Summer Blockbusters Bode Well for Tech Movie Fans

Summer movie plots may seem oddly familiar to IT viewers.

Its almost Memorial Day, and that means the summer movie season is here. If youre not sure what to see, heres a breakdown of the biggest blockbusters coming to a theater near you:

"Shrek 2": The lovable ogre is back again in this heartwarming adventure. Shrek and Donkey, tired of living as computer-generated animations, infiltrate the headquarters of Hewlett-Packard, whose machines created and store their data. They kidnap CEO Carly Fiorina and demand the release of themselves as open-source code. But DreamWorks SKG, fearing the dissemination of splinter and rogue Shreks and Donkeys, steps in and pulls the plug just in time. Rated: G. Starring: Linus Torvalds as Shrek and Richard Stallman as Donkey.

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban": Harry discovers that his long-lost uncles were working at Computer Associates and that they are none other than former CEO Sanjay Kumar and ex-CFO Ira Zar. After Zar pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and obstruct justice and Kumar resigns to become chief software architect, Harry enlists his Hogwarts buddies Hermione and Ron to help spring them and restore their reputations. In the process, Harry is named CEO as the rightful heir to CA. Rated: PG-13. Starring: Bill Gates as Harry, M. Night Shyamalan as Kumar and Ned Beatty as Lew Ranieri.

"Troy": Large institutional investors storm the gates of Googles Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, hoping for a piece of one of the largest tech IPOs in years. Sergey Brin, as Hector, and Larry Page, as Paris, turn back the hordes with a Dutch auction, ensuring that many individual investors will have a chance at owning the Webs search leader. Rated: PG. Co-starring: Eric Schmidt as Priam and Scott McNealy as Achilles.

"I, Robot": The offshoring binge comes back to haunt corporate America, as armies of robotic telemarketing representatives and software developers invade the United States, demanding higher wages and better working conditions. Its up to one man to rewrite the laws of outsourcing. Starring Martin Landau as John F. Kerry.

"Spider-Man 2": By day, hes the bespectacled, ponytailed, blue-jean-wearing president of computing giant Sun Microsystems. By night, he hunts down threats from Microsoft, IBM and Red Hat and sets up sales of cheap PCs running Java Desktop at Wal-Mart. But can he find love in this crazy world? Rated: PG. Starring: Jason Schwartzman as Jonathan Schwartz.

"The Stepford Wives": A group of rich marketing executives puts together a diabolical plot to control their wives by implanting radio-frequency identification tags in the backs of their wives necks while they are sleeping. Follow one RSA Security scientist as she races to develop a way to stop RFID tags from being read. Rated: R. Starring: Demi Moore.

"Alien vs. Predator": Its the ultimate showdown of IT productivity enemies. ISP researchers uncover the secret lair of Internet spam artists. But when kiddie scripters making malware get wind of the discovery, they, too, want to destroy the spammers and keep Internet domination for themselves. In the battle between evil and evil, IT managers are caught in the middle. Who will win? No one. Rated: R. Starring: Steve Jobs as the Alien and Steve Case as the Predator.

"New York Minute": Would-be terrorists infiltrate a New York-based telecommunications co-location site and steal several DS-3 network cards in hopes of setting off a chain-reaction failure of the Internet. Their plan backfires when only computer magazine publisher Ziff Davis loses e-mail for a day. Rated: R. Starring: Ashton Kutcher and James Caviezel.

"The Day After Tomorrow": In this post-apocalyptic disaster movie, in the mold of the recent "10.5" and classics like "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon," the world doesnt quite know what to do with itself once Microsofts long-awaited "Longhorn" operating system finally ships. Coming to theaters this summer—make that 2006; possibly early 2007; er, whenever! Rated: PG-13. Starring: In a reprise of his role in "The Pirates of Silicon Valley," Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates and Leslie Nielsen as Jim Allchin.

When not in movie theaters, Scot Petersen checks his e-mail at

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Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...