Back To The Future,where do I begin? I practically grew up with this movie, before there was a trilogy, at one point I had it memorized.
The short of it, it’s a time travel movie where a plucky kid goes back in time to when his parents were in high school and sees what they were actually like, sound simple enough? But there’s so much more.
SPOILERS ahead, cause this movie’s been out since 1985! You only have yourself to blame if I’m spoiling anything at this point in your “life.”
-This post is a collaboration with my good friend Gonzalo Quintero, he and I are old college buds (SDSU Class of ’05) who, as fate would have it, both happen to be bloggers. Always wanting to collaborate the opportunity presented itself when visiting 5&A Dime in downtown San Diego. We went there to get some vintage sodas, DANG® Butterscotch Root Beer to be exact, and got to talking about how we could review the same movie and share our different perspectives, more on that later.
The good; the writing, let’s start with the writing. Everything, I mean everything in this film is set up beautifully. From the jokes, to the climax, and everything in between (locations, names, the weather…)
To me this is one of the most perfect movies, if not close to perfection. I know this is a high praise, but hear me out…
We start off with a long shot in Doc Brown’s lab, there are all manner of time telling mechanisms adorning the scenery, which clues us in to the fact that the movie is about time.
Then Marty walks in with his skateboard (take note), which hits a case of plutonium (take note), and then he proceeds to play his guitar (take note)
This sets up that there will be an action sequence with a skateboard, that Doc Brown stole plutonium and that Marty is a musician and will play the guitar in the third act.
This formula is practiced throughout the film, which is amazing, because it rewards those of us who actually pay attention to ya’ know… things!
Marty’s an average teenager, he wants to go out with his girlfriend and play his music, but his mom is very strict and doesn’t even like his girlfriend calling the house. Yes, this is a time before cell phones. When Marty goes back to the 50’s he’s able to see what his parents were really like and how much things have changed, or in Stricktland’s case, how much things haven’t. Seeing how much things have changed, Marty’s then able to change things for the better.
To some degree, it’s really about the underdog, Marty getting rejected from the band try outs, to his father George being bullied then getting the girl and becoming an author, and about Doc Brown finally inventing something that works. All these characters are the underdog.
Oh and who can forget the soundtrack? From Alan Silverstri‘s epic score and and grand theme to Huey Lewis and the News, the music just fits so perfectly.
In 2010 I went to see a screening of Back to the Future at Universal Citywalk, next door to where they shot the clock tower scenes, it was the 25th Anniversary of the film, here’s a flyer from that evening.
The bad; kids these days.They don’t know what they’ve missed.
It’s really hard for me to put anything here. Using the Universal backlot, that’s one thing. After seeing the backlot when you go to the theme park, you immediately recognize it once you’ve seen it, so it throws me out of it a bit. But this is only coming after repeated viewings.
Here are my DeLoreans, one from when I was a kid, got it at Universal Studios, and a newer bigger one I got when I was an older larger kid.
Overall, this is truly one of my favorite movies of all time (pun intended). I’d pair a viewing of this film with TAB, Tab Cola, if you’ve seen this film you get it, you get it… but the metallic taste is so eighties. Allow yourself to taste the cold war in full effect and the stainless steel finish of the DeLorean . Craft Beer Tasters has something to share on this subject as well, my good buddy Dr. Q (Gonzalo) and I both love this movie, and he’s paired a beer with the film, go check out what he has to say.
I remember watching Back to the Future on tv with my dad and seeing that “to be continued” text pop up at the end and wondering, “wait, isn’t this a movie? And not a TV show?”
Then we had a betamax copy, yeah, betamax, and I would spend my lazy Sundays watching this movie over and over again, I wore the crap out of that video tape, as if to time travel in my own special way by reliving that adventure over and over again. This film made me long for time travel, for it to be reachable in our life time, since then I’ve loved fiction that has anything to do with time travel.
Being a kid when this film came out I wanted my own toy DeLorean, but they didn’t have one that I liked at the time. So when we went to Universal Studios one summer I saw a toy DeLorean in the gift shop, my dad bought it for me with no hesitation, he knew how much this movie meant to me, and as seen above, I still have that toy.
More importantly it made me dream of what I would do if I could time travel, events I’d want to witness, things I’d want to change or do differently, and maybe most important of all, it made me live life to the fullest so that there would be no need for a time machine, because the future is what you make it. But if you’re going to time travel, “why not do it in style?”
Eugene and Dr. Q