A simple question: how many examples can you name where technology can be argued to have ruined a movie or TV show or book? I ask this because The Blair Witch Project was released on Blu-ray on Tuesday (well, widely released—it had exclusively been in Best Buy for a few weeks now), and having recently seen the movie (sometime in the summer) I can say this: in today’s world of GPS’d smartphones, like your iPhone or Android-based phone, the movie patently doesn’t work.
The main conflict in the movie—and yeah, these are spoilers, but come on, the movie’s more than 10 years old; there’s a statute of limitations when it comes to breaking out the spoiler tags—revolves around the loss of a map.
The three college students, wasting their parents’ money trying to create a documentary on the Blair Witch, hoof about the backwoods of Maryland in search of the witch and other such content. They’re basically in the middle of nowhere—and then they lose the map! (Which wasn’t very helpful to begin with, but whatever.)
Without the map, the kids are doomed to circle around the woods forever, breaking psychologically along the way.
That’s all well and good in 1999, when desktop computers were less powerful than today’s smartphones (is that even true? I don’t know, but it sounds reasonable enough), and nobody had access to handheld GPS, but today? Go ahead and try to promote a movie where a bunch of dumb college kids get lost in the woods ofMaryland . I give it five seconds before someone in the audience shouts—hilariously—hey man just use your iPhone!
Then the audience laughs, and leaves.
In conclusion, Blair Witch Project would never work in 2010. Real talk.
Now the question becomes, what other movies (or TV shows or books or whatever) can you think of that have been ruined by technology? I know a number of Seinfeld episodes really show their age when a simple cellphone call would solve Jerry’s (or whoever’s) problem.
Hopefully we can think of a few examples. If not I’d have wasted a good three minutes of your life, and for that I apologize.