Lamest Computer Related Scenes Ever Filmed

The other night I was working on the blog and my girlfriend was watching TV, specifically NCIS. One of the characters, who happens to be a ridiculously attractive medical examiner assistant, is looking up data on her computer. Anyway, her computer “gets hacked” by a super hacker and the screen goes nuts. She begins typing furiously trying to fight the hacker and her screen is rapidly pixelating as if it’s some kind of lame video game that she is clearly losing. A male agent helps her by typing on the left side of her keyboard while she furiously types on the right side. Picture Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder playing “Ebony and Ivory” on the piano, only incredibly stupid. Unfortunately I can’t find a clip of this on the net as this by far had to be one of the lamest computer related scenes ever. Then I thought back on other lame scenes and decided to come up with the following list, just for fun. I managed to find vids of some of them on YouTube.

Independence Day

When the earth is nearly destroyed by a race of aliens light years ahead of the earth in technology they call on Jeff Goldbloom, who plays a satellite communications geek, to save the day. Apparently he does so by interfacing a Mac Book Pro (I think) to a crashed alien ship, which flies on auto pilot up to the mother ship. He is then somehow able to “negotiate with host” and upload a virus using completely alien technology with which he has around 2 days of experience. This virus knocks out the alien’s shields and enables the earth’s forces to destroy them. Hella-lame. However, I did enjoy the mini-scene where the laptop is opened and says, “Good Morning Dave…”

Jurassic Park

So, let me get this straight, this thirteen year old girl is a master of unix and can instantly run every system in the park; meanwhile velociraptors are trying to break down the door and eat everyone like human hot pockets? Right…


A Cray like super computer learns that Nuclear War is pointless by playing Tic Tac Toe. Oh, and the computer just happens to have a voice everywhere it goes? Once, in his home and then at NORAD? Right.

Mission Impossible

Mission Impossible has many scenes moments which are ridiculous. The way that Ethan (Tom Cruise) finds information about his nemesis on the net in less than 5 minutes is astounding. Also, if my memory serves me correctly he uses a email or usenet address with an ampersan in the main part of the address which is impossible. However, my favorite part is the lame dialog that Luther, the cool computer expert spouts about their upcoming mission:

You’re all kidding yourselves. Even with
top of the line crypto. Cray access.
STU 3’s…..

Thinking Machine laptops, I’m talking
about the 686 prototypes … with the
artificial intelligence Risk chip…

Anyone know where I can get a thinking machine laptop with artifical intelligence risk chips? Awesome.

Dark Knight

The cell phones echolocate everything from the entire city and feed that info into a visor. On top of that, Bruce Wayne is so smart and fast that his brain can process all that information in real time? Are you kidding me? Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a video for this.

The Net

Apparently you can tell that a company is virused by hitting a single key to the left of the keyboard. Sandra Bullock finds the virus in a computer game that way. It looks like she’s playing Wolfenstein, on a Mac of all things. Before I get a snarky comment, yes I know that Wolfenstein was released for the Mac, but can you imagine John Carmack (a true genius of programming) calling Sandra Bullock for help with the port? Oh, and of course her computer talks too. Have you ever met a real hacker who thought making their computer into a Speak and Spell would be cool?

Revenge of the Nerds

Apparently when my T-SQL doesn’t work, it’s because I have bad “stroke technique.” If I arch my fingers, then it’ll work perfectly. Nerds!!!!

Superman 3

Richard Pryor’s character is apparently using a computer for the first time. He gets a low level data entry job and miraculously figures out how to gather all the fractions of a penny from the accounting system and refund it to him as expenses. As if someone wouldn’t notice a guy who normally gets $225 a week getting a check for 85 grand. Did you see the magic highlighting computer pen that looks suspiciously like a black sharpie with a telephone cord attached to it? Impressive.

What about you folks? Can you think of other ridiculous scenes focused on computer use?

17 comments to Lamest Computer Related Scenes Ever Filmed

  • rk

    Everyone always points out Independence Day as the supreme example of this, and I can’t believe that nobody seems to understand what the filmmakers are implying: that Macs are derived from alien technology.

  • scott

    The one that pops to my mind is “The Computer that wore Tennis Shoes”. In it an androids entire concienceness and knowledge is stored on a singe 3 1/2 floppy disk.

  • Andrew

    I haven’t seen it in many years, but wasn’t Sneakers full of fake stuff too?

  • This list is incomplete without the movie Hackers or Swordfish

  • Any show where the “super nerd” can read binary code flying by on the screen. Of course, if they were realistic it wouldn’t be very interesting and would take too long. There are actual specialists in the industry that setup all the computer screen displays. They are generally designed so that hitting any key advances the sequence. And of course the programs are allways filled with sound effects for every action the user takes. On the subject, what is with the lighting techniques in CSI? Looks like some kind of acid trip. I suspect all the kids wanting to become forensic scientists will be sadly disappointed by their surroundings in a real morgue.

  • JeffV

    In every movie I’ve seen with a computer scene, they always boot up in less than 2 seconds. Woudln’t it be great if either Mac or Windows did?

  • bigdaddy

    Abby is so hot. You know I want to be her lab assitant…….Uh what was the question again?

  • […] Lamest Computer Related Scenes Ever Filmed – David Stein compiled YouTube clips of some real doozies. […]

  • OMG, how is that Swordfish isn’t on this list? In fact why isn’t it the #1 entry, and half of the other entries as well? It’s easily the lamest portrayal of programming and computers in the last 15 years (i.e, it has no excuse, unlike Wargames) and it has at least a dozen scenes that deserve to be on this list.

    And then there’s the Matrix series, supposedly about computers, and hackers, but with virtually no programming whatsoever.

  • Well, I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I have never seen Swordfish. I didn’t include the Matrix because to me that’s fantasy and not really expected to be “real.” That’s the same reason I didn’t consider anything from Star Wars or something similar.

  • Oh, you *must* see Swordfish (once only!), it’s a big budget Hollywood movie, less than 10 years old, the protagonist is a computer programmer and it’s a movie *about* computer hacking, yet is has an understanding of computers and programming that makes “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” seem sophisticated.

  • Stephen

    What? No TRON? 🙂

  • Jen

    I second the nomination of The Net. After seeing that movie, I put a small pi symbol at the bottom of all my personal webpages (wow, that was back in…’96?) just to be sarcastic.

    Oh, and according to imdb, “The game that Angela (Sandra Bullock) is playing/debugging at the beginning of the movie is the Apple version of Wolfenstein 3D, similar to the console editions of the game released on the Atari Jaguar and 3DO.”

    Can you do a companion article sometime about funniest computer related scenes? Everyone’s watched Office Space, so that doesn’t count. 🙂

  • Jen

    hey, just found this on cnn:

    Looks like they stole your article idea 🙂

  • Curt

    Shame on you David. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation FOUND your illegal “Independence Day” link and blocked it! (Maybe you have bad “Stroke Technique”?


  • It ain’t a risk chip, you tool. It’s RISC – Reduced Instruction Set Computing single chip. And yeah, you can get them like you can still get Rubix cubes. I’d personally settle for a quad-core laptop on which I’m typing now:) Not so subtle inferior product placement there. Shame on you IBM.

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