Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Happy Back To The Future Part 2 Day!

Happy Back To The Future Part 2 Day! Yep, today's the day-- the future date that Marty McFly time traveled thirty years to in the classic movie Back To The Future 2! Can you believe it? 

I can still remember seeing the movie when it came out in 1989. Back then the year 2015 seemed so far away. And yet here it is.

Everyone and their dog is spending the day listing all the movie predicted and got wrong. I already did that way back in 2009, so I won't subject you to more of the same. 

Instead, let's try something different and talk about Three Things Back To The Future 2 Predicted That No Longer Exist In 2015.

• After arriving in 2015, Doc fears Jennifer is asking too many questions for her own good, so he knocks her out with a futuristic doodad. He and Marty then store her unconscious body in an alley until they complete their mission.

Note that they stash Jennifer behind what appear to be large trash bales made up of CDs and LaserDiscs.

The movie correctly predicted that LaserDiscs would become obsolete, but vastly overestimated their longevity. The last LaserDisc rolled off the production line around 2001. It's impossible to find even one LD in a store here in 2015, much less a whole bale's worth.

By the way, most people snicker when they hear the word LaserDisc, thinking it was a failed format. This is not true. Although LaserDiscs never caught on quite the way DVDs and Blu Rays did, they were around from 1978 until 2001. That's twenty three years! Hardly a failure in my book. 

LaserDiscs actually introduced many of the features found on DVDs. Multiple soundtracks and languages, director commentary, deleted scenes, closed captioning, behind the scenes documentaries, blooper reels and special editions were all first introduced on LaserDisc. DVDs owe a huge debt of gratitude to LaserDiscs.

• Doc, Marty Jr. and Marlene all wear some sort of futuristic goggles that apparently display video images, information, phone calls and text messages.

These have already come and gone in our world. A couple years ago Google Glass was being shoved down our collective throats as the next big thing. The glasses allowed the wearer to take photos, send messages and view constant news and weather updates.

Then suddenly, POOF! They disappeared without a trace. I've not heard a peep about them since. Did Google scrap their plans? Are they being retooled? Will they reappear? Apparently the world wasn't quite ready to walk around with a computer screen in front of their eyes 24/7.

• Marty's home contained a fax machine in virtually every room. I'm sure that back in 1989 the concept of faxing in the comfort of your own home seemed very futuristic, but here in the real 2015 faxes have gone the way of the dinosaur. Oh sure, there are still a few fax machines out there, but I can't remember the last time I had to send one. And I for damn sure have never sent one from my home.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to loosen my clear plastic double necktie, grab a piece of fruit from my retractable ceiling garden, hydrate a pizza and watch my LaserDisc of Back To The Future 2 on my wall-sized TV screen.

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