Great Scott! Commemorating 30 Years of Back to the Future

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BTTF poster

MOVIE NEWS: Back to the Future

Back to the Future is one of the greatest time-traveling franchises in cinema history. Let’s look why it’s aged so well while approaching its 30th anniversary.

Universal Pictures announced a special release DVD and Blu-Ray edition of the entire franchise featuring the film trilogy, animated series and a plethora of extras including:

  • All New Original Shorts: Including Doc Brown Saves the World!, starring Christopher Lloyd.
  • OUTATIME: Restoring the DeLorean: An inside look at the 2012 restoration of the most iconic car in film history.
  • Looking Back to the Future: A 9-part retrospective documentary from 2009 on the trilogy’s legacy.
  • Back to the Future: The Animated Series: 2 episodes (“Brothers” and “Mac the Black”) from the 1991 series featuring live action segments with Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown.
  • Tales from the Future 6-Part Documentary.

The film will be released back into select theaters while the home release will be October 21.

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According to writer Bob Gale and director Robert Zemeckis, the question BTTF asks is: What if you can go back to high school when your parents attended? Would you hang out with them?

That’s the questions Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) finds out when an ill-fated experiment forces him to travel back in time with Dr. Emmett Brown(Christopher Lloyd)’s DeLorean time machine. Inadvertently traveling back to 1955, McFly starts a chain of events that threaten his very existence, but first, he must seek out the much younger version of his best friend to ensure his own survival and make sure he has a way back to his own time.

The film is very much a temporal wonderland since the audience sees the journey through Marty’s eyes from a bleak home life to meeting his parents George (Crispin Glover) and Lorraine (Lea Thompson) at his own age take two very separate paths due to Marty’s inadvertent meddling.

Marty tries to set the two up together despite Lorraine’s own crush on her future son and George’s social ineptitude coupled with being bullied by Biff Tannen (Tom Wilson).

What makes the first movie intriguing is that despite the main characters being Marty and Doc trying to procure Marty’s future, the story is really focused on George. Despite trying to be taught by his own son the ways to win his future wife over, he ultimately summons his own courage to stand up for himself at the end.

The second movie deals with Marty and Doc’s venture into the future, specifically Marty and Jennifer’s kids, which ends up about taking responsibility of the potential disaster a time machine would have on their universe. The main focus this time is on Biff and what if he becomes rich after his old future self, give his high school self a sports almanac detailing future results.

The third film is Doc-centric as the plot doesn’t specifically revolve around Marty and his own future but rather how Doc handles the consequences of his own actions affecting someone else’s future. Upon saving a schoolmarm, Clara Clayton (Mary Steenburgen) who was supposed to die off a ravine, falls in love with Doc, her savior. A budding relationship potentially interferes with fate as Marty travels back to the Old West to save Doc from a gunslinger, Mad Dog Tannen (Wilson), who’s related to Biff.

Of the three films, I think the first film stands as the one that has withstood the test of time with the most well-balanced of story, acting and directing. Each character had their own story, had time to develop said story and had a satisfying resolution. The second and third films didn’t add much really to depth outside of the setting often recycling gags like Tannen’s run-ins with manure and Marty’s chip on his shoulder when someone calls him a chicken.

I have some glaring questions/musings in regards to the trilogy.

  • What would have happened to the plot if Glover stayed for the second and third films?
  • After everything that has happened to Marty and Doc, why aren’t they affected whatsoever from their own actions from time travel?
  • Assuming we’re not nitpicking too much, hasn’t the events of 1955 dramatically already altered those around Lorraine and George given what their son, Marty “Calvin Klein” McFly has done to affect the school?
  • Maybe Biff is on some good psychological meds or has a bad memory, but given after everything Marty’s done to ruin his life in high school on multiple occasions, wouldn’t he be the least bit suspicious about him as he’s growing up?
  • No matter what companies have tried replicate the 2015 technology from BTTF: Part 2, the FAA and the Department of Transportation will NEVER let flying cars become commercial given the existing safety hazards and concerns on the roads and the skies.
  • How could Marty and Doc stomach any food from different time periods when they aren’t used to the standards of those times?
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Tom Chang
Sci-fi and technology geek since the NES days, Tom loves everything from the cult classics, the contemporary hits to the beast with two backs that is Disney and Marvel. His life's mission is to be the ultimate nerd savant sitting on the iron throne as CEO of Skynet while masquerading as a vigilante at night wearing hockey pads.


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