Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Do you know those guessing games where you visualize your goals and see yourself 5 years in the future? Where you will be, what you will be accomplishing in your career, who you will be married to (or divorced from)? My money is on the fact that you guessed wrong. No one saw COVID coming, or did they?
To break up the monotony and get relief from reality, I have been immersing myself in movies only to find that some movie plots are running parallel with events in the real world and don’t seem as far-fetched or unrealistic as they used to. I love a good conspiracy theory. Let’s get mind-fucked. I present the COVID movie line up for the remainder of 2020.
#1 Resident Evil
Under Raccoon City is a Hive that houses a genetic research facility. Scientists, workers, and their families work and live underground. A toxin is developed that turns people into the living dead ravenous for human flesh. The Umbrella Corporation is the mastermind and funding for this and many other operations. The hero, Alice, is herself altered into a science experiment while fighting against the powerful Umbrella Corporation and killing zombies along the way to end their tyranny.
Conspiracy Theory: Hives
A virus closed the world. Large companies that filled immense commercial buildings with people have down-sized and employees work remotely. It is unlikely that these office buildings will be filled the same way when COVID is in the rear-view mirror. It is more likely that they will become ‘Hives’.
These hollowed out commercial buildings will be renovated into ‘smart’ buildings that will feature floors for offices, restaurants, virtual reality rooms to experience the outdoors, gyms, apartments, grocery stores, hydroponic gardens, playgrounds - entire communities safely tucked inside the confines of one building.
Society is retreating into their homes and socializing through technology. The next evolutionary step is building a utopia that you would never have to leave. There are enough Umbrella Corporations in our world to fund such an endeavor. Investors will see the potential of creating the ‘Hive’ and receiving royalties from every business and home located within the concrete capsule of consumers that are completely dependent on the enclosed amenities.
This movie takes place 700 years in the future. People are living on a space-craft, much like the Hive, because Earth was uninhabitable due to human’s mistreatment of the planet. WALL-E is a robot commissioned to pick up the garbage and clean up the Earth so humans can come back. His name is short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth class.
Conspiracy Theory: Obese Population
We have the ‘Hive’ aspect again that was explained above, but this movie explores a perspective on how dependent people become on technology to the point of colossal lethargy. The population in Wall-E is obese because they are pushed around on electronic chairs and doted on by servant robots so they don’t have to do anything for themselves and they have no idea of what they are missing on Earth.
I have seen on more than one occasion an electronic chair being violated at a Walmart. Being overweight is not a disability, it is a choice. Technology is an enabler with convenience as the mechanism. We are losing interest to go outside and play. Most kids prefer the glowing green hue of a computer monitor or feel naked if a controller isn’t in their hands. Every kid I know wants to be a YouTuber.
Private Joe Bowers is at best an unremarkable kind of guy and does the least amount of work required on any task. He is volunteered by the military for an experiment that hibernates him and a civilian, Rita, for what was to be one year.
A flurry of uncanny events unwinds that allows the hibernation to last for 500 years instead of one. When they wake up, the world is full of changes where Carl’s Jr can take your kids and law degrees are attained at Costco. Joe is now the smartest man in the world.
Conspiracy Theory: Big Tech Domination
This movie is insanely funny. People have forgotten how to think for themselves and rely on previously created technologies. Big business has taken over education, social service affairs, and the government is littered with popular entertainment figures instead of qualified representatives.
I find it interesting that Big Tech companies are found in every business space. With the introduction of augmented reality and the Internet of Things, big companies’ presence in your daily life, as well as the governments’ is astounding and real. This is both in the US and outside countries.
Social media entities already watch your buying behaviors and suggest items that you may like or want to purchase. Your home appliances can talk to each other without your intervention. Your home can talk to the sprinkler system and see where a leak is and even set an appointment with the landscaper to fix it. Amazon has even started prebuilding smart homes. Future generations could very well be attending the Amazon School of Law and taking part in Google Healthcare.
#4 Ready Player One
The movie takes place about 24 years into the future from now. The real world is dark, chaotic and society is collapsing. James Halliday builds an OASIS in virtual reality. The population goes to the OASIS to forget about the life they know and take part in several genres of games and socialization.
People get into debt purchasing new virtual reality suits and equipment that they are sentenced to work as slaves for Big Tech companies. When Halliday dies, he leaves behind a legendary contest to find a golden egg and therefore gets control of the OASIS. This leads to several individuals and big tech companies competing for the golden egg, including our unlikely hero Wade Watts. Competition is dangerous in both worlds.
Conspiracy Theory: VR Domination
Virtual Reality (VR) is getting more accessible and less expensive. It is also getting sophisticated and real. My friend went to a fundraiser where the centerpiece was a lobster crawling out of its tank and onto your plate. He said it looked like the lobster was really there, but it was a VR display. VR is becoming mainstream for business presentations.
VR has provided the capability to have a date on the moon or hookup with a porn star. In a not so distant future, we will be able to erect a world much like the OASIS and something tells me that the person that does it will be deemed a demi-god.
About 130 years from now, the Earth’s population is deeply divided into the haves and the have nots. The rich live on a luxurious space ship called Elysium. The rest of the population lives on the ruined Earth. Social unrest builds on the Earth’s surface and our hero, Max, takes the dangerous mission to equalize the unbalance of power.
Conspiracy Theory: Big Government Control
Elysium in Greek mythology was a land of perfect happiness. Similar to what some view as heaven. The only people that could go there were the heroes that the Greek gods saw worthy. The gods would give them immortality and allow them to live our their immortal life in perpetual bliss.
In this movie, government acts much the same way as the Greek gods in annointing who was worthy to live on the space station serving as a judgemental Mount Olympus. I am one that roots for the underdogs and loved watching this play out. If that isn’t enough Matt Damon is hawt.
#6 Repo Men
This movie has one of the coolest plots ever. Medical technology has advanced allowing the purchase of artificial organs to extend people’s lives making them near immortal. However, what happens when you can’t afford to pay for your organ?
The powerful Union sends organ repo men to reclaim the organs. Unfortunately, one of the repo men, Remy, receives an artificial heart and becomes unable to pay for it. His former partner is the one that is assigned to collect.
Conspiracy Theory: Big Business Domination
The crazy thing about this is it is already happening. Several artificial organs and limbs are available that can be purchased to the tune of about $20,000. Scientists are already pioneering the process to 3D print organs. Artificial organs can replace human donors which turns transplants from chance to capitalist opportunity. I don’t think many people thought of the consequences if you were unable to pay.
#7 Total Recall
Yes, there was a remake. No, I do not acknowledge the remake. The movie to watch is the original Total Recall with Arnold Schwarzeneggar who plays a construction worker wanting more out of life. He wants to visit Mars and have an adventure.
In the future, there is a company called Rekall that can implant memories into minds to make it seem as if they really were on Mars or another other vacation. When Arnold goes for his implant, things go wrong and people end up trying to kill him as he discovers why.
Conspiracy Theory: Big Tech Domination
The interesting thing here is that scientists can implant false memories in mice brains. Would it shock you to know that they could do this in 2016? Psychiatrists can implant false memories through suggestion. This has been problematic in several court instances. Is it really so far fetched to think that REKALL may be a thing in our lifetime?
#8 Guns Akimbo
Power comes through game influencers. Miles, our hero, is a video game developer that ends up mouthing off to the wrong people. He finds himself the unwilling participant in a real-life death match that is streamed online to thousands of viewers.
Conspiracy Theory: Influencer Domination
All of us at one time or another have been brave as keyboard gangsters and lost our temper. It was in this spirit that I was curious to see the movie. I was surprised at how much I really fell in love with this movie. Game and social influencers acquire power with their following.
The more followers they get, the more businesses come to them to display ads and try products, cha-ching. The influencer culture is competitive which makes influencer desperation to stay on top of the food chain explosive and real. Even criminal.
About 15 years in the future, a programmer invents a way for humans to control other humans and see through their eyes. The control is played out in a virtual community game called Society. People that needed money to survive were soon doing unspeakable acts of depravity while controlled by their human gamers.
With the success of Society, the programmer used the same technology and created Slayers. Slayers was a first-person shooter game that used death-row inmates to be controlled by gamers of any age. The death-row inmates would volunteer to be controlled because if they won 30 matches, they received their freedom. No one ever had accomplished this.
Conspiracy: Big Tech Domination
This movie is absolutely stunning and what I feel is the most realistic depiction of what will happen. The brutality is in the dollars. The public pays to participate in the control of another's actions and see it through their eyes. These players are the quintessential keyboard gangster with no remorse, no accountability for actions, and no mercy.
The thing that stayed prominent in my mind was the Stanford Prison Experiment. The social psychology experiment divided students as guards and prisoners and locked them away in a building to see what would happen. It was scheduled to last for 2 weeks, but was terminated after 6 days.
The experiment showed that when people are placed in a powerful role it significantly alters their behavior. They will act in ways that they usually wouldn’t act in their everyday lives. The situation became an endangerment issue that caused PTSD in some of the prisoners. Now, imagine if you had license to act however you wanted while in control of another.
#10 Black Mirror: Nosedive
Plot-Dystopian Fiction/Social Satire
OK - so, it’s not a movie but it definitely deserves honorable mention. In this tale, America ranks every interaction, small or large, on social media. So, if you let someone in front of you in line or if you accidentally bump into someone - you and the person/people involved rank the interaction. The rating app syncs with augmented reality housed in your eyes.
The rank that you receive works as your credit score. The better ranking, the more access to homes, cars, clubs, and people want to be friends with you. Without a good ranking, you are a social pariah.
Conspiracy Theory: Influencer Domination
I have dutifully liked more food posts and chunky baby pictures than I will ever care to admit. The average person spends 2 ½ hours on social media per day. That is 1.5 billion people dicking around with social media for hours every single day posting, liking, and commenting.
Karen’s take dicking around very seriously. People post stories of unpleasant interactions with people all the time and condemning them - social shaming is customary if you had a poor experience. Imagine if you had the ability to rank people and render them a social outcast as a knee jerk reaction to what may not have been their best moment.
Defining someone in a split second is dangerous. We can all look to ourselves for a moment that we could have handled better. Humans are imperfect and no one can expect perfection 24/7 - we are entitled to fuck up and attempt to remedy it. Yeah, my ranking would not be socially acceptable.
#11 Mad Max
In the future, oil has dried out and been used up hurling the world into famine, chaos and societal collapse. The movie takes place in Australia. Mad Max speaks strongly to survival of the fittest and ofcourse or hero, Max, is the underdog fighting to take down the gang in a personal vendetta.
Conspiracy Theory: Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020
The looting of toilet paper was savage, ya’ll. Not Cool. Other than that, this movie has no real bearing on future events, but it is a staple in any collection.
In about 10 years, robots hold public service positions including home helpers and personal assistants. They have three basic rules to follow to keep humans safe. The business that controls the production of these robots is called US Robotics and one of the key founders commits suicide. Our hero, Del, suspects foul play and due to his dark past with robotics, does not fully trust the robots for good reason, a conspiracy is afoot.
Conspiracy Theory: Artificial Intelligence Domination
I know what you are thinking - this is going too far. Is it though? I argued for 2 hours with Alexa because she would not speak to me in an English accent as I was requesting. Something about my consumer address not being registered in England. I wanted to be a princess and would have been if Alexa wouldn’t have foiled my idea.
For those of us that have argued with Siri, Alexa, and other AI devices, the struggle is real. Currently, AI will tell us what is good for us and what we should do for many years to come. I do believe that they will reach the conclusion that we are our worst enemy and capable of harming ourselves and others. Doesn’t seem too far fetched now, does it?
Conspiracy theories and movies are a fun mix. For the record, I don’t hate technology in the least, well, maybe Alexa - but otherwise, I appreciate and am marveled by most of the advances that have been accelerated due to today’s climate and challenges. If you had an especially hard year, remember this:
Amid all of the chaos and bullshit, there is one time a year that I believe the entire world is in sync in hope and goodwill. I am speaking about the second just before New Year’s Eve happens. That moment where you hold your breath, frozen in time, welcoming the uncertainty of what is to come with positive energy. The atmosphere absolutely sizzles.
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