Tuesday, September 3, 2013

727. Back to the Future (1985)

Running Time: 116 minutes
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis
Written By: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale
Main Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson
Click here to view the trailer


Well, I told you all I needed to self induce a good movie and that meant a trip to my DVD shelf and the pulling off of "Back to the Future". I've been a fan of this entire trilogy since I saw it as a teenager and I knew this would be just the thing to get the motor running - not unlike a canister full of plutonium!

The film's plot is quite intricate and super clever, especially considering the film is straight out of Hollywood, meant for the whole family and the inspiration for a theme park ride at Disney World. Marty McFly (Fox) is a typical teenager: he's got a girlfriend, he's normally late for school, he digs playing the electric guitar and he's pretty coordinated on a skate board. His best friend is NOT a school chum, but rather Emmett "Doc" Brown (Lloyd), a mad scientist, who, upon films opening, has successfully invented time travel through the use of a DeLorean DMC-12. On the night that Doc invents time travel, however, he is gunned down by a group of Libyan terrorists, who do so because he stole their plutonium (needed to fuel the time machine). In an attempt to get away from the Libyans, Marty inadvertently travels back to the year 1955, the same year his parents were his age. This is just the beginning as Marty's mother (who, of course, doesn't know him yet) falls in love with him. With his mother now infatuated by another man, Marty has to get his parents to fall in love or else risk erasing the existence of he and his sibling. Marty also tracks down Doc Brown, as he has no plutonium left to make the DeLorean run, therefore unable to return to 1985, unless the Doc can figure out an alternative means.


While looking over this film, I saw a comment that said "If you didn't like this film, then you just must not be ready for it yet. But your kids are gonna love it!". I say, if you didn't like this film, no matter your age, I'm flabbergasted, as it has elements that can easily appeal to both young and old. I mean, the story alone is so intricate and so clever that I just don't see how anyone couldn't at least get a kick out of it, let alone adore it. You've got the initial half hour or so, which sets up a lot of what we'll hear more about later - the meeting story of George and Lorraine, Mayor Goldie Wilson, Biff and his bullying of George, Uncle Joey - jailbird, the whole thing with the clock tower, etc, etc - there's just tons of stuff crammed into that first thirty  minutes, that we get to see played on later and stuff that you don't even think about that ends up either being a big plot point or just a subtle "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" moment. The film is filled with little subtleties. For instance, the news report at the beginning with the reporting of stolen plutonium and then a quick shot of the plutonium under Doc's furniture. I just can't go on enough about how genius this movie is and it totally sweeps me away every time. Not only is it clever, but it's also SO FREAKING SUSPENSEFUL. I still question whether or not Doc Brown is going to get that plug plugged in before Marty reaches the trip wire, at the end of the film! That's the sign of a good "edge of your seat" moment; when you've seen something countless times and still wonder what's going to happen.

I'm not sure what the general consensus is on Michael J. Fox, but I thought he was great in this. If you read into the history of "Back to the Future" you'll see that originally Eric Stoltz was cast and there's even a picture in existence of Stoltz and Lloyd during the original time machine test. Later, Stoltz was dropped and Family Ties allowed Fox to join the production. I don't know about you, but I can't imagine this film with anyone other than Fox. Oh and don't forget about Christopher Lloyd (a personal favorite of mine since his days as "Iggy" on Taxi), Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson, probably one of my favorite villains in all of film. I don't know about you guys, but I kind of wish they'd included "Back to the Future" as a whole, like they did with "The Lord of the Rings". As it is, THE BOOK only includes Part One, however all three of the films are just as good as the first (in my opinion and a rarity considering sequels usually stink) and are all tied together by "to be continued" credits. Seriously though, if you've never seen this do yourself a favor and shoot it to the top of your Netflix queue like right now and look forward to two hours of a fantastically fun time at the movies!

RATING: 8.5/10  I can't go whole hog here, just because the film is just a little TOO Hollywood for my tastes. But who cares about ratings - this is a great movie and what I needed to get reinvested in forthcoming films.


September 3, 2013  11:42am


  1. So, not the sort of film I'd normally go for, and not one I'd keep, but even I have to admit it kept me entertained, and the playing time passed quickly. I even enjoyed all the in jokes.
    EVEN, and this is a big one from me, Michael J Fox failed to irritate me even once.
    I have seen parts 2 & 3, but found them to be really just a re-hash.
    On the whole, I'd say this is one I will accept as being a good bit of escapism. Worth it's place in THE BOOK?.. Well yes, even that,... just that I won't be buying the Dvd.. or even recording it next time it's on TV.

    1. Glad you liked this Ray. Never thought you'd take to this (apparently you didn't think so either). Definitely TOO Hollywood, but I'll make an exception cause it's so good and I guess I saw it at the right age that it stuck with me.


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