WALL-E - The more I think about our increasing dependence on gadgets and machines, the more Wall-E comes to mind, when the entire human race is so lazy and helpless that we literally cannot get out of our chairs to save our own asses. Not only that, we've screwed up our own planet so bad that we leave machines behind, hoping they will clean it up for us. Wall-E takes place in the far distant future, but I think we are already there.
THE TRUMAN SHOW - Back in 1998, this was science fiction, and most of us simply saw it as Jim Carrey's first attempt at serious acting. But years later, look at the masses who tune-in to reality shit on MTV. We'd rather watch a bunch of bimbos and douchebags fight and fornicate than the work of real writers and actors. Then we turn these assholes into celebrities. I'm a teacher in the real world, and recently asked my middle school students if they knew who Paul Newman was (this was right after he died). Only three out of over a hundred students raised their hands, but nearly all of them shot their hands up when I mentioned Jersey Shore's The Situation.
BLACK SUNDAY - Back in 1976, the idea of terrorists attacking Americans on our own turf was the stuff of speculation. Then 9/11 happened.
SCHINDLER'S LIST, 12 YEARS A SLAVE and UNITED 93 - Do I even need to explain why?
THE HAPPENING - This is the most unintentionally funny film since Twilight, except for one scene, when Mark Wahlberg explains to his classroom how the disappearance of bees will screw up our whole ecosystem. Since then, I've discovered that diminishing bee populations are indeed a big real-life concern among entomologists, and it's our fault. Now I’m plagued with guilt whenever I roll up a magazine to squash the occasional rogue bee which buzzes into my house.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991) - Remember how Gaston whips the village into such a hate-mongering frenzy that they storm The Beast's castle, even though The Beast had always kept to himself and done nothing to affect them whatsoever? Replace The Beast with two gays trying to get married and you have the same scenario in real life.
JACKASS - While I hate admitting these films are pretty damned funny, I've never felt compelled to engage in such behavior myself. Still, there have been legions of impressionable idiots who go one step further and commit similar acts to post on YouTube. Of course, parents blamed Jackass for their own kids killing or injuring themselves trying to perform these stunts. I keep forgetting we live in an age when none of our own actions are actually our fault.
ANY MOVIE WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY JASON FRIEDBERG & AARON SELTZER - These two guys are the geniuses behind such cinema shit as Date Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans & Vampires Suck…lowest-common-denominator ‘parodies’ of whatever is culturally relevant at the time of their release (the fact they often satirize films released only a few months prior to their own movies is evidence of how quickly this crap is thrown together). Yet, despite their films regularly appearing on iMDB’s ongoing list of the 100 worst movies of all time, nearly all of them have turned a profit. This says less about Friedberg & Seltzer’s filmmaking skills than it does the millions of moviegoers accept this crap as satire (have any of them even heard of Blazing Saddles or Airplane?)
COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT - The more technologically-advanced our gadgets become, the less thinking we have to do for ourselves, and we fucking love it. Hell, we don't even know, or care, how the shit works, as long as it's easy to use. I just saw a commercial for the new generation of smart phones which allow you to share stuff with others simply by mashing your devices together so they can exchange the cyber-version of bodily fluids. Our technology is now smarter than we are and we don't give a damn. Colossus: The Forbin Project warned us about this over 40 years ago.
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - I cannot recall a recent movie that has brought more stupidity out of people than this one. Due to the tragic shooting incident during a midnight premiere in Colorado, theater chains around the world delayed celebrity premieres in a reactionary assumption that The Dark Knight Rises was somehow the catalyst. One idiot on ABC news even urgently identified the shooter as a Tea-Party Republication as though it were actually relevant to the story. Then there’s our beloved Rush Limbaugh, who arrogantly declared the Bane character was a swipe at Mitt Romney because the former presidential candidate was involved with Bain Capitol (even though Batman’s Bane was introduced nearly two decades before most of us ever even heard of Romney). Great research, Rush!