Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Back to the Future Part II: A Review of Their Future

In the last several years, there have been countless memes and false alarms claiming that today is the day that Marty McFly arrived in the future. Those frustrated me. Why would someone think it was cool to post a false meme like that. And it was almost more frustrating to see how many people fell for it. Anyone who knows Back to the Future knows that in the second movie Marty, Doc, and Jennifer go to October 21, 2015. Well, go look at your calendars. It's October 21, 2015. This time it's no false alarm. Today is the day that Marty McFly has arrived in the future. Come tomorrow, the future will be the past. Trippy, right? I've grown up on this trilogy and I never imagined that this day would arrive, but now it has. I've known for a long time now that when this day does arrive, I want to do a Back to the Future marathon where I watch all three movies in one day. This will most definitely be accomplished later on today. A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to do something in addition to that because this day was so epic. My initial idea was to write a review of all three movies and release the first one on the 20th, the second one on the 21st, and the third one on the 22nd. Instead, though, I've decided to something funner than that. I wanted to detail their predicted future and compare it to what has actually happened.

Before I get to that, though, I did want to quickly review all three movies in one paragraph so you get an idea of what I think of these movies. There is definitely a nostalgic aspect for me because I've been watching them since I was young. But yet as I continue to watch them, they still hold up as good movies today after 30 years. Time travel is always a fascinating subject for me and this is definitely the best time travelling franchise that I have ever seen. In fact, this is one of the best trilogies of all time. These movies are full of great characters that experience great character arcs. The acting is fantastic. There are an endless supply of quotable lines. The cinematography still stands today as amazing. The score is one of the best ever written. The stories in all three movies are exciting and fun. Finally, the trilogy leaves you with an amazing message that has literally stuck with me and inspired me for my whole life. If I'm going specifics here, in the first movie, Marty goes back to the time where his parents are in high school and accidentally makes him Mom fall in love with him instead of his dad and needs to try to set them up before he disappears from existence. Genius. The second gets extremely complex as we start in 1985, jump to 2015, go back to 1985, then end the movie in 1955 again. This could've ended up as convoluted, but instead is brilliant, especially when we go to 1955 and weave in a second story in as the plot of the first movie also goes forward. I loved it. Then we end up in the Old West in the final chapter. 1885. That one is a lot of fun as well.

Overall, if I were to assign grades to all three movies, the first would get a 10/10, the second a 9.5/10, and the third a 9/10. The trilogy as a whole is most certainly a 10/10 and one of my favorite trilogies of all time. It's right up there with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings in terms of my personal enjoyment. Now with that in mind, let's dive into my initial purpose of this post. Yesterday in preparation for this post, I went and watched the first part of Back to the Future Part II where they go to October 21, 2015, and I took notes on all the details of their future. Now I want to go through those things one by one, seeing what they got right, what they got wrong, what I wish they would've got right, and what I'm glad they got wrong. Those type of things. After I'm done, I would love your personal input on what points I may have missed, what I got wrong, or just your own comments on their future. Let's have fun with this day!

1- Trash as Fuel - At the very beginning of the movie when Doc comes to pick up Marty to go to the future, he goes to the garbage and pulls out a bunch of trash to use as fuel for the time machine. I don't actually know if this is the fuel for all cars or just Doc's time machine. I want to say it's the latter. But either way, trash is not used as fuel today for our cars. But wouldn't it be nice if it was? I spend way too much money on gas each month.

2- Flying Cars - This is the big takeaway from this movie. If you've only seen this movie once and only remember one thing, I can bet that flying cars is what you remember. No, we don't have those today. Instead, the direction our society seems to be going is electric cars. We're not at the point where everyone has one, but I personally think that's not too far away.

3- Correct Date - This is a simple one, but they did their research. October 21, 2015 is on a Wednesday, just like the movie said it was.

4- Perfectly Accurate Weather Service - Man this one would be nice. Apparently in the future, we were supposed to be able to perfectly predict the weather to the exact second. Nope. People still laugh at the weather man when he says there's a 90 percent chance of rain and it's sunny all day. Although most of us do look at a weather app on our phones, tablets, or computers, which is kinda what Doc did.

5- Post Office Not Efficient - After bragging to Marty about how awesome the future is at predicting the weather, he makes a quick remark that he wishes the Post Office was that efficient. This isn't elaborated on, so I don't quite know what Doc means, but our postal service is actually pretty good. I can order something on Amazon and have it arrive a day or two later at the exact time it says it's going to arrive.

6- Rejuvenation Clinics - This is a weird part of the movie. Right when they get to the future, Doc pulls the skin off his face to reveal a slightly younger face. While he's doing this, he's telling Marty about these rejuvenation clinics in the future that make you look young again. My expression while watching this is still similar to Marty's slightly creeped out look when he sees this.

7- Phone Booths - They're still there. When Marty first sees Marty Jr., Marty Jr. is walking up to a fancy looking phone booth to make a call. Technically these do still exist, but most of them died out when cell phones became a big thing.

8- Power-lace Shoes - These shoes that Marty puts on are quite fascinating. He puts his feet in, presses a button, and the laces automatically tighten to fit his foot perfectly. I want a pair of these. Now, this is one of those self-fulling prophecies in that they did create a pair of shoes like this in honor of Back to the Future, but for the most part we all still tie our shoes. No power laces.

9- Power Jacket - This is another awesome piece of fashion from this movie. This jacket adjusts to meet your arm length in just a push of a button and later in the movie when Marty falls in the fountain thing, the jacket automatically dries itself. In the real 2015, our jackets are a lot more boring and lame than that.

10- Horrible Sense of Fashion - Outside the awesome shoes and jacket that Marty wears, the fashion style predicted by this movie is hideous. I mean, the style today is much different from that of the 80's, but we didn't get quite as crazy and off-the-wall as they did. Although it will make for some fantastic Halloween costumes this year.

11- Newspapers Still Exist - Yes, they do still exist. So they do get some points for that. But journalism today is a whole heck of a lot different than it was even a few years ago, let alone in the 80's. A physical copy of the newspaper would not be how Doc gets his main source of news if he went to 2015, unless of course he could adjust that fast, which seems unlikely given how fast he adjusted to everything else.

12- Cubs Sweep the World Series in 5 Games - This also comes up a bit later in the future sequence, but it's first revealed when Doc hands Marty the newspaper. A few things to take from this. First off, apparently the system was adjusted a bit in this version of the future because you have to win five games, not four. That adjustment didn't happen. As far as the Cubs winning, the honest truth is that if Marty came to the future, the story would be that the World Series hasn't yet started. We're still in the round right before the World Series. The Cubs still haven't won the World Series in over a hundred years, but the impressive thing is they are still in it at this point. And there will be a baseball game played tonight involving the Cubs. Speaking of sweep, there also could be a sweep involving the Cubs tonight, but the Cubs might be on the opposite end of that as they are trailing the Mets 0-3. Only one team has ever crawled out of that hole, so the Cubs are needing a miracle if they are going to make Back to the Future's prediction come true. Stay tuned!

13- There's a Baseball Team in Miami - While on the subject of baseball, when Marty actually realizes that the Cubs have won the World Series a bit later on, he is more surprised when he looks at who they defeated. Miami. There wasn't a team in Miami back in 1985. This is one of the big things that Back to the Future nailed. A few years back, the Florida Marlins moved to Miami and became the Miami Marlins. So yes, there is a team in Miami now. Sure, they're in the same conference as the Cubs, so they wouldn't meet in the World Series. Also, they sucked it up big time this season. But hey! They exist. So let's not be too harsh here.

14- Slamball - Back to the newspaper that Doc gives Marty, another one of the headlines is that the Slamball playoffs begin. I don't know what Slamball is. It doesn't really exist. But someone needs to create this sport because it sounds pretty epic.

15- Queen Diana - The newspaper said that Queen Diana was supposed to visit Washington today. Sadly, Princess Diana never made it to the status of Queen as she passed away tragically in 1997. Rest in peace Princess Diana.

16- Swiss Terrorist Threat - Switzerland has had a long history of armed neutrality and while it was predicted by Back to the Future that this would change, Switzerland still stands as a neutral country. We've had our fair share of terrorist threats, but none of them have come from the Swiss. Let's hope that doesn't change tomorrow because this is technically the newspaper from October 22, 2015 that they are looking at.

17- The President is Female - The newspaper article here reads, "President says she's tired." Technically they don't specify that this is the President of the United States, but that's what I'm assuming they are talking about. Our current President is not female. Barak Obama did beat out Hillary in 2008's election and no female ran in 2012. But this could change soon as we have two females running for President right now, so I don't think they are too far off with this.

18- They Abolished All Lawyers - Marty is reading the paper and is shocked when he learns that his son was sentenced to 15 years in prison just two hours after his arrest. Doc responds that the justice system works fast now that they've abolished all lawyers. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but lawyers are still here and the justice system still works slower than a snail.

19- Jaws 19 is in Theaters - When Marty passes the theater, Jaws 19, directed by Max Spielberg, is the big name movie out. Luckily they only made it to four movies in this franchise. The fourth was so bad that they just stopped. There are a few interesting things to take from this, though. First is that the number one movie in theaters right now is Goosebumps, which is a monster movie. So they got the genre right. Also released this past weekend was Bridge of Spies, which is directed by Steven Spielberg. I don't know if Steven has any relatives named Max, but they do get points for predicting that there would be a movie out this weekend by a Spielberg. Also, in honor of Back to the Future this month, a Jaws 19 trailer was created. Check this gem out real quick before moving on:

20- Holomax Theaters - I'm giving them points for this one as well. When Marty looks at the theater, he gets attacked by this hologram shark. We haven't really decided to create movie technology quite like that, but in 2009, Avatar was groundbreaking in 3D and now most movies have the option of seeing them in 3D. We also have IMAX theaters that are becoming more and more popular and that even has the "max" in the name just like Holomax. So I'm calling 3D/IMAX theaters close enough for a win here.

21- iPad-esque Technology - In two separate occasions, side characters ask for a donation or a payment. One guy comes to Marty asking for donations for the clock tower. The other is Biff's cab driver. Both of them use devices that look a whole heck of a lot like iPads. The fact that they look similar is win enough for me.

22- No Waitresses in the Cafe - The 80's-themed cafe that Marty goes in has no waitresses to take people's orders. Instead there are these little computers there at the tables with menus and ordering capabilities. We don't know for sure that this is the case in every restaurant as we only see this one little cafe in the movie. But regardless, we do still have people working in restaurants. Technology like this with computer menus and whatnot is probably not unheard of, but it's at least not the norm.

23- Michael Jackson is Still Alive - The 80's-themed cafe that Marty goes into has a TV that is showing a Michael Jackson interview that looks like a current interview. The king of pop did have a controversial life, but I think it's safe to say that he is missed today. Rest in peace Michael!

24- Pepsi Perfect - Marty orders a Pepsi and it gives him a Pepsi Perfect. This here is another example of a self-fulling prophesy. I do believe that Pepsi decided to create Pepsi Perfect in honor of this day. Because, you know, why not?

25- Elijah Wood is in this Movie - Not really a prediction here, just a fun little fact here. One of the little kids at the gaming machine in the cafe is young Elijah Wood. Cool, right? Speaking of that gaming machine...

26- You Don't Use Your Hands to Play Video Games - Elijah Wood and his friend are trying to figure out how to play the archaic gaming machine in the cafe. Marty walks up, grabs the gun, and owns it in the game. One of the kids then says, "You have to your hands? That's like a baby's toy." In other words, gaming systems in this future required no controllers. This is not the norm, but it sounds awfully like the Kinect for Xbox. I'm giving them credit for this.

27- Hover Boards - We're working on them, okay? Yes, there have been various hover boards that have been created over the years, but we haven't quite mastered the hover board technology to the point where all kids ride one. We do have a bunch of fancy-looking skateboard-like objects that kids play with these days. I don't know what they're called. It's never been my area of expertise. But you get what I'm talking about, right?

28- Scenery Windows - At least one of the windows in future Marty's house had this window cover that projected whatever outdoor scenery they wanted. I'm sure technology like this wouldn't be that hard to create, but I don't think anyone really has the motivation to do so. I guess we like our natural window views, regardless of how ugly. This idea has been used in other futuristic movies, so maybe this aspect of the movie inspired others.

29- No Doorknobs on the Front Door - Jennifer is trying to escape the house, but can't figure out how because there are no doorknobs. Doc has to tell her to press her thumb to the plate in order to open it. I suppose no one had a real big problem with the technology of a doorknob, so we decided to go with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" motto in this situation.

30- Flat Screen TV's - Put another check mark in the win category. I don't know when the flat screen TV was invented, but they certainly weren't a popular thing when I was growing up in the 90's, but they are now and thus it's cool to watch Marty McFly Jr. walk into a room and start watching TV on their flat screen TV. He also does this thing where he watches six channels at once, which I do believe is a capability for some networks, but don't quote me on that. It's just what I see advertised during the NFL season when they are talking about NFL Sunday Ticket and how you can watch multiple games at once, or something like that. I'll move on now.

31- Dog Walking Machine - I don't know what to call it, but when Marty is outside, we get a quick shot of a dog being walked by some sort of dog walking machine, thus making it so the dog can get some exercise without the owner having to go with it. I'm kinda glad this isn't a thing. Going with the dog on the walk is a great thing for both the dog and the human.

32- Food Hydrator - I've always found this one pretty cool. They buy this tiny Pizza Hut pizza and put it in the Black & Decker food hydrator, tell the machine the level they want, and in an instant it's a giant, full-sized pizza. Dinner in seconds. Someone needs to contact Black & Decker and tell them to actually invent this thing. The fact that they don't really do kitchen appliances is beside the point.

33- Technology at the Dinner Table - Well they got the specific technology wrong. I'll get to that in a second. But the kids at the dinner table are too busy with their technology and thus don't really interact with each other at dinner. How many times in today's world have you been gathered at dinner or in the front room and everyone is playing with cell phones, computers, tablets, etc instead of socializing with each other? Yup, that's definitely a part of our culture today.

 34- Phone Glasses - I told you the specific technology was a bit off. Now they do get some credit in my book for predicting that the phone technology in our day would be a lot more advanced. All of us have cell phones and most of us have smart phones. Marty would be fascinated when he found out all that a phone can do in our day because in his day all they did was call people. We do have bluetooth technology which allows some people walk around all day with an ear piece and others to make calls on the speaker in their cars. There's also Google Glass, which is kinda similar to what they have in the movie. But the specific idea of phone glasses isn't really a thing.

35- Video Calling - It's time to end this post on a positive note. When future Marty gets a phone call, it ends up being a video call that he pulls up on his TV. We don't make calls on the TV like this, but there are plenty of things on our computers like Skype and other things similar to Skype where we can make video calls like future Marty does. And not only are those things there, but they are actually very common. Yes, we still talk on the phones without the video part of it, but I say they get credit for this prediction.

Well, that's all folks! Now I know there's more that I missed and perhaps there are things that I said that aren't accurate, so please feel free to sound off in the comments or on facebook/twitter and brings those up. I'm just doing this for fun in celebration of Back to the Future Day. Or you can add your commentary on the things I did bring up that you find the most interesting. Like I said earlier, let's have fun this! And welcome to 2015 Marty!

No comments:

Post a Comment