Behind Enemy Lines (2001)

Director: John Moore
Starring:
Owen Wilson - LT Burnett
Gene Hackman - Admiral Reigart

Resources:
IMDB entry: http://www.imdb.com/Title?0159273
Mr Cranky Review: http://www.mrcranky.com/movies/behindenemylines.html

Yup, another high rated box office movie. Not really deserving it you may say, after hearing other reviews of it. Yes, Owen Wilson needs his nose fixed, and yes, Gene Hackman really really needs to un-brand himself (well, depends on your point of view I guess). This movie however, I went into with pretty slim expectations. I hadn't heard that much about it, but I did see a few interesting looking trailers. It looked like a standard war type movie. And you know what? It was.

It's a pretty simple plot. Some Dude (Owen Wilson) is a navy navigator for a recon jet that is part of the NATO forces for the Bosnian war. Dude gets sent to take pictures. Dude gets shot down. Dude must get out alive. Old man (Gene Hackman fights against red tape to get him out. It's actually got the same plot of pretty much every other war movie out there.

First of all, if you're an aircraft buff of any type, or a flight sim buff, you are going to absolutely love the flying sequences. I have no frame of reference for how "accurate" it is, but it seemed more "real" than other movies. The sequence where the F/A-18 Hornet is shot down was absolutely amazing, worth the $9.50 CND admission in itself (IMHO). Just awsome. The rest of the film goes pretty much as expected, with a few twists and turns here and there, and lots of great action sequences. I won't spoil the plot by going into any detail. Lets just say it looked good, felt good, and the aircraft and aircraft carrier scenes were very well done and immersive.

The only thing that I found really annoying about the movie was some of the action sequences were filmed in ShakeyVision(tm), first perfected in the 2000 movie Gladiator (directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe). Sometimes they'd go into that weird half-the-frames-and-dull-colors-jarring mode that we first saw in the first battle in Gladiator. Other times the director (John Moore) does this artistic stop action thing. I suppose it depends on if you like that sort of thing. It wasn't over-used or overly annoying, but I thought it was worth mentioning. As far as the script goes, don't expect Shakespeare here (or even his younger brother), no, not by any means. It's adequate and the people involved play pretty much their expected parts. The young buck, the old man, the evil foreigner, the more evil hunters, and the most evil stalker. My rating, 4.5/5, but then again, I'm a big plane buff, so YMMV :)

A classic tale written by anonymous person who uses a pseudonym "Man In The Wilderness".

In early 2000, a spammer used a forged E-mail address. Unluckily for her, the domain she used was a real domain, and after repeated confusion, the admin of that domain (the author) was getting somewhat pissed off.

Luckily for him, the spammers aren't too bright, nor too conscious about Internet security. Soon after, he had compromised the dial-up computers the spammer and rest of her gang - a company called "Premier Services" was using to spam. Then he got access to the Premier Services office LAN.

Now, the spammers had done something pretty nasty: They spammed, they "fished" for AOL account passwords to spam from, they engaged in a "pump and dump" stock scam, forged domains in their spam, and did all sorts of that sort of things. And got some profit from that.

In exchange, this one pissed-off admin posted tons of sensitive company information, ICQ logs, E-mail messages, photos and information of company personnel, and some rather icky porn created by the said persons... a fair deal?

Numerous mirrors of the files exist (and Premier Services threatened their maintainers, of course). The main site is at http://belps.freewebsites.com/

Of course, the validity of the site, the logs and the stories can always be questioned. I found two things that would support the fact that the site is "legitimate": 1) Forging the information would be a gigantic task and there are easier ways to ruin other people's credibility (Think of it - in the Internet, the shortest way to get people's attention is to say "They Spam!" =) and 2) I found myself from the spammers' so-called "dangerous individuals who should not spammed" list (then again, it isn't that hard to pick up addresses from Usenet spam-related groups =) Of course, it very well could be just made by a disgruntled ex-employee who took some interesting data with him, and not by a ticked off hax0r...

(Last I heard, the Authorities were very interested of the company, too.)


At the time, this is my 1337th writeup. I wanted to save that for something 31337 but decided this was cool enough. =)

The plot of this movie bears a startling resemblance to that of Bat*21, a 1988 movie in which a missile expert in a spy plane gets shot down right spang in the middle of the Vietnam war. He must escape with the secret info he's discovered before the baddies catch him, but they are listening to his radio transmissions to Danny Glover, and are right behind him all the way. It's a very good movie - I haven't seen Behind Enemy Lines yet, so I can't comment on whether it's better than this. But I doubt it.

Why mention it here? Because the shot down observer in Bat*21 is played by... Gene Hackman. Oh, and the tagline was: "Trapped behind enemy lines. A whole army after him... And only one man can save him." It's a funny old game, Hollywood.

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