Summer Wars-Movie (2009)
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Editor's NoteAn adolescent math wiz unintentionally plunges the virtual world into chaos by solving a numerological riddle that makes the global network vulnerable to attack in this animated sci-fi adventure comedy. When Natsuki asks Kenji to pose as her boyfriend at her grandmother's upcoming birthday party, the smitten young numbers man jumps at the opportunity. But his summer of romance takes an unexpected turn when Kenji receives a complex math riddle on his cell phone, and solves it without a second thought. In the process, however, Kenji breaches the security of Oz, an extensive virtual realm containing everything from online shopping records to sensitive government documents and even the codes to launch nuclear weapons. Later, when a malicious AI program dubbed Love Machine begins gathering all of this data and threatens to bring the entire information infrastructure to its knees, Kenji, Natsuki, and her family must figure out a way to clear up the mess before it plunges the planet into chaos.
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Kenji is a math genius with no self-confidence and, in his opinion, nothing else he is good at, especially when it comes to the fairer sex. He is spending his summer break working in tech support for the mega-giant, all pervading social networking site Oz when the girl of his dreams, the popular upperclassmen Natsuki, asks if he can work for her over the summer. The job is simple, she says. He just needs to accompany her on a trip to her Grandmother's house for a family reunion and do whatever odd jobs are needed to help out her big family. When it turns out that the real job is to pretend to be her fiancé, he balks at first. After all, he has never even taken a girl on a date, let alone gotten serious enough to be engaged! (My perception is that he was thinking that he can't pretend to be in love with someone that he has loved from afar for years!) But he agrees to go along with the ruse with some gentle pleading by the pretty Natsuki. When an AI cyber-terrorist attacks Oz using Kenji's avatar, most everything hits the fan. But Natsuki's large, eccentric family mobilizes, with inspiration from the matriarch and an extra push from Kenji himself, and works to counter this threat to the world, since much of the real world's infrastructure is routed through Oz, and Oz is being eaten by the AI. Can a math geek, a middle school fighting game expert, and a beautiful, self confident young woman save the world? Watch this masterpiece by Mamoru Hosoda, the director of the stunning "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time," and find the answer.
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