Monday, March 21, 2005

The Future In Movies

I started tracking the dates put forth by science fiction movies (probably chronicled elsewhere more accurately) as their time periods. I thought it would lead to some breakthrough into "the ultimate relevance of good stories" vs. historical accuracy, but I haven't had any Bloggian brainstorms yet. Here are a few films (with release dates), listed in the order of their futures:

Strange Days (1995)--1999
2001:A Space Odyssey (1968)--2001
2010:The Year We Make Contact (1984)--2010
Back To The Future II (1989)--2015
Blade Runner (1982)--November 2019
Mission To Mars (2000)--2020
The Terminator (1984)--2029
Demolition Man (1993)--2032
I, Robot (2004)--2035
Event Horizon (1997)--2047
Minority Report (2002)--2054
Red Planet (2000)--2057
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)--22nd Century
Logan's Run (1976)--2274
Buck Rogers In The 25th Century
Battlefield Earth (2000)--3000
Barbarella (1968)--41st Century

If someone wants to help out, I still have A.I., Metropolis, The Matrix Series, The Alien Series, Dune, The Mad Max series and Planet Of The Apes (original) unresearched! Maybe you've done some investigation of your own...

Originally I imagined a Blog entry that chastised writers for being too small in their scope, but then I realized these movies shouldn't suffer just because their predictions were off. Who is to say L. Ron Hubbard and James Cameron weren't "creative" enough to envision their futures perfectly? Those Blog entries are probably existant already. What is a fresh take?

Just like hair positions and beverage levels in different takes/shots, there are conflicting cinematic foretellings that lack "continuity". What are the messages put forth that seem to bind everything together?

*Robots are not to be trusted
*Gravity is not a big deal--vehicles will float off the ground, humans in spaceships usually won't
*Flying spaceships is still pretty complicated, but more like flying an airplane
*The English language will never be replaced, modified much or forgotten
*Advertisers will use every surface of the future
*Aliens are definitely out there
*Nuclear weapons are still considered a big deal
*A computer is always considered wise, but not to be trusted totally
*Must we be referred to as "Earthlings"?
*Resistance is futile
*As long as there is Surround Sound, there will be sound in outer space
*Anything recorded will be incriminating
*Evolution of the human race will be minimal (people still wearing glasses?)
*People are rarely pictured viewing movies showing their future--what does someone in 2050 think 2080 will be like? It's almost as if they think "We are the ultimate future"!

It would be interesting to view someone sick of anti-grav cars, ho-hum on cloning, tired of space exploration and disinterested with laser guns--"All of this is so old-fashioned. I'm sick of traveling at lightspeed. I don't want to meet any more alien races. Who cares about a crime-free society? Where's the excitement? I hope the future isn't this boring."

That sounds sort of modern. So yesterday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

A British take on Star Wars

My brother slid me a copy of Empire magazine,
a British publication. It has a lot less fawning
over movie stars and their fashions (unlike one
of my old favorite magazines, EW).

Here is a funny bit, quoted from Empire,
about the upcoming Star Wars movie,
riffing on the fact that Episode III is a
sequel AND prequel, with an odd Brit slant:

Other things that have to happen before
A New Hope include...

1. The infant Luke has to be delivered to
the Lars' crib on Tatooine
2. The infant Leia has to be handed over
to Bail Organa
3. Like Late Review merging with Newsnight
(?) the Trade Federation has to be
subsumed into the Empire
3a. All the bad guys have to stop talking in
Japanese dialects and start talking
with English accents
4. Obi-Wan Kenobi has to find a property in
the Dune Sea
5. R2-D2 and C-3PO have to have their
memories wiped
6. Palpatine's face has to go all gammy
7. The hairstyles have to look like Toni & Guy
(?) circa 1976
8. Yoda has to bog off to Dagobah
9. All the hardware has to become scuffed-up
and used-looking

Look for Empire magazine at your local Barnes & Noble!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Free GR Wi-Fi

The Grand Rapids Press had an interesting story concerning
free citywide Wi-Fi that will be starting this Spring. There are
several companies that are going to be involved, but the article
didn't specify all of them.

A snippet:

For eight weeks, large sections of Grand Rapids will become free "hot zones" for wireless Internet connections.

It's part of a pilot project in which at least six Wi-Fi companies will try to prove they can build a wireless network that would serve the entire city, said Sally Wesorick, of the city's Information Technology department.

The demonstration, which will run in May and June, will allow each company to show off its technology over a quarter-mile area, Wesorick said.

Each provider will be expected to offer free and open access to its network during the test, she said. "This is a chance for us to see if all these promises the vendors have made to us are true," Wesorick said.