Five years from now, Marty McFly will show up in Hill Valley to save his kids. We wanted to see just how prophetic Zemeckis was in 1989, when he designed Hill Valley: 2015. Find out after the jump!
What's Come True
Handless and/or wireless video games
In this clip, Marty shows Baby Elijah Wood and some other kid how awesome games were in the '80s. Then, Baby Elijah Wood claims, like the brat that kids these days are, that games that require you to use your hands are totally stupid. Clearly he's never played Big Buck Hunter. So, though Baby Elijah is totally wrong about old school video games being lame nowadays (why else would they have so many old school downloads available for Wii?), Zemeckis called handless/wireless video games being the cool new way to play. Xbox is set to release Kinect later this year. And earlier this month, Oprah's audience went completely ape shit over the thing, despite not exactly being Xbox's target demo. So if middle aged white ladies love new age technology, it must be good.
Our obsession with 3D movies and sequels
I mean, if you've seen an action and or animated movie in the past year or two, chances are it was in 3D and way too expensive. The newest Jackass was in 3D. There are even 3D televisions. We. Love. 3D. So much, that I even found this list, telling you everything you'd want to know about all the 3D movies that have come or are coming out.
The only thing we love more than 3D? Sequels! Look, Jaws 19! Sure, we haven't gotten to Jaws 19 yet, but there are seven Saw movies, the last of which is in... wait for it... 3D! Saw... Jaws, it's close enough.
Handheld tablet computers
Remember that thing Apple released this year? That totally revolutionized mobile techology? A little ditty called the iPad? Yeah, this scene where another member of Hill Valley's Preservation Society holds out a tablet for Marty to sign, probably electronically, to save the clock tower. What Zemeckis lacked in aging make up he made up for in predicting advanced technological devices. The tablet featured in the film is much clunkier than the tablets we have today, but the idea is still the same: something small and wireless that people can do cool things with. Like save clock towers. Or play Angry Birds.
A baseball team in Florida
Surprise! The Florida Marlins, who happen to be Miami based, debuted in the MLB in 1993. And in 1998, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays became Florida's second baseball team.
What college kid with a Macbook, who also has friends with a Macbook hasn't video chatted on iChat, or Gchat or Chatroulette or blah blah blah, the list goes on. People like looking at faces of the people they're talking to. Apple even brought it to phones with Face Time for the iPhone. I have a Blackberry, so I don't know what this is like yet, but I hear it's a pretty magical thing. (Also, check out that device on the right hand side of the frame. Looks awfully like a Bow-flex, right?)
Wall-mounted widescreen televisions
That unit Marty's got in his living room hanging over his fireplace looks amazingly like the ones that fill the shelves of your local Best Buy. Zemeckis imagined that the frames would be a little more ornate than what we currently have, like a picture frame, but being able to nail down the key features of wall-mounted, flat panel televisions means this is a definite win for the movie. Also, predicting that we would dump the standard 4x3 television aspect ratio for 16x9 was a stroke of genius.
Auto lacing sneakers
Nike is releasing a limited edition version of Marty's Hyperdunks, inspired by the shoes he wore in the film. And though they don't auto lace or anything, that's still pretty sweet.
However, last month on GMA, a hotel manager/amateur shoe developer(?) showed off her prototype of auto-lacing shoes with spare parts she found around the hotel. This kind of crazy science would make Doc Brown proud!
Being consumed with personal electronics
Sure, we don't wear TV glasses, or answer the phone on said TV glasses, but at any given moment when I'm out to dinner with friends or family, we're all talking to other people while sitting with each other. All consumed by our ability to escape the present situation. It's pretty sad actually, and Rob Zemeckis knew that in the future, we'd become victims of our own technological advancements.
Multiple TV channels
Multiple cable providers allow you to watch multiple channels at once, in various arrays. This is mostly great for sports, but can be used for anything, I guess.
Performance enhancers being a major problem in Sports
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Check out the left sidebar of the newspaper on the right, it says that a pitcher has been suspended for using "bionic arm." Now, surely no one in Major League Baseball has gone that far yet, but performance enhancers (of any kind) being accurately predicted as a problem that lands on the front page is pretty spot-on.
What's Half True or In the Works
The use of compost as fuel definitely exists, and is commonly known as biogas. However, it's not as commonplace as it appears to be in 2015. Doc Brown may have gone all Pimp My Ride on the DeLorean in the film, but chances are we won't be rummaging through our trash and powering our flux capacitors with it instead of plutonium in the next 5 years.
I could try to pretend that I know anything about cars or the prospect of flying cars, but I'd just look like a fool. So, instead you should read this post over at Jalopnik about real life flying cars. If you're too lazy to click, the gist is that we are inching our way toward the flying car dream. But chances that these will be everywhere by 2015? Highly unlikely. We'll still need roads. Traffic ridden, horrible roads.
So, a real actual hoverboard, just like the one in Back to the Future II, EXISTS! So what if you can't actually use it? Or stand on it? Or do anything but look at it? It's real! And pink! Someone please get the guy who created it a meeting with Mattel.
In the movie, the McFly family enjoy a nice dinner of rehydrated pizza. Dehydration and rehydration of food is still something we don't really have that much of, though we obviously have some, if you count pasta and rice and such. Or what you can score at Costco. But nothing nearly as complex as a pizza. And with the current emphasis on organic and local food fare, it doesn't seem likely to come about any time soon.
What Was Completely Wrong
Cubs winning the World Series
I know, I know. Technically it's too early to call this one a dud. There are still 5 years to go. But do you really think the Cubbies have a chance at winning the World Series from now until 2015? Especially in a sweep against the Marlins which couldn't happen since they're both in the National League. The chances of the Cubs beating the Tampa Bay Rays is even lower, they don't have anyone who can match up against Longoria or Pena. The Cubs. Hah. And, though sports owners are always looking for more ways to make money, it's doubtful that the World Series would be extended to Best out 9, which is what it would need to be for the Cubs to win in 5.
Nobody uses laser discs anymore
These babies are nowhere to be found, not even in back alleys ready to hide unconscious girlfriends in the future. I am pretty sure the last time I saw a laser disc was in my 6th grade history class. I only know of one instance that laser discs are still used today, thanks to my dad who I'm fairly sure taught Earth Science with them right up to his retirement last year. Way to keep the dream alive, pop.
Princess Diana is dead and we've still haven't had a female President
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The mention of "Queen Diana" deserves a giant sad trombone, because we all know the People's Princess died in a car accident thanks to asshole paparazzi in 1997. And the chances that we'll have a women president in 2015 are pretty slim. Unless Sarah Palin uses some of Christine O'Donnell's magic spells. One other thing it gets wrong: that we'll still have newspapers in five years.
Fax machines are the preferred form of communication
Back to the Future II asserts that sending information by fax is the most efficient way to communicate in 2015, but we now know that fax machines were only useful for a very short time, almost exactly like laser discs. Too bad Zemeckis couldn't see email or IM coming, that would have been amazing.
Pontiac dealerships are still around
According to Craig Fuller's eagle eye, there's a Pontiac dealership in the background of some shots during the hoverboard chase, which would only be possible if General Motors were to bring Pontiac back from the dead.
Double ties are an acceptable look
Check out Marty sporting that sweet double tie, because Back to the Future II is the only place you'll see 'em. There's very little chance that men's formal neckware goes in that direction in five years.