Daily Archives: January 4, 2015

Back to the Future II – It’s 2015, What Happened, What Didn’t?

God help me, I remember watching this movie when it first came out, and it seemed like there was enough time between then and 2015 for the futuristic world it depicted to come true.

Everyone is talking about it, since 2015 is finally here.  If you want a breakdown of what the movie predicted and what actually happened, Gawker has it for you.

I’ll add my thoughts to the mix:

1)  Flying Cars – I suppose it’s not wise to say something is “impossible” but I feel the term “flying car” is equal to “small plane.”  We’ve had large planes for a long time now.  And there’s an entire multinational infrastructure put in place to track them via radar to help them not crash into each other.  After all, if you’re in a plane, can you see what’s above you?  To the left or right?  Underneath you?  Behind?  People get into accidents all the time just with their boring old land cars.  If they invent flying cars, i.e., small, personal planes, then people would just be smacking into each other constantly.  And while fatal car crashes do quite sadly, happen all to often, it is at least a possibility to have crashes that are just minor fender benders that one can walk away from.  In a flying car, if your car crashes, that’s it, you’re plummeting to your demise.  Hell, if you forget to fill up on gas or the engine conks out, you’re going to plummet to your demise and slam into the Earth.  I barely trust the guys that work on my land car, but at least if my car breaks down, I can pull over and call AAA.  If my flying car stops flying, I’m screwed.

2)  Tablet Computers – Remember the old man that asked Marty for money to fix the clock tower?  They’re here!  They’re also awesome and believe it or not (forgetting about the occasional bug here and there) they actually work!  I feel like if you took me out of the past, brought me to the future, and showed me an iPad, my jaw would drop.

3) Dehydrated Pizza – Not here yet.  Dehydrated food does exist, but not to the point where you can store it and turn it into something yummy and delicious when you want it.  I suppose when they figure that out, restaurants will go out of business, which in the case of McDonald’s, probably wouldn’t be a bad thing.

4)  Handless Video Games – There’s a scene where two kids balk at Marty’s love of a game that requires the hand to hold a toy zapper gun  – “Wild Gunman.”  I’m not sure what the kids meant here.  I have a theory they meant that one day there would be games that enter your mind and bring you into some kind of virtual reality.  In theory, that’s awesome.  On the other hand, there are games where you don’t need to hold a controller – i.e. the Nintendo Wii and X Box Kinect.

5)  3D Movies – I was actually surprised they made such a comeback.  I assume its an attempt to keep the movie theater industry from losing out to digital downloads.

6)  Self-Lacing Shoes – I’d love it if they could invent that.  All that damn time lost tying my shoes when I could be doing more important things, like playing Parcheesi and curing cancer.

7)  Video Conferencing – It’s been here for awhile, but aside from college kids, I can’t really imagine who uses it.  I don’t want to worry about my appearance just to make a phone call, do you?  Seriously, someone calls you in the middle of the night, do you really want to get on video in your pajamas?

8)  Hoverboards – Clearly, this was the best prediction.  They aren’t here yet, though supposedly great progress has been made.  See my discussion about flying cars, though, as I think they’ll just result in a lot of people hover boarding into each other, filling the nation’s emergency rooms with hoverboard accidents.

9)  Fax Machines – They’re big in the movie, but in reality, died out long ago.

10)  Cubs Win the World Series – Poor Cubs.  It was far fetched back then.  It’s still far fetched today.  Tablet computers are here, and flying cars will probably be here before the Cubs win the World Series.

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Movie Review – Wild (2014)


“Cheryl Strayed.”  That’s not only the name of the author of the book Wild, on which the recent movie is based, but it is also the synopsis of the story.

Cheryl was no stranger to hardship.  As a child, she and her mother suffered at the hands of an abusive alcoholic father.  But Cheryl’s mother moved her family away to a farm, where they set up an idyllic life.  At the start of the film, Cheryl and her mother are attending college together – Cheryl doing so after high school while her mother decides to go for her degree later in life.

Alas, the best way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans.  At age 45, Cheryl’s mother is stricken with cancer and dies.  Cheryl is left to make her own way and does not adjust to the change well.  She cheats on her husband with any man who asks, and turns to hard drugs, even going so far as to inject heroin.  She’s out of control.

An unexpected pregnancy (and though the movie is unclear on it, I assume an abortion), followed by her fed up husband seeking a divorce, prompts Cheryl to go on a quest to clear her mind- to hike the 1,000 mile Pacific Coast Trail.

Needless to say, it’s no easy task.  She starts out with an enormous pack that is heavier than she is, learning along the way to abandon things she doesn’t need.  She loses her boots and duct tapes her feet until she can get some more.  She runs out of water and has to scoop up some from a fly infested puddle and treat it with iodine pills.  One catastrophe after another occurs, but she refuses to stray off the path until she’s reached the end of the trail.

Overall, she finishes the journey having learned a good lesson – don’t stray from a good path and eventually your reward will come.

I’ve heard some comparisons to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love – but the differences are clear, the biggest one being that Gilbert had money, while Strayed was operating on the last of her savings, had nothing by the end of the trip, and often had to beg the kindness of strangers just to get by.

I don’t want to veer (or stray) too far off the path to criticize Gilbert.  (I mean, to each their own, but a man would never be able to pull of a book about how freeing it was to abandon his wife and travel the world).  Personally, in my mind anyway, Strayed’s downfall, spurred by the death of her mother, was a bit more understandable and her quest to get to the point where she could stop beating herself up for past mistakes and rebuild her life was inspiring.

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