Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Blockbusters of 1985: Back to the Future

Welcome girls and boys to the Summer Blockbusters of 1985! Today of course we need to start off big, bold and brassy. Naturally we need to discuss the top grossing film of the year bringing a Family Ties actor's name to households all over the world and raking in more than 383 million worldwide.
Written by Bob Gale (I Wanna Hold Your Hand, 1941, Used Cars, Back to the Future and Bordello of Blood) and Robert Zemeckis and directed by Zemeckis (Used Cars, Romancing the Stone, Death Becomes Her, Forrest Gump and Contact)comes the story of love, romance, fist fights and time travel.

Psst, Marty have a Coke instead.

This is Back to the Future.

Our story opens with a house with a Rube Goldberg machine to make toast, set off alarm, fire up coffee and prep canned dog food, as Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox of Class of 1984, Teen Wolf, Family Ties, The Hard Way, Greedy and The Frighteners) goes to hang out with his favorite mad scientist of the town, a pariah in the scientific community that is always building crazy inventions with a hit or miss ratio while Marty aspires to be a musician, impress his girl and get the truck of his dreams. Belitted at school for slacking off, our lad heads home for grub and be with his family. His dad, George (Crispin Glover of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Twister, The Doors, Charlie's Angels, Willard and Epic Movie) constantly bullied by his supervisor and his mom Loranne (Lea Thompson of Jaws: 3-D, SpaceCamp, Howard the Duck, Caroline in the City, For the People and Jane Doe: Vanishing Act) is an overweight alcoholic who constantly reminisces over how she met Marty's father.

Great Scott! My fly has been open all this time!

Thoroughly depressed with this lot, Marty thrashes his deck down to the shopping mall to meet up with his buddy "Doc" Doctor Emmit Brown (Christopher Lloyd of Taxi, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Clue, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Addams Family, Quicksilver Highway, Tremors: The Series and Piranha 3D) who has made a fully-functional time machine out of a DeLorean luxury sports car. Powered by plutonium nabbed from some Lybian terrorists, the flux capacitor can hurdle the car into whatever time period he wants it to go. Marty filming this on VHS sees the Lybians shoot Doc as Marty leaps into the car to escape but accidentally sets the car 30 years into the past.

Caught in the past and unintentionally interfering with his parents collective timelines, Marty must correct these errors to insure he and his siblings birth and their parents' marriage. Seeking out 1955 Doc Brown is the only way to send him back to the future. With no plutonium at the ready, there may be no way to alter the timeline and get back home.

Can Marty exact the timeline? Will Doc Brown avoid his future fate? Can his dog Einstein get a new squeaky toy?

A few bits of trivia on the film now.

Due to Pepsi's sponsorship, various scenes showcase Pepsi products and memorabilia throughout the movie. Huey Lewis of Huey Lewis and the News, the main performer of the soundtrack is in a bit part as one of the judges for Marty's band on whether or not they can play for the high school dance.
Eric Stolz was originally slated to play Marty McFly but the fight sequence between him and Thomas Wilson (Biff) damn near broke his collarbone. Wilson set to beat the monkey crap out of Stolz was too late as Zemeckis had fired Eric a half hour before.

The inspiration for the movie is largely credited to writer Bob Gale looking through his dad's high school yearbook and wondering if they would have been friends as teenagers. The White House press had a field day of approval over the script mocking the President when Reagan's actual reaction of past Doc Brown finding in preposterous that an actor would be President tickled him and gave him a good hearty laugh. "Whew," said the producers.

You damn kids and your Huey Lewis and the News... Bah!!