Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Ryan Phillippe, Rachael Leigh Cook, Claire Forlani, Tim Robbins, Douglas McFerran, Richard Roundtree, Tygh Runyan, Yee Jee Tso, Nate Dushku, Ned Bellamy, Tyler Labine, Scott Bellis, David Lovgren, Zahf Hajee, Jonathon Young
Written by: Howard Franklin
Directed by: Peter Howitt
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violence and brief language
Running Time: 109
Date: 01/12/2001
IMDB

Antitrust (2001)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Data and Switch

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Antitrust is a dumb movie about smart people. It's not exactly a guilty pleasure, but it has enough genuine paranoia to make it worth a look, especially now that the computer industry has become so much bigger and all-pervasive. (It takes place before nerds spent their entire lives hunched over tiny mobile screens.)

Milo Hoffman (Ryan Phillippe) and Teddy Chin (Yee Jee Tso) are genius programmers/developers, and are thinking about doing their own startup, wherein they would make all their code open-source. But Milo receives a call from the billionaire computer genius Gary Winston (Tim Robbins) and for some reason decides to go to work for his massive company (the movie never makes this change of heart believable). Not long after, Teddy is murdered, and Milo begins to suspect that something is up (ya think?). Two of the world's most astoundingly beautiful women co-star, Claire Forlani as Milo's girlfriend and Rachael Leigh Cook as a fellow code monkey whom Milo shares his suspicions with. Richard Roundtree plays a cop.

If nothing else, director Peter Howitt (Sliding Doors) makes everything look good, from the stars to the gleaming technology; one inspired sequence has our hero breaking into a children's daycare to use a computer encased in colorful Legos, with a mouse shaped like a plastic truck. Howard Franklin (The Name of the Rose, Quick Change) wrote the screenplay. The director has a cameo as a homeless man.

Olive Films released this MGM film on Blu-ray in 2015. It's not flawless, but plenty good enough. Extras include a commentary track by Howitt and editor Zach Staenberg, a 22-minute studio-produced featurette, a trailer, an Everclear music video, and deleted scenes (11 minutes). None of the extras are in HD, and are presumably left over from the DVD release.

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