Shall We Play a Game?

Prior to its 25th anniversary DVD release, seminal cinematic hacker homage WarGames returns to selected big screens throughout the nation – for one night only – July 24. Those of a certain generation will recall the pre-“Ferris Bueller” Matthew Broderick, who hacks his grades, hotwires a payphone with a beer can pull-tab (two technologies rapidly headed toward extinction) and nearly starts World War III with PC leftovers found while dumpster diving (so take that, Real Genius).

The original trailer…

The re-release of WarGames is, in part, a gambit to enhance the film’s brand equity, which MGM hopes to leverage the straight-to-DVD release of WarGames: The Dead Code the following week. The sequel stars Matt Lanter of ABC’s Commander in Chief as a “feisty and troublesome computer hacker.” But with abs.

WarGames, original recipe, returns to the big screen courtesy of digital distributor Fathom Events, the same outfit that brought Ira Glass and This American Life Live to theaters across the country (who said video killed the radio star?). The fact that WarGames is being shown digitally means it could, theoretically, be vulnerable to hackers, though it won’t likely lure real-life uber-hacker-turned-information-security-consultant Kevin Mitnick back into blackhat ops. Somehow, “Shall we play a video?” just doesn’t have a ring to it.

Complete list of theaters playing WarGames.

The brilliant painting above appears courtesy of artist and musician Jeremiah Palecek.