The Net (1995)

Sure, the internet existed in 1995 but in no way did it work like it does in this movie, which is perhaps most memorable for positing a world in which Dennis Miller has seen Sandra Bullock’s intimate parts and for also giving us the best pizza ordering site we’ve ever seen.

I’ve also realized that I watch a ton of Sandra Bullock movies — I wish I knew her well enough to call her Sandy — and she eats a lot in them. This video confirmed my theory.

United States Under Secretary of Defense Michael Bergstrom commits suicide after being informed that he has HIV. This ignites a tech-thriller where Angela Bennett (Bullock) never leaves the house and works, communicates and even orders food — seriously, that pizza ordering scene! — online. In 1995, this was considered the future. In 2021, after a year of living with a pandemic, it’s life.

After a vacation to Cancun, Bennett discovers that a backdoor she stumbled upon is part of a conspiracy and that the net itself has erased her from existence. Before you know it, she’s sleeping with hired killers and trying to get her life back while realizing that maybe she should have gone outside every once in a while.

This movie sums up the “ancient future” genre in the way that the internet looks dated yet can do things that it struggles to do today. Also, despite being someone who never goes outside and doesn’t care about how she looks, Bullock remains gorgeous. Such is Hollywood.

You may remember the direct-to-video sequel directed by this movie’s director Irwin Winkler’s son Charles. But did you know this was a TV series? Yep. It starred Brooke Langton — who was in the basic cable all the time double feature of The Replacements and The Benchwarmers — as Angela.

Now, you may ask, is this a cyberpunk film? Well, it has one reference. Angela’s drink of choice is a mix of gin and vermouth with a pearl onion instead of an olive. That’s a Gibson, a reference to one of the creators of cyberpunk, William Gibson.

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