Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks: We Were Promised Death Sports

We're well into the year 2012 at this point and -- let's face it -- beyond "Angry Birds" and the new Batman movies, the 21st century has been pretty disappointing. From the continued gutting of NASA's budget, the depressing lack of effective laser weaponry, and Jennifer Aniston's persistent romantic woes, the 2000s so far look a lot like the previous few decades, except there are fewer cruise ship-themed sitcoms or Sasquatch movies.

So we can't have teleportation, I accept that. But if we aren't going to see real scientific progress toward lifting humanity out of degradation and brutality, then at least give me the opposite. Six incarnations of the Real Housewives franchise and 37 flavors of Gatorade are a good start, but if we're ever going to live up to our dystopian potential as a fallen civilization, we need to push the envelope in an extreme envelope pushing fashion. In short, we need some blood sports, stat.

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This isn't bloodlust talking...well, not much, anyway. But as far back as my childhood, I was led by popular entertainment to believe we'd be watching people swimming with crocodiles and wagering precious Quatloos on some Fox version of Triskelion. Sadly, most of these have failed to come to pass.

Death Race 2000 - Come on, they put the year right there in the title. If that's not setting yourself up for disappointment, I don't know what it. I bet you could still convince Stallone to do it, though.

Rollerball - True, we haven't quite reached the 2018 in which the movie is set, and the idea of a multinationals running the world isn't very far-fetched, but aside from its rise in popularity among women with tattoos, there's little to suggest roller derby will be replacing the NFL in popularity any time soon.

Escape from New York - Not a game show, technically, but all you'd need to do is hide a bunch of cameras in Manhattan and let the magic happen. And I'd point out that we were supposed to have a massive maximum security prison in New York City 15 years ago.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar