Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Great Alphabet of Films—B is For

Back to the Future 

      Marty McFly is a bellwether of the American teenage sensibility that rose from the 80's. From the audacious, plutonium-powered DeLorean "time machine," invented by eccentric scientist "Doc" Brown, Marty is accidentally sent back in time to 1955. What follows, of course, is a delightful sequence of unforgettably entertaining moments. As we bear witness to Marty's superlative trip back in time, we are beset by a tense realization that haunts Marty's otherwise earnest and refreshingly calm demeanor; he must make certain his teenage parents-to-be not only meet, but fall in love. Why? Well. to ensure he gets Back to the Future
      Time travel is a fascinating concept. Director Robert Zemeckis, distinguished for his skillful rendering of special effects and child-like sensibilities, elevates this concept to a kid's nostalgic apex. It is a movie that I will forever regard as one of my favorite childhood cinematic outings, bolstered by a cocktail of compelling action, riveting adventure, and plenty of humor. 
      The hero of the film, Marty McFly, is played wonderfully by an enthusiastic and fresh-faced Michael J. Fox. With a charming and shrill focus, Fox perfectly captures the infectious balance of both humor and tension; not once will you ever question the fantastical nature of Zemeckis' wildly imaginative premise. Christopher Lloyd's run as the mad scientist-friend of Marty is memorably terrific. And the remainder of the cast superbly embellishes the gently nostalgic witticism of Zemeckis' vision. Who can forget that infamous exchange between Marty's father and Biff: "Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly. Think! I gotta have time to get 'em retyped. Do you realize what would happen if I hand in my reports in your handwriting? I'll get fired. You wouldn't want that to happen, would ya? Would ya?"
      And, without a doubt, my favorite scene from the film is Marty's captivating blues riff of "Johnny B. Goode" from the inventor of Rock & Roll himself, Chuck Berry. This classic scene beautifully embodies the film's credible, and appealing trip down memory lane, resulting in a picture that will be infinitely revered for its pure, unbridled dosage of entertainment.

marty mcfly - johnny b. goode from etsw on Vimeo.


  1. I love this movie. Not big on the sequels though.
    Christopher Lloyd is my favorite. But, I've loved him since Jim in Taxi.

  2. Where's my flux capacitor? Oh I love this movie. My favorite scene in addition to the Chuck Berry riff is Marty as spaceman Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan threatening to melt George's brain if he didn't ask Lorraine out. Awesome post!

  3. I adore all of these movies - the sequels are not as magical as the first movie but they're still waaaay better than a lot of fantasy/science fiction being made at the time (give them another chance Ruth!) Here's a wild observation - were are only four years away from the year Marty landed in on his trip to the future from 1985...and unless a lot changes, I don't think we're going to see a 2015 exactly like the one in the movie...I know for sure we're going to be short a few Jaws post about a terrific movie! Cheers!

  4. I don't know any kid born in the 80s who does not love BTTF! An excellent choice! :)

  5. it's one of the biggest films of our childhoods! Hope they won't remake it like every other 80's classic!

  6. This was one of my favorite movies - in fact, I'd still watch and enjoy it today.

  7. @ Ruth

    Christopher Lloyd is tremendous. Funny and cool, at the same time.

    @ Melissa

    Of course! That scene is fantastic. Now that I think about it, there are so many great scenes.

  8. @ Craig

    Thanks! You're right! The original is the best. Haha good observation. The 2015 we experience will not resemble the one Zemeckis envisioned, but his imagination is fantastic anyway! What makes the science fiction/action so great is it's sincerity and gentle nostalgia.

    @ Sandy

    Indeed! Thanks!

  9. @ Dezmond

    Haha. A remake would not be warranted. You can't recreate that childhood nostalgia. The sequels are enough.

    @ Jaydee

    I feel the same. Whenever its on and I'm around, I can't look away.

  10. Excellent post! Such a classic movie, and definitely my favorite of all-time.

    There's been a buzz about a Part 4 for literally almost 15 years, and I keep praying that they won't make it. Thank goodness Zemeckis and Gale have not pursued it. Unlike Lucas and Spielberg, they actually care about the integrity of the original films.

    BTW - I noticed you are also a Bill Simmons fan. :)

  11. Thanks Liz! And I'm happy to have you as a follower!

    I'm on board with you on BTTF. This ain't Rocky. It doesn't need to go past Part 3, and tarnish the trilogy. As you said, it's all about upholding the integrity of the classic film property.

    And of course. Bill Simmons is the MAN! I admire his writing talent and his wit, particularly when it comes to sports and pop culture. Many of his old "Page 2" columns are must reads!

  12. Great movie; Had a bit of everything in it!

  13. Great post for this classic, Matt! Pretty much everything about 'Back to the Future' works from the interesting characters, to the clever humour, to the magical experience of going back in time.

  14. I remember as a child, my mum watching Back to the Future-she loved it. But I didn't really have a clue what was going on. (In my defence, I was only about a tiney tot.)
    I watched it, for the first time in a long time, a few weeks ago and could appreciate the humour and lines that flew over my head as a child. Such a great film!

  15. Aah. The 80s. I remember them so well. Back to the Future was one of the highlights!

    Great post.

  16. Oops...that was not the link I meant to post! Montessori Writer is another bloggers blog. Oh, dear. Start again: Ellie Garratt

  17. love the movie title.

    dynamic image.
    Happy A-Z Challenge.

  18. @ Ella

    Precisely! Thanks for commenting!

    @ Jaccstev

    I couldn't agree more!

  19. @ Holly

    Thanks for commenting and following!

    Yeah, the first time I watched it as a youngin', I was also a bit baffled by the science-fiction designs of the film. I was like, a "flux what."

    @ Ellie

    Thanks! The 80's, though I don't remember them too well, were musically fantastic!

  20. @ Talli

    Awesome! Thanks for following!

    @ Jingle


  21. I recently shared all three movies with my kids! Love it... it's soooo 80's!

  22. That's terrific! I loved this movie as a kid, and still, as an adult.

  23. Thanks! I'm grateful to be one of your go-to sites!