If there's anyone who has pulled off a wickedly impressive image transformation, it's Angelina Jolie. She used to be the wild child who'd wear bloody tees to her wedding (with Jonny Lee), or bloody vials around her neck (as she did with Billy Bob). Then she did a 180, becoming a goodwill ambassador and starting her own multicultural Brady Bunch with Brad Pitt.
I'm happy for her, but I can't help but miss the good ol' days. She might have been wild, and she might have shocked many -- but she had a great spark, one that seems to have disappeared inside the current carefully manufactured icon she is today.
The gleam might be hidden these days, but luckily we're living in a world of DVD entertainment. We can head back to the past whenever we want to. What follows are my two favorite Jolie gigs. They're far from the best movies, but they definitely embody both the old Angelina, and a certain period of '90s rebellion. I give you: Hackers and Foxfire.
Hackers came to us thirteen years ago, but I still wish computers had some of the flash that was shown in this incredibly fun, but incredibly inaccurate, flick. It's a funny little film. It's so very different than the world of hacking it tries to emulate, but it's quirky and amusing. Van Tate over at IMDB sums it up perfectly: "I can't help it. I loved it."
Jonny Lee Miller is Dade Murphy/Zero Cool -- a brilliant kid hacker who wrote a nasty computer virus as a wee young thing. While he doesn't abide by the computer ban placed on him, he's able to stay off the radar until he moves to a high school in New York City and befriends a group of hackers. They become the targets of a greedy Fisher 'The Plague' Stevens, and Dade tries to do what he can to help, while falling for the seductive, lippy gal hacker, Kate Libby (Angelina Jolie).
Angelina got to run around in super-sexy, albeit incredibly flamboyant and unique outfits, purr over her sweet laptop that has a 28.8 BPS modem, PCI bus, and RISC architecture, and even find herself a real-life husband. (Even though it crashed and burned just like their characters' names.)
TRIVIA: Believe it or not -- Katherine Heigl was offered the role of Kate Libby, but she turned it down because of her commitment to Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. Thank God. Other actresses who were considered: Hilary Swank, Heather Graham, and Liv Tyler. Methinks they made the right choice.
Dade's super-sexy dream with Kate. Beware YouTubing workers: There is a flash of boob.
Dade takes over a TV network.
Hacking the Gibson in Grand Central.
There are three clips that would be great as an old-Angelia break between films:
Angela & Viril, Alice & Viril, Meat Loaf's "Rock 'n Roll Dreams Come Through"
It's pretty much nothing like the Joyce Carol Oates novel that inspired it, but one thing that remained in Foxfire was the energy of girl rebellion. One day, Margret 'Legs' Sadovsky (Jolie) happens upon a small high school and brings together a diverse group of young girls to fight back against injustice -- the artist Maddy (Hedy Burress), the bashful Rita (Jenny Lewis), the wild child Goldie (Jenny Shimizu), and the risque Violet (Sarah Rosenberg).
While there are certainly a lot of flaws in the film, it's still a fun popcorn flick. You can delight in Lewis post- Wizard and pre-Rilo Kiley, see a few men straight out of Twin Peaks (Richard Beymer and Chris Mulkey), see the beginnings of Jolie and Shimizu's relationship, and groove to some great '90s tunes from people like L7, Johnette Napolitano, Wild Strawberries, and Kristen Hersh. And for the boys out there who have to watch with their girlfriends, there's the gratuitous boob-tattooing scene.
Legs shows up and frees the poor frog.
Jenny Lewis learns about condoms and sings while shopping.