By Peter Martin
Cartoonist Dan Meth strikes again! You might remember that Meth created The Trilogy Meter, which charted a variety of movie trilogies and then rated them on a high-low scale. That turned out to be the first in his "Series of Pop Cultural Charts." After completing several charts on situational comedies ("Sit-Com Houses," "NYC Sitcom Map," "U.S.A. Sitcom Map") and venturing into pop music ("Early Beach Boys Hit Song Topics"), he's returned to the world of movies with his latest effort, Futuristic Movie Timeline.
Very simply, he explains: "No one really pays much attention to what year sci-fi movies take place. I thought it would be interesting to arrange some classic films about the future into chronological order and see what we'd find. I've also charted the years in which they were released as well as the current year."
Looking over the chart -- you can see the full-size version at Meth's site -- it's fun to think about wildly different movies set in the same period of time. (For example: I didn't realize Robocop and Back to the Future 2 are both set in 2015.) Meth didn't include the Terminator series, but this is the kind of chart that might have been very helpful to the filmmakers to help them deal with their own troubled timeline. Check it out and let us know: Could 12 Monkeys take place a year after Children of Men? Which 22nd Century future do you prefer: Alien, The Black Hole, Sleeper, or The Matrix?