2015: Released in 1989, Back to the Future Part II played with the space-time continuum as Marty McFly traveled forward to 2015, then back to 1955, then forward again to 1985. Its vision of the future, however, is a smorgasbord of whiz-bang inventions. In the fictional Hill Valley, California, of 2015, you can buy self-drying clothes, self-lacing shoes and drive a flying car. Books do not have dust jackets (but note: there still are books). In earlier drafts of the script, there was a plot line that involved a new form of credit card: your thumb. The most famous invention of 2015, though, is the “hoverboard,” a skateboard that levitates over the ground; at the time of the film’s release, many fans called the production studio asking where they could obtain one. Lastly, the Chicago Cubs finally end their century-plus quest to win the World Series in 2015.
A darker side of 2015 was predicted in Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop (1987). Detroit is in shambles, overtaken by crime and an evil corporation with plans to demolish the decrepit city center. Cops shot by nefarious crime bosses are resurrected as half-man, half-machine law-enforcement cyborgs. Though Detroit has had its share of troubles, will this be the future of policing? In the film’s two sequels that bring us to the close of the decade, the answer is “yes.”
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