Some movies come along and take us for a ride into the future, showing us what could be. But the future is not always so pretty, and sometimes what we think would be great turns out to be a nightmare. But these ten movies gave us something to think about and some of them are actually part of, or are becoming part of, our reality today.
Mary Harron’s American Psycho, released in 2000, gave us the narcisstic Patrick Bateman, played masterfully by Christian Bale. The investment banker acted out psychotic fantasies while his outside persona was pristine, upscale and sophisticated. The film premiere was a measley $15.1 million because the audience just was not ready for the idea that something so horrible could lurk inside a seemingly normal person, someone we might encounter in our daily lives. Skip ahead thirteen years, and we see in reality more and more atrocities where it is reported by friends, “he seemed like such a nice guy!”
Stephen Spielberg’s Minority Report was released in 2002 and could not have hit the nail more on the head with it’s touch screen technology that would become second nature to the masses later that decade. As Chief John Anderton fights his own demons, he is on the run for a crime he WILL soon commit. Could this be the future, where if we even think of doing something illegal we could end up in jail. And with the introduction of robots that are now becoming more and more ingrained in our world, this film was at least ten years before it’s time.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Who among us has not wished we could forget our last relationship or something bad that happened to us. Well this film allowed us to explore the possibilities of that world. Michael Gondry’s 2004 release, staring Jim Carey, showed us the bright side, and bleak side of erasing our memories just like clearing items off your hard drive. One of the most imaginative films of the last decade.
In 2001, Cameron Crowe to us into a dreamlike world where David Aames, played by Tom Cruise, bought into a dream like state that was so real both he and the audience were not sure what was true and what was not. After a disfiguring accident, Aames embarks on an adventure into a virtual reality unlike anything we had ever seen. But now more than ten years later, could that type of technology become our reality?
The Skin I Live In
One of the newer films that could be a predictor of our future, is Pedro Almodovar’s masterful film, The Skin I Live In, that puts a spin on plastic surgery and our obsession with it. This dark but romantic and often disturbing piece of art is a terrifying look at what might be a reality in this decade.
The Truman Show
In 1998, Peter Weir showed us a world where camera’s followed a man, Jim Carrey, in his every day life and broadcast it to the world. With one reality show in existence that aired six years earlier, “The Real World,” Wier took the idea a step further in that Truman did not know that his world was being manipulated. Everything he did, everyone he dated and everywhere he went was set up. His life was one big sound stage with props. Two years later the reality show surge his us with the premiere of “Survivor,” in 2000 and today there are just as many, if not more, reality shows on television than scripted shows, with reality tv stars gaining fame and notoriety as glamorous as actors and actresses. And while all participants in these shows are aware they are on a show, their surrounds are manipulated and so are they.
What if your genes determined your success in life, and only those with perfect genetic dna could get the jobs and wealth that those with inferior genes could not. That was the world of Gattaca, created by Andrew Nicolli in 1997. When Ethan Hawke discovers his genes just do not cut it, he turns to the underground sales of thumbprints and urine to trick the system. Could this be too far off in our future? With social media tracking our every move, learning about our eating habits, exercise routines and daily activities, could we all be profiled and categorized for future worth?
Wet Hot American Summer
A somewhat obscure film of 2001, David Wain’s, “Wet Hot American Summer,” has become a cult favorite with an all star cast led by Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper and Elizabeth Banks. The film takes a somewhat humorous turn back in time to predict the future that could be, as the summer camp of 1981 nears and end as a piece of NASA’s skylab is hurdling toward earth.
The Cable Guy
Opening to miserable reviews in 1996, Ben Stiller’s “The Cable Guy,” starring Jim Carrey, was a dark comedy that the audience was just not ready for. It has gained a new audience though in light of the success of dark comedies such as, “The Hangover and “Old School.” As Matthew Broderick deflects the continuous barage of advances from cable guy Carrey, his antics become over the top and almost cynical.
During the final days of 1999, people can buy virtual fantasies from the black market. Kathryn Bigelow depicted a reality in 1995 that is very close to our reality in 2013, almost twenty years later. Before personal computers really became mainstream and the world wide web was in its infancy stage, this film had the foresight of what might be.