Retro Replay: Back to the Future Trilogy

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Dear reader we are just two days out from when Marty McFly will make his magical trip from 1985 to October 21, 2015, in honor of Back to the Future Day for our Retro Replay we’re taking a look back at the classic Back to the Future Trilogy.

In the early 80’s Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale had a quirky little script called Back to the Future that they were trying to sell.  That’s right I said trying.  It might seem hard to believe now but these two up and comers in Hollywood were having difficulty trying to sell a script for a movie that would become one of the most treasured films in history.  The scripts biggest obstacle?  The main character Marty McFly.  Studios thought he was too likable and wanted a more edgy character.

Obviously Zemeckis stuck by his lovable scamp Marty, so what changed, who saved this film?  Steven Spielberg did, because of course he did.  He read the script and loved it and because Steven loved it all of a sudden Universal Studios loved it and as they say, the rest is history.

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 30 Back to the Future is the story about lovable little scamp Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and his very much older best friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd).  Yeah that sounds weird but stay with me here, this movie is great.

So Doc Brown has invented a time machine (out of a Delorian) and he has Marty meet him at the Twin Pine Mall parking lot at 3 A.M to film him testing the time machine.  Well during the test some terrorist come after Doc because he used the plutonium they gave him to build his time machine instead of a bomb like they wanted.  Doc is shot and Marty dives into the time machine and is transported back to 1955 by mistake.

In Marty’s confusion to his predicament he accidentally prevents his parents from meeting and jeopardizes his existence.  So he has to track down a younger Doc Brown to help him continue existing as well as get back to the future (roll credits).  The movie spawned two sequels so obviously Marty’s two predicaments are solved.

The film series introduces us to wonderful and colorful characters who are quite memorable like the aforementioned Doc and Marty, Marty’s parents (Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover), his dads bully Biff (Thomas F. Wilson), Marty’s girlfriend Jenifer (Claudia Wells B2F 1 and Elizabeth Shue B2F2).  These characters along with Zemeckis’s brilliant directing gave us a wonder film trilogy.

Back to the Future II takes us to the future, well now it’s the present and in 3 days it will actually be the past because Marty went to October 21, 2015 and in three days it will be October 22, 2015 and therefore the future will be the past and oh fuck I just broke my brain so I’ll just finish this sentence quoting the tenth Doctor and it’s all “wibbly wobbly, timey wimey”… yep.

Then in Back to the Future III Marty has to travel back to the old west to save Doc who got sent back there when the time machine was struck by lightning because, “wibbly wobbly, timey wimey”.

Anyways, in the first sequel, fun fact 2 and 3 were filmed back to back, Marty, Doc, and Marty’s girl friend Jenifer go to the year 2015 to prevent Marty and Jenifer’s future son from going to prison.  Marty and Doc were successful but in their trip to 2015 Marty buys Grey’s Sports Almanac in order to get a heads up on some sports betting to ear a little extra cash.  Doc catches him and throws the almanac away, but unfortunately old Biff sees this and steals the time machine in secret to give the almanac to himself in 1955.

Marty and Doc don’t find out about this until they go back to 1985 and find that it is a very different 1985 than they remember.  So then Marty is tasked with finding out when Biff got the almanac and he and Doc have to travel back to 1955, the same 1955 Marty traveled to in the first film in order to steal back the almanac from Biff.   This requires Marty to track down Biff while he and Doc after to avoid their past selves because “wibbly wobbly, timey wimey”.

After our two heroes are successful Doc in the Delorian is struck by lightning and is sent to the year 1885 and Marty finds this out because moments after he watches Doc disappear a postman walks up to him to deliver a 70 year old letter from Doc.  Marty then races off back to town and tracks down the Doc of 1955 who just sent the other Marty back to 1985 to get 1955 Doc to help him travel back to 1885 to save 1985 Doc from being shot by Biff’s ancestor.

You know, typing that all out makes you realize all the plot holes this movie has and just the difficult nature of writing any fiction dealing with time travel.  But here’s the thing.  Zemeckis and Gale tell such a great story with the right amount of humor, drama, and personality that you completely ignore the plot holes and enjoy this film.

The total run time for all three films together is 342 minutes (116, 108, 118) but you can marathon this trilogy and it never seems to lag and it definitely doesn’t feel like 5 and three quarter hours.  It’s a fun romp and Back to the Future II is a lot of fun to watch just because we get to see what Hollywood got right about 2015 and what we don’t have yet (flying cars and mass-marketed hover boards).  Also there is the added fun of rooting for the Chicago Cubs who are currently in the NLCS against the Mets right now, why is that fun?  Because Back to the Future II predicted they would win the World Series and since the Cubs have basically sucked for 30 years that was a bold prediction and would be awesome if it came true, plus that might also break the internet, so go Cubbies!

My verdict for this film is pretty simple, Relive the Hell out of it!  And for added fun here is Cinefix’s 9 things you didn’t know about Back to the Future.

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About Josh McCain 984 Articles
Where are my manners, allow myself to introduce... ah... myself. I'm Josh, I'm a proud dad and I will probably write the majority of the content you see on this site (and editing 100% of it) because that's my background, writing. I'm an author of two books (Ripper, and Suburban Sky: American Tales) with books three and four on the way... eventually. I also have experience writing for various sites, including Bleacher Report, Redskins101, and more currently you can find me at where I write a weekly-ish satirical column. Here are the links to my books if you wish to check them out. Click here for Ripper: Click here for Suburban Skies: So that's me in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy the site.

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