Weekend Watchlist | Into The Future

By The Pitt News Staff

What will the future look like? Will we develop faster-than-light travel? Will we make flying cars? Will New York City be turned into a giant prison? Film and television has looked to answer these questions for decades, and today The Pitt News staff are listing our favorite depictions of the future — good, bad and weird.

Logan’s Run (Amazon Prime) // Sinéad McDevitt, Digital Manager

Logan’s Run is an absolute classic. Released in 1976, the film takes place in the year 2274, where humanity lives in domes and everyone wears color-coordinated outfits. Unfortunately, in this society, people are killed when they turn 30 under the guise of “rebirth.”

Logan 5 (Micheal York) is responsible for catching “runners,” people who would prefer not dying and are trying to escape the city, and he’s sent undercover to find “Sanctuary,” a hideout for the runners. Logan meets Jessica 6 (Jenny Agutter) and together they set out. Logan begins to question his mission the more he sees about the outside world, though.

This film is peak ‘70s sci-fi, and it’s a great watch. Definitely give it a chance if you haven’t already.

Her (Netflix) // Patrick Swain, Staff Writer

After watching “Her,” speaking to Siri on my phone felt… different.

Spike Jonze wrote, directed and produced one of the most memorable romance movies in recent memory in 2013. The film follows a lonely protagonist (Joaquin Phoenix) in a futuristic Los Angeles. A writer by profession, specializing in penning intimate love letters for other couples, Phoenix’s character feels depressed and disillusioned with human romance as his marriage falls apart. He finds an unlikely companion in an artificially intelligent operating system capable of emulating human emotion, anthropomorphized by the voice of Scarlett Johansson. Their romance attempts to bridge the convoluted chasm between man and machine.

“Her,” a touching and thought-provoking science fiction film, asks the viewer to re-examine humankind’s relationship with technology. In a world where the sophistication of computers is continually advancing, we go to virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa and Cortana for such menial information as the weather or the capital of Assyria. “Her” describes a future where they play a greater role in our lives.

If artificial intelligence developed to become indistinguishable from human behavior, why wouldn’t the two forge a friendship — or more?

Futurama (Hulu) // Sinéad McDevitt, Digital Manager

If “Simpsons” is the show that will never die, “Futurama” is the show that keeps dying and coming back to life. The show’s seven-season run is about to continue on Hulu, so now’s the perfect time to go back and give it a watch. Or at least some highlights, because again, the show spans seven seasons and four movies.

The show follows Phillip J. Fry (Billy West), who accidentally falls into a cryogenic freezer and wakes up 3000 years in the future and ends up working at Planet Express delivery company. It features a wide cast of characters and gags galore. Sometimes the humor falls flat, but there are other times it’s laugh out loud hilarious. Then every once in a while the show makes you cry with something genuinely touching.

The two other main characters are Leela (Katey Sagal) and Bender (John DiMaggio) — a cyclops pilot and an alcoholic robot, respectively — and together the three of them make a superb comedy trio playing off the wackiest things in the universe.