(Pocket-lint) – Hollywood isn’t the same today as it was years ago. Modern technology has made many of the problems faced in older movie plotlines irrelevant by today’s standards.
Here are some movies that just wouldn’t work with the likes of smartphones, social networking and all the other modern cultural advances technology has afforded us.
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Set in 2021 Johnny Mnemonic is a science fiction film about a smuggler who stores valuable information in his brain. His brain was able to store 80GB – something that now seems pretty small for the mighty human brain.
All he’d need to do now is buy himself a 128GB thumb drive and he could store even more and wouldn’t have to worry about frying his brain in the process. In fact, everyone could do it, making his particular brand of smuggling obsolete.
Toy Story (1995)
Toys that come to life and get up to adventures when no one is around is a great story. But in a world with home security cameras, nanny cams, baby monitors and smartphones galore we think Woody and pals would soon have been caught in the act.
The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)
It’s all too easy to look people up online nowadays. A simple Google search or a scour of social media and Matt Damon’s masquerade would have fallen apart. He looks nothing like Jude Law after all.
Forest Gump (1994)
Another movie problem solved by simply looking up directions on a mobile phone.
Forrest could have easily found the directions to Jenny’s house by using Google Maps and solved a whole lot of hassle.
Marion could have avoided a whole lot of drama if she’d booked a hotel room online or just checked Trip Advisor for previous reviews rather than randomly stopping off at the creepy Bates Motel. Problem avoided.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen this. The main suspect in a boat’s destruction and multiple deaths is the man sitting in the police interview chair. Yet he escapes after weaving an intricate web of lies.
If the police had modern facial recognition and CCTV cameras everywhere he would have been recognised the second he walked in the door. The fact he’s played by Kevin Spacey is also a huge giveaway that he’s going to be a bad guy, but they weren’t to know that.
Lots of diverse lives intersect after a carjacking kicks it all off. A car crash later also brings two characters together.
With self-driving cars, none of that would have happened. Carjackings will be a thing of the past as only the car owner will be able to start and be driven by the vehicle. As for crashes, as if, machines don’t make mistakes. Right?
Sixteen Candles (1984)
The premise of 1984’s Sixteen Candles is simple enough.
Everyone forgets Sam’s birthday because they’re busy worrying about her sister’s wedding. In a world where Facebook automatically notifies you of a friend’s birthday, this would have been a complete non-issue unless all her friends and family were ignorant and rude of course.
Pretty Woman (1990)
The events of Pretty Woman would have never happened if Edward had just looked up where he was going on his phone and not just stopped to ask for directions.
Life would have been far less eventful, perhaps that means we should keep our eyes off our screens and pay more attention to the world around us.
Jurassic Park (1990)
If the park managers had thought to fit all the dinosaurs with GPS tracking devices there might have been far fewer hiccups in Jurassic Park.
Phone Booth (2003)
In Phone Booth, Stuart Shepard uses the last remaining public phone booth to call the woman he’s having an affair with. Things take a dark turn when an incoming call to the public phone includes threats to his life and those around him.
With the rise of mobile phones, phone booths are basically extinct. Stu would no doubt have just used a burner phone or instant messaging to keep in touch with his lover and never have put himself in harm’s way in the first place.
One Hour Photo (2002)
In the good old days, before the advent of digital cameras and smartphones, people had to go to get their photos developed at a drugstore or supermarket. In One Hour Photo, Robin Williams played a technician at one of these places who creepily stalked his customers.
In the modern era, he wouldn’t have had a chance to pry, unless he worked at a phone repair shop or had the skills to hack iCloud.
The premise of the Scream movies sees a killer calling his victim’s landline before wreaking havoc. Since the film was released, caller ID has become commonplace and landlines are all but obsolete. And does anyone actually answer calls from unknown numbers anymore? We certainly don’t.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
If you were worried your baby might be the spawn of satan, a quick ultrasound at your local hospital should be enough to clear things up. Sure, it might not solve all the problems but it would certainly put a twist in the plot.
Falling Down (1993)
When a man is tipped over the edge during a traffic-filled commute to work, he goes on a gun-toting rampage.
If he had Wi-Fi at home he would never have been in the traffic in the first place. He had actually lost his job and was pretending to commute, making it even worse. With the internet to help job-hunt he may have found a new career and happiness instead of that Uzi and a whole bunch of rage.
Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)
Two stoners spend a day adventuring around town looking for their car.
Google now automatically remembers where you left your car and can guide you to it using Google Maps. Dude, there’s your car.
Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard, if you don’t know, is about a cop trapped in a building full of terrorists. He can’t alert the authorities before it all kicks off as the phone lines are cut. He has to steal a radio and get to the roof to transmit, and even then he’s mostly ignored.
If John McClane and all the workers in that building had smartphones the problem would be over before it started with a quick call to the police. And if they didn’t believe the callers then an accompanying photo or video of maniacs with machine guns should do the trick. But then McClane wouldn’t know what it feels like to be a TV dinner and we’d have missed out on Die Hard.
Romeo and Juliet (1996)
In both the Baz Luhrmann film and the original Shakespeare play, the star crossed lovers died after a communication breakdown. Juliet takes a potion to fake death but Romeo doesn’t know this and, thinking he’s found her dead, takes his own life – she awakes to find him dead and does the same.
This bloodbath could have been avoided with a nice quick Snapchat. Juliet downing the potion with a caption “fake death fun, waking soon, LOL” and Romeo would have been in on the plan. How the expressive Romeo could contain his verbose reply in just a 10-second video is a whole different matter.
A man with no short-term memory, on the hunt for his wife’s killer, tattoos his body to remember the clues he’s uncovered.
A simple Facebook update would have kept him, and the wider world, aware of his progress. He could even use digital photos, rather than the Polaroids he had, to help save the environment while he was at it.
An Affair to Remember (1957)
A couple meet but are both in relationships, they fall for each other and agree to dump their other halves and meet again in 6 months atop the Empire State building.
Tinder, the dating app, would have had them paired up with their ideal partner in the first place so that whole mess would never need happen.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Bond is up against media mogul Elliot Carver who plans to bring about a war between China and the UK, using the news.
News manipulation on a scale shown here would be near impossible with the transparency of Twitter. Anyone close to the truth could tweet what was going on and Bond would never have had to even open the door on his Aston Martin.
Though we have seen the governments of foreign nations influenced by foreign agents using social media, so maybe that’s a solution.
Home Alone (1990)
When 8-year-old Kevin McCallister gets mistakenly left at home over Christmas he has to defend his house from burglars.
If only the clearly rich homeowners had kitted it out with a modern alarm system that automatically calls the police in the event of a burglary. Perhaps that would have sent Joe Pesci into a different life of crime though, as a gangster, say.
Alternatively, he could have just WhatsApp’d his parents to ask where they were.
High Fidelity (2000)
John Cusack plays a record shop owner who, after being dumped, recounts his top five breakups including the one that is ongoing in order to work out where he’s going wrong.
With Facebook he could have easily trawled his past relationships and experiences for a more balanced perspective outside of his own memory. He could also probably contact the ex-girlfriends and just ask them directly. Though we don’t recommend this to anyone in that situation.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
After the big bad bank owner decides to turn down George Bailey for a loan to keep his community savings and loan company open the town is in trouble.
Modern crowd-funding websites would have let George make short work of making the money elsewhere. A quick story about how he was visited by an angel would have probably helped too. Or not.
Writing by Luke Edwards and Adrian Willings.