AFTER THE MOVIE: WARGAMES (John Badham, 1983)
Saturday, April 28, SVA Theater, $25, 1:30
Everyone has a few movies that they can’t turn off when they find it playing on cable. For us, John Badham’s 1983 computer thriller, WarGames, is one of those flicks. Matthew Broderick stars as David Lightman, a Seattle high school techno-geek who spends most of his time goofing around on his desktop computer. When his extremely cute classmate Jennifer Mack (Ally Sheedy) comes over, he impresses her with his mad skills, first adjusting their grades, then battling a talking computer in a pleasant game of thermonuclear war, and finally booking a trip to Europe. Unfortunately, it turns out David accidentally hacked into the Air Force’s WOPR defense system at NORAD, and soon he and Jennifer are on the run, trying to escape the grasp of blowhard Dr. John McKittrick (Dabney Coleman), who is sure they are enemy spies. As General Beringer (Barry Corbin) keeps lowering the DEFCON level, it becomes more than possible that the world might actually be on the brink of WWIII, all because of what started out as a friendly game of chess. Broderick and Sheedy are absolutely adorable in the lead roles, growing closer and closer as danger lurks around every corner, but it’s Corbin who gets most of the memorable lines, including the classic, “Hell, I’d piss on a spark plug if I thought it’d do any good.” WarGames is having a special twentieth-anniversary screening at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 28 at 1:30, followed by a panel discussion with director Badham, star Sheedy, bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen, retired Air Force intelligence officer Major William Casebeer, and hacker and futurist Pablos Holman, moderated by Craig Hatkoff.