequel and it makes it hard for good legitimate sequels to get a break.

Anyway, for this week’s assignment, I briefly thought about sequels to Ferris Bueller and The Goonies. But if there were sequels to those, I would have wanted them to be in the 80s or early 90s. Not now.  Shawn over at Branded in the 80s pondered a third Teen Wolf movie starring Michael J Fox and Jason Bateman which quite literally blew my mind.  How did I not think of that?  However, I agree with him, the time for that sequel would have been around 1991 when Fox was still up for it.  Doc Hollywood Fox would have been awesome in a Teen Wolf Three.  But I digress.

So, I thought about it and I think I would really like to see a modern day sequel to the 1983 hit, War Games starring Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman and Ally Sheedy.

War Games

War Games is one of my favorite movies from the 80s. Broderick is so great as the goofy, funny, computer dork David Lightman. Ally Sheedy was amazingly cute as Jennifer Mack, Lightman’s crush and eventual love interest. I highly identified with Lightman in this movie. I was into computers and a bit of an introvert.  Especially many years later in high school. I even got in trouble a few times for saying snarky remarks in the middle of class. However, I did not have the incredible computer setup that Lightman has in his room. That collection of hardware is amazing. For those that don’t know, it was a sort of “kit-bashed” IMSAI 8080 computer.  A-mazing.

Also, another reason I love this movie is that the director, John Badham, was raised in my hometown of Birmingham, AL (even though he was born in the UK).  There is a scene in the movie in which a tour group at NORAD is identified as being from Birmingham, AL.  This is an homage to Badham’s hometown.

So, in my modern day sequel, what are the characters from the movie doing today?


Dr John McKittrick – After the events of the original movie, Dr McKittrick kept in touch with David throughout college. He even supplied him with recommendations to MIT. McKittrick would help David get a job with NORAD after graduation.  McKittrick would mentor David for many years within NORAD until he is appointed the director of the National Security Agency (NSA). As Director, McKittrick would bring David over from NORAD as a high level code breaker. At the time of the sequel, McKittrick is only a year or two from retiring as Director.


David Lightman – After high school, David is accepted into MIT with a full ride (obviously helped by some highly placed government recommendations).  David graduates with honors and begins working for NORAD as Dr McKittrick’s protege. David would work with McKittrick for many years afterward.  After McKittrick is appointed the Director of the NSA, David would accept a high level job with his mentor.  He would eventually gain the coveted title of Head Cryptographer.  As the HC, David oversees the NSA’s version of WOPR called DECODR. It’s a code breaking super computer used to crack highly encrypted data.  Late one evening, the DECODR comes across an encryption it can’t break and David receives an email stating that this “unbreakable code” will be auctioned off to the highest bidder in 24 hours.  Lightman calls in McKittrick and they must figure out who wrote the encryption and how they can solve it before the encryption code is released into the wild.

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War Games 2 and other movie sequels

Posted in humor, movies, personal, reviews, sequels, War Games with tags , , , on October 9, 2006 by Paxton

I was perusing what the youngsters like to call “the net” the other day and came across this article on one of my favorite movie news sites. According to the article, Hollywood is apparently making a War Games 2. This got me thinking about movie sequels, good and bad, and what I think about them. I’m pretty sure you’re going to be interested in what I have to say, otherwise you’d be doing laundry or washing your car right now, so I thought I’d pass along some “nuggets” from my own noggin about movie sequels. Write them down, grasshopper, cause these nuggets are gold, I tell ya, GOLD.

First off, I am not patently against sequels. I don’t automatically think they are going to be awful. Being a movie whore gives me the wonderful freedom of thinking movies that should suck, are going to be awesome. It’s liberating. If I enjoyed the first movie and some or most of the original cast returns, then I’m willing to give it a try. But what sounds like a good idea on paper, may turn out to be box office poison. In light of this, let’s look at some of the factors that, I believe, will immediately count against the success of a sequel.

One type of sequel that I will immediately hate is the “in name only” sequels. You know the ones, more often than not they didn’t have a theatrical release. You see them sitting in Blockbuster and you’re like, “HOLY CRAP, THEY MADE A SEQUEL TO BAMBI?!” (yes they did). If these eyesores were released in theaters, there would be chaos in the streets, it would be the Kent State riots all over again. I ask you, how is the movie a sequel when not one person from the original movie appears? Even worse is when one of the characters in the sequel is the son/daughter/uncle/cousin of one of the characters in the original to make up for the fact that the studio was too much of a Scrooge to pay for the original actors. That’s the definition of cheap, people.

Let’s talk a bit about the aforementioned War Games: The Dead Game. First off, the title. They use the original title, but instead of putting a giant 2 in it, they give it some generic ominous sounding subtitle. You aren’t fooling me, MGM. Also, the odds are against Matthew Broderick coming back for this. Likewise for Ally Sheedy (is she still alive?) and Dabney Coleman. It’ll be all new people we’ve never heard of who look like they should be in a WB hour long drama doing something vaguely similar to the events in the first movie. Why even call it War Games, why not just The Dead Game? I’ll tell you why; to get people who wouldn’t normally go see a movie filled with nobodies to go see it. Even if Broderick gives a small cameo at some point (which would help), this is just lazy. War Games 2, to me, is Matthew Broderick as David Lightman, grown up, working for a software development company and he uncovers a plot by his company/the government/some random shmuck to take over the company/stock market/country/world. THAT is War Games 2. MGM, call me when it’s in the can.

Another example you ask? Of course, I answer. How about Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights? Another omission of the giant 2 and the addition of a sultry subtitle. In reality, this movie should have been called just…Havana Nights. There was absolutely NO need to tack on Dirty Dancing to the beginning except for the simple fact that no one would have seen it. Yes, I realize Patrick Swayze himself had a small part, but, come on, they didn’t even call him Johnny (his character in the original). He was credited as DANCE INSTRUCTOR. WTF?! WHY?! He’s in the movie, he has several scenes with the main characters, why couldn’t SOMEBODY call him Johnny?! ONCE?! Drove me up the wall. The movie wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t that great either. I kinda feel the same way about the original, too (Sorry, Steph). Moving on….

So you see what I mean about the “in name only” sequels. 9.9 times out of 10, they are going be a huge pile of dog ass. Let’s move on to another factor that will most definitely sink a sequel; recasting the main actors. I hate it when a sequel is announced and one of your favorite characters is recast. I would actually prefer the character is dropped than have another actor brought in. What usually winds up happening is the original actor left such an impression that the newer upstart is overshadowed, leaving you feeling like he’s just copying the original performance. One of the better examples of this is Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. While this movie could have stood on it’s own as a dumb high school comedy (maybe), the studio instead forces the actors to ape the characteristics of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Parts of this movie made me laugh, but parts were cringe-inducing. Another example is Major League 2. I really enjoyed all three of the Major League movies, but one of the main characters, Willie Mays Hayes, is recast. Originally played by Wesley Snipes, in part 2 Hayes is played by Omar Epps. Epps did a nice job, but he’s not Wesley Snipes. While Major League 2 did have a few other issues, this was one of the big ones (the original and Part 3 are the best of the trilogy). The last glaring example of recasting I’ll bring to your attention is The Sting II. The original, starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman, was a classic heist movie that helped launch Newman and Redford even further into superstardom. The sequel, using the same characters but different actors, barely deserves to be mentioned. The studio did get Jackie Gleason to take over the Paul Newman role, but, despite that, continue on your merry way.

These are just a few of the examples. How many other crappy sequels are out there? Did anyone see Starship Troopers 2? Son of the Mask? How about Hollow Man 2? American Psycho 2? What about the 15 or so “sequels” Disney churns out every year? Did the public at large really need 3 sequels to the Lion King? I mean really. There are tons of other titles that litter the Blockbuster shelves like a giant landfill. To be sure, sequels can be bad. Very bad. Like, genitals wired to a car battery bad, but they can be good, too. If not for sequels we wouldn’t have Empire Strikes Back, Back to the Future II, Clerks II and Godfather Part II. But, then again, no sequels means no Godfather III, so it’s a double edged sword.

Personally, I like the idea of sequels because I love revisiting the characters I’ve grown to love in a movie. If you entertained me once, I’ll give a second movie a chance, but I’m prepared to be burned. Gigli 2, anyone?

Fun movie links:

1. Trailer for The Sting II

2. Trailer for Dumb & Dumber re-edited to look more like a drama

3. Hilarious MTV Parody of Star Wars Episode III starring Jimmy Fallon