Metro, SPACE and Cineplex have teamed up to present the Great Digital Film Festival starting Friday and running through Feb. 9. We asked InnerSPACE host Ajay Fry to take a look at the technology in sci-fi films to see how close they are to being reality.

The Terminator (1984)

In 1984, James Cameron’s The Terminator terrified audiences with the introduction of an unstoppable Cyborg killing machine from the future. Now, almost 30 years later, we don’t have any cyborg killing machines (yet!), but humanoid robots are walking upright, learning and talking. One robot recently joked about plans to open a “zoo for humans” (I hope it was a joke!).

Back to the Future (1985)

In late 2010, the Internet was abuzz over a photo of a ‘time traveller.’ It was actually a frame grab from a 1928 film purportedly featuring someone using what appeared to be a cellphone. If you could travel to the past, why not visit 1985 so you could make a cameo in Back to the Future, the film that introduced us to the joys and pitfalls of Time Travel?! 1.21


RoboCop (1987)

Set in the near future, 1987’s RoboCop features a cyborg protagonist who takes on Detroit’s festering criminal underbelly. While we’ve still got some time to wait for robotically-enhanced beat cops, in recent years police have started using robotic surrogates in dangerous situations. Last summer, a suspect’s trailer home was burned to the ground by a gas-grenade packing police robot in Tennessee.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park asked audiences a hypothetical, ethical question: If we can clone dinosaurs, should we? Now almost 20 years later we’re soon going to need an answer. In 2009, scientists successfully cloned an extinct species of mountain goats. And last year, dinosaur feathers preserved in amber were discovered in Alberta. Morality aside, I’ll be first in line to see real-life dinosaurs.


Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Shaun of the Dead launched the Romantic Comedy Zombie or ‘RomComZom’ sub-genre of film, and the zombie craze has only grown in years since. In 2009, students at the University of Ottawa created a mathematical equation to determine the survivability of a zombie uprising. I’d fight to survive the onslaught if it meant I could watch Shaun again on the big screen.

Serenity (2005)

Set 500 years in the future, this film follows the crew of the spaceship Serenity as they sneak between numerous planets to protect a mysterious young woman named River. Since 2005, the number of confirmed exoplanets has nearly quadrupled to over 700, and scientists now suspect that each of the estimated 300 billion stars in our galaxy may have at least 1.6 planets in orbit.

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