Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Back to the Future

Busy couple of days, but I'm back from the future to talk about Back to the Future. So, the great thing with this film, as everyone knows, is in the attention to detail, and its biggest strength is the likability of its main characters. There is a reason this movie has achieved a level of cultural osmosis and "classic" status among the general population that a lot of films on this list haven't. I've always considered myself a pretty dedicated cinephile, but I had never heard of a bunch of films on this list. Back to the Future is one of those films from that interesting time in the 80's when filmmakers were mixing off-the-wall "science" ideas, comedy, and stunning practical effects to create a host of movies that are not only ridiculously quotable, but also "culturally significant" at the very least. Ghostbusters and Raiders of the Lost Ark are also on the List. In Back to the Future, most of it is riding on the charm of Michael J. Fox and the comedy of Christopher Lloyd. They do mesh together to form 1.21 gigawatts of perfection (correct pronunciation can be either "GIG-a" or "JIG-a"). The aging and de-aging makeup is fantastic, and really the only effects that look dated are the occasional green screen effects. Everything done practically still holds up. I suppose there are some flaws, like how did no one in Hill Valley not notice a mini-bus full of Libyans with a rocket launcher driving to the mall? Why did the McFly's hire the man who attempted to rape Lorraine in high school to work on their cars? Why do all the siblings still live at home in the better future when they're successful? The house looks nicer, but it's the same size. Why is only that big-ass truck in the garage? Does it hurt Marty and Jennifer's relationship that he now has a completely different memory of their past? But those tend to be problems with time travel narratives (except the Biff one. Why did no one ever seem to comment on how he was actively trying to rape Lorraine? Why doesn't she seem even remotely uncomfortable around this guy?) Either way, it's still a fantastic movie, and still a movie to watch for all the little details (like Twin Pines Mall becoming Lone Pines Mall). This movie is a touchstone for a reason, even though, unbelievably, it now all takes place in the past.

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