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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Inaccuracies in "Hackers" (the movie) circa circa 1995

So there are a bunch of goofs in hackers but the most notably is the representation of the web as a acid trip filled with equations. I only wish. It would make my job so much easier just to make abstract things. (IDEA) Now im not a super tech guy but i do know how to use IMDB and they say there is a bunch of stuff. Mostly there is alot of continuity issues with placement of objects or people and most of the tech goofs are with dialogue between characters.

  • Continuity: When Dade first enters Cyberdelia, there is an overview shot of the whole place, and for a moment we see Joey and Phreak on the top balcony talking around a table. The problem is, this is the scene from the next day. You can tell by the clothes they are wearing.

  • Revealing mistakes: Guide wire visible on Kate's flare gun.

  • Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Dade is typing on Kate's laptop at her party she stands over his shoulder and says, "I hope you don't screw like you type," but her words don't match her mouth.

  • Continuity: Several scenes show the Met Life building (with "Met Life" in huge letters) behind Grand Central. However, the old stock "sky view" footage right before Dade's first day of school shows the building with its original "Pan Am" signage, which was taken down ten years before filming.

  • Crew or equipment visible: In the police car right after Acid Burn beeps Cereal Killer, the passenger turns to the left and you can see a red light shine on his head. That light is from the camera.

  • Anachronisms: The satellite shown orbiting the Earth at the end of Cereal Killer's announcement is Skylab, a U.S. space station which crashed to Earth in July 1979.

  • Audio/visual unsynchronized: Margo and The Plague are talking when she warns him to "get the file or else you'll loose all your toys" but her lips do not match the audio.

  • Continuity: The characters are arrested on the 14th of the month. However, When the hackers are being chased through the streets, Dade's watch (in the close-up) says 10-18-1995.

  • Audio/visual unsynchronized: At Kate's party, you see Cereal Killer walking through the crowd. You hear him talking, saying something along the lines of "... big man, big boots..." but his mouth is not moving.

  • Continuity: When Joey initially "hacks" into the "gibson" he stashes the disk in the air vent. However, his clothes change as it goes from the air vent shot to a normal shot.

  • Continuity: At school when Dade is looking at Kate's profile information to promote himself to Adv English, Dade's school photo is shown in the new window that is opened on the computer before Dade enters his name.

  • Continuity: We see Kate kissing Kurtis on the bike outside Cyberdelia. In the background we see, Crash, Phreak, and Joey walk up and stop. In the next shot, Crash and Phreak are in different positions and Joey is still walking up.

  • Continuity: When they are at Lord Nikon's apartment they are watching TV and the news broadcast they are watching is Joey being arrested. Joey is not arrested till the following day.

  • Audio/visual unsynchronized: At the beginning of the movie, when Dade calls the Television Station and talks to the Security guard, the guard says a different phone number than the one on the modem.

  • Continuity: When Dade gets tricked into going to see the 'Pool' on the roof of the school, right after he walks out of the door, he turns back to the door and turns the door handle completely. In the next shot, he can barely wiggle it because it's locked.

  • Continuity: When hacking into the TV station at the beginning of the movie, Dade's alarm clock is continuously counting up.

  • Continuity: When Kate and Dade are walking beside the river on their date, you can clearly see Kate's intricate eyeliner/eye makeup. Yet when they are swimming in the pool before her head goes under and her face gets wet, it has all disappeared leaving just her eye shadow and no smears.

  • Revealing mistakes: Hackers is set in NYC however in the "Hack the Gibson" scene Plague places a call to Dade in Grand Central Station but the phone rings using the European tone (ring ring - pause - ring ring) rather than the American tone (riiiiiing - pause - riiiiiing) indicating that this scene was either filmed or sound recorded in the UK.

  • Continuity: In the "Hack the Gibson" scene Dade steps out of his phone booth to the one in front of him to answer Plague's call, which is the same booth occupied by Burn who is present before the phone rings, disappears during the call and then reappears again after.

  • Factual errors: The P6 processor was only twice as fast as even the slowest Pentium processor, not 3 times as Kate claimed.

  • Factual errors: When Kate is describing the specs of her machine she says, “It's a P6 chip. Triple the speed of the Pentium”. Dade then says, “Yeah. It's not just the chip, it has a PCI bus”. Kate says, “Indeed. RISC architecture is gonna change everything”. The P6 chip is a CISC design, not a RISC. Also, the Pentium has a PCI bus so there wouldn't be any reason to mention it.

  • Factual errors: On the Gibson's list of directories, 'Shipping Forecasts' is misspelled as 'Forcasts'.

  • Factual errors: In the scene when Acid is showing-off her laptop, they speak of the laptop having a processor called a P6 and a PCI bus. Further examination of this scene and another scene with them looking over the damaged code, the laptop that Acid-burn has is clearly a Macintosh Powerbook 280C (sub-notebook) made by Apple Computer Inc. This model does not have a PCI-bus, or a P6. It does have a Motorola 68030 33mhz CPU.

  • Continuity: In English class, Kate is seen underlining her quote from her mother’s book on the chalkboard. After the teacher reads Dade’s quote, and Kate says that he is not supposed to be in this class. In the next couple of shots there is no underlining under her quote. Also the exclamation point at the end of the quote has black chalk used as shadowing, Kate is clearly only using white chalk.

  • Continuity: In Cyberdelia, as Dade starts playing the video game after Libby moves out of the way, she stands behind Dade to his right. Yet, in the next scene when Curtis asks if Dade is bothering her, Libby is behind Dade to his left.

  • Factual errors: Kate's "insanely great" laptop is described as having a "28.8 bps" modem: a thousand times slower than a standard 28.8 kilobits per second one.

  • Anachronisms: The movie took place in 1995, but the Kate's P6 processor wasn't released until two years later in 1997. With a marketing name of Pentium II, it was more than three times faster than the previous generation Pentium chips.

  • Factual errors: When Plague is looking at the FBI's NCIC system in order to incriminate Dade's mother, the file he's looking at has 'possession' spelled incorrectly twice.

  • Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Dade is making a fake personal ad for Richard Gill, Kate reads aloud as he types, "Disappointed white male..." Dade is actually typing a word beginning with "dissa"... (spelling mistake)

  • Continuity: In Cyberdelia, as Dade's score is appearing on the high score list, we see his score "crush" the fourth and third place scores on the high score list. The camera then shows him looking at his score while two more sounds of "crushing" occur. This should put him in first place, however, the camera then goes back to the high score screen where his score "crushes" the second and first place positions. Thus, the error occurs in the existence of the sound of "crushing" while the camera is not on the high score list.

  • Revealing mistakes: When swimming in the rooftop pool at the end, Kate and Dade's ears are underwater as they talk to each other. They wouldn't be able to hear one another if their ears were submerged.

  • Continuity: New footage of Joey being arrested appears in the film before it happens. If you pay close attention to the scene where Cerel, Freak, Nikon, and Crash begin to watch "Hack the Planet." You can clearly see Joey being led out in cuffs in the background.

  • Audio/visual unsynchronized: In the scene where Crash is typing away on Burn's laptop, Burn says "I hope you don't screw like you type." If you watch her lips, it's clear she says "I hope you don't f*** like you type."

  • Revealing mistakes: In the opening scene of the plane flying Dade and his mother from Seattle to New York, the plane's tail clearly shows "757" on it, indicating this is likely Boeing stock footage of the plane (and not a commercial airline). Additionally, the cabin shot shows 2-by-2 seating, which is not accurate of the economy class plane seating configuration (which is 3-by-3) unless they are in first class. Based on appearances (narrow seats) and coordination with the described economic situation of the mother, them being seated in first class is highly unlikely. At the end when "Mr. Babich" is making his getaway, the plane shown is clearly a Boeing 727. The flight attendant tells him the flight time is about 14 hours. A 727's range is about 2700 miles, and cruises at about 615 mph. Simple math would tell you that a 14 hour flight was not feasible with this plane, which is logical since the plane was always considered a medium-range aircraft.

  • Continuity: In the last scene, Dade and Kate take some clothes off while making out in the swimming-pool, yet their clothes are nowhere to be seen when they zoom out in the next shot.


  1. That is a serious list, but what did you see? I can go to IMDB and see this stuff. At least post some pics of Angelina.

  2. I'm less concerned with what IMDb users think than with what you think. How about the whole issue of Plague supposedly needing the source code to stop the virus? Is this consistent with what you know about antivirus software?