The Hunger Games return with such a sequel twist that you can't believe writer Suzanne Collins didn't think of film when writing. Catching Fire builds up with all types of subversive messaging which is interesting but also brings into relief the limitations of the genre and film.
Cormac McCarthy’s bones and Ridley Scott's style do not make The Counselor something more than an interesting curiosity. A film that seems destined more to be remembered as that move where Cameron Diaz does that thing with the car than anything else.
Computer geek David Lightman hacks into a video games company in order to play their latest games, but inadvertently stumbles upon the Department of Defense war computer which begins a computer simulation of global nuclear warfare. The problem is, the computer is playing for real.
The set designers weren't allowed to see the actual NORAD command center prior to filming, and their imagined NORAD is much more elaborate than the real thing.
David Lightman ( Matthew Broderick) is a bright teenage computer hacker who likes to impress girls by breaking into the school computer in order to change their grades. He discovers an alluring advertisement in a magazine for a video games company called Protovision which entices him with the slogan "You will have to wait until next Christmas for the best kept secret in the world of computer games... Things will never be the same". Desperate to play the company's latest titles, he stumbles across a system which he believes to be Protovision. Offering such staple fare as chess, black jack and poker, David is more intrigued by other options the system gives him, such as "Theaterwide Biotoxic and Chemical Warfare" and "Global Thermonuclear War". David sets himself the task of breaking into the system in order to play those games.
After consulting some fellow geeks he is set on the right path and discovers the identity of the man behind the system, Professor Stephen Falken ( John Wood) who had died years previously. Researching Falken gives David a clue to finding the password and gaining access to the network allowing him and would be girlfriend Jennifer ( Ally Sheedy) to play a game of Global Thermonuclear War. Unknown to the innocent pair they have actually hacked into the Department of Defense computer system WOPR (War Operations Plan Response), a system designed to strategically respond to a nuclear attack. The game they are playing is actually one of many simulations the WOPR is continously running in order to calculate a better response to a potential attack.
While David and Jennifer think it is simply a game the military at NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), the underground command center overseeing nuclear missile deployment, believe it to be a genuine attack.
WOPR, it seems, is attempting to play the game for real and could instigate a full nuclear attack on the USSR, bringing about World War III and the possible end of the human race.
David is arrested and taken to NORAD for questioning whereupon he discovers that Professor Falken may be still alive and could possibly provide answers on how to stop the computer system he designed from bringing about nuclear armageddon.
David escapes the facility and sets off to find Falken in a quest to potentially save the world.