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12.31.2012by: Alex Maidy

The Ten Spot: Movies that got the future wrong

As 2012 comes to a close, another major Doomsday theory has come and gone. It makes you wonder how these conspiracy nuts have not learned from Hollywood that predicting a specific future date does not always result well. In fact, some films with specific future timeframes look kind of goofy in retrospect. Here are the top ten of those films with failed futures. Add your own in the talkbacks below!

#10 - The TERMINATOR films

So, August 29, 1997 came and went without a cybernetic computer network taking over the entire world as predicted in the first two TERMINATOR movies. So, RISE OF THE MACHINES comes out and resets the date of Judgement Day to July 24, 2004 which also has come and gone with not a peep. Maybe the next TERMINATOR film will move the date again? 2006, perhaps?

#9 - Strange Days

Wow, back in 1995 it must have seemed like a good idea to set your film four years in the future and imagine that everyone will be using crazy, spider-like hats that let you experience virtual reality. I guess Y2K was scarier back when everyone used Windows 95. Despite the failure of 1999 to be the end of days, it did yield this great sci-fi crime movie.

#8 - Death Race 2000

Putting a 2000 in your title used to mean futuristic and a long way away. Now that we are a decade into the 21st Century, it just seems quaint. Alas, we do not have anything like the Transcontinental Road Race from DEATH RACE. At least THE HUNGER GAMES was smart enough to set their story in an undetermined future because if they had called it something like KATNISS 2000, it would have just sounded silly.

#7 - Timecop

When I first saw TIMECOP, I thought it was awesome, despite JCVD's mullet. Catching it again on cable recently, I had to laugh when I saw the "future" was 2004. Really? They actually thought time travel would seem realistic 10 years from 1994? Van Damme's haircut seems to travel in the opposite direction, back to 1984. Oh well, at least the movie has Ron Silver's awesome beard in a supporting role.

#6 - Escape from New York

John Carpenter's classic movie introduced the world to Snake Plissken and tried to predict a future 16 years away. Alas, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK not only gets the future wrong, it does so spectacularly. Carpenter made his sequel, ESCAPE FROM L.A. in 1996 but didn't bother messing with the dates as that movie takes place in the year 2000. At least here we have a director who sticks with his alternate timeline and owns up to it not panning out.

#5 - 2001: A Space Odyssey

One of the biggest date mistakes in movies is also one of the best movies of all time. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY makes the error of putting the future prediction as the title of the film. Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick predicted space travel on a magnificent scale and first contact with an alien entity that would change the course of mankind. Even the sequel, 2010, is clearly wrong. When will filmmakers learn that if you are going to date your movie, pull a STAR TREK and set it hundreds of years in the future, not less than 50.

#4 - 1984

Again with the year mistake. Granted, this is based on a novel written in 1949 which you can't really change for cinematic purposes, but the wrongness of the date is pretty blatant. Obviously the year was never meant to be taken literally, but here we are almost 30 years after the movie and 75 from the novel and it still has the power to disturb us. Maybe 1984 will get a pass because it is a masterpiece, but that doesn't make the date any more realistic.

#3 - Bicentennial Man

Not a great movie by any means, BICENTENNIAL MAN feels like a less accomplished version of Steven Spielberg's A.I. But, where A.I. was intelligent enough to set itself in the 22nd Century, BICENTENNIAL MAN takes place in 2005. Androids and robots as household companions back in 2005? We didn't even get color iPods until 2005! Nice try, Chris Columbus, but Isaac Asimov deserves better.

#2 - 12 Monkeys

12 MONKEYS is one of my favorite movies, so it pains me to call it out for being so wrong with dates. Released in 1995, the movie predicted an apocalyptic virus would decimate mankind in 1996. So, Terry Gilliam was essentially hoping to scare us shitless during the movie's theatrical run only to make it look kind of foolish once it hit home video. I get that James Cole travelling back within the 1990s gave the film a more immediate feel, but now you can't watch the movie with the same intensity as when it was first released. Oh well, at least it is still a brilliant film.

#1 - 2012

2012 suffers from pretty much every issue on this list. Sure, basing the film in a hokey conspiracy theory surrounding the Mayan calendar was a bad idea from the beginning, but you should probably make your movie pretty damn awesome to compensate. Instead, what we get is basically THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW meets Noah's Ark. At least Roland Emmerich's movie was able to enjoy 3 years of having the barest shred of credibility...

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+0
10:49AM on 01/07/2013

You are so wrong...

1984 was not far off...lol
1984 was not far off...lol
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8:50AM on 01/02/2013
It's worse when movies get history (that really happened) wrong. Like "U-571" for example....
It's worse when movies get history (that really happened) wrong. Like "U-571" for example....
Your Reply:



+3
7:24AM on 01/02/2013
Escape From L.A. takes place in 2013, not 2000.
Escape From L.A. takes place in 2013, not 2000.
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1:23PM on 01/01/2013

Soylent Green

Well we are now 9 years away from the year 2022. This sadly is starting to look like a reality with the over population getting worse, global warming, more land lost due to development of [link] centers, a lot of places still polluting, etc... We may hit Soylent Green level by 2060.
Well we are now 9 years away from the year 2022. This sadly is starting to look like a reality with the over population getting worse, global warming, more land lost due to development of [link] centers, a lot of places still polluting, etc... We may hit Soylent Green level by 2060.
Your Reply:



2:36AM on 01/01/2013
Ya can't help but love this movie & only Roland Emmerich could have gotten away with it.

The thing about the BTTF movies is that the concept of flying cars does exist already but it could both kill off fuel economy & not enough manpower to keep producing. If we did it would most likely put us in another ecomonic crisis. I am all for the self lacing shows & auto dry jackets, but I always thought the hoverboard was kinda fruity.
Ya can't help but love this movie & only Roland Emmerich could have gotten away with it.

The thing about the BTTF movies is that the concept of flying cars does exist already but it could both kill off fuel economy & not enough manpower to keep producing. If we did it would most likely put us in another ecomonic crisis. I am all for the self lacing shows & auto dry jackets, but I always thought the hoverboard was kinda fruity.
Your Reply:



2:32AM on 01/01/2013
Well we actually have had viruses since, but none that have ended the world, ya had Ebola, mad cow, SARS & bird flu. Anyway yes I love the movie 12 Monkeys & Brad Pitt just killed it in that movie. He definitely got robbed of an Oscar especially since it was around the time of being awarded for over the top characters.
Well we actually have had viruses since, but none that have ended the world, ya had Ebola, mad cow, SARS & bird flu. Anyway yes I love the movie 12 Monkeys & Brad Pitt just killed it in that movie. He definitely got robbed of an Oscar especially since it was around the time of being awarded for over the top characters.
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2:28AM on 01/01/2013
This movie is actually better than A:I, ya i said it, but A;I just creeped the hell out of me, even for a Speilberg movie.
This movie is actually better than A:I, ya i said it, but A;I just creeped the hell out of me, even for a Speilberg movie.
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7:56PM on 12/31/2012

Yeah I maybe the only one...

But I liked this movie way better than A.I. Never understand the outright hate for it... Its not a great film by any means, but still felt like a nice little sci-fi fairy tale.
But I liked this movie way better than A.I. Never understand the outright hate for it... Its not a great film by any means, but still felt like a nice little sci-fi fairy tale.
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+0
4:32PM on 12/31/2012
Strange Days did call a few things actually, but just where like four years behind the actual year some of those things actually happened. Just listen to that angry dude radio caller in the beginning and check off the list it's pretty crazy
Strange Days did call a few things actually, but just where like four years behind the actual year some of those things actually happened. Just listen to that angry dude radio caller in the beginning and check off the list it's pretty crazy
Your Reply:



4:10PM on 12/31/2012

One if my favorites.

First time you see it, that twist at the end is a bit of a mind fuck.
First time you see it, that twist at the end is a bit of a mind fuck.
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+6
3:15PM on 12/31/2012
I can't wait to see Back to the Future II top this list in three years. =D
I can't wait to see Back to the Future II top this list in three years. =D
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+2
3:11PM on 12/31/2012
Underrated movie!
Underrated movie!
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12:26PM on 12/31/2012

1948

Actually the auther wanted to title the film 1948 to directly connect the theme with stuff that was happening then. But the publisher thought people would be confuse so he switch two numbers to make it seem like a possible future
Actually the auther wanted to title the film 1948 to directly connect the theme with stuff that was happening then. But the publisher thought people would be confuse so he switch two numbers to make it seem like a possible future
Your Reply:



11:27AM on 12/31/2012

Escape from New York?

that movie wasn't too far off, it just shouldve been called "Escape from Detroit" (that joke was too easy to pass up)

And 2013 is the year from "Scanner Darkly", we have that to look forward to. And we still have 2 years to produce 15 more Jaws movies
that movie wasn't too far off, it just shouldve been called "Escape from Detroit" (that joke was too easy to pass up)

And 2013 is the year from "Scanner Darkly", we have that to look forward to. And we still have 2 years to produce 15 more Jaws movies
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+4
11:17AM on 12/31/2012
You realize that Time travel was discovered in 1994 in the film right? The first or second scene of the movie is them stating that it has been discovered and that they will have to police it. 2004 is just the 10 years after this so we have a framing of how long Van Damme's character has been without his wife. So the Time travel bit was not something we were capable of in the "future" but at that exact time.

Yes, Time Cop is one of my fav Van Damme movies. No i can not explain why.
You realize that Time travel was discovered in 1994 in the film right? The first or second scene of the movie is them stating that it has been discovered and that they will have to police it. 2004 is just the 10 years after this so we have a framing of how long Van Damme's character has been without his wife. So the Time travel bit was not something we were capable of in the "future" but at that exact time.

Yes, Time Cop is one of my fav Van Damme movies. No i can not explain why.
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+1
11:07AM on 12/31/2012
The future cars in this movie look like windowless dust-busters. WTF
The future cars in this movie look like windowless dust-busters. WTF
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+1
11:03AM on 12/31/2012

Great movie

I always find it strange when a movie sets itself in the future, but that future is less than a decade from the year the movie is filmed, yet the world of the movie has a lot of crazy tech and societal changes that would take way longer than 5 or 6 years to achieve.
I always find it strange when a movie sets itself in the future, but that future is less than a decade from the year the movie is filmed, yet the world of the movie has a lot of crazy tech and societal changes that would take way longer than 5 or 6 years to achieve.
Your Reply:



8:59AM on 12/31/2012
We do have those robotic vacuums.
We do have those robotic vacuums.
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8:55AM on 12/31/2012
Dat ass!
Dat ass!
Your Reply:



7:52AM on 12/31/2012
Southland tales suffered this same problem as well. The technology in the film still doesn't exist and was set in 2008!
Southland tales suffered this same problem as well. The technology in the film still doesn't exist and was set in 2008!
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+15
7:35AM on 12/31/2012
I'm surprised the validity of the date has anything at all to do with how you view the movie. I have never taken any futuristic movie as a "what if we're heading in that direction" sort of thing. I always take them at face value, and determine their worth based on how good they are, judged by their own merits. Is the story good? Is the acting good? Is the cinematography good? If I want to get scared by accuracy, then I'll watch a documentary.
I'm surprised the validity of the date has anything at all to do with how you view the movie. I have never taken any futuristic movie as a "what if we're heading in that direction" sort of thing. I always take them at face value, and determine their worth based on how good they are, judged by their own merits. Is the story good? Is the acting good? Is the cinematography good? If I want to get scared by accuracy, then I'll watch a documentary.
Your Reply:



4:13PM on 12/31/2012
How do I give two thumbs up for that last line?
How do I give two thumbs up for that last line?
7:32AM on 12/31/2012
Death Race 2000 will get always a green from me.
Some people claim that Death Race really did come about. It is called reality TV with all of its violence and degradation. However, does television yet have a show exactly like the Transcontinental Road Race? No, not yet.
Death Race 2000 will get always a green from me.
Some people claim that Death Race really did come about. It is called reality TV with all of its violence and degradation. However, does television yet have a show exactly like the Transcontinental Road Race? No, not yet.
Your Reply:



7:09AM on 12/31/2012
You guys have two years to give us self-lacing Nikes, and we demand it!
You guys have two years to give us self-lacing Nikes, and we demand it!
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4:37AM on 12/31/2012

I was more impressed with Animal Farm than 1984.

I just hated and despised Winston Smith's cowardice. Plus this is the book that really gave rise to the government is watching us conspiracy theorists. In terms on novels that were prophetic of society, I'd say Fahrenheit 451 came closer.
I just hated and despised Winston Smith's cowardice. Plus this is the book that really gave rise to the government is watching us conspiracy theorists. In terms on novels that were prophetic of society, I'd say Fahrenheit 451 came closer.
Your Reply:



+8
4:19AM on 12/31/2012

Great list. Lots of nostalgia.

Also great news that none of those future scenarios actually was proven accurate.
Also great news that none of those future scenarios actually was proven accurate.
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+5
2:35AM on 12/31/2012
Great list. It is funny to think of all the stuff we imagined would be in the future and then not have all those radical changes, but at the same time it's fun to see how far we have actually come. At least we have computers that fit in the palms of our hands now. Hmmm, how close to The Matrix will we be in the year 2199?
Great list. It is funny to think of all the stuff we imagined would be in the future and then not have all those radical changes, but at the same time it's fun to see how far we have actually come. At least we have computers that fit in the palms of our hands now. Hmmm, how close to The Matrix will we be in the year 2199?
Your Reply:



1:12AM on 12/31/2012
Good list, and when it comes to video games, you can't forget the classic Mega Man 2 setting the future in the distant year of 2009!!!
Good list, and when it comes to video games, you can't forget the classic Mega Man 2 setting the future in the distant year of 2009!!!
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7:35PM on 12/31/2012
Not to sound TOO nerdy, but Mega Man 2 takes place in 200X, so it could take place technically in any year within a 10 year span....unless 'X' is a totally different year altogether. ;)
Not to sound TOO nerdy, but Mega Man 2 takes place in 200X, so it could take place technically in any year within a 10 year span....unless 'X' is a totally different year altogether. ;)

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