Friday, October 29, 2010

Back to the Future (Present, more like it)

I recently heard on the FM radio station that its currently the 25th anniversary of Back To the Future one of the all time best movies of the 80's. If you haven't seen this movie you must have been living under a rock or in Iraq for most of your life because it is one of the most celebrated movies of our time. It has everything a great movie should have: male leads, female supporting roles, DeLorean's, time travel, Danny Glover, you name it. It also prominately features traveling through time as one of its plot devices. As one who studies and proves time travel in my spare time, I find it fascinating how often the filmmakers were right in there vision of the futre and what it might hold for us.

First, let's look at what they got right. Nobody knew what a video game was in 1955, but look around you. Video games are everywhere. Michael J. Fox knew this. Doc Brown knew this. That's why so many videos games are in the movie. Well done. As for the cars, see any DeLoreans lately? Didn't think so. Chevys are great cars. They also understood what a fragile thing time is. If I were to go back in time, I would have to be very careful about who I talked to because I could talk to some idiot and tell him all sorts of stuff that he will never know and then, whoops, all the sudden they have microwaves during the civil war and dinosaurs are walking around or something. You can't just through some gadgets on a car and fly around. It has to been planed very carefully.

Now, they got plenty of stuff wrong too. Face it, nobody could possibly have predicted how much technology we have n our lives. I can look around the room right now and count at least five technologies that didn't exist in the 80s. I don't even know what half this stuff does! Right now I'm looking at something and I have no idea what it is. They also didn't understand time travel like I do. You would have to go a lot faster than 88 MPH to get up into the space-time continuum. I mean WAY faster. You'd need at least a Corvette with some nitrus. Also, if they knew so much about the future, why didn't they put Barack Obama in there somewhere? It just goes to show you that even the smartest people tend to fail as much as me or more.


  1. Good choice of topic. I have a command of this movie (and the subject) that is likely to knock you on your butt. I pretty much agree with everything here, but I have a few rebuttals to make later.

    Love the filmmakers beautiful vision of the future and how dehydrated pizza, hovering boards, and The Fish Under The Sea dance are all things we can look forward to. Although, I'm not looking forward to a bully that is at your every turn and who never seems to age. :) This is a classic where a cast has been picked just right, a group with a blend of comedy and phyiscal violence that you dont see much these days. If your a director, you mix your spices carefully: a little pepper here (Leah Thompson), a dash of basil here (Crispin Glover) and a pinch of parsley there (the boy who Marty stole the skateboard from) and waalaa, the studio's got their blockbuster and your twirling a kane up and down the red carpet.

    It's not a perfect movie though. The emplications of a ruptured space-time continuum has haunted me for weeks at a time. And how did Doc get Marty admitted to the school so quikcly for the week he spent in the 50's? Were the teachers ok with this? Did Marty do assignments or have any homework during this time? At one point he asks George why he wasn't in class that day like he screwed up their group project or something, and then its never resolved. There was nothing shown about the schooling process, and I would like to have seen it, including a 50's curriculum. (Before you respond, I know that an academia's tastes differ from that of John Q. Viewer and that most people wont get it.) I maintain they missed a chance at a great 50's satire of public schools and there are opportunitys for some extra comedy. Like Marty forgot to turn in his history homework and has to hand it off to Doc right as the delorean cruises through the ring of fire and back to the eighties, but the page gets ripped and he fails the class or something. Or maybe Strickland stops the whole deal before the lighting strikes and hauls there butts off to detention.

    You mention the mess up on Obama, but you forget Reagan was in it. Typical liberal elitism on your part. By the way, put a picture of the technology you don't recognize on the blog for a future post or you could email it to me.

  2. Tim, you never ceased to be amazed by me and this time is not different. All great rebuttals but I think your missing the point. They have a time machine! Ok so Marty forgets to turn in his history homework (can you say "ironing"?)but all he has to do is be like, "No problem, teach, I'll be back in five seconds. Don't go anywhere" and then hop in the Delorean, go back in time to when the teacher assigned the homework and convince the teacher not to assign homework that day, then "waallaa" as you say. No problem. Then he can go back to the teacher in the future and be like "Maybe you should have assigned some homework. What kind of teacher are you?"

    I do think you're right about the missed opportunities for comedy gold though. That dog was pretty funny. He always looked real sad when he was time traveling. They should have had that dog in more scenes. And Marty's brother always made me split my side. One minute he was wearing some shorts and the next minute he was wearing a suit. How many clothes did that guy own?! Not to mention that guy who had to wax George's car all the time. Why wasn't he anywhere else in the movie? Hilarious!

    What's next, your going to tell me that Arnold Schwarrzeenegger was in Back to the Future too? I forget, how many killer robots does Marty fight? LOL!

  3. About the teacher and homework, it's pretty funny, but what you're describing there would almost certainly get a teacher fired. Funny for a movie, not funny in real life at all. Have you also forgotten the entire premise of the movie? The plutonium chamber is empty in 1955 and they cannot refill it until plutonium is invented. So funny or not, it wouldn't work. And it bothers me how you talk about teachers on here.

    Now the dog, that was funny, you are right. That dogs just sitting in that armored truck with a radiation suit on and he can't stop barking at the Libyans until they get fed up and just blow him away. That is hilarious. Only in a time travel movie where you can rewind history and save everyone could you ever get away with that.