War Games (1983) Reaction & Review! FIRST TIME WATCHING!! - nzwargamer.net

War Games (1983) Reaction & Review! FIRST TIME WATCHING!!

Shan Watches Movies
Views: 18928
Like: 1585
This was an unapologetic 80s film that I wouldn’t consider a classic quite yet. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie though. The concepts of AI and Machine learning were fascinating to see, the humor was on point and the film didn’t take it self too seriously. John Badham was a somewhat competent director and the acting by Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy was also pretty alright. Although it has its flaws, I still think this was a very good film to watch on a Sunday afternoon and a warm cup of coffee.

Full Length Reactions to ALL the films I’ve watched and Early Access at Patreon:

0:00 Intro
1:21 The Film
19:01 The Review
26:13 Outro

Hey guys, I’m Shaneel (Shan). Welcome to the channel!
My reaction and review to War Games (1983) for the first time. Hope you enjoy the video!

*Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. All rights belong to their respective owners.


  1. 16:10 one of the tests to get your swimming certificate is swimming 3 miles. Anybody who has a summer certificate can swim 3 miles.

  2. John Badham also directed Short Circuit (1986, with Ally Sheedy), The Hard Way (1991, with Michael J Fox and John Wood), Bird on a Wire (1990, with Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn), Blue Thunder (1983, with Roy Scheider and Malcolm McDowell), and a pretty good Dracula version in 1979 with Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, and Donald Pleasence.
    A very underrated director, IMHO.

  3. I think there is one thing you failed to see in this movie. Today it's easy to disregard a cool nerd for they are everywhere but in 1983, nerds were played for laugh. This is before the Breakfast club or Ferris Bueller's day off. Nerds were these annoying pathetic weak characters with silly obsessions that the main character had to avoid socializing with not to get contaminated by the social stigmas. They had bulletproof glasses, bad teeth and no social skills. They were repeatedly bullied with no consequence for the bully. They were considered disgusting by the girls.
    David Lightman is a regular human being who thinks that being able to do cool stuff with computers is fun. In the sky of terribly written nerds of the time, he is a shiny star.

  4. Let's just say people overestimate how much security is applied to computer systems. Often they are built to lowest possible budget with the bare minimum security, often with intentionally crippled security because the customer thinks logging in is too hard. Military systems are usually built to some pretty decent security standards, and much of this is now coming to become a legal minimum in private industry as well, a bit too late, but still, it's coming.

    How I like to paint the picture is: there wasn't any requirement on companies having to put locks on doors or on their filing cabinets, so no one put locks on the doors or the filing cabinets, so thieves could just walk in, only trusting the honor system to keep them out, or that your door was hard to find. Finally there came legal requirements you had to do this. When the internet grew out, people forgot to put this legal requirement on computer systems… and that's why you really need to check your identity on haveibeenpwned, as you likely will find companies very much do not take security of your data seriously.

  5. I saw this in the theater when it came out at the age of 9 – it scared me and terrified my parents. MAD was a real thing and a sword of Damocles over our heads that was was at the edge of perception. Every major incident of hacking since, my mind has gone back to this movie.

  6. I disagree with people who say that during this time (1980s ), the Cold War was at an all time high. If anything younger people were beginning to think the Cold War attitude was a little ridiculous. I was in my twenties at that time. I believe this movie reflects the generational differences of the time . That was a big theme of the 80s.

  7. Should check out the HBO movie Amazing Grace and Chuck if you can find it, also about the cold war but has stronger performances from quite a few recognizable actors including Jamie Lee Curtis!

  8. What lets it down is the long length and the fact it is so grounded in reality. It was to realistic for the early 80s no one had computers or internet so back in the day it was hard to understand the tech. I think that's why it has a cult following today as it's something even children understand.

  9. NORAD has since been shutdown by the government

  10. NORAD has since been shutdown by the government. CPE1704TKS never forgot that launch code

  11. The filmmakers wrote the script with Stephen Hawking in mind for the Falken role. They actually approached him to play the part, but when that fell through, they reached out to John Lennon, and were in talks with him when he was murdered. Personally, I think he'd LOVE delivering the "…you're listening to a MACHINE… do the world a favor and don't act like one" line.

    Another movie they made with similar sensibilities in the early 90's was "Sneakers" – very enjoyable and worthwhile watch with Robert Redford, Sydney Poitier, Dan Ackroyd, River Phoenix, Ben Kingsley..

  12. Still one of my all time favorite films. I watched it on HBO as a kid until my eyes bled.

  13. One aspect that new viewers can't quite appreciate is that in 1983 when this movie was new, all the computer gear in David's bedroom was probably as old as him!. it was all ancient-in-1983 pieces of stuff he probably bought at surplus when companies were getting rid of it. The only piece that was new-ish was his monitor, which was probably only five to ten years old. By 1985, the 3.5" disc was common and the 5.25" floppy was dying. David was still rocking 8" floppy drives!

    Also — no logins for most systems. Totally accurate. I had phone numbers for all kinds of things – traded on BBS's and compiled for anyone who wanted to play "dangerously" – not that the systems with modems were connected to anything important… most interesting thing I found was that I could read news articles from "tomorrow morning's" paper at the ft. Worth Star-Telegram's system. lol. My school librarian told me about that one!!

  14. "Shall we play a game" is 1 of the most iconic & reproduce line of all time.
    You can even see its influence in the Saw Movies 😉
    Edit btw D.A.R.Y.L. & Short Circuit are great A.I. movie from the same times.

  15. I like how you included Madsen’s credit at the end there 🙂

    At least he didn’t cut the guy’s ear off.

  16. The movie definitely felt heavier at the time it came out, especially when you're just a kid.

  17. The most improbable part of this movie is a child having tens of thousands of dollars worth of computers in his suburban America bedroom. Not to mention the power needed and cooling systems.

  18. The climax where WOPR is running the attack simulations on the big screens was incredible in a theater. As others have said, when the film was released, we were in a Cold War with Russia and an all out nuclear war seemed able to break out at any time. The fear was real.

  19. Director John Bedham also directed the excellent Blue Thunder (1983) about a technological advanced helicopter, with Roy Schieder after Jaws and Malcolm McDonald.

    Also, another excellent John Bedham movie to watch is Dracula (1979), with Frank Langella, Sir Lawrence Olivier and Donald Pleasence. Oh, and music by John Williams. I don't want to forget that.

    Another movie suggestion I recommend like this movie is The Mahatten Project (1986), starring John Lithgow. Have a nice day.

  20. Project X, try that one. Great movie about teaching chimps language and flight. The movie from the 80's not the newer one, two total different movies that are not related in anyway. Matthew Broderick and Helen Hunt.

  21. The had computer learning in 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968

  22. 3:15 Dabney Coleman, a great and underrated actor. Watch the movie 9 To 5 movie (1980), also with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton.

  23. 21:35 They didn't "[break] back into NORAD". Falken had called ahead; that's why the woman was there at the door, to wave them through … if they made it before the mountain was sealed. Obviously not all the guards got the word that they were expected.

  24. I loved this movie. I was a computer geek and even though it was far-fetched, I loved it.

  25. Gen-Xer here and as others have commented, this movie felt much different when it first came out at one of the heights of the Cold War. I was 13 and remember being genuinely terrified that we would all die in a nuclear holocaust at any given moment.

    I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, right next to Elmendorf Airforce Base (now part of JBER) and we all knew that Elmendorf was a primary target in the event of a nuclear war. I saw this movie in the theater and when they said one of the missiles was headed for Elmendorf Airforce Base, everybody in the theater cheered and applauded. We cheered again when it turned out to be a false alarm. Ah, fun during the Cold War.

  26. 2:00 — Discount Michael Madsen laughs from a corner of your house when it's dark..

  27. 13:19 — Shorting the phone receiver to ground USED to work back in the 1950s through the 1970s. But the phone companies first started epoxying the screw pieces on so they wouldn't come off and then switched to what was called "in-band" signaling rather than out-of-band .. Out-of-band, meant that the signals for coins were carried on the other two wires (Black and white) while the normal phone calls were carried on red and green. — From the mid 80s and on, when you deposited a coin, you would hear the tones in the earpiece.

  28. I'm a professional programmer, and I was even when this movie came out. Two things I'd like to highlight: first, David's (Broderick's character) home kit was already obsolete when the movie came out (8 inch floppies, acoustic couplers). I used to think this was a flaw until I listened to the director's commentary: as a kid David had no money to buy his stuff, so it was all what the pro guys were throwing in the dumpster back then. The timing in that case works out about right. Second, Shan thought it was remarkable that the story imagined an AI computer back in the early 1980s. This isn't all that remarkable: AI started being taken seriously back in the late '40s (Turing et al), and like fusion power, true AI is always about 30 years in the future. The stuff they call AI now is not AI – the term is just used as a buzzword to sell shit and get grants. I'm not aware that any "AI" is yet close to passing the Turing test. The IBM "Watson" program that plays Jeopardy is the most impressive program I know of, but AFAIK it's only speech recognition coupled to a search engine, not really an AI. Since we're movie buffs I would suggest the movie "Ex Machina". There's a movie that isn't at all confused by what AI means, and you'll see we're nowhere close. Maybe in 30 years…

  29. After the classroom joke about reproduction without sex, much of the laughter in the background was from the set crew and they left it in.

  30. p.s. I ought to have said that I appreciate your review, and I especially appreciate that you are willing to deviate from the reactor "guaranteed income" movie list. I don't know if anyone else has done "Heat", and very few have done "Dark City".

  31. Hey Shan, love your channel. I’m just curious, where you are from, are you a film maker/student, and what kind of crazy computer do you have in the background there? Keep up the good work.

  32. The Air Force conducted some surveys among the missileers during the Cold War. A good number of them said they wouldn’t launch in a real world scenario. Some said they would commit suicide if they ever really launched. I always said that if a real world scenario ever happened, it would disguised as a drill. My friends dad was a retired Lt. Col. who was in Missile Command. He actually got to fire 2 test missiles at Vandenburg AB. He said that the missileers were armed and were ordered to shoot their counterpart if they didn’t turn their key. Whether that’s true or not, idk. I do know that several of the decommissioned silos can be bought at auction. You get the property, the above ground control building and the silo with the underground control room.

  33. There’s a sci-fi movie from the 70s call “Collosus The Forbin Project.” that has this same plot of putting the decision in the hands of a super computer named Collosus. That movie has a darker tone to it. I recommend watching it. On that same note, I’d like to see your reaction to some other 70s sci-go movies and tell us if you think the would benefit from a remake. Please check out Capricorn 1, The China Syndrome, Soylent Green, and The Andromeda Strain.

  34. Matthew Broderick was also in another 80’s sci-go movie called Project X that was pretty good.

  35. for great Matthew Broderick performance watch Ladyhawke by Richard Donner, with Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pgeiffer

  36. watch ''The Day After'' and or ''By Dawns Early Light'' oooh and Catch 22.

  37. Well it certainly was a unique film when it came out in the 80's. There weren't too many anti-Cold War movies in that decade specifically, considering how patriotic in general the country was at the time. I love the message, nobody wins in nuclear war. For the love of all things holy, PLEASE don't start one!

  38. "List your primary targets."
    "Las Vegas!"

    Heartaches by the number… Troubles by the score…

  39. If you like Mathew Broderick you have to try the Freshman, which also co-stars Marlon Brando. It;s one of my favorite movies actually. Also, you have enjoyed Richard Dreyfuss, Try Let it Ride. One of the funniest movies ever and great cameo's. Iv'e seen you react to Deniros popular movies, but his best in my opinion is Midnight Run. I love his character in that movie and it co-stars Charles Grodin who is also amazing. BTW I haven't seen anyone react to any of these films yet so you could be the first. If not I will still keep watching, love your vibe.

  40. This was pretty much an 80s teen movie – remembering of course that for 80s teens nuclear war seemed to be inevitable. In that context it was a good film.

  41. Well, thankfully, the threat of a nuclear war doesn't exist anymore.


  42. You've probably already seen it, but if not could you have a look at 'Highlander' 1986 with Sean Connery, it has some interesting camera work and transitions with a great musical score done by Queen.

  43. Can you watch Leon The Professional?

  44. First, that was Micheal Madsen. I was just getting into computers when this came out, it definitely still beats Hackers and a number of others.

  45. Hello Shan please reacts the italian movie Cinema Paradiso (1988)

  46. Another good movie from 1983 not talked about much is Blue Thunder 1983 also, Roy Scheider is in it. Take care. Thanks for your fun entertaining videos! 👍 Also Rudy 1993 is an inspirational movie. Take care, thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.