Yesterday the news came through that John Hughes had died and it was immediately obvious what this week's top 10 would be about.
Shaun was barely toddling when Hughes first started to make an impact on the screen world, but those of us with a few more years under our belts remember his films well. He dealt with a variety of issues, including teen angst, parenting, family ties and social groups.
So where's the tech angle, I hear you ask? Well, he, and others, have used computers as a narrative arc to their characters. And with the summer movie season about to start, it struck us as a good time to do a list that would both honour his memory and give you all an excuse to sit down with a DVD or two and enjoy tech in the movies.
Shaun Nichols: While I'm sure there were commercials and trailers made for Westworld, they weren't really necessary. All they had to do was say "robotic Yul Brynner goes on a murderous rampage" and most everyone was sold on the movie.
Westworld touched on what has become a reliable cliché for summer blockbusters: robots gone berserk. As with any movie about the future made in 1973, it has aged a bit, though not nearly as badly as other movies. It was also written and directed by Michael Crichton, who 20 years later replaced the robots with dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, one of the most successful films of all time.
Iain Thomson: Westworld does look a little dated these days, but if you want a good tale of computers run amok then this is a film for you.
In many ways the central theme of the film is not dissimilar to the Terminator chronicles: Yul Brynner is after you and he absolutely will not stop, even after he loses his face. Brynner is genuinely unsettling in his pursuit, in a way that our current governor Arnie can only dream to be. Maybe it's something to do with accents.
Sure, you can poke holes in the central premise but who cares. The film is a classic, and well worth a watch.
Iain Thomson: WALL-E was one of those cutesy films I profess to hate, but, deep down in the dark obsidian of my soul, I have a sneaking fondness for it.
The film owes its very existence to computers. Pixar couldn't exist without massive amounts of processing power and after the studio worked out an underwater physics engine that functioned well enough for Finding Nemo it decided to take that and do a movie about space.
Also, the nerd in me was really caught by the geekiness of the film. WALL-E is obsolete technology and as a lifelong collector of out-of-date kit it had a real appeal. You can stick your netbooks and smartphones; I still hold a special place in my heart for my Palm IIIx and its portable keyboard.
It's also a rather subversive film; a savage skewering of the consumer society that currently rules the roost. I think that there are more than a few rebels at Pixar who like putting subversive thoughts in kids' minds, and this is no bad thing considering the billions spent on adverts to do the same to push another perspective.
Shaun Nichols: My father is the sort of person who won't watch anything that doesn't involve sports or explosions. He routinely pokes fun at me for enjoying the Simpsons. Imagine my shock when he recommended I go see WALL-E.
Pixar movies are generally decent, but WALL-E is on another level. As Iain noted, it actually is a rather harsh satire of what technological advances have begun to do to us culturally and biologically. One can argue that it's the most poignant piece of social commentary disguised as children's entertainment this side of Dr Seuss.
Perhaps it's also a sign that there's still a little bit of revolutionary hippie spirit left in that business mogul's heart of Steve Jobs. His fingerprints are all over that movie - after all, none of the robots had a removable battery.
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