Today, October 21, 2015, is the day that in Back to the Future Part 2 that Marty McFly comes to the future from the ancient past of 1985 to make sure his son doesn’t assist Griff Tannen in his criminal endeavors. and thus going to jail and then Marty’s daughter would then try to break him out and she would then end up in prison, thus ruining the McFlys. The precise time of Marty’s arrival will be 4:29 PM Pacific Standard Time. So if you’re out in Hill Valley, California keep an eye out for a flying Delorian.
Anyways, the Back to the Future Trilogy is some of the most delightful film making ever to grace the silver screen. It’s a fun lighthearted romp that wasn’t really welcomed by studios originally because the character Marty McFly wasn’t edgy enough, but with the backing of Steven Spielberg, Universal Studios funded the Robert Zemeckis’s film. It’s a film series that captured my imagination the moment I saw the first film on VHS is the way back time of 1988 and the Part 2 and 3 in theaters with my dad in 1990.
These movies are why we love movies, they are a light hearted adventure with the right amount of humor and drama to keep things interesting, and the best part is it wasn’t a reboot or based off of a book, it was an original story from Zemeckis and Bob Gale, which even by 1985 was becoming a rare thing.
The character Marty McFly is one of Hollywood’s most relateble characters (mostly thanks to Michael J. Fox, who almost didn’t have the role because of Family Ties) , even for a then 5 year old me all the way up to 32 year old me, not to mention the ever frantic Doc Brown, played brilliantly by Christopher Lloyd.
There are few movies I can watch over and over again (Star Wars and Indiana Jones come to mind) not to mention it’s a rarity that I don’t watch all three at once. It’s really hard not binge on the 6 hours of this series and it flows so well, not to mention each film has a call back to the previous film. Like in Part 2 the scene in the Cafe 80’s where Marty meets his son in 2015 is a call back to the first where Marty meets his dad in 1955 or Marty waking up in the alternate 1985 as a call back to him waking up in his mom’s room in 1955, or in Part 3 Doc’s scarf is made from the shirt he wears in Part 2.
But the coolest thing to me as a kid (besides all the stuff from 2015) was when Marty and Doc go back to 1955 and we see Marty and Doc trying to avoid their past selves, not to mention the camera tricks to have the actors playing their older and younger selves and being in the same scenes. Part 2 probably gives us the most suspense as Marty tries to get the Sports Almanac back from Biff while trying to avoid his past self and not mess up his mission from the first film. Then as he succeeds in destroying the Almanac Doc and the Delorian get struck by lightning, we think Doc is gone and Marty is stuck in the past then all of a sudden a man from the postal service shows up with a letter from Doc from 1885. Marty then rushes back to Hill Valley to meet up with the 1955 Doc who had just sent the other Marty back to 1985 (man this is heavy).
Not to mention, with the exception Christopher Lloyd, Zemeckis pulled this all off with a cast of teenagers. Biff, Marty, Marty’s parents , all played by teenagers. Just think about that for a second, think about movies that star all teenagers and how most of those turn out.
This series, mostly the second one, had me dreaming about the future (now our present) and what wonders it would bring. It’s hard to imagine now, but the 2015 seemed so far off at the time that it felt like it might not ever happen and that flying cars and hover boards would be in our future. This is one of those movies that just make your imagination go wild and you feel like a kid when watching it. It’s just so exciting and thrilling that you never once question any of the time travel plot holes that plaque most time travel movies. This series just flows so well you don’t even think about those things you’re just lost in the story and enjoying every minute of it.
This, like Star Wars and Indiana Jones proves that 1980’s were possibly the best times in Hollywood. Some of our all time best filmmakers who got their starts in the late 70’s were hitting their strides in the 80’s and putting out some really great films. When we talk about great film makers we sometimes to forget to include Robert Zemeckis, even though he’s given ups Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future, Who Framed Rodger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, Death Becomes Her (highly underrated), and Cast Away. Combining Zemeckis’s imagination with the charm of Michael J. Fox, and zanniness of Christopher Lloyd and it’s hard to believe the studios thought that this movie was a risk.
Enjoy your Back to the Future Day kiddos and I hope you’re doing a marathon like I am today.