Scott Hardie | October 16, 2004
I can't help but think of Steve Dunn when I write this question: How well does Hollywood portray your profession or industry on-screen? Are there any recurring inaccuracies that vex or amuse you?

Kris Weberg | October 16, 2004
I'll let you know as soon as that English grad student action blockbuster comes out in the summer of never.

Scott Hardie | October 16, 2004
Uhh... Well... The adult X-Men are technically grad students, aren't they?

For real though: Dustin Hoffman in "Marathon Man" and Aaron Eckhart in "Possession" come to mind.

Jackie Mason | October 16, 2004
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Steve West | October 16, 2004
Rarely are banking professionals portrayed as anything but evil right-wing loan officers or robbery victims. Even in Ghost, the only "good" banker on Wall Street is killed by the evil one.

Anna Gregoline | October 16, 2004
Librarians - I worked in a library and my mom has ever since I remember, and the movie stereotype of them is so tired.

Writers are often portrayed as drunks and druggies, or disturbed, but that seems to be all too often true. =)

Kris Weberg | October 16, 2004
Great, Scott -- so my profession is portrayed as a class of Nazi torture victims, or as uncoverers of erotic historical mysteries (and given Neil LaBute's track record, sexually dysfunctional egotists).

If only these two portrayals could be combined into one fantastic film!

Kris Weberg | October 16, 2004
I dunno, Steve, bankers are also often portrayed as failures in their personal lives, as in Owning Mahoney.

Anthony Lewis | October 16, 2004
Let's see...I'm a conductor in the NY City Subway.

The only movies I can recall where my profession was portrayed were The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3 and The French Connection...where the character was killed both times.

Damn that's depressing.

Steve Dunn | October 19, 2004
Portrayals of lawyers always make the job seem a lot more exciting than it is. My wife is a doctor, so she notices the same thing. She says the most accurate portrayal of her profession is Scrubs!

Jackie Mason | October 19, 2004
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Scott Horowitz | October 19, 2004
Let's see... computer programmers. We're always shown as geeky guys who can't get a date. That couldn't be farther from the ..... oh shit... I hate movies!

Anna Gregoline | October 19, 2004
Plus, you're all hackers.

Scott Horowitz | October 19, 2004
y3s w3 4r3 411 1337 h4x0rz

Todd Brotsch | October 19, 2004
There was also a Subway driver in MiB II Anthony, though it's not the best image...

David Mitzman | October 19, 2004
And all computer crackers (proper terminology is rarely used) like techno and trance music. They also use computer which don't exist. The only realistic portrayal was in Matrix: Reloaded when Trinity was on the power grid, she was actually typing real commands into an ssh shell.

The unemployed are generally portrayed as lazy people who sleep in, stay up late, and eat canned food. Couldn't be closer to the truth!

Lori Lancaster | October 19, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 19, 2004
I used hackers on purpose actually. Because they are always called that in movies. The movie Hackers is the most ridiculous, but it's always like that - with bizarre interfaces and very graphical things and the computers using voice modules. I mean, seriously. It's not that glamorous.

Kris Weberg | October 19, 2004
Also, in movies, a normal-but-geekish computer whix can hack into any system on the planet, from nuclear launch systems (Wargames) to super-secret intelligence plans (The Net), usually within minutes despite the real-life existence of near-uncrackable cyphers and the hours-long time needed for serious cracking attempts. If the hcker is under 20 years old, they will be able to outwit legions of experienced encrypters through either random guessing or the use of magically powerful prgrams of their own concoction.

Kris Weberg | October 19, 2004
Oh, and virtual reality, even in movies set in the present, is generatiosn beyond anything real VR has proven capable of.

Erik Bates | October 20, 2004
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Scott Hardie | October 20, 2004
Let's not forget Jeff Goldblum's miraculous programming at the end of "Independence Day." That turn of the plot was the kind of sheer idiocy you can only imagine the writers inventing as a joke, and leaving in because they couldn't think of anything better.

Kris Weberg | October 20, 2004
I actually managed to forget that entire movie about ten minutes after wasting two hours and eight dollars on it.

Steve West | October 20, 2004
Hugh Jackman in "Swordfish" - anywhere near possible? And how about Eric Begosian in "Under Seige 2: Dark Territory"?

Kris Weberg | October 20, 2004
The only people more impossibly hypercompetent than movie programmers are movie action heroes.

Thank Jeebus for the Matrix,w hich combined both of these ideas intoa single premise.

Anna Gregoline | October 20, 2004
I think it's not just hypercompetance for action heros - they are also able to distort all laws of physics to their favor.

Kris Weberg | October 20, 2004
Right, but movie hackers can likewise distort the "laws" of computer operation and common sense.

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