Article

2005 -- The year of the IT blockbuster

Ed Parry, Contributor

Nearly 600 new movies were released in 2005, and none of them featured a chief security officer, ABAP developer or data center manager as a central character. What's up with that?

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Hollywood may have missed its opportunity to feature high-tech stars on the big screen (wouldn't Denzel Washington make a great CIO?). But several of this year's blockbusters did mine titles and storylines from the intriguing world of IT. Seriously! For reasons unknown, Roger Ebert, Leonard Maltin and the rest of the reviewers see March of the Penguins and don't think "Linux is coming!" But we know better. Here are some 2005 flicks inspired by this year's biggest IT stories.

Derailed: This November release stars Jennifer Aniston in the riches-to-rags story of Carly Fiorina. The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard is shown the door and dropped from Fortune's annual list of the most powerful women in business. Rated R -- graphic corporate politics.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Stars Johnny Depp as an eccentric CEO who outsources his entire IT department to a firm in Bangalore while keeping the mission-critical Oompa Loompas in-house. Rated PG -- strong cost-cutting content.

Cinderella Man: A pugnacious flick featuring Russell Crowe as a CSO fighting for money to spend on preventive security measures. Round one is ugly, and Crowe takes a beating. In the end, he wins, but not before a Sober worm knocks out systems and a weary CEO finally surrenders. Rated R -- blood, violence, viruses.

Yours, Mine and Ours: This flick updates the 1968 original with a $2.2 million signing bonus. Yup, it's the story of CIO Randy Mott, who jumped from Dell to HP -- and landed a five-star salary. Rated G -- feel-good story for the whole family (unless you're Michael Dell).

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Wedding Crashers: This summer buddy tale involves a large application vendor crashing a wedding between Oracle and PeopleSoft and wooing away some of the guests. Owen Wilson takes a leading role as an SAP executive that will make you convulse with laughter. Rated G -- family-friendly story follows the aftermath of a hostile takeover.

March of the Penguins: Waddled into theaters in June. It's a heartwarming and fascinating look at how Linux marches through inclement weather and hostile terrain toward credibility in the data center and on the desktop. Rated PG: warning -- too scary for older Microsoft executives.

In Her Shoes: Inspired by eBay CEO Meg Whitman (who topped Fortune's list of powerful women this year) and the fact that most anyone would gladly stand in one of her shoes, let alone two. Rated G -- but you can only buy tickets online. And you have to register. Make sure to bid only on legitimate tickets. And don't forget to check the seller's rating.

King Kong: In this version, the 800-pound gorilla is named Google and the backdrop is Ireland. Google pumps up international divisions, stomps out the competition and distributes millions to happy stockholders. Rated PG-13 -- excess search results.

Chronicles of Narnia: Three IT workers go deep inside a magical cubicle and find a fantasy world where no systems crash, the company provides really good coffee, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer has hair and IT budgets are limitless. Yes -- a fantasy world. Rated PG-13 -- Some violence when HR tries to revoke flextime.

Boksuneun naui geot: A South Korean adventure released to a few U.S. theaters in August. If you speak Korean, you are all set. If you don't, it's still easier to figure out than service-oriented architectures. Not yet rated.


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