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Comparing Real LA With the Dystopian Film Visions of Its Future

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What do Planet of the Apes, Terminator, and Escape from LA have in common? They're all science fiction flicks that associate Los Angeles with the quintessential dystopia, says Boom, and they're just part of a long-running Hollywood tradition of movies that predict that LA will be ground zero when the world becomes a terrible, war-torn, polluted hellscape. (NorCal, meanwhile, is often the setting for utopias. WTF?) Shows like the Planet of the Apes series showcase a "future LA [that] has been routinely trashed by nuclear, technological, and automotive catastrophe, police brutality, pollution, and crime," and movies running all the way up to the recent Elysium have carried the tradition on. (One recent exception, however: Her, set in a utopian LA.)

LA may have lead in the soil and air, a big-time shortage of affordable housing, rising wealth disparity, and horrendous freeway traffic, but it's not a Skynet-level situation by any means. Not convinced? Here are five photos from Boom that illustrate the trend and show that, at least for now, the predictions were wrong.

· Postcards From the Future [BOOM]