Ellie – The Net is a 1995 thriller starring Sandra Bullock as Angela, a computer programmer whose life is literally erased from existence after she stumbles onto a secret technological conspiracy.
Cody- It was quite interesting to see the changes that Angela had to go through during the events of the film. At the beginning of the film, technology dominates Angela’s life. She is seen utilizing her computer to do everything, from socializing with friends, working, ordering pizza, and purchasing airplane tickets. After Angela encounters the Gatekeeper program, her life is turned upside down. The technology that was previously her ally becomes her enemy, erasing her from existence. We were too young to remember this movie when it came out, so we asked Ellie’s mom what she thought of the cyber thriller when it was originally released.
Mama Bond- This movie made me anxious and had me on the edge of my seat- at least it did in 1995! I'm sure it does not have the same impact today as we are surrounded by technology but this movie was frightening because it preyed upon our fears of the new and unknown. The internet was still in its infancy and our entire lives were now on the computer. Everyone was afraid of how vulnerable we had become to someone violating our privacy and gaining access to our personal information.
Cody- It is quite understandable that The Net had a significant impact on the viewing audience in 1995. At the time, technology was not as prevalent as it is today. There was a belief at the time that the events in The Net could occur in real life, and the panic associated with that realization is understandable. However, in the present day the entire premise of the film seems a lot less dramatic. Today technology is involved with everything we do, and there is no longer a fear that we could realistically be erased from existence.
Ellie- I do understand how dated it seems, but I also still find it entertaining! Angela said our entire lives are on the computer, and that has never been truer than today. But those of us that have grown up with the technology do not have such sensationalized fears of the digital world. The most wonderfully horrifying part of this movie was the dramatic sound of the dial-up connection! Talk about a throwback! It is crazy to see just how much technology has changed (for example, Angela’s brick of a cell phone) and I also love that the fate of the world is stored within a floppy disk!
Cody- The film is still susceptible to a few plot holes. When Angela first meets Jack on the beach, she acts very cold to him, only being as friendly as she has to be. This is not unexpected, as Angela is not portrayed as a sociable person throughout the beginning of the film. She orders her pizza online, does not talk to her neighbors and is in general very anti-social. However, soon after meeting Jack she is seen at the beach bar being very friendly with Jack. This sudden change in character is quite hard to believe, as there is no significant reason for this abrupt change in Angela’s behavior. She goes from being quite anti-social to flirting with a stranger at a bar. Jack and Angela later engage on a walk on the beach, where a robber steals Angela’s purse. Jack chases off in pursuit, and it is revealed the robber is working for Jack. Jack kills the man to maintain the secrecy, and then promptly cuts his hand. For what reason, the viewer doesn’t know….he could have simply told Angela the man got away, or that he tripped and fell; the cut to the hand seemed very unnecessary.
Ellie- I do acknowledge that there are some plot holes, but I don’t agree with Cody’s analysis of them. For starters, Angela is on vacation for the first time in six years, on a beautiful beach in Mexico, and is being seriously flirted with by a seriously attractive man! That’s enough to help bring any girl out of her shell! Though I do agree that he did not need to cut his hand open after pursuing the purse snatcher. I think they were trying to prove that Devlin was a real tough guy, both to the audience and to Angela, but it is a bit excessive. The two major problems I had with the movie was that the first person Angela asks about the Pi symbol (Cyberbob) knows all about the Praetorians. It seems a little too easy for me. I also found it very farfetched that Angela would find the floppy disk containing the virus she sent to Dale while rifling through her imposter’s desk. However, it did make for an appropriate climax- the virus saves the world! Angela must also be commended for defeating her adversaries with very little outside help. She not only figured out what exactly the Praetorians were up to, but also how to stop them and save herself!
Cody – Ultimately The Net does not age well. Its holes become too apparent, and its subject matter becomes less intriguing throughout time. While there is no doubt the film was better received at the time of its release, I don’t believe it is fair to expect it to hold the same impact when viewed today.
Ellie- The Net was successful enough to spawn a spinoff TV series and a direct-to-video sequel- neither of which Sandra Bullock was a part of. Even though I did enjoy this movie I am not interested in watching the show or the sequel. The main appeal of this movie is the nostalgia of the 90's paired with Sandra Bullock’s wide-eyed charm. The movie is by no means a cinematic masterpiece, but I found it genuinely entertaining and fun.
Cody – 5/10