Think how awesome it was the first time you saw a lightsaber in action. Or how your mind was officially shredded when Neo mastered the Matrix. Technology in movies is cool. When artfully filmed, gadgets, gizmos, robots, and computers can captivate and amaze audiences.
But for every thrilling example of cool tech, Hollywood seems to produce a tired, dated cliche. There's the obligatory no-cell-phone-service scene in horror flicks. There are robots with ATTITUDE in science fiction. There are impossible user interfaces in action films. The list goes on and on.
Here, then, are the top-10 tech tricks that are officially played out.
10. Zoom in! (aka, enhance!) You know the scene I'm talking about. Someone (usually a detective) loads a fuzzy photo or video into some sort of software that can manipulate images in implausible ways. Pan left! Zoom in! Bam! There's the clue we were looking for, now clearly visible. This scene was cool in "Blade Runner." Anything after 1982? Not so much. BoingBoing alerted us to this smart montage showing just how cliche this image-mapping tech trick is.
9. AI with attitude Computers and robots that talk with any sort of personality are a terrible cliche. They are also a bad idea. Examples of this tech tragedy include evil computers (HAL from 2001); sad robots (Marvin the Paranoid Android from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"); neurotic androids (C-3P0); and annoying holograms (the doctor from "Star Trek Voyager"). Even Jarvis, the computer program from "Iron Man," can get snippy.
The presence of emoting robots begs an important question: why would anyone make a machine that was capable of getting angry? Or sad, depressed, lonely, and vindictive? If taken to its logical conclusion, emoting machinery would produce a future kitchen in which my coffee pot got jealous of my tea kettle because I use it more often. I have enough problems in my life without fighting with my toaster. Leave the emotions out of machines. … Read more