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What 'Back to the Future' got right and wrong about 2015

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THE FUTURE — According to director Robert Zemeckis and writer Bob Gale, Oct. 21, 2015, is officially the future.

That's right. When Marty McFly jumps to the future in "Back to the Future Part II," the date on the Flux Capacitor is Oct. 21, 2015. So, remember this day, humanity, because it's the day Biff Tannen is going to become the richest and most powerful man in the world.

OK, so that's probably not going to happen, but all of us who grew up with the movies loved the idea of all the cool gadgets the future offered. Now, years later, the date has finally arrived, and we have to ask the question, how closely did "Back to the Future II" predict the future?

At first glance, it seems not close at all, but truth is, the filmmakers got closer than you think. Let's take a look.

What they got wrong

Flying Cars

As badly as we all wanted this to happen, it did not. I know I'm not the only one who was still holding out hope in 2014 that some huge breakthrough would occur and we'd get our flying cars, but alas we've been waiting in vain.

"Jaws 19"In my humble opinion, which is totally right, "Jaws" is one of the greatest movies of all time. The second to fourth installments are different stories. With all that said, BTTF II predicted that 2015 would mark the release of "Jaws 19." This did not happen, for better or for worse. What did happen was this fake trailer for the movie, and we did get "Deep Blue Sea," which is basically the same caliber of a film as "Jaws 19" would have been.

Fax machines are preferred communication for business

In BTTF II, future Marty is fired from his job over fax. That one was a swing and a miss. Sure, the KSL newsroom still uses fax machines, but they like to roll old school over there. The idea that every household would be equipped with a slick-looking fax machine was all sorts of wrong.

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What they got right

Video chat

Right before Marty loses his job, he has a video chat with Needles and then his boss. This one they nailed right on the head. I don't know if the founder of Skype was a big BTTF fan and that's what sparked his creativity, but I like to believe that's what happened.

Thumbprint key

In the movie, keys are replaced with thumbprint detectors. While not everyone's door is fitted with a thumbprint reader, this technology is used every day by regular saps like you and me. Just look at your phone for the proof.

Dead celebrities in CGI

At Caf '80s, a video screen pops up and CGI versions of President Ronald Reagan and Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini argue with each other. We now have commercials with deceased celebrities and even holograms that perform on stage. I'd say BTTF II nailed this one.

In this photo taken Tuesday, June 12, 2012, a video image of the Tupac Shakur hologram is displayed on a computer monitor at the Subtractive Studio in Santa Monica, Calif. When Tupac Shakur rose from the stage in the California desert earlier this year, it was not only a jaw-dropping resurrection, but also the beginning of a new form of live entertainment.
In this photo taken Tuesday, June 12, 2012, a video image of the Tupac Shakur hologram is displayed on a computer monitor at the Subtractive Studio in Santa Monica, Calif. When Tupac Shakur rose from the stage in the California desert earlier this year, it was not only a jaw-dropping resurrection, but also the beginning of a new form of live entertainment.

Video glassesMarty's son is oblivious to just about everything going on around him because of his wearable technology. Besides the fact that things like Google Glass now exist, the movie also got the idea that people are physically present but mentally miles away due to technology is spot on.

Alternative fuel cars

Doc Brown fuels the time machine with garbage instead of gas. No, we don't really have cars that run on trash, but we do have electric cars and alternative fuel vehicles on the road today. These cars aren't as rampant as predicted in BTTF II, but they do exist. We'll give them this one.

Miami has a baseball team

A sports bulletin in the film tells the world that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. That hasn't happened, but we'll get to that one in a minute. According to the news flash, the team the Cubbies beat was a team from Miami. At the time the film was made, Miami did not have a baseball team, but they do today. Granted, the mascot was wrong — the film had a gator while the actual mascot is a Marlin — but you've got to give them props.

What they kind of got right

Cubs win World Series

So the Chicago Cubs haven't won a World Series championship since 1908. That's why the joke of them winning was so funny and painful for Cubs fans. The Cubs are currently in the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets. While the Cubs are close to playing in the World Series, things aren't looking great considering the team is currently one game away from being eliminated from the playoffs.

Miami Marlins mascot Billy the Marlin is shown before the start of a baseball game between the Miami Marlins and the New York Yankees, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Miami Marlins mascot Billy the Marlin is shown before the start of a baseball game between the Miami Marlins and the New York Yankees, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The hoverboardMany attempts and hoaxes have cropped up lately of a working version of a hoverboard. We say "kind of got it right" here, because with the help of magnets, we have something similar to a hoverboard, although we're still missing the real thing. Man, we all wish this were a real thing.

Conclusion

The conclusion to this story is that the Back to the Future series is awesome and we're pumped that the 30th anniversary Blu-ray set is now available. So go enjoy the 2015 we've been given and long for the 2015 that could have been as you watch Marty and Doc save Hill Valley time and time again.

Contributing: Mike Anderson

About the Author: John Clyde ----------------------------

John has been writing about movies, news, sports and pretty much anything awesome for more than five years. John is the co-host of the Flix Junkies podcast and will always entertain you with his stories.

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