Today’s Pondering~It’s All in the Movies…
I used to find Merle Haggard’s words comforting. Songs like Silver Wings, If We Make it Through December, and Mama Tried echoed through my childhood as my father was and I suppose, still is, a huge Merle Haggard fan. I took the news of Merle’s death pretty hard as it represented the loss of someone that was almost like family to me. It also occurred pretty close to the time that we lost Prince, my other favorite. All of the music I’d grown up listening to was tied directly to these two performers. Their words were forever burned into my soul. But this isn’t a post about music. I’ll get to that at a later time. This post is about my other favorite pastime and some recommendations I have for you. So, if you’re in need of a spark or just looking for something to stir you emotionally, intellectually, psychologically, etc. in these days of utter confusion and chaos, allow me to present my list of the best somewhat prophetic science-fiction films ever made (or at least between 1972 and today).
Top Ten Somewhat Prophetic Sci-Fi Movies (In no particular order)
- The Terminator-A human soldier is sent from 2029 to 1984 to stop an almost indestructible cyborg killing machine, sent from the same year, which has been programmed to execute a young woman whose unborn son is the key to humanity’s future salvation. Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield. One of my favorite movies of all-time. Sadly, I see articles from time to time that make me wonder how much of this movie could really happen. Articles about robots and how scientists are working to give them facial expressions and mannerisms that would make them difficult to identify as anything other than human.
- The Matrix-When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth–the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence. Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving. This movie gets more jarring the more times you watch it. When it was released in 1999, it seemed like something that could possibly happen but not really. Today, watching this classic might cause you to scratch your head and wonder when it suddenly turned into a documentary.
- 12 Monkeys-In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet. Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Joseph Melito. When I first saw this one, I was immediately anxious about how easily the main character is branded as “crazy” and how difficult it was for him to uncover the truth that had been so carefully hidden by those in power. Rings more and more familiar each day.
- I Am Legend-Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure. Director: Francis Lawrence | Stars: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan, Salli Richardson-Whitfield. This movie is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time. I really felt like Will Smith played this main character well and that this depiction of a society in the aftermath of complete destruction was fairly close to what it would look like if we were to suffer this fate. I’ve noticed that many of the plots in these movies are about ten years off from the actual real-life manifestations. This one was released in 2007, so that’s about right if you think about all that we’ve been going through since 2019. We may not have had actual zombies to deal with, but some days I’m not so sure about that.
- Divergent-In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late. Director: Neil Burger | Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet. The scary part here is that all of the division in this film is based on “virtues.” So, the whole virtue signaling thing that we’ve been seeing these days might be cause for alarm. If a certain group relegates you to a certain kind of work or lifestyle, you have no recourse. And if you go against what they want for you, they’ll come after you and either dispose of you or drug you to the point where you no longer have your free will. And remember, free will is a gift to us from God. He granted us that. So, when I hear people in the news saying they want to do away with that, it causes me a smidge of concern.
- The Giver-In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world. Director: Phillip Noyce | Stars: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep. This adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel of the same name is truly disturbing. The whole baby disposal piece is probably the part that bothered me the most. Everyone was supposed to take their “pills” each day so that they remained compliant. And they were not to question what the government said at any time. Sound familiar?
- I, Robot-In 2035, a technophobic cop investigates a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot, which leads to a larger threat to humanity. Director: Alex Proyas | Stars: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood. Another film that bring the idea of robots taking over the world to the forefront. As our society has become more and more automated, it has become clear that the next big step will, indeed, be toward using AI more abundantly and eventually replacing the human aspect of most things. Dealing with human beings seems to be a bother for the upper crust, so they are working diligently to make staying in your home and away from everyone else your only option. Thankfully, many of us are too stubborn to allow them to just fade away.
- Bicentennial Man-An android endeavors to become human as he gradually acquires emotions. Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill. This is actually one of my favorite movies. But again, the idea of giving robots facial expressions and human mannerisms is troubling. In fiction, it’s cute but in real life, it makes you wonder how long this plan has been in place.
- After Earth-A crash landing leaves Kitai Raige and his father Cypher stranded on Earth, a millennium after events forced humanity’s escape. With Cypher injured, Kitai must embark on a perilous journey to signal for help. Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Jaden Smith, David Denman, Will Smith. Even though almost nobody likes this movie, I found it interesting. I’m always intrigued by movies where a long-standing belief or secret has controlled the actions and thoughts of others and how one brave soul seeks to break free from the narrative. So, while it may not be as startling as some of the others, it certainly makes you think about the things we’ve always been told to fear and what those longstanding directives are rooted in.
- Starship Troopers-Humans in a fascist, militaristic future wage war with giant alien bugs. Director: Paul Verhoeven | Stars: Casper Van Dien, Denise Richards, Dina Meyer. Another look at what society might look like in the future. Just interesting to me. Maybe not as dark as others, but the thing that struck me funny was the style of the music. I hear tones of that in some of today’s stuff. But maybe that’s just me.
Movies like these always make me wonder. How much do they really know behind the scenes? I’m a writer and to elaborately plan all of these stories without some model for inspiration seems impossible. Maybe I’m not that great a writer? Or maybe there’s just more truth to some of this stuff than anyone cares to admit. The point is that over time, we see so many things that once seemed impossible coming to fruition. And as we see those things happen, we look back to when they were being portrayed in movies and we thought to ourselves, “that could never happen.” I can’t count the number of times lately that I’ve said to myself, “They actually showed us this a long time ago.”
I have never really enjoyed politics or aproved of any of the deceitful practices that go on within our government. I don’t like lies and I truly hate for anyone to take advantage of those who are in a weaker financial, intellectual, spiritual, or any other position. But it happens all of the time and much of the time it is couched in some kind of weird social agenda that is wrapped in unnecessary virtue signaling. In my opinion, any kind of virtue signalling is unnecessary, but that’s also another post.
So, the point of this post is not to give you a list of entertaining movies to watch over the weekend. Though, you can certainly do that if you like. And there are many other movies such as the Hunger Games series, A Quiet Place, Bird Box, and any of the apocolyptic-themed movies like 2012, Deep Impact, War of the Worlds, or Independence Day. If you watch these to make comparisons to what you see around you today, you’ll be surprised at the parallels you can draw today that you couldn’t really draw at the time those movies were released. What have they been conditioning us to accept? Do you see how the constant flow of material might slowly de-sensitize someone into not understanding that we are in the middle of a real war here and now?
The purpose of this list is to remind you of the things you’ve seen that might not have registered as much at the time or to give you something to think about as you enjoy other movies or entertainment that is available to you. There is a message in everything. Even the dumbest of movies usually carries some shred of truth that can be applied to everyday life. When you watch something that resonates with you, ask yourself where you’ve seen that before or what it might mean to you if you see it in the future. You might be surprised at what you’ve absorbed without even realizing it.
Most descriptions on the list were taken directly from IMDb at IMDb.com.
Rebecca Benston is the owner of Higher Ground Books & Media and the author of over twenty titles currently available through Amazon and other outlets. Her books include a mystery series (The Rona Shively Stories), empowerment resources such as Wise Up to Rise Up, Don’t Be Stupid (And I Mean That in the Nicest Way), and From Judgment to Jubilee, children’s books including Grumble D. Grumble Learns to Smile, All the Scary Things, and See How Strong You Are. Benston lives in Springfield, Ohio with her awesome daughter, Mya and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and telling it like it is. She enjoys being able to help other authors get their stories out there through Higher Ground and has recently expanded her freelance services to offer more extensive guidance as a writing coach and social media manager. For more information, you can contact Benston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rona Shively Stories: Number 10
Have you met Rona Shively? She’s a private investigator with a terrible attitude and a somewhat skewed sense of self. She has been at it for a while, but recently, she’s been feeling the strain of trying to be too many things to too many people. And most of them aren’t even people she likes. Follow her latest adventure in I Was Here: The Rona Shively Stories.
You can get your copy in the HGBM Shop or on Amazon.
Also available on Audible.
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My name is Rebecca Benston. I’m a Christian. I’m a woman. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. When I write fiction, I am usually writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories. My P.I. character, Rona Shively is feisty, fearless and fabulous and is usually caught up in something she doesn’t want to be caught up in. In addition to this series, I also have a blog called Higher Ground for Life. Through this blog, I’m hoping to reach women or anyone who is seeking to develop a relationship with God and give them inspiration to get out there and follow His path for their lives!
I also have a blog called Leading the Follower. This one is my favorite. I write about religion, faith, spirituality and all that goes along with it. What we believe, what we don’t believe, what we are told to believe and how society feels about believing in general. I do a lot of testifying here and some of what I say may make you angry. Most of it will make you think. Some of it will make you cry. Any of it could make you laugh. It’s really up to you.
If you are looking for practical advice, honest conversation, and no nonsense observations about living in today’s world, check out my blogs at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com and http://www.ronashively.wordpress.com and http://www.highergroundforlife.wordpress.com and http://www.leadingthefollower.wordpress.com. And if you’re so inclined, you can purchase my books and some other great, inspirational works from Higher Ground Books & Media at http://highergroundbooksandmedia.com.
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