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View Full Version : Outdated Technology or Cultural Trends that You Notice in Movies?


jeffbase34
07-20-09, 11:31 AM
As times change, and movies age, outdated technology or cultural trends can really stand out. Can you name some examples? Perhaps the best one is Gordon Gekko’s brick cell phone.

I watched Diehard last night on blu-ray, and noticed a few things that amused me:


Mcclain is seen puffing and smoking away in the airport.

Mcclain tries to locate his wife through a computer touch screen toted as high tech for the Nakatomi plaza.

All the computer screens are monochrome green on black

Groucho
07-20-09, 11:32 AM
Movies made in the first half of the 20th century where all the men wear a coat, tie, and hat.

Ash Ketchum
07-20-09, 12:01 PM
What's the last movie about a newspaper reporter where they still use a typewriter?

That would be an interesting thing to identify.

Or the last movie with a rotary phone.

Or the last movie where you see somebody change the channel on a TV by manually turning a dial.

Solid Snake
07-20-09, 12:53 PM
Fight Club had a rotary phone...

I think Superman Returns had a typewriter in there somewhere....

Damfino
07-20-09, 12:54 PM
Late 80s movies with brick style cell phones.

Elevator operators in office buildings

Fabric counters in department stores

Characters meeting at an Automat for lunch.

Rockmjd23
07-20-09, 12:55 PM
Black and white movies where literally every character smokes.

Groucho
07-20-09, 12:57 PM
I recently saw a movie where the man broke up with the lady over dinner. My kids were flabbergasted. "Why didn't he just order a hit in Mafia Wars?"

MoviePage
07-20-09, 01:13 PM
The changed attitudes toward smoking is definitely something I notice. I watched Carrie a few days ago, and one of the first uses of her powers in the movie is when she flips the ashtray full of cigarette butts and ashes off the school principal's desk.

I also notice the lack of technology in older films. For example, characters in situations where the entire plot could be resolved if only they had a cellphone. :lol:

islandclaws
07-20-09, 01:23 PM
I always laugh at what passed for a swimsuit on men back in the 30's/40's.

Darth Maher
07-20-09, 01:27 PM
The changed attitudes toward smoking is definitely something I notice.

I especially like when characters are smoking... IN OUTER SPACE!!!!!

Like, isn't your oxygen kind of limited on a spaceship already??? Hilarious!

Groucho
07-20-09, 01:31 PM
I especially like when characters are smoking... IN OUTER SPACE!!!!!

Like, isn't your oxygen kind of limited on a spaceship already??? Hilarious!"Thank God we invented the..."

Palaver
07-20-09, 01:43 PM
My kids were flabbergasted. "Why didn't he just order a hit in Mafia Wars?"

I'm starting to feel a little culturally outdated myself. I don't even know what this means. :sad:

RichC2
07-20-09, 01:46 PM
I'm starting to feel a little culturally outdated myself. I don't even know what this means. :sad:

It's a text oriented game played on Facebook.

Groucho
07-20-09, 01:51 PM
I always laugh at movies set "in the future" when they consult the computer -- and it's a room full of reel-to-reel tape and blinking lights.

dugan
07-20-09, 02:05 PM
The DVD commentary for A Nightmare On Elm Street pointed one out. "This dates the movie. You can smoke in a clinic?"

jeffbase34
07-20-09, 02:06 PM
I especially like when characters are smoking... IN OUTER SPACE!!!!!

Like, isn't your oxygen kind of limited on a spaceship already??? Hilarious!

Lol, Battlestar Galactica takes it one step further. The doctor on the spaceship is a chain smoker.

UAIOE
07-20-09, 02:30 PM
The movie "Hackers" where they are all drooling over at 28.8k modem.

Broadband seems to have spoiled me.

DthRdrX
07-20-09, 03:54 PM
How about the Iomega like zip disc in the first Mission Impossible movie or the Floppy discs in various others. (The Negotiator)

Rockmjd23
07-20-09, 03:59 PM
If they made another Ring sequel it would be really out of date with haunted videotapes. Maybe this time it can be a possessed Blu Ray that kills you if you haven't updated your firmware.

RobLutter
07-20-09, 04:29 PM
Lots of films from the 80s seem dated because of the fad music of the time.

Any film that takes place wholly or in-part "IN THE FUTURE" when the date is either close or has gone by altogether (2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010, Demolition Man, Terminator 1/2 [Judgement Day was in 98' iirc :) ], Escape from NY, and we're almost there for Back to the Future 2). I don't understand why directors don't push out the dates a little more ;)

Smoking in space isn't a big deal... perhaps in the future smoking is more acceptable, who knows! :)

PopcornTreeCt
07-20-09, 04:34 PM
If they made another Ring sequel it would be really out of date with haunted videotapes. Maybe this time it can be a possessed Blu Ray that kills you if you haven't updated your firmware.

:lol:

Zen Peckinpah
07-20-09, 04:43 PM
Love how Escape from New York has 1988 being the downfall of the U.S. and the story's set in 1997.

A reverse statement of this would be RoboCop with the DVD-like video disc Dick Jones makes for Bob Morton.

AnonomusBob15
07-20-09, 04:46 PM
Life in general before cell phones. This is a rather good thing though.

PopcornTreeCt
07-20-09, 04:52 PM
Life in general before cell phones. This is a rather good thing though.

I watch Mad Men and fantasize about living in that era.

Josh-da-man
07-20-09, 05:02 PM
Women having untrimmed pubes.

Rival11
07-20-09, 05:05 PM
"Thank God we invented the..."

.....Electronic Cigarette

Drexl
07-20-09, 05:30 PM
If they made another Ring sequel it would be really out of date with haunted videotapes. Maybe this time it can be a possessed Blu Ray that kills you if you haven't updated your firmware.

Heck, I thought the first Ring was kind of dated then. Hadn't DVD overtaken VHS by 2002? Even if not, you'd think they'd see it would happen soon.

tanman
07-20-09, 06:34 PM
As someone mentioned Back to the Future 2 looked so futuristic then and now it looks very cheesy. That might be because of me growing up too though.

Star Trek is very guilty of this. But then again it's really cool to see how much of the stuff that was futuristic then is common place now.

Groucho
07-20-09, 06:44 PM
I believe I've made this observation before, but the scene in Back to the Future where Marty tries to order a drink at the diner and the guy has no idea what he's talking about is doubly hilarious because the same thing would happen today.

"Hey pal, what's with the life preserver?"
"I can't put it on your tab, you haven't ordered yet!"
"No you can't have a Pepsi free, you have to pay for it!"

Rockmjd23
07-20-09, 06:47 PM
I still want to know how to play Wild Gunman without your hands.

chowderhead
07-20-09, 08:32 PM
War Games .. good movie but the screens and the computers makes me cringe.

MoviePage
I also notice the lack of technology in older films. For example, characters in situations where the entire plot could be resolved if only they had a cellphone.

they still have those ... it's every slasher movie where the cell phone goes dead or out of range when the hero/victim needs it the most.

Dean Kousoulas
07-20-09, 08:54 PM
I watch Mad Men and fantasize about living in that era.

You're not the only one. Sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong decade :lol:

Tracer Bullet
07-20-09, 09:56 PM
I believe I've made this observation before, but the scene in Back to the Future where Marty tries to order a drink at the diner and the guy has no idea what he's talking about is doubly hilarious because the same thing would happen today.

"Hey pal, what's with the life preserver?"
"I can't put it on your tab, you haven't ordered yet!"
"No you can't have a Pepsi free, you have to pay for it!"

:lol:

Tracer Bullet
07-20-09, 09:58 PM
You're not the only one. Sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong decade :lol:

Yeah that was a great era. Rampant racism, sexism, and homophobia, ever-present spectre of nuclear annihilation, death-trap cars, no A/C, and three television channels. ;)

writer106
07-20-09, 10:54 PM
The changed attitudes toward smoking is definitely something I notice. I watched Carrie a few days ago, and one of the first uses of her powers in the movie is when she flips the ashtray full of cigarette butts and ashes off the school principal's desk.

I also notice the lack of technology in older films. For example, characters in situations where the entire plot could be resolved if only they had a cellphone. :lol:

I also noticed that scene in Carrie too. The other day on the IMDB boards for the 2002 remake one poster noted that in the remake Carrie only moves the desk because smoking would no longer be allowed in school in recent times. In the 1976 version of Carrie she looks for information on her powers in the library using a card catalog. In the remake she uses the Internet.

Numanoid
07-21-09, 12:40 AM
CRT monitors. I mean seriously...CRT monitors?! Astounding!

Giantrobo
07-21-09, 01:13 AM
When I look at old films I'm amazed at the lack of Non-Whites. For instance, apparently the Common Domesticated North American Negro only started appearing regularly near Movie cameras sometime in the late 60's and early 70's. Before this they were only rumored to exist.

Superboy
07-21-09, 03:22 AM
I believe I've made this observation before, but the scene in Back to the Future where Marty tries to order a drink at the diner and the guy has no idea what he's talking about is doubly hilarious because the same thing would happen today.

"Hey pal, what's with the life preserver?"
"I can't put it on your tab, you haven't ordered yet!"
"No you can't have a Pepsi free, you have to pay for it!"

Oh man... rotfl

JZ1276
07-21-09, 03:39 AM
Life in general before cell phones. This is a rather good thing though.

agreed.cellphones and bottled water need to go.

Ash Ketchum
07-21-09, 06:25 AM
Yeah that was a great era. Rampant racism, sexism, and homophobia, ever-present spectre of nuclear annihilation, death-trap cars, no A/C, and three television channels. ;)

Ahhhhh...the good ol' days. (Of course, where I lived, there were seven TV channels! What a luxury.) :hippie:

Tracer Bullet
07-21-09, 11:57 AM
When I look at old films I'm amazed at the lack of Non-Whites. For instance, apparently the Common Domesticated North American Negro only started appearing regularly near Movie cameras sometime in the late 60's and early 70's. Before this they were only rumored to exist.

What are you talking about? Haven't you ever seen an older movie with a scene set in a hotel?

Ash Ketchum
07-21-09, 12:33 PM
When I look at old films I'm amazed at the lack of Non-Whites. For instance, apparently the Common Domesticated North American Negro only started appearing regularly near Movie cameras sometime in the late 60's and early 70's. Before this they were only rumored to exist.

Black actors worked much more in the 1930s and '40s than they did in the '50s and early '60s. Granted, they were usually playing maids, butlers, porters, servants, etc., but they were in lots of movies. Just check out the credits for these actors: Clarence Muse, Hattie McDaniel, Sam McDaniel, Louise Beavers, Willie Best, Nicodemus Stewart, Theresa Harris, Jeni LeGon, Lillian Randolph, and the notorious Stepin Fetchit. Fetchit and Best specialized in stereotyped roles, but if you check out Muse's career, he played a lot of non-stereotyped roles in his long career. Same with Harris. There are many more I could name, but that should give you a start.

Snowmaker
07-21-09, 01:09 PM
What's the last movie about a newspaper reporter where they still use a typewriter?

That would be an interesting thing to identify.

Zodiac

Giantrobo
07-21-09, 01:13 PM
What are you talking about? Haven't you ever seen an older movie with a scene set in a hotel?

Don't be fooled. Those were White actors in Blackface.

Giantrobo
07-21-09, 01:16 PM
Black actors worked much more in the 1930s and '40s than they did in the '50s and early '60s. Granted, they were usually playing maids, butlers, porters, servants, etc., but they were in lots of movies. Just check out the credits for these actors: Clarence Muse, Hattie McDaniel, Sam McDaniel, Louise Beavers, Willie Best, Nicodemus Stewart, Theresa Harris, Jeni LeGon, Lillian Randolph, and the notorious Stepin Fetchit. Fetchit and Best specialized in stereotyped roles, but if you check out Muse's career, he played a lot of non-stereotyped roles in his long career. Same with Harris. There are many more I could name, but that should give you a start.

Bah, that's all retconned nonsense created on the Interwebs back in the 70's to throw Non-Whites off as they became more aware of their lack of presence in films.

Non-Whites gainfully employed in the 30's and 40's, indeed.

arminius
07-21-09, 03:13 PM
Bah, that's all retconned nonsense created on the Interwebs back in the 70's to throw Non-Whites off as they became more aware of their lack of presence in films.

Non-Whites gainfully employed in the 30's and 40's, indeed.
What year did non whites figure out how to use a camera?;)

MoviePage
07-21-09, 03:32 PM
Yeah that was a great era. Rampant racism, sexism, and homophobia, ever-present spectre of nuclear annihilation, death-trap cars, <strike>no</strike> choice between having A/C and not destroying the planet, and three thousand television channels. ;)

Fixed for the world of 2009.

Giantrobo
07-21-09, 03:46 PM
What year did non whites figure out how to use a camera?;)

They never did. They just hire Whites to do it. Pay attention man...

Mondo Kane
07-21-09, 04:13 PM
Black actors worked much more in the 1930s and '40s than they did in the '50s and early '60s. Granted, they were usually playing maids, butlers, porters, servants, etc., but they were in lots of movies.

And at least the girls were allowed to be topless (http://www.grindhousedatabase.com/index.php/Forbidden_Adventure/Press_Kit) before whites could be!

Brian T
07-21-09, 08:17 PM
"Virtual Reality" in many movies before THE MATRIX got it right.

I'm thinking VIRTUOSITY, ARCADE, JOHNNY MNEMONIC, HACKERS, DISCLOSURE, GHOST IN THE MACHINE, LAWNMOWER MAN, etc. None of these were particularly bad movies, but I just got so sick of the "helmet n' visors" routine after awhile. No matter how they dolled up the protagonists' visions with CGI, if you thought about it for just a second from the perspective of each film's reality (i.e., the world the characters inhabited, not the virtual world they "entered") it almost always boiled down to a guy (or girl) strapped into some machine staring at projected images in front of their eyes. Not very suspenseful even then. Once THE MATRIX moved the 'visions' inside their heads (and bodies, to an extent, as when characters would die in either environment), the threat became much more believable, and thus suspenseful.

Mr. Cinema
07-21-09, 08:51 PM
they still have those ... it's every slasher movie where the cell phone goes dead or out of range when the hero/victim needs it the most.
Well, the phones are usually Nokias...

Mr. Cinema
07-21-09, 08:55 PM
It's been awhile since I've seen it, but the original Bad News Bears had a few racist lines that certainly wouldn't work today. Especially a movie about kids playing baseball. I believe Tanner makes a few remarks that would be red flagged.

al_bundy
07-22-09, 10:33 AM
in some of the old movies they had public phones in the street that people used

Groucho
07-22-09, 10:37 AM
in some of the old movies they had public phones in the street that people usedSeems handy if you want to text a friend and you left your phone at home.

Ash Ketchum
07-22-09, 10:41 AM
Seems handy if you want to text a friend and you left your phone at home.

Can you text with a pay phone? -confused-

Drexl
07-22-09, 12:26 PM
Can you text with a pay phone? -confused-

Sure, but it's hard because they don't have screens to show you what you're typing.

zekeburger1979
07-22-09, 12:53 PM
I watch Mad Men and fantasize about Christina Hendricks, January Jones and Julie Niven.

Fixed that for you. :)

The first one I thought of was War Games.

Demolition Man with the tickets for swearing in public and the only fast food restaurant is Taco Bell.

mndtrp
07-22-09, 07:06 PM
All the woman-slappin' seems to have gone away. It's pretty hard to get through a movie from the 50's or 60's without seeing at least one woman get slapped at least once.

DieselsDen
07-22-09, 07:23 PM
All the woman-slappin' seems to have gone away. It's pretty hard to get through a movie from the 50's or 60's without seeing at least one woman get slapped at least once.

The last time I saw a guy smack a girl was in STREETS OF FIRE, when the Tom Cody character punched (as in closed fist to the jaw) out Ellen Aim (played by a sexy Diane Lane) just to keep her safe. Back in 1984, it was surprising, but almost humorous. My wife watched it for the first time on cable and found it offensive (not to mention that she hated the movie).

writer106
07-23-09, 01:06 AM
Characters going to libraries to research people or events in past movies is now outdated because of the Internet.