Posts Tagged ‘Jack bauer’

Cell Phones In Movies And TV: What A Difference!

October 30, 2011 8 comments

"Run Lola, Run" German "Lola Rennt" Poster

I just watched the German movie “Run Lola, Run” which came out in Germany in 1998 and was struck by how different this movie would have been if the characters had cellphones.

Without getting too plot heavy (and ruining the movie) the beginning of the movie hinges on Lola being late to meet her boyfriend and because there were no payphones around she couldn’t call him to tell him about her lateness. Him also not having a cellphone meant that when Lola didn’t show up and he couldn’t find any payphones either to try calling her house or another one of their friends (there seems to have been a severe lack of payphones in Germany in the late 90s) he had to take the subway. These 2 plot points lead to the entire movie believably being able to happen.

Run Lola Run English poster

Now think about the movie happening now or even five years later. Lola would have been able to call or text her boyfriend about what happened causing her to be late. Even if she didn’t, her boyfriend would have been able to call her to find out where she was or call a friend to come pick him up. The movie’s entire plot falls apart with the presence of cell phones. People in 20 years will watch this movie and think how quaint it was that they didn’t have phones with them at all times.

This brings me to my next point of how movies and TV plots have been affected by cellphones, the TV series “24”. This was a show that began a few short years later, premiering in November of 2001 and running until May 2010 but the presence and availability of cellphones the show possible.

“24” took place within a 24 hour period and each episode of the season was one hour of that day. The protagonist, Jack Bauer, and his friends at the fictional US Government agency CTU relied on cellphones and smartphones for the plot to develop at the breakneck speed which it played out. CollegeHumor even has a video of the supposed ‘lost pilot’ of 24 from 1994. In that clip, every time Jack needs to get in touch with CTU he has to run outside of the building he is infiltrating to a payphone with a quarter to call them. When they need to get schematics of a bomb to him, they need to print it out and bike courier it to him because at 950KBs to put it on a disk would take “THREE FLOPPIES“! Check it out below:


[Direct link to the video here:]

It is simply amazing how different our world is now that we have all these devices at our fingertips. However, watch a movie or TV show from even a little more than a decade ago and it really drives home what a big difference technology makes in our day to day lives. Without cellphones and smartphones 24 would have had to have been called 48, 72, or even 168 (that’s 24*7, or a full week…I did the math on a calculator so don’t feel embarrassed if you didn’t know that offhand).

Recently, I flipped past the movie “She’s All That” on TV randomly one day and I stopped to watch a bit because I remember Rachel Leigh Cook being really hot. As I watched for a few minutes, I was struck by the differences in our society since 1999 when, in that movie, you hear a ringer go off and all the girls in the high school’s popular and rich clique walking together pull out their pagers to check who got a page! A page! Times have certainly changed haven’t they!

Shhh! People Have Already Heard That Connection/Joke With Their Name

April 24, 2011 3 comments

Hey there folks. Remember how I wrote The Dan Levy FAQ last month? Remember how part of it was all about how I have no relation to Eugene Levy and his son Dan Levy the former host of The Hills Aftershow on MTV? Well the reason for that is that when people meet me they more often than not seem to think that they are the first people who ever realized that I share the same name as that guy.

The show ‘The Hills’ was on from May 2006 to July 2010 –  somehow that’s 6 seasons – (thanks Wikipedia), I don’t know how long Dan Levy hosted The Aftershow but it was a while – I AM WELL AWARE OF HIS EXISTENCE AND THAT WE SHARE A NAME!

Have you seen the movie Office Space and how annoyed the character Michael Bolton is when the mail lady asks him about the pop singer Michael Bolton (whose music the non-famous Michael Bolton actually despises)? I have the scene linked below as the office worker Michael Bolton explains to his friend Samir why he hates Michael Bolton the singer (this is not how I feel about the other Dan Levys, my namelgängers).

Watch his face and body language when the lady asks him about Michael Bolton the singer. They really do a great job expressing the feelings we people with names similar to a celebrity feel the 18 millionth time we get asked about the similarity between our names:

PS I totally wanted to include the scene with Michael Bolton and The Bobs because it is way funnier in my opinion. Alas, I couldn’t because I couldn’t find it on YouTube. (Found plenty of pretty bad re-enactments though).

Guess what folks, that is what almost everyone in the world feels like when you make some comparison like that to someone famous or a reference to a famous song or character the first time you meet them.

For all you middle aged people or fans of Elton John/1970’s music I know there is a song by Elton John called “Daniel” which was released in 1973 and was a huge hit. I know the chorus says something about “Daniel my brother”. I don’t like the song, but I have known about it for about 20 years since a grade school librarian made the comparison when he met me after meeting my 2 older brothers.

I am sure there are a bunch of people out there who are named Jack Bauer who are sick and tired of hearing about CTU and how when they are having a crappy day it “must be the longest day of their life”. You may think you are being hilarious with your joking comparison but I promise you they stopped finding it funny years ago and are gritting their teeth to keep from punching you. In fact, the comparison to the hero of 24’s character may actually bring them to start feeling like 24’s Jack Bauer looks like he feels in the picture to the left…FED UP.

I have a friend named Jeremy, he is a HUGE Pearl Jam fan, the first time I met him I didn’t start singing the song by Pearl Jam called Jeremy. Even if he wasn’t a huge Pearl Jam fan it isn’t as if he spent that past 20 years living under a rock and no one has ever made mention of that song to him.

If you are from a country where there is a huge hit song/personality/TV show and you meet someone with the same name then OK, fine! Make the comparison – that’s somewhat different. But I beg of you as a matter of etiquette, if the comparison is something renowned in the country you’re from (or in) don’t make the reference because those people have already heard it 800 times. You are not being funny or original.

I don’t need to hear about “When the Lee-vee Breaks” (an attempt at a comparison to the Led Zeppelin song “When the Levee Breaks”) or how when I am on my way out the door I am ‘Lee-vee-ing’. That was mildly amusing the first time someone said it when I was 8.

Look, at the end of the day I am not perfectly innocent of this either. I have definitely done it before because I think it is something we all do. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a natural reaction in the attempt to remember a person’s name who you just met. (#ProTip: They say you should repeatedly use the name of a person you just met in conversation with them to better remember their name later.) But please, for all of our sakes think about it before you say it because the joke/comparison has probably been made and you are not doing anything to endear yourself to this new acquaintance.

%d bloggers like this: