Robert Zemeckis (1985, Universal Pictures)
Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin
Glover, and Thomas F. Wilson
After altering the timeline 30 years in the past, a teenager has to
get his future parents to fall in love so that he can be born.
October 25th, 2015
in the Theatre for the 12th time
It's amazing to think that we've
finally arrived at the point in time during which part of the second
movie takes place. It's also amazing to think that I can now introduce
this movie trilogy to my own kids, who thought it was pretty cool. By
far the best of the trilogy, I absolutely love all the attention to
April 27th, 2008 on
DVD for the 11th time
August 5th, 2005 on
DVD for the 10th time
There is only so much praise that a
person can give a particular movie. I've wanted to rewatch this one for
a while, now, but didn't find the time (if that makes sense, given how
many other movies I've seen in the last few months). It is one that
makes me feel like I'm a kid again; it is a very comfort-giving movie,
because I know it so well. Everything that I said below still holds
true. My favorite thing about this movie is tying the present to the
past, seeing how different scenes or lines of dialog are transformed
into events that occur in the past.
One of my favorites is the subtle
change from the Twin Pines Mall to the Lone Pine Mall after Marty runs
over one of the pines on his initial escape from the farm.
I had never noticed that one of Doc
Brown's clocks, at the beginning, has a man hanging from one of its
The scene near the end with Doc Brown
on the clock tower trying to fix the unplugged wire was one of the most
enjoyable this time around. I have experienced that sensation many times
through my research. Trying to get just a little more length of cable to
an instrument, only to have the other end unplug (or worse, not unplug
so that the instrument on the other end gets dragged to the edge of the
table) has happened a few times!
This is a movie that I will return to
again and again. Truly a classic.
April 1st, 2003 on DVD
for the 9th time
Simply amazing, in terms of acting,
story, and especially the writing.
It has been a very long time since I've watched this movie. I remember
enjoying it quite a bit, as evidenced by the number of times I've seen
it. Still, I didn't remember it being this good. It was so enjoyable to
see how Marty could overcome all of the obstacles put in front of him.
What impressed me most was the writing. This movie was so tightly
written that every single line used in the beginning, before Marty goes
into the past, is used while he is in the past. Everything was so
meticulously directed, from Marty's body language to his attitude. I
really wonder how he turned out to be the only person in that family
with some semblance of self-confidence, even if it's just bravado. I
found myself linking every line or moment at the beginning of the film
to an event that happens later, as they occurred. Much of the movie was
remembered in that way!
The movie was so funny, as well. It is a true fish-out-of-water story,
as Marty doesn't even really believe that time travel is possible, until
he does it himself, and reads the newspaper headline.
It's amazing how well he actually holds up. I don't know if many people
could handle being thrown back in time. I suppose that comes from
watching so many movies... Michael J. Fox does an incredible job acting
confused and out of place. He also does an amazing transition as things
start to come somewhat under his control.
However, it is Doc Brown who really steals the show. He really plays the
part of the mad scientist. It's perfect, from the way he stumbles
out of the Delorean time machine, to trying to read Marty's mind, as
well as his not-quite-to-scale model of the city square!
The award for most beautiful, of course, goes to Lea Thompson, as
Lorraine. Wow, and stunning! Her love for Marty (or Calvin Klein!) is
obvious, and it should also be obvious to the movie watcher that she is
a lot more forward than she admits to being at the beginning of the
movie, when she's older. She follows him to Doc Brown's place, and comes
on to him in the car at the dance, while in a very revealing outfit.
Lorraine is a lot more attractive, and a much better actress, than
Marty's girlfriend, Jennifer. Thank goodness we don't see much of her,
because I couldn't stand the bad acting. She did serve to be Marty's
anchor, though, when he was doubting himself after the band trials.
My favorite aspect of the movie, aside from the amazing writing, was the
fact that nothing Marty did was easy. Every plan backfired, and somehow
it all ended up making things better. Though after being so smitten with
Marty, it makes me wonder how shallow Lorraine was to not even wonder
about him and fall head over heels for George after he became her savior.
I suppose she finally realized, after the strange kiss, and Marty's
reluctant behavior, that he wasn't for her.
I also identified with this movie when I was younger because I was also
the shy boy who wrote and watched science fiction, and was laughed at
behind my back, just like George. Well, not just like George, as I had a
lot of friends, and was never the target of a bully like Biff, or a
gang. I always loved it that he could get the beautiful girl, and with a
little extra confidence given to him by Marty, could be a success later
Speaking of Biff, he is a guy that we really love to hate. His rage is
terrific, even if he is a mindless bully. I love it when he drives over
the curb and several shrubs to turn around and chase Marty! That scene,
of course, ends up with his car full of manure.
There are, of course, the usual plot holes, which are better not to
think about. I suppose Lorraine forgets entirely what Marty looks like,
especially since at the end, they credit Biff for getting them together.
And if Lorraine thought Marty was such a nice name, why is their first
son still named Dave? Nobody even seems to notice that Marty doesn't
attend classes with them, either. Still, for a movie like this, that's a
very short list, since everything else more than makes up for it.
The special effects, aside from the Delorean itself, were more in the
details than anything. The transformation of the city of Hill Valley (an
oxymoron?) showed how much and how little a city can change in thirty
years. Everything, as Marty says, looks brand new! It's so clean, and
service, like at the gas station, was actually Service back then.
The movie holds up very well, from the
mid-eighties. There are the usual references, of course, but it is a
period piece -with the period being 1985! They have to say that
Ronald Reagan is the President, because it also fits so well with the
story. Back then, it was the Libyans who were the terrorists, but it
seems that not much has changed on that front.
The music is typical of a Spielberg
production. It is very grandiose, propelling us through the film. It
is another reason why the movie is so fun to watch. It peaks several
times, most visibly when Marty catches the lightning rod at the end. I
came away humming the main theme for days!
The movie is well worth watching on DVD, but the special features are
not. Eventually, I plan to watch the director's commentary, and the Q&A
session, and the other things that progress with the movie, but for the
moment, I am not going to go through the film immediately again. There
are four of those things, and they don't appear to be scene specific in
There is the pathetic teaser trailer, cast and production notes, and
picture galleries, but nothing really of substance. That goes for the
two making-of features, as well. They are both under fifteen minutes,
and spend at least half of that time showing us footage from the film,
in full-frame, at that! Much of what the director and producers say is
trivial, though the interview with Fox gives us a little perspective.
I've seen some excellent behind-the-scenes stuff from this film on TV.
Why did we get this, instead?
While the Outtakes are funny, for the most part, the movie itself is
funnier. The deleted scenes don't offer much more insight into the
story, either, but I love having them. The commentary for these,
however, isn't very good or thorough.
This is a great movie in everything it does. I'm glad it has finally
arrived on DVD. I was not certain that buying it was the right thing to
do, but even if I don't enjoy parts II and
III as much as I did in the
past, it is worth it just for this movie alone.