Monday, April 16, 2007

What do we become? Assholes or something?

A friend of mine recently called me out of the blue to ask me a valid question about a major space time continuity issue involving Back to the Future I & II. I would say spoiler alert, but I can’t imagine anyone reading this blog to have not seen the Back to the Future Trilogy or that there are actually people who read my blog. In any case, the question dealt with Doc Brown’s Back to the Future II explanation of the alternate 1985 they accidentally created when the Biff of 2015 gained access to the Sports Almanac and the Delorean. Basically, if Marty and Doc still existed in the alternate 1985 they created in the past along with their alternate 1985 counterparts, shouldn’t Marty have had an alternate doppelganger in the alternate 1985 he created when he helped his parents meet in 1955 in the first movie? This question then sprung a whole host of other questions like how come the improved version of his family at the end of the first movie live in the same crappy house in the beginning of the film save for the fancy BMW and better jobs? Or why would Marty still be friends with Doc Brown if things were better now? Or why Marty is friends with Doc at All?

I eventually came to the final conclusion to just accept that it’s a fantasy and to chalk it up to suspension of disbelief. I realized that these tedious, unanswerable questions would have only served to take away from the enjoyment of the greatest movie trilogy in cinema history (that’s right I’m talking to you Three Colors Trilogy.).

What I also came to realize was that we were not all that far off (only a mere 8 years) from the wondrous 2015 of Back to the Future II. 2015 Hill Valley was one of the earliest and still one of the best imaginations of the future I’ve ever seen in a movie. It was fantastic without being unfathomable, it was flawed without being dystopian; a vision of the future with enough roots in the 20th century to make it strangely believable. With that being said, the film has obviously set the bar for what I’ll expect the world of 2015 will hold. I’m not expecting cold fusion or flying cars but I will be quite disappointed if certain innovations aren’t available, here’s my top 5:

5. Automatic Dog Walkers. You only saw them for like 5 seconds in the movie but I think they’d be pretty nifty. A fairly simple concept, I’m sure somebody has a blue print for one somewhere. I suspect we’re getting pretty close to them too, we already have the Rumba and vacuuming your home seems just as if not more complicated than walking your dog. I’m even going to be lenient on the floating element, they could be wheeled or have tiny robot legs; perhaps by 2030 they’ll even pick up the poo.

4. Power Laces. A jacket that talks to you, automatically adjusts to your body size, and blow dries itself when wet seems like a pretty tall order for 6 years; but sneakers that tie themselves? I think the always competitive athletic shoe industry can swing that. They already have shoes on the market with microchips in them to keep track of your running or something or other, why not take the logical step forward. The world’s been yearning for another sneaker innovation since the Reebok Pump.

3.Hydrated Pizzas. When I was a kid that Black & Decker pizza hydrating machine was, behind hover boards and the time machine itself, the coolest item in the movie. That Pizza Hut pizza looked great! Imagine fresh delicious pizza from a non-perishable little disk in seconds. Let’s see Digiorno compete with that! I refuse to believe the army doesn’t have a working prototype for such a machine.

2. 80s Nostolgia Cafes. Who knows, a place like this might actually exist right now. Maybe robotic Ronald Regan/Ayatollah waiters aren’t taking orders but with a three decade upgrade of a Johnny Rockets and you got yourself a CafĂ© 80s. There’s really no technological roadblock getting in the way of one being made, we just need the nostalgia to build up to a critical mass, and thanks to the good folks at VH-1 we’re steadily getting there.

1. Hover Boards. Need I say more! Since the movie came out people have been looking for these things. There have been twenty years of rumors and hearsay about an actual hover board existing but so far I only ride them in my dreams. When director Robert Zemeckis joked that they were real, there were enough desperate fans to cause a stir. According to the wikipedia page on hover boards there have been similar boards that used hovercraft like air technology, but I won’t be fully satisfied until somebody comes up with a legit one that just mysteriously hovers off the ground. I suspect it’ll involve powerful magnets of some sort.

1 comment:

  1. Dude, I saw the Lake House the other day (don't ask). I almost had aneurysm trying to work out the fucking paradoxes in that movie. . . probably Keanu's inflections (or lack thereof) didn't help. . . Plus it baffled me that someone with the ability to send messages back in time wouldn't use it for something more useful than as a glorified online dating service.