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ANTITRUST is a very synergy creating movie.
I was moved by the concept program SYNAPSE. A software able to communicate with all devices all the time, a Mobile phone communicating with Email and project yourself from here onwards the world will be more mobile and more empowered than the power giving INTERNET to Third world, First world and second world.
STANDARDS have always been the bane of technology, all the corporates wants to keep selling their products in versions and to select target users and keep their monopoly be it Telephones, Television, Cars or any other new comforting development. The hero says in this film Ryan Phillippe (Milo Hoffman) Human technology belongs to all humans not just a set of few individuals.
The teens of India changed India a country proud of ancient history, the geeks or New Indians changed my country and we see the results, the old men in politics still harp on exploiting the masses and keeping the advantage. This will fall with more STANDARDIZATION of devices only YOUNG can do it. it is happening, if INTERNET liberalized many, WINDOWS made us all computer literate, I remember how rigid were softwares before WINDOWS, dbase shell, lotus, WordStar, I used to spend hours just formatting one single page letter.
Tim Robbins (Gary Winston) is the head tycoon who recruits brilliant top grade students to program his software for SYNAPSE which is about to be launched the world over, they are a top company in software, but their practices are bad, Tim Robbins steals good work from nerdy programmers and murders them by 2 favorite thugs. I like the database of their company, you search anything and anybody's background there you can find all details about them. One scene our hero Milo becomes suspicious of the company's ethics and starts accessing the database to know about people, there he finds out the girl Claire Forlani (Alice Poulson) he is sharing his apartment with, is actually a drug addict with the name of Rebecca, he also finds out the head of Justice Department Lyle Barton (Richard Roundtree) was a ball player, he also finds out that his allergy treatment records and his career records of college are all present in Company database.
After knowing the truth about his murdered friend and his live-in girl friend, Milo talks to fellow programmer Lisa Calighan (Rachael Leigh Cook) to help him nail the company in its criminal activities, Rachael Leigh Cook looked good along with Ryan Phillippe but there is no romantic chemistry between them, they become fellow conspirators, the thing is no matter how big the corporation is, it will not escape breaking the law this is a nice lesson in this film, there are many more lessons and I liked the concept of youngsters understanding easily the sinister plans of their company and have the guts to oppose them and do everything possible not to get subdued or scared. They have the guts to cope with the complex technology and they have the heart to stand against gun carrying security guards and murdering thugs.
Rachael Leigh Cook looked very good and is a good looking girl, her role was not so cool in the end she makes the wrong choice anyway its a film made with a purpose to show the world what possibilities are opening up in the world of computer technology, you can say there is a need for films like this, I mean this field is becoming so important in our world, we need more exposure to films showing in entertaining way the world of computers. We have only seen computers as sinister machines, be it STAR TREK, be it WAR GAMES or you name it. The chief mischief is computer geeks or computers themselves, we must try to show computer related people like Bill Gates in a positive light, not in negative light, I know MICROSOFT has lost a case but their PROGRAMMING has integrated our world more closely than any other gadget or modern invention.
Our gut always worry about new things which we resist and we resent the people who are working in it, I believe this film was made in such a frame of mind, the case Microsoft lost is not worth 2 dimes in the world of PROGRAMMING, you see programmers when they write code they tend to write : focus this window, window me if this code does not help THIRD PARTY software, then nobody is to blame everybody is playing a game of COPYRIGHTS everybody wants to impede and keep the strings of progress in their own hands, our elected representatives do that, what about commercial companies who are answerable to SHARE HOLDERS, who will tolerate non-aggressive executives ? In one breath we condemn ruthlessness and as SHARE HOLDERS we exhort ruthlessness, lets decide what we want first.
I mean guys I dont think usually on these lines but this film made my mind wander far and wide, I recommend this film not for what it shows, but it incites in you many emotions like this, I got carried, away what with cameras managed by computers shown during the plot of this film. Satellites being closed by their IP addresses. Screen shots being magnified to read code of programmers.
I will give full maximum recommendation to this film. We have not yet reached the stage where technology can track the point of broadcast, but we are working towards it, there is a reporter shouting in the end : VICTORY TO OPEN SOURCE.
Yo!! technology must be encouraged for greater good not impeded .
Having watched this film I asked why has nobody I ask seen it?
In recent years companies have been racing each other to come up with the best music player, mobile phone, television ect. When we buy a new product, e.g. a mobile phone, we don't really think about the work that's been put into it for it to be in our hands at that very second. Someone has designed it, created software for it and put a lot of time, effort and money into making the product what it is.
What if a company wanted to release a product so badly they would do anything to make it happen. The film follows the work of a computer programmer named Milo Hoffman. Milo, with help from his friends, is trying to create a program which allows users to send data of any kind to any device in the world. For example you can send a video from your mobile phone to a palm device or e-mail address and the software will convert the video into the correct file size, type and make it correct for that device.
Milo wants to create this software before anyone else so he can make it opensource. Opensource means to make it free for everyone to use. However, Gary Winston (Tim Robbins), and his computer company N.U.R.V won't allow anyone to beat them to it.
After watching the film for only a few short minutes its clear that the writers are trying to make N.U.R.V look some what like Microsoft and Gary Winston an evil version of Bill Gates.
Gary Winston decides to take Milo on as a program and gets him working on the software. Milo's friend then turns up dead and Milo decides to start looking into what Gary and his company are really up to.
OK, sorry about the large amount of information to tell you what the movies about. I haven't given anything away cause all thats on the back of the DVD, i've simply explained some of the terms.
The Story - Did It Work?
Yes and No. I like the idea of this evil computer company who is going around killing people just to release some software. However, this film was released in 2001 before a lot of people had really started using computers and mobiles as much as they do now. So many people might have found it hard, and maybe still find it hard, to understand what the software program being designed is.
The story sounds like its been wrote by some nerd. You might say thats a silly comment to make as its a computer related film, however, the film hasn't been made people friendly. If I gave this film to my gran or maybe even my technology unfriendly sister she wouldn't get it. Why they are using terms such as opensource, firewalls and loads of terms even I can't remember or tell you about ( and I'm doing a computer degree ).
The story should have been more basic with fewer computer terms so people who don't use computers or don't live on them 24/7 can follow the story.
Ryan Phillippe as Milo
Tim Robbins as Gary Winston
Rachael Leight Cook & Claire Forlani complete the cast
This film has one of the most limited casts I've ever seen. The film centres around Milo and Gary and a handful of other small cast members. While the overall performance of Phillippe and Robbins is good, someone should have stopped to think about maybe adding more then two cast members.
The Final Say!
I really liked this film. I think any I.T expert, computer lover wpuld love this film. Someone who isn't in touch with technology might find the film hard to follow.
At times you will scream at the screen and say can we get on with the good stuff. Yes once or twice the film goes a little slow. Once you get into the final 40 - 30 minutes it really picks up and all the twists start to popout at you.
Splash out a couple of pound and sit down with some popcorn and enjoy this fun film :)
Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes & Different Ending.
Okay a shock confession, I have tried to deny it for years and now as Im a week into my third year at uni on a software engineering degree (stop glazing over) I guess I pretty much have to admit that I am a geek. This hopefully at least partially explains the following.
I picked this film up about a year ago for £2 (pre-owned) at my local game station and for some reason the low price didnt set off alarm bells in my normally sharp film selection (as sometimes so complete crackers are really cheap as they only have a cult following). I was lead into a false sense of hope by the tag line on the back the must see thriller of the year (I really must stop reading these) and also the fact that it stared Tim Robbins (Now anyone whose seen The Shawshank Redemption knows this guy can act, so I didnt see that he would have chosen to act in a film if it was a turkey.) I was slightly weary at the sight of Ryan Phillippe, Rachael Leigh Cook and Claire Forlani on the front cover as a young attractive cast (not my cup of tea but I have strange tastes) normally means the plot is rather lacking, but I chose to risk it anyway.
Anyway that was my defence mlord and now on to the plot (dam I wish Id have got a better lawyer):
This film tells the story of Milo Hoffman (Phillippe), as a brilliant computer programmer who graduates college and immediately gets headhunted along with his friend Teddy by NURV (Microsoft in a thinly veiled disguise). Hoffman decides to take the opportunity while Teddy stays and continues work on the open source (free) software, him Milo and there two friends where previously working on.
So Milo takes his girlfriend Alice (Forlani) and moves close to NURV (Which is headed by Robbins character Gary Winston) and he is immediately giving the job of programming part of SYNAPSE (This is basically a program to connect every piece of communications equipment together) and for a few days hes in heaven, that is until he gets stuck on a piece of code, and as if by magic Gary appears with a CD with just the code he needs to get him started again.
Milo thinks nothing of this and it is not until this happens a few times that he becomes suspicious, questions Gary about it and after his shock reaction Milo begins to think something is wrong, and then his friend Teddy is murdered by racists and the plot thickens. (Okay so its gone from water to the consistency of hospital soup but this is sort of thicker)
Lets start with Tim Robbins, as previously stated I think this guy can act, but this is a complete career low for him, the writer obviously wanted a Bill Gates type clone (rich, head of a big software corporation that programmers hate.) and in this sense he succeeds, but the character in general is rather 2D and his reactions to situations are stale and lack any great substance.
On to Ryan Phillippe, obviously not picked for his acting abilities as he only seems to have one (I think I need a poo) expression: Throughout the whole film: (Okay so the plot doesnt require him to crack a smile very often but some variation in expression would have been nice.) Not really a good choice for the young male lead. (maybe because I dont find him attractive, which I assume was why he was chosen.)
I have friends that were insulted by the representation of male programmers in the film, shown as either wearing glasses or smelling and one of the lines mocking the fact Milo actually has a girlfriend. These facts alone show the film maker has relied far too heavily on stereotypes and possibly alienated some of its target audience.
Claire Forlani is almost forgettable as Milos girlfriend, she plays a very suspicious role, and although essential to the plot, I feel the film makers could have picked someone better.
Rachael Leigh Cook plays Milos colleague Lisa, in this film female programmers come off slightly better, Lisa being the only one at the company and clearly the subject of much interest from her male co-workers. (Im mocked mercilessly for this representation however, never quite sure if there flattering or insulting me). Aside from shes all that Ive never really seen her in anything so to be honest I wasnt expecting much, although saying that she did pull off quite a believable character and had been given enough or a character arc by the writer to sail through the film although this clearly isnt her genre.
So to summarise, if you see this anywhere dont make direct eye contact, cross the road and keep walking at a brisk pace. If it follows you walk a bit faster its so weak itll soon give up. As this is a film with a badly selected cast and an easily forgettable plot. Or in Christmas terms a Turkey (something you feel you should eat because its tradition, but a chicken is just so much nicer.)
Audio commentary with director and film editor possibly the two dullest people on earth I managed to sit through 5 or so minutes before I didnt care anymore (and Im one of those who normally likes to listen to the commentary)
Deleted Scenes 7 extra scenes with optional commentary that either extend what you already saw or give a slightly different twist to some plot lines.
Alternate opening and ending Gary Winstons NURV book-ending the film showing its rise and fall.
Anti-trust: making of documentary cracking the code various members of the cast and crew discuss how the film was put together, the film never really inspired me to watch this, and I did try for you fair reader but I got bored.
Music video: Everclear When it all goes wrong again the song that features in the closing credits, I like Everclear and this is a fairly decent song. The video is interlaced with clips from the film.
In a previous opinion on 'Bless The Child' I praised the benefit of having the movie channels as part of your Sky Digital package. It allows you to see a bunch of movies that you wouldn't normally bother with at little cost and only the risk of losing some of your life to. Previously I've experienced stinkers such as 'Bless The Child' but also found small gems such as 'The Boondock Saints'. 'Antitrust' was one movie that I remember coming out in the US at the beginning of 2001 and bombing, I don't think it even reached the top ten on it's release. However I has also heard some more positive things than what general reviews suggested. With this is mind I popped in a video tape and recorded it's showing in Sky Movies last week. Last night I watched the results..... Ryan Phillipe stars as Milo, a young man who happens to a computer whizz. He and his friends are starting up a software business in a garage a'la Microsoft. However one phone call from software king Gary Winston (Tim Robbins) changes that. Soon Milo is given a top position in Winston's company to help meet the release date for a much hyped communications package. Soon Milo finds strange practices at the company and soon he finds himself in the middle of corporate espionage and murder, never knowing who he can trust. Antitrust would like you to think that it was a clever little thriller with some satirical swipes at Microsoft in particular. Tim Robbins has a Bill Gates style look and only a brief amusing piece of dialogue lets you know that is meant to exist in the same world as Microsoft. However this is a film that is actually incredibly stupid and full of many plot holes and events that really are ludicrous. In fact the whole plot is ultimately laughable. You see it appears that bright young computer programmers are being spied on by hidden cameras and then murdered. In the real world I would imagine a large company wo
uld get out their checkbook and not risk the downfall of a company through a criminal act. The acting in the film is neither great nor bad. Phillipe is okay as Milo, he manages to keep a straight face through some of the banal dialogue but charisma isn't a strong point of Phillipe's career so far and even though Milo is a meant to be a computer geek, he only seems to be one purely because he wears dark rimmed glasses like all computer geeks obviously do. Tim Robbins hammy theatrics actually bring some enjoyment to the proceedgins but you really get the feeling this was a paycheque to Robbins. Rachel Leigh Cook and Claire Forlani are the token females in the picture but really don't have much to do. Even Richard 'Shaft' Rowntree shows up in a worthless role. The rest of the cast is filled out by jobbing actors with characters that only exist to movie the plot in predicatable directions. Behind the camera you have Peter Howitt who was Joey in 'Bread' and broke onto the directing scene with 'Sliding Doors'. This is a pretty bland looking film and I'm not sure why Howitt went into the american movie arena with this. It's pretty workmanlike stuff and there's only a few times when some tension is racked up but it's the script that ultimately lets the side down. Computers may be amazing things but they are one of the dullest thing to write about in a movie. Take Swordfish for example, the dullest moments in that movie or most confusing come from computer jargon such as 'firewall', 'open source' etc. The geeks may get it but the universal movie audience won't have a clue and ultimately won't care. Antitrust makes the big mistake of assuming that the audience are clued on all things PC related. I can see why this movie bombed, it's one of those thrillers that really doesn't have any thrills and it's subject matter seems interesting on the surface and may have be
en at one time. However the end result feels like it has been heavily edited and diluted from it's original premise. I'd certainly give it a watch if it were on TV but there are far better ways to spend 100 minutes of your time.
Imagine if you would, that we could link every communication machine together and be able to send any kind of data we want to any machine, pictures to mobiles, videos to computers and TVs and generally anything to anything. The inventor of such a technology would be a hero right? they'd also make millions nay billions of pounds worldwide selling their product, but what if that person had killed to gain that technology - what would you feel like then? This is the idea behind 'Antitrust' Gary Winston is basically a Bill Gates type character - he runs NURV - the biggest computer technology company ever, think what Microsoft are like now and you've got NURVs stance in this movie - everything they do becomes an instant hit, but they're hated by the programmers world - the Computer Science students who're trying to run their own projects from their basements, and particularly they're hated by Teddy Chin, who along with Milo Hoffman is trying to get his own Project off the mark all ran from his basement, that is till Gary Winston recruits Milo to help him with Synapse - a project that is basically what was described in the first paragraph - connecting every machine to each other - all at the touch of a button. But what Milo isn't aware of is that NURV aren't exactly creating the product themselves, they're watching everyone who ever got involved in the Programming business and if anyone ever creates something they believe to be good enough to add into their product - they take it - leaving a trail of covered up murders in their path. This being a movie you can guess the next bit (don't worry, in no way is any of this a spoiler - it all happens in the first half an hour), when Teddy finally finishes his product he gets found dead in his Garage - and all fingers point towards the local Racist group for his murder. This is where we get properly introduced to Lisa, a colleague of Milo's who agrees to h
elp Milo bring down NURV from the inside, but all isn?t as it seems. Up above is my perfect idea of a thriller movie - a movie where nothings ever as simple as you think it is, one where there?s twists and turns at every junction and always leaves you wondering whats going to happen next - the thing is, that this only occasionally happens in Antitrust, and it leaves us with what could generally be described as an average movie at best, but read on and I'll attempt to explain my feelings on it all. * Storyline * I'm not saying its a bad storyline, its just a little flawed in places sometimes you'll find that the story's seemingly jumped from one place to another without really explaining itself and leaving the viewer to work it out for themselves. Now that's all well and good from time to time in a thriller movie if somewhere along the line you get an explanation of everything - but you don't, you've just got to work it out yourself. However having said that when the writers do take their time to ensure you've got enough to go by with the storyline there are some witty scenes involved, the type that ensured the movie got a 3 stars out of me instead of a 2 - they're the type that do leave some of the movie to the watcher to decide, but not all of it, and that is what I personally want from a movie. * Cast * When I read the Cast on the case of this DVD I wasn't overly excited, sure there was Claire Forlani (of Mallrats and Meeting Joe Black fame) and Tim Robbins (Arlington Road and The Shawshank Redemption) there, but there was also Ryan Phillipe (Cruel Intentions and I Know what you Did last Summer) and Rachael Leigh Cook (She's All That and Josie and The PussyCats) in there as well - to me that was a mixed crowd, personally I've never liked Phillipe's work and even here playing Milo Hoffman I felt like he'd not put as much into his performance as he could ha
ve done. Whenever he was on-screen it seemed that he had one facial expression and that was it, it didn't matter if he was scared, worried, nervous or just plain working - he was constantly looking exactly and acting in exactly the same way and with Phillipe having the lead part this wasn't exactly encouraging me to enjoy the movie. Moving onto Tim Robbins (playing Gary Winston) and I've got to feel he played the Bill Gates link a little too much, sure Bill Gates is mentioned by him once in the movie but its obvious that that's who we're meant to be thinking about when seeing him on screen. The thing with both Phillipe and Robbins' characters is that I feel they're trying to play the Computer Geniuses a little 'too nerdy', We all know that in this world if you're a 'whizz with computers' more often than not you're seen as a nerd or a geek even when the more sane person in this world doesn't - however this movie isn't going to help with it all, when they wrote into the script how one of Milo's colleagues was shocked when he found out about Milo having a girlfriend - all because he worked for a computer company - its that sort of script-writing that made me weary of the film. But back to Robbins' performance - hes just not all there, the whole 'I'm a billionaire so I must be powerful' I'd hoped was past in the movie business - but sadly I was wrong as it creeps up here, and Robbins does nothing to make it seem the slightest bit interesting. However on the other hand the 2 main female characters Lisa Calighan (played by Rachael Leigh Cook) and Alice Poulson (Milo's girlfriend played by Claire Forlani) are a different entity completely, they are what makes the movie interesting (I'm biased because I fancy Rachael Leigh Cook I know - but anyway), between them they've created a mystique around the set of the movie - you're cons
tantly questioning their true motives and wondering what's going to happen next. * Other Stuff * It'd be hard to put both the soundtrack and location in as 2 seperate sections, as almost all the movie takes place either in Milo's office or in Gary's office and the soundtrack - well apart from a couple of songs played in different dull sections of the movie its all dark gloomy music going quiet when something big is going to happen. It's all relevant to the movie and what you're seeing on screen, however its just average - nothing special, nothing really groundbreaking and making you sit back and say wow. * Overall * It's not a great movie, but it's not a bad movie either - its just average, the tension does rise at some points however it soon subsides, all-told its probably one of those movies that's best kept for when you get bored on a weekday night some time, just don't expect it to be a groundbreaker eh?
Milo Hoffman is a brilliant computer geek, who has recently graduated from Stanford University and is preparing to join three of his friends in a garage based software company. As Milo and his buddies are planning their venture, Milo gets a call from Gary Winston, the primary founder and billionaire owner of NURV, the software giant of the World. He offers Milo, and his bright counterpart, Teddy, the opportunity to join NURV and work on his cutting-edge project called Synapse, which must be completed in 42 days. Teddy declines but Milo is hooked and goes to Portland, Oregon to interview and eventually accepts the job. Shortly after joining NURV Milo begins to sense something is awry. Winston keeps supplying Milo with disks that contain programming breakthroughs, without informing him of the source of the data. When a brilliant NURV programmer is killed in an automobile accident, with little response from Winston, Milo becomes convinced that he has made a bad decision in joining the company. Teddy is brutally killed and shortly thereafter Winston gives Milo key software data that Milo knows is Teddy?s work. Now Milo must rapidly find the "cancer" in NURV and a means to reveal Winston?s deceit, or be killed himself. Everywhere Milo turns for help he finds "friends" who have been compromised by Winston and his wealth. As Winston closes in, Milo finds an unlikely ally and struggles to bring down Winston and save his own life. This is a film with some corny dialogue, predictable segments, a mediocre sound track and uneven acting. On the other hand, the concept is an interesting one, Ryan Phillippe is quite good as "Milo" and the tension is great. I found this film silly at times but overall I liked it. It is pretty raw filmmaking that is enhanced by the subject matter and some nice smart twists.
The new century is apon us, and already we have a strong contender for what will surely be one of the worst films of the next hundred years. 'AntiTrust' is truly, hideously awful, a film which stands for everything that is bad and cynical in the Hollywood studio system. By the numbers plotting, vacant acting, in your face product placement, and an embarrassingly lame attempt to catch the zeitgeist all add up to an excrutiatingly bad cinematic experience. I know this amy sound slightly over the top, but believe me, 'AntiTrust' is THAT bad. I even hate the title of the film, the way it's written: look at the capital 'T' in the middle of the word. Just by looking at that, it's so like 'hey, look at me, look at my complete disregard for grammar....ain't it cool? '....seriously, it's a horrifying thought that a board of Hollywood suits sat down for a few days and decided on that damnable capital 'T'. They really thought that it would make us want to see the film more. The flipside of this is the possibility that the same suits may have blamed the film's box office bellyflop on that same capital 'T'. Ick. Anyways, before I get too caught up in ranting, let's take a little look at the plot of the film. 'AntiTrust' follows two computer whiz kids, Milo and Teddy, as they graduate from Stanford. They are offered jobs with NURV, a large computer company working on some satellite linking technology. Milo takes the job but Teddy decides to keep it real, and keeps on working on some program to keep computer media free for all. Winston, the boss of NURV recognises Milo's genius, and takes him under his wing. However, after Teddy's suspicious death, Milo begins to suspect that NURV is a front for something far more sinister.... So what we have here is an thinly veiled exploitation of the sinister implications of Bill Gates and his ever e
xpanding microsoft. 'AntiTrust' plays to public fear and paranoia that multi-national companies are taking over the world, and are spying on us at all times. This is not a new theme, though 'AntiTrust' had a reasonable shot at putting a new spin on the story, with good potential for making valid cynical swipes at microsoft and global commercialism. Sigh. Sadly, the film goes in the opposite direction. What we have here is a weak attempt to endear the film to the worst of the MTV-bred 'generation-X'. Instead of tackling the subject realistically or seriously, it opts to turn Bill Gates into a ludocrous villain, who I kept expecting to burst into sinister cackles, or to annouce his plans to rule the world. Dr. Evil springs immediately to mind. What is truly evil about 'AntiTrust', however, is the insanely hypocritical use of product placement, particularly for p**si and prin***s. Some scenes of the film honestly resemble commercials for these products. This is horrible, insiduous and yet sadly familiar stuff. On one level, 'generation-X' viewers are encouraged to think that they are being cynical and intelligent, watching a film which questions a known global company. Yet at the same time, equally sinister, global dominating, third world exploiting corporations are literlly shoving their s**t down the viewers throat without them noticing. This is frightening stuff: the commercial Hollywood equivalent of counter-culture. Maybe this sounds overly cyncial, paranoid even. I make no excuses. Films like this are the bane of our modern culture, and are primary components of the machines which corporations use to make sure that every second of our lives is owned and branded by them. The fact that this film was a comercial and critical failure warms my heart and gives me hope. Beyond all of this, the film simply churns out the same old substandard non-thrills, as it d
egenerates rapidly into tired conspiracy theories, predictable betrayals, and John Grisham-esque morality. There are no surprises here, nothing original. I genuinely feel that this film is a direct insult to the audience, in its complete lack of effort to move beyond its initial high-concept premise. You know exactly where the film is going before the opening credits even roll. This is straight foward, conveyor belt production Hollywood s**t, and it really makes me angry that the studios are relentlessly throwing out identical film after film after film. The director, Peter Hewitt utterly fails to lift the film in any way. As it sits back, smug upon it's 'hip' premise, the only way the film seeks to excite us is by throwing in the odd chase sequence, or another sequence of fast editing that completely fails to make the inherently boring job of computer programming seem dynamic. The acting, too is wretched. The cast do exactly what the studio intends: they stand there, look pretty, and advertise the products. Honestly, these are the type of performances that belong in a modelling photo shoot, not in a film. Ryan Phillipe, who has proved himself a capable actor in the past, should especially hang his head in shame. Overall, I cannot emphasis enough that you should avoid this awful film. Simply stated, this film is SATAN.
Think John Grisham’s The Firm with a good-looking geek instead of a Tom Cruise accountant. After tackling bookkeepers Hollywood turns its attention to nerdy computer programmers for its latest heroes. Of course any serious computer anorak knows that Hollywood movies about technology are more often miss than hit: implausible talking computers (War Games, Electric Dreams) or Bill & Ted anarchical hacker types. What lifts Anti-Trust above a run of the mill thriller is the feeling that the writers may have actually read a computer manual - that and the blatant Microsoft bashing. You don’t win any prizes for spotting that the giant software corporation NURV represents Microsoft, and that Tim Robbin’s grey haired, glasses wearing CEO Gary Winston bears more than a passing resemblance to multi-billionaire Bill Gates. The title ‘Anti-Trust’ is also a give-away given the recent legal battles in the US over Microsoft’s anti-completive practises in cornering the web browser market. However the question remains whether this film like Microsoft merely steals ideas from its competitors or whether it genuinely innovates. The film’s hero is Milo, a computer programmer. Not only is he a technological whiz kid and world-class genius, but he also has a beautiful girlfriend played by Rachel Leigh Cook and nice hair, more like the captain of the High School football team in some American teenage soap than a scruffy hacker. Milo is lured away from his humble garage based start-up by charismatic Tim Robbins CEO of NURV, the biggest, meanest player on the software block. Milo feels a bit guilty about leaving his chums and their innocent Open Source ideology behind, but in NURV-land he has a big house, a car, a cool working environment and all the Pepsi and Pringles he can eat. After setting Milo a truly fiendish programming task to complete a satellite based global network in a few weeks, the CEO seems to take pity on him
and shows up for moral-boosting chats and to slip him disks containing useful material. Not content with all this fortune Milo becomes suspicious of the source of this code he keeps getting and soon discovers that NURV are up to all sorts of naughty things like stealing, spying and murder. When NURV picks on one of Milo’s old Open Source buddies, he turns his considerable genius to bringing down the global conglomerate and its CEO single-handed. Tim Robbins is undoubtedly the best thing about this movie. His portrayal of Gary Winston has just the right blend of charisma, ruthlessness and mischief. Unlike Bill Gates you find yourself warming to him to the extent that I was willing him to escape the rap leaving his annoying pony-tailed, goatee-bearded goons to take the fall. However Milo is just too perfect. Teenage girls and mothers may like him, but he doesn’t cut it as a computer programmer in my book. Its just hard to relate to character that was such a goody-goody genius that he writes flawless code just by staring moodily at the screen, is always one step ahead of the baddies “like a good chess player”, and whose only flaw seems to be trusting people too much. Maybe I’m just jealous of his real 3-D girlfriends. Rachel Leigh Cook looks the sort of girlfriend no “techie” deserves, and she gets to do a bit more than pout and wear nice dresses. Her character is not just a support for Milo but has a major contribution to the story and a bizarre past she just about manages to carry off. Claire Forlaini’s baby-faced programmer is a complete waste however. As the office siren she fails to upstage Rachel, and the attempts to give her a past never really works. What’s more the motivation for her final actions are never really explained, and while the film hints at a love triangle between Milo, Rachel and her, it never really goes anywhere with it. The film has some great
sets and gadgets. The architecture of Gary’s house is quite original and it is populated with plenty of cool toys like the adaptive digital paintings. Similarly the NURV campus looks like a fun, futuristic place to work, particularly the multi-coloured nursery that has some nice Lego PCs for kids. The film doesn’t contain much action and there are very few surprises. Whenever Milo is trespassing around NURV the music builds the tension but then the suspense totally fails because you just know that super-smart Milo is going to get back to his seat just in time. The only one really disturbing scene in the film, the brutal attack on a programmer, could have been much more shocking if they hadn’t signposted it so obviously beforehand. If Anti-Trust makes you want to run out and become a computer programmer then be aware that it isn’t all gadgets and girlfriends. The film nicely glosses over the fact that complex programs contain thousands of lines of code by having Milo always staring moodily at just one screen-full of Java like code. The fact that Milo is such a programming genius is confirmed by Tim Robbins who constantly looks over his shoulder and points at a solitary line and says something like “I really like what you’ve done with that statement there”. Programming aside, the film makes a decent stab at technical accuracy. The computers don’t talk, the screens look realistic and there’s some real computer commands and jargon thrown in for good measure. Only at the end does it become silly with the James Bond like satellite control system and the Synapse broadcast. Milo and Gary even engage in a typing race with IP numbers, when you would think that a company with NURV’s programming genius would produce a nice graphical interface to let you shutdown all the satellites at once. As for the topical greedy Microsoft versus Open Source debate, you can quickly gauge
which side of the fence the writers are you. The whole film is a sort of wish-fulfilment of someone who wishes Bill Gates were really doing something illegal so they could banish his evil empire and return the world to innovation and free enterprise. Monopolies are an unfortunate side effect of capitalism and there is always going to be sour grapes from the minnows that think governments should intervene to make markets more “competitive”. Microsoft does copy ideas from smaller more innovative companies, but then so do all the others. The ironic thing about Open Source code is that it makes it much easier for competitors to steal your ideas, a fact overlooked by NURV who could just have waited until genius programmer published their work instead of illegally stealing it. Anti-Trust is a decent enough thriller, perhaps not as good as the Firm and certainly lacking in a bit of suspense. It is one of Hollywood’s better attempts at computing, although there are plenty of decent documentaries and books around if you want to know the true story of Microsoft. If you find yourself day-dreaming that computer programming was more glamorous and that all software wasn’t controlled by one evil man, then maybe this is the video for you.
AntiTrust is one in a long line of Computer hacker movies to come out of Hollywood. Consisting of a young cast I was expecting a fresh and original movie but sadly I was left feeling disappointed. AntiTrust centers around Milo (Ryan Phillippe) who has just graduated from college. He soons gets offered a job which cannot refuse working at a multi-billion dollar computer company. His friends are not particularly impressed by him joining the rogue company. The company is run by a colourful businessman (Tim Robbins). As he settles into his new position, Milo uncovers some dark secrets about the firm. Deeper investigation alarms Milo and he is not sure who he can trust in the big world of computer technology. AntiTrust is a strange film really as there are some quite clever scenes which make you think that the film could be quite entertaining. Then something stupid or unbelievable happens which spoils the flow of the movie. Some aspects of the movie are silly. I wont describe them now as they would give away some of the storyline. Another silly thing is the fact that the movie is supposed to be quite technical but all the technical parts have to be explained so that the audience understands what is going on. It was a little annoying for me as I work in the IT industry and understood what was going on. The film seemed to be confused as to what it was supposed to be. In the end it became a cross between a thriller and a computer movie. Sadly it failed on both parts. The cast as mentioned earlier are quite young. Ryan Phillippe is not very impressive as the main star. He doesn't really come over as a computer geek which is disappointing as that is what he is supposed to be. Tim Robbins is probably the star of the film. He plays a Bill Gates type person and actually does a good job. AntiTrust is probably a film to rent. I was impressed by it but then again I didnt hate it. It could have been so much better. Simply put this film is ave
In exactly one, paper-thin way Peter Howitt's Antitrust succeeds in doing something remarkable: It makes you feel sorry for Bill Gates. You'd think that mustering sympathy for the United States most put-upon zillionaire might be as difficult in splitting an atom with a tack hammer. But Howitt and screenwriter Howard Franklin posit Gates, as first, a genius über-geek who considers himself demonized by less successful geeks (a valid point), and second, a megalomaniacal cutthroat drawn so broadly he'd be right at home in a Bond flick. Irritating, narcotic, and obvious in every other way, Howitt's movie takes its title and its narrative thrust from the ongoing brouhaha swirling around Microsoft's allegedly Machiavellian business practices. The narrative revolves around the notion that if digital espionage alone can't create a software dynasty, old-fashioned thuggeries and black-op assassinations are the only recourse. Bill Gates a murdering autocrat? It seemed like a thrilling idea to someone, but Antitrust never translates that thrill. You'll even feel a little pang for Bill when you realize, as he presumably will, that the movie that so cartoonishly villainizes him isn't even an enjoyable hoot. Scripted with a subtlety befitting Tinkertoys, directed in a manner that would shame the small-screen union hacks who rap out Xena: Warrior Princess, and acted with the sleepy glumness of a therapy session, Antitrust is anti-fun, anti-wakefulness, and anti-interesting. The Gates clone, Gary Winston (Tim Robbins, wearing the requisite specs and fuddy-duddy clothes), heads up the enormous, Northwestern-campus corporation NURV. The company's latest project is a digital satellite system that will provide consumers with instant visual, aural, and textual interfaces from anywhere on the globe. Enter Milo Hoffman (Ryan Phillippe), a mega-nerd who looks like a pouty male model. Lured away from a programming start-up he's f
ounded with his college buddies, Milo falls for the perks of NURV big time, only sniffing a rat after Winston's sudden conjuring of magical code coincides with the deaths of promising young programmers. Once Milo's best friend is beaten to death in his own office, our hero decides to dig deeper, despite the consternation of his live-in girlfriend (Claire Forlani) and, eventually, a doe-like co-worker (Rachael Leigh Cook). Milo's odyssey into industrial espionage plays like a PC game running on a 486K machine: jerky, unconvincing, and trite. The characters blather jargon at each other and peer intently at scrolling pages of innocuous code. The various kinds of cyber-gimmickry are old hat, and the betrayals and reversals are predictable and tiresome. The plot hinges on several nominally inventive set pieces that are strangled by ham-handed execution: Milo's deadly sesame seed allergy makes every meal a potentially life-threatening situation (the film's most suspenseful moment involves a self-inflicted allergy test), he evades security by hiding out in a giant, delicately balanced Lego tower, and so forth. But the final nail in Antitrust's coffin is Phillippe himself, easily the most howlingly dull hunk at work today. Watching him feign emotion is like watching the surface of a brand-new dam for a crack or a leak. In fact, Phillippe's angelic, hilariously inert face is the only aspect of Antitrust that doesn't communicate as though everyone in the audience were no older than 10 — it communicates nothing at all.
Antitrust / 12 / 110 mins Anyone who has seen this movie can almost straightaway understand what real life parallels there are throughout this film. But this film takes it to the extreme. Initially we have a handful of self-proclaimed geeks who program, mess around on the computer and literally live on the internet most of the time. Here it’s all about friendship until a software tycoon takes interest in our budding programmer, Milo Hoffman, and his friend Teddy. At this point our two geeks are Stanford University graduates finishing at the top of their class sweeping all the awards and recognition. He is wooed by NURV, a large Silicon Valley company with CEO Gary Winston yet his friend stays within their friend circle and blames Winston for not sharing the code with the world and not keep it under wraps for the firm’s profit. Soon Milo learns of his boss’s nefarious ways in which he deals with antitrust complaints and sets about using his skills to bring him down. Although this storyline has been tried and tested many a time, it has been given a fresh lick of paint in this situation and is pulled off extremely well. This was directed by the same man who did Sliding Doors in 1998, Peter Howett. Although, this is a more than significantly different film to Sliding Doors, I think Howett has made a good job so I hope to see his name in the future. The cast was very strong and included the likes of Tim Robbins, he I felt was a controlling and very powerful figure in the movie just like in Arlington Road. Tim Robbins as the computer mogul who drives the plot and if people are going to think of a certain other computer mogul, I can see how Robbins would be able to play a man with a similar personality and demeanour. The younger more teenage-appealing Ryan Philippe is the techno-geek and doesn’t pull off his character as well as Robbins. His face and figure did not give me the impression that this guy sat up hours on en
d writing code for some little decryption program that can get around almost everything! Most of his appearances have been supporting roles, but this movie has changed that and I think it’s not one of his better ones. I wasn’t wholly disappointed by it but I did expect much more from the same Phillipe that I saw in Cruel Intentions. His friends, however, were a little more persuasive, especially his best friend Teddy. Other cast included the gorgeous, and somewhat out of place like Anne Widdecombe on a cat walk, Rachael Leigh Cook and Claire Forlani. I think these served as decoration as their roles, although they had large onscreen times, didn’t advance the plot significantly. I quite enjoyed this movie but its pitfalls, downfalls and failure is in that it was too close to the truth. The code they actually wrote in this film was real. The computers were all real. Unlike many films a la Independence Day whereby simply typing “upload virus” saves the world! I did get tired of all those Microsoft jabs as we all knew it was about them so we didn’t need it rammed down our throats. Nor did our throats need another filling from this 2 hour advert for Apple Mac. Saying that, this film was very good and I admired how it did not use technology that we have never heard of yet it used that which we are used to. I would recommend you watch this but only if you are into technology or work for Microsoft! :) If you want to watch a movie about corporate conspiracies and dodgy dealings then watch Enemy of the State since it’s in a whole different class of film. Or closer to home – Only Fools & Horses! The DVD was brimming with extras. You had the customary commentaries but for once I listened to them and was quite surprised that I did. They’re very revealing in that you get a glimpse through the director’s eyes and see how he wanted you to feel and how and when. I like to contr
ast it with what I felt and the Director Peter Howett did a superb job! IT has made a fitting place in my collection as I am one for sci-fi and conspiracies alike but if you’re not into that buy it for the very funny punch up at the end – my Nan could swing better! The trailers were included and so was a very good documentary about the film and explains the plot twists and all. I advise that you do not watch this before the movie as it will definitely ruin the whole thing. We also are given deleted scenes, when you watch them you’ll know why, and a music video. The movie is anamorphic and has a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that adds a nice touch to this film. Cinema Release: Jan 2001 DVD Release: May 2001 Overall score: 7/10
Studio: Mgm/Ua Studios Theatrical Release Date: January 12, 2001 DVD Release Date: May 15, 2001 Directed by peter Howett II, and starring the excelltn Ryan Phillipe (most famous for Cruel Intentions perhaps?), we see Phillippe himself playing Milo Hoffman, hotshot computer programmer. He and his friend Teddy are considered the top of their form among their Silicon Valley contemporaries and fellow Stanford grads. They are so well received that a megalomaniac computer company owner named Gary Winston (Robbins), who is currently prepping a technological development that will connect all kinds of electrical devices through his Synergy label, invites them to his compound with the chance of a job. Milo goes and is wooed into taking the job -- Teddy stays. In the mind of Teddy and most of their friends, Winston is being capitalistically stingy and keeping the code to the business under wraps instead of sharing it with the world to use. But Milo goes on, defying the friendship that he has so long cherished. Then things go awry, as he begins to find questionable code appear where it never before existed. Ever so often, Winston will give him a diskette containing highly advanced code as the news, unaware to Milo, reports on the recent death of some underground computer programmer. This film is meant to create a world of geek-counterculture. Milo is a geek, Teddy is a geek, Winston is a geek -- and they all are happy to admit it. But who in this world actually buys half the stuff that the film attempts to make you believe about 'computer geeks?' For one thing, Ryan Phillippe, who attempts to smooth his way into another performance, does not look like someone that has spent half his life in a garage writing code and being as antisocial as possible. So what if they muss up his hair some and dress him up a little shabbier than usual -- he still looks like someone that's going to spend more time working on his hair and his pecs than o
n a keyboard. And he has two women lusting after him! Someone in the film comments that most of the computer geeks over at Synergy have never had a living, breathing girlfriend and this guy happens to have the voluptuous Claire Forlani! Not to mention the fact that we are supposed to believe that Rachael Leigh Cook is a computer developer. What with cute, albeit impish, face and frizzy hair, Cook looks about as in place as Gloria Steinham at the Playboy Mansion. One of the few parts that really work is Tim Robbins as the Bill Gates rip-off Winston. Robbins seems to be genuinely having fun hamming it up in the role and it is nice to see him playing a fun role that is not so downtrodden (i.e. Nothing to Lose). I loved him in his relatively small role in High Fidelity early last year but still yearn for another great dramatic performance from him (which has not happened since 1994's The Shawshank Redemption). Nevertheless it is still fun seeing him these quirky roles even if the fun is bittersweet. This is the second film for Peter Howitt, who last created the quirky but respectable Sliding Doors from 1998. It seemed to me that Howitt was quite talented from that first time around, but this time he seems to be a completely different director. There are moments meant for pure excitement that look far closer to an amalgamation of muffled voices and sketchy edits. Thinking about it, this film is full of really talented film technicians that should have done better like Howitt. Film editor Zach Staenberg is partly to blame for the lackluster look of this film -- a far cry from the great work he did for The Matrix last year, which brought him an Academy Award and a Golden Brando Award. Staenberg should have had more know-how than to simply splice patches of 50 frames together for three minutes, creating a nearly incomprehensible collection of headache inducing material. This film bombed both Stateside and here in the UK, and
I can see why. In a strange way I kinda enjoyed this film, but it was just TOO techie and geeky to be a widely appealing movie, and this is its main downfall. Run Time: 108 minutes
Why is it that every time an evil genius has a secret plan to rule the world, he inevitably attracts to his enterprise the one person most likely to smoke out the secret and spoil the plan? Because if he didn't, there wouldn't be a movie. AntiTrust is a slick, watchable thriller that pits a young, idealistic computer geek (Ryan Phillippe) against a Bill Gates-like billionaire (Tim Robbins) who wants to rule the information world by devising a system that will link all sources of communications through his satellites. Robbins recruits the top graduates from the best computer science schools and offers these premium programmers the good life in exchange for good code. Phillippe, tops in his class at Stanford, takes a job with Robbins, even though his pals consider it a deal with the devil. The young genius is led to believe he is doing a great service for society, but what Robbins really wants is Phillippe's programming prowess in order to complete his mission on schedule, a mission whose methods become increasingly suspicious to Phillippe. This is director Peter Howitt's second feature, the first being the well-received Gwineth Paltrow vehicle "Sliding Doors," which he also scripted. Unfortunately, he has not achieved with this film the bright inventiveness of the earlier work. Likewise, the script, written by Howard Franklin ("Quick Change," "The Man Who Knew Too Little"), has not taken the material very much beyond the bromides of the genre. Though billed as a high-tech thriller, it is high tech in subject matter only. The form of the film is straight out of the Hitchcock handbook. We have seen it all before in such masterpieces as "North by Northwest" and "Notorious." Not that this is bad. We treasure these conventions now just as then: sultry women who are not to be trusted; smooth talking villains with stone-dumb henchmen; set-ups where the hero must
complete a task before the villain arrives. These are the mainstays of the suspense genre, and when done well they can still be effective. If you are going to be derivative, derive from a master. As for the performances, the two male leads charismatically carry the film. Phillippe ("Playing by Heart," "Cruel Intentions") has a screen presence that should guarantee him choice roles in the future, and likely stardom. He is convincing as the boy genius who can punch in code and punch out bad guys with equal panache. Robbins masterfully completes a trilogy of sinister smooth talkers preceded by his homicidal producer in "The Player" and his unnerving neighbor in "Arlington Road." Though the supporting roles were fine, if somewhat one-dimensional, the biggest disappointment was the women. Neither of the two love interests (Rachael Leigh Cook and Claire Forlani) seemed able to bring believability or vitality to their roles (with one exception, a striking seduction scene by Forlani). Most of the blame should go to the filmmakers, who seemed to have left these parts underdeveloped in favor of the male leads. As for production values, the entire film has a pleasing look, greatly aided by striking exteriors of Vancouver (standing in for Portland). At key times in the story, when emotions and tensions are running high, dazzling editing montages and lively camera work enhance these suspenseful scenes, another homage to Hitchcock, one that pays off for both the filmmakers and the viewers.
For the thousands of scripts that land on studio desks one always questions how the choices are made. Anti-Trust clearly found its way to the screen through a computer error on an executives PC. In keeping with its theme, you cannot help but feel that this has in fact been written by a computer programme for it plays like one, void of emotion or character. Like many films this provides the full complement of ingrediants for a thriller. Hero, villain, victim, morality, suspence etc.... The premise is a simlpe one: Young computer genius goes to work for big corporation only to discover that big corporation hides many a murky secret. Queue David v's Golliath battle played out through a series of jumbled poorly executed scenes. For all its original concepts, death by nut allergy being by far the most modern, it is let down by the characterisations which for themost part are a mesh of hundreds of others tried and tested. The twists seem to be there out of obligation rather than inherant development, the direction adds little to increase the pace and the cast, whilst blessed with their moments often seem to be questioning what they are doing in the movie itself. Tim Robbins as the arch enemy does a lovely turn as a venemous-like schizophrenic Bill Gates slipping between the saintly CEO and a meglamaniac. Ryan Phillipe offers a human and emotional side to the classical portrait of a computer nerd and the support cast add to the staple product but let down by a poor script, it all amounts to very little. For all its weaknesses, Anti-trust does offer food for thought in a world that is fighting for the democratisation of technology but it leaves you feeling a little cheated and safe in the knowledge that some things really do require human creativity.
I found Antitrust to be a new wave film for all those people who love the side of computer programming and hacking but dont have the technical knowledge to undertake such actions or jobs. That is me a lover of all that is complex but cannot be understood that is why when watching this film I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation of what would happen next and with amazement of how they can use IT for all the different uses they manage to find in the film. The acting was good I feel they chose they right kind of actors and actresses to fill the relevant roles which is always an important thing to have. My opinion is this film is more for people who want to watch a film that has excitment thrills and the odd complex point for you to mull over what will happen next and what is he doing
Anti-Trust is a gripping thriller, and although far from being great filmmaking it is at least notable for being about something important and having the will to follow it through. Macro software company NURV, based on a giant "campus" in the Pacific North West and under investigation by the Department of Justice, is planning to launch a proprietary broadband Internet. Ryan Philippe is adequate as the young geek hero, though Tim Robbins dominates the film as CEO Gary Winston, a skilfully cutting interpretation of a power-corrupted software multibillionaire; Gary Sinise offers an equally compelling characterisation. Peter Howitt directs in broad strokes, keeping things exciting if not exactly subtle, while Don Davis' score is alternately suspenseful and overblown. Howard Franklin's screenplay offers surprising plot detail and a couple of good twists while straining credulity with hoary thriller clichés. Nevertheless, the technical stuff is far more accurate than usual, despite the Hollywood compromises. Anti-Trust provides a rallying cry against the global domination of global communications for the profit of the few, the final 15 minutes delivering an uplifting if simplistic wish-fulfilment fantasy. On the DVD: The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is highly atmospheric, though the anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 image is only average, some grain and artefacting letting down the sleek look and elegant design of the film. "Cracking the Code" is a routine 22-minute "making of" documentary, while the audio commentary by director Peter Howitt and editor Zach Staenberg spends a lot of time stating the obvious. --Gary S Dalkin