Movies: The Future Is Getting Old

I, Robot is a detective movie set in Chicago in the year 2035. Funny how it feels like yesterday

In movies nothing is more retro than the future. To look at old science-fiction films is to be reminded of the frailty of man's prophetic powers. Who would have guessed that some new ideas would fall out of favor (manned space travel) and some old ones would last (that 19th century gizmo the internal-combustion engine)? The fashioner of sci-fi Utopias or dystopias is advised to keep it simple and avoid embarrassment later.

Say this for I, Robot: it doesn't push the future in your face. Set in Chicago in 2035, the movie has a sensible, couple-of-years-hence look. Americans of the...

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