In what is rapidly becoming a Thanksgiving tradition around the Michaels homestead, I took in a movie that featured an unexpected Mac-themed cameo appearance. As you can imagine, this is becoming quite unnerving—here I am trying to escape from work for a care-free 90 minutes or so, only to be reminded of the day job when either a Mac or Mac-related software enjoys a prominent walk-on role and reminds me of all the work I should be doing.
Some background: Last year’s culprit was Casino Royale, the Bond picture in which the guy from Layer Cake replaces Remington Steele as 007. As detailed by yours truly in this space a year ago, Adobe Photoshop figures prominently in one scene, so much so that one of the characters name-checks the image-editing software.
This year’s Did-someone-just-mention-the-Mac movie moment came courtesy of Hot Fuzz, which I watched on DVD after a long day of turkey preparation. From the folks that brought us Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz is the story of a London police officer who, as punishment for being so skilled at his job that he makes his fellow officers look bad, gets transferred to a small village where all is not as it seems. My capsule review: It’s a funny, tightly-written movie that I thoroughly enjoyed. Folks put off by violence, the occasional bludgeoning, and Timothy Dalton had best take a pass, though.
If you’d prefer to watch Hot Fuzz completely unspoiled and unaware of the Mac cameo in question, I’ll just tidy up my desk while you hit the back button on your Web browser.
So here’s the scene—Sgt. Angel (Simon Pegg) is being shown around the antiquated station where he’s been reassigned. And just as he’s about to meet his new, sub-competent co-workers, you can hear—quite distinctly—the start-up sound of a really, really old Mac.
I confess that I was not bright enough to pick this up on my own. I heard the start-up bong—“That sounds vaguely familiar,” I said to myself—but had no idea what it was. Fortunately, someone who did posted the following to the Hot Fuzz trivia section at the Internet Movie Database:
To indicate how behind the times Sandford police station is, the sound of a very old Apple Macintosh startup tone is heard in the background. This startup tone hasn’t been played by any Mac that has been released in the last ten years.
So there you have it. Now the lingering question is this: When precisely did Macs stop using the particular start-up tone heard in Hot Fuzz ? A shiny gold doubloon * to whoever can provide me the answer.
* Doubloon may take the form of recognition and respect, as opposed to actual currency.