The Future: WATPosted: September 8, 2011
Living in the future of futuristic movies.
By Jeremy Glass
I’ve been spending my days, nights, afternoons, mid-days, and early evenings watching late 80’s/ early 90’s action movies.
The Fifth Element, Super Mario Brothers, Back To The Future: Part Two. And I just have to ask: The fuck kind of future did people think we were going to have?
Let’s put down our pipes, remove our monocles and step down from our pedestal for a hot minute and examine.
Why was everyone’s view of the future the same? Cyber-punk criminals, unnecessarily large guns, advertisements everywhere, and rain.
What possibly could have happened to make this reality so glum? And when did neon signs become the hot commodity?
This isn’t a blog about questions, it’s a blog about cold hard facts and analyzation. So here’s mine:
The Fifth Element
After the opening sequence, we meet a orange tank top clad Bruce Willis as ex-cop and current cab driver. He wakes up in a dingy apartment, where everything is automated to the point of creepy. He is dispensed a cigarette that is 90% filter and proceeds to have his mail sent to him through a high-powered tube.
To the untrained eye, the future seems alright so far. SO FAR. He lives in a world where cops are free to do mandatory searches of everyone’s home, to the point where every wall has two yellow circles where you are supposed to place your hands to make it easier for the cops. It’s a world that is doomed for extinction. The nation’s biggest celebrity is a loud-mouthed semi-androgynous ham in a leotard named Ruby Rhod, who may actually be the greatest character ever portrayed by Chris Tucker. There’s no stability in this world–as there shouldn’t be–I mean, Gary Oldman and his platoon of shape-shifting monsters are allowed to create chaos all willy-nilly.
How Would I Do?
Shit, I’d have a hoot. No doubt, I’d be the biggest fan of Ruby Rhod this side of Fhloston Paradise. It’s this kind of unstable future that reminds me of the more sketchy parts of Brooklyn. Loud, bright, and chock full of unregulated cigarette sales. This is a movie that draws inspiration from the worst parts of the present that also happen to be pretty fun. Do I really want to buy $11 cigarettes from CVS in Manhattan or could I squeeze by getting a pack of illegal $6 Parliaments from the 24-hour place down the street…where you can still buy 4Loko. I’m double-down.
Super Mario Brothers
Super Mario Brothers. Did anyone actually watch this movie after you rocked the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese? Either way, it’s the ultimate cyber-punk fantasy. Mutants, dictators, loud music, a mushroom infestation and fucking neon. You could get thrown in the slammer and “de-evolved” into a dinosaur for even playing music on the sidewalk. Despite the fact that his movie had–oh…you know, very little to do with Super Mario Brothers, I still thought it was fantastic.
I felt like the writers of this film decided to write this thing at a bar at 2:00 AM after a particularly noisy night at home, while gulping down Bud Diesels. This must have been written by a gang of single dads at their wit’s end. Men who’d come home from work every day to screaming kids covered in fecal matter and a cold oven (not that their wives were expected to make dinner – for argument’s sake, let’s just say their wives are dead.) Regardless, there is an utter lack of hope for the future. A land where the reckless youth have taken over and turned America into a playground. A playground with goddamn neon soda advertisements everywhere.
“Jesus, Stevie was up all night screaming and drawing on the walls with crayon.”
“You think that’s bad? My Glenda won’t stop pooping on the floor. It’s all she does!”
“You guys have it easy – my Rusty pukes every time he looks at neon.”
“God, can you imagine what the world is going to be like when our kids are grown up?”
“Yeah. I can. We should write a movie about it.”
“Yeah! And we should use those Super Mario Brothers that I keep seeing everywhere!”
Then they clink their drinks and down their light beers. Boom. A film is born.
How Would I Do?
Well, for starters, I’d throw away my guitar. I’m not risking being turned into a dinosaur just to sway a girl into sleeping with me by playing Radiohead. For the record, I can’t play Radiohead on guitar–actually, I can’t really play guitar at all. Super Mario Brothers is the future gone bad. To be fair, the world Mario and Luigi live in is an alternate dimension, but hey, it still exists. My favorite rule in this world is that plumbing is completely, 100% illegal. What if I wanted to be a plumber?
Back To The Future: Part Two
I like where you’re headed, future world of BTTF, I really REALLY like where you’re headed. Hover-boards, television phones, instant pizza, and Michael FUCKING Jackson reading you the daily specials of your favorite restaurant. Aside from the unfortunate fact that Marty McFly’s kid is about to go to jail, Hill Valley circa 2015 seems like a stand-up place to live. This is a future where the finest inventions and luxuries have come to fruition. I suppose my only qualm is that hover-boards can’t go over water unless you’ve got power. But hey, a small price to pay for propulsion without wheels.
How Would I Do?
Uh, incredibly well. I wouldn’t care how uppity my boss would be, it would be worth it for the smorgasbord of high-tech gadgets that’d fill my home. I mean, they still have fax machines–my favorite appliance of the twentieth century. These writers, even in 1985, knew the future was going to be awesome. And this was before mp3 players! When people had to use casette players that were the size of watermelons! Why were these guys so happy? Maybe they were the bosses of all those sad sacks who wrote “Super Mario Brothers” Losers. They’re so getting fired on Monday. Then they can go home to their shit-covered kid and wrap their lips around the nozzle of a revolver. Just kidding, they’ll probably be fine. Fax machines, though! Perfect.