* Prices may differ from that shown
"Back to the Future" is a 1985 adventure film which was directed by Robert Zemeckis, who has also directed such films as "Forrest Gump" (1994), "Romancing the Stone" (1984), and "Cast Away" (2000).
Warning: Spoilers will likely be given during this review.
The film is 116 minutes in length and stars Michael J. Fox ("Casualties of War", "Mars Attacks!", "Stuart Little") as Marty McFly, Christopher Lloyd ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "The Addams Family", "Eight Men Out") as Emmett Brown, and Crispin Glover ("Wild at Heart", "The Doors", "Beowulf") as George McFly.
The plot for the film reads as follows: A teenager is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence.
Fresh from directing "Romancing the Stone", Robert Zemeckis took on "Back to the Future" with a renewed sense of accomplishment, and knew he was on to a winner. "Back to the Future" was the highest grossing film of 1985 and raked in a massive $383 million worldwide, leaving behind a legacy of two sequels, numerous video games and even a theme park ride in Osaka that is still in operation, and two that are no longer functioning in California and Florida. It made a global star out of Michael J. Fox, who would go on to win numerous awards for his role in TV comedy shows, "Spin City" and "Family Ties". The comedy/adventure film was big business in the mid 1980s, but the big question that remains is an easy one. Is it any good? Let's find out!
The opening scene of the film shows Dr. Emmet Brown's place which is packed full of various types of clocks. We also see a framed newspaper cutting which tells us that the family mansion was destroyed by a fire and that he sold off his estate. As the camera pans down and left, one of the Doc's inventions, an automatic coffee maker kicks into action with the sound of a radio announcer, and the machine doesn't do what it should, pouring hot water into a non-existent coffee pot. A TV switches on with the presenter mentioning that there was a possible theft of plutonium from a nearby nuclear plant, while another invention cremates two slices of toast and then puts them back in again to completely finish them off. A mechanical arm system opens up a can of dog food and tips it into Einstein's bowl from a good height, and the camera keeps panning until we see Marty McFly for the first time as he opens the door and call for the Doc.
There are a few scenes which stick out because of Marty going back in time, and largely because of the differences between 1985 and 1955, or the differences between 1985 and now. For instance when Marty says he'll call Jennifer, she tells him she will be at her grandma's and gives him the number to the house there. There were no mobile phones in 1985 and while I like my phone, we did so much more back then without the digital age of modern technology like the Internet, smartphones and consoles that have better games than the processing power of a Commodore 64.How many kids actually 'play out' these days, compared to the 1980s? Very few, I would imagine.
Who wouldn't love to drive the DeLorean? The car is a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 which was adapted to suit Doc Brown's time travelling needs. It is made out of a mixture of fibreglass and steel, and encapsulates a Flux Capacitor - a Y-shaped device which, according to the Doc is "what makes time travel possible." It is said that seven DeLoreans were used during the making of the film, and about the only way I ever got near driving one is on Forza Motorsport 4" for the Xbox 360, in which you can take it for a spin, lapping numerous tracks around the world. There is even an achievement which will pop if you get it to 88mph, which I thought was a neat addition.
Some transitional scenes between 1955 and 1985 also spring to mind in that it is difficult to imagine the life back then compared to 30 years in the future. For instance, Marty is knocked down by his future grandfather and he wakes up in his future mother's bedroom. She is under the impression that he's called Calvin because his name is apparently sewn inside his underwear, oblivious to the fact that we all know nowadays that CK is a fashion brand. Different phrases also come into play, with Marty saying "heavy" a couple of times. The Doc finally bites and says "There's that word again, heavy. Why are things so heavy in the future. Is there a problem with the Earth's gravitational pull?"
One of the greatest mysteries of the film was only recently unveiled as Marty, dressed as a spaceman visits his future father and plays a cassette with some intricate guitar work emanating from it. It took 27 years for Eddie Van Halen to admit it was his guitar playing that was recorded for the scene, even though the average Van Halen fan always knew. Speaking of playing guitar, at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance with Marvin Berry and the Starlighters, the band finishes a rendition of "Earth Angel", he goes full on into "Johnny B. Goode", a song that would not be recorded until three years later by Chuck Berry. I did enjoy the line which comes after Marty plays a solo at the end of the song. The crowd goes silent and he says "I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it."
Michael J. Fox was always the first choice to play Marty McFly, but due to scheduling conflicts with "Family Ties" he was unavailable, and the job went to Eric Stoltz. However, both the producers and Stoltz all agreed that he wasn't the right guy for the job, and Fox was freed by "Family Ties" producer Gary Goldberg to work on both projects at the same time. Also in the frame for the role was C. Thomas Howell, who had already been in "Red Dawn", "The Outsiders" and "Tank" by this time, and Johnny Depp also auditioned. Marty is a nervous kid who is not really sure what is happening to him throughout the large majority of the film, but the role was really made for Fox, and, in turn, he made the role his own.
John Lithgow was the original choice for the role of Doc Brown and also considered were Dudley Moore and Jeff Goldblum. I can definitely see the appeal of the latter as the eccentric inventor, but I am not quite sure about Dudley Moore. I just don't think he would have had that madcap style required, somehow. Lithgow looks like a mad scientist, and that is where the line is drawn as far as I'm concerned. I do not see how he could have transferred his acting style into the Doc. As it happens, Lloyd originally turned down the role but was convinced by his wife to take it after another read through of the script.
I really enjoyed the idea of time travel when I was a teenager, as I was when this film was released. I know now that time travel is impossible because the laws of physics say that if it was possible, it would already have happened. Confused yet? I was, until I looked into it a little further and listened to what the likes of Stephen Hawking had to say on the subject. If you like oddball characters, you will like this film. Then again, you have almost certainly already seen it. Right?
What the Critics Say
Empire: "Among the plethora of innocent charms on offer, there's the near perfect script by Zemekis and Bob Gale which not only negotiates its time travel paradoxes with deft, exuberant wit but invests the light-hearted plot machinations with a seasoning note of honest drama."
Boston Globe: "The best mainstream film since "E.T.," is an uplifting reminder that Hollywood can still produce truly great entertainment...The plot is so exquisitely developed that divulging anything beyond the basic outline might diminish the joyous surprises that await an audience thirsting for originality in a reactionary medium."
The New York Times: "Mr. Zemeckis is able both to keep the story moving and to keep it from going too far. He handles "Back to the Future" with the kind of inventiveness that indicates he will be spinning funny, whimsical tall tales for a long time to come."
San Francisco Chronicle: "I just don't know how all this sweetness and light will go down with a teenaged movie audience presumably gung-ho with "Rambo" - especially now that he's got the presidential seal of approval. And that's no joke, son"
Orlando Sentinel" "This brilliant contraption of a film could become the hit of the summer. It's a cinematic Rube Goldberg machine whose parts connect in audacious, witty ways."
My rating: 8/10
I always wish I grew up in the 80s because I love everything about it, it's quite sad really lol. Back to The Future which for me is the greatest time travel movie of all time and I would have loved to have watch this in the cinema when it came out in 1985 it would have been class.Starring Michael J Fox need I say more about the brilliance of this movie.
Michael J. Fox ... Marty McFly
Christopher Lloyd ... Dr. Emmett Brown
Lea Thompson ... Lorraine Baines
Crispin Glover ... George McFly
Thomas F. Wilson ... Biff Tannen
Claudia Wells ... Jennifer Parker
Marc McClure ... Dave McFly
Wendie Jo Sperber ... Linda McFly
George DiCenzo ... Sam Baines
Frances Lee McCain ... Stella Baines
James Tolkan ... Mr. Strickland
Marty McFly is an average teenager with a quite average family and nothing entertaining really happens in his life. His father George McFly is a bit of a push over and gets bullied by his boss Biff Tannen despite being a talented artist for comics but just doesn't have the confidence to take it anywhere. His mother Lorraine Baines McFly is a miserable alcoholic that is unhappy with her life. He also lives with his two older siblings which are not doing much with their lives. His family are pretty miserable at the start of the film.
Marty has a bit of a setback when he auditions with his band to perform at his high school dance. Jennifer his girlfriend reassures him that he should continue to peruse his dream of wanting to be a rock star no matter what. That same night at dinner is when Marty hears how his parents met which is a significant part of the plot.
Marty goes out to meet his friend Dr Emmett "Doc" Brown in a parking lot where he shows him the time machine that he has created. Using 1955 Doc shows Marty how the machine works in which he is impressed. Before Doc sets of for the first time terrorist come along shoot him and steal the plutonium. Marty in a panic Marty gets in the time machine and by accident takes himself back to 1955 with no plutonium to return to 1985.
Whilst back in 1955 Marty changes the course of the future by accidently interfering in how his parents met without even knowing. He makes his 1955 mother fall in love with him rather than fall in love with his dad. The more time he spends in the past the more he ruins/changes his future. It's up to him to make he parents get together to stop him from not existing in the future and find Doc to get himself back to 1985.
The plot I thought was superb and very well thought out. The plot is very detailed and you can tell the writers thought about every last detail to make the story flow. The movie is set in two time periods 1955 and 1985 so it could have been so easy for them to miss something. There is a clear difference between 1985 and 1955 making the movie feel like Marty really did travel back in time.
The storyline is a fun adventure and for me because Marty is such a sweet lovable character I couldn't help but want him to get back to 1985 in one piece. There is a lot of comedy in the film which kept me laughing through most of it and is one of the reasons I love the movie so much. One thing I found so funny threw the film was when Marty went back to 1955 and the younger version of his mother kept calling Marty Calvin Klein because it was the make of his boxers lol.
I like the way that the whole movie was about travelling in time and it wasn't typical of what you would expected and it is very unique. It also wasn't predictable and I loved the two time periods it was set in.
The acting in this film is spot on and you couldn't ask for much better. I liked Doc in this movie he was very crazy, weird but at the same time very lovable because of how bubbly he was all the time. Michael J Fox did an excellent job as Marty and again like some of his other 80s movie he was in his mid 20s at the time playing a teenager superbly.
The movie doesn't really have that many characters the main two are Doc and Marty. Besides these two you have a younger pair of Marty's parents which I loved and it's quite funny how his dad is just the same as a teen as he is when his older but Marty's mum is much more bubbly and fun as a teen and made me wander how she became such a miserable women.
Yes this movie is set in a high school so of course it has to have the bully. Biff Tannen is the bully of the movie and is one of those classic big bad wolf type of bullies. By that I mean bigger than everyone and the type to take you lunch money or lunch box. In other words an old fashion bully not like the ones today which I thought was better because it makes the bullying in the movie more comical rather than serious so it adds to the fun in the movie.
----------------------Special effects ------------------------
Considering this movie came out in the 80s and is a science fiction movie it has very good special effects. the time machine is realistic and the travelling through time is also realistic. I liked it all because it's not all over done and full of over the top cgi going on.
the clear difference between 1985 and 1955 was also brilliant because they didn't try to modernise the 1950s to fit with what people would like they just left it how it was back then to the best they could.
this movie is definitely one of the best movies that I have watched and I definitely think you can call this movie a classic. It's one of those movies that you just have to see before you die because it's a really fun adventure that everyone will enjoy. Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd really couldn't have performed better. Definitely worth it especially for such a small price of from 48p ion Amazon.
Time Travel. A literary and cinematic device that celebrates the aesthetics of the paradox. From Dickens to HG Wells to, er, Jean Claude Van Damme in Timecop. I have a slightly strange relationship with the Back to the Future series in that I don't love it as a complete entity in the way many people do. I absolutely adore the first film but can take or leave the sequels. The first film was so perfect it was almost a shame that they felt obliged to make more. Back to the Future was released without fanfare in 1985 and became one of the most successful and iconic films of the decade. Zemeckis (who had put himself on the map with the enjoyable 1984 adventure romp Romancing the Stone) wrote the film with Bob Gale. They conjured an irresistible mixture of nostalgia, satire, comedy, action and romance and made one of the best films of the 1980s. Despite a bizarre Oedipal theme (not too many mainstream blockbusters flirt with incest!) and a sometimes troubled production, Back to the Future took a clever premise (what if you met your parents when they were teenagers at school?) and transformed it into a calculated, intelligent, sassy, funny and charming fairy tale that repays the viewer time and again. In the dreamily bucolic and sleepy environment of Hill Valley, 17-year-old Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) skateboards around town behind cars to the (ahem) powerhouse sound of Huey Lewis and the News as he dreams of becoming a rock star with his dreadful school group. If I tried to hitch a lift behind a car on a skateboard I'd be arrested or maimed within about ten minutes but this is a Steven Spielberg town. The sun is always out and anything is possible. Marty is the ultimate eighties teenager right down to the very tips of his Walkman. Not all is perfect at home though. He must wearily tolerate his loveable loser parents and highly annoying siblings.
His father George (Crispin Glover) is a hopeless wimp and complete and utter nerd forever bullied by his boorish work supervisor Biff Tannen (Thomas F Wilson). "Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly. Think!" George is just not very good at confrontations and apparently never has been. Marty's mother Lorraine (Lea Thompson) is permanently half sozzled and gone to seed, forever complaining about the failure of "Uncle Joey" to make parole and trapped in the past with a glazed expression. Marty inevitably has to listen to the story of how his parents first met whenever his mother has a drink. Way back in 1955, Lorraine's father had accidently hit George with his car in the street. "Your Grandpa brought him into the house. He seemed so helpless, like a little lost puppy. And my heart just went out to him." Marty's teenage parents then went to the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance and kissed for the first time. Their future together was sealed. Marty spends most of his spare time with his girlfriend Jennifer (Claudia Wells) or his friend Dr Emmett "Doc" Brown (Christopher Lloyd) - an eccentric and nutty local scientist/inventor who is sort of like a cross between Einstein and Dr Who with mad eyes, wild hair and a habit of suddenly barking out something loudly with great emphasis. "1.21 GIGAWATTS!!" Dozing in bed, Marty receives a call from Doc Brown, asking him to come to Twin Pines Mall at 1:15 am to witness a "breakthrough". He skateboards over and is shown the Doc's latest invention and pièce de résistance - a time machine built into a DeLorean! "The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?" The car is powered by plutonium stolen from Libyan terrorists. When the angry terrorists suddenly turn up with guns and rocket launchers, Marty ends up in the Delorean being pursued. Once he reaches 88 mph he unwittingly triggers the time machine and emerges in the Hill Valley of November 5, 1955 (the date idly keyed in by Brown when he recalled inventing the crucial "flux capacitor" time travel instrument that day). Trapped in 1955 - for the car has run out of plutonium - Marty must find the 1955 version of Doc Brown for help getting back to the future. Worst of all though is his accidental interaction with his parents. He saves George from being hit by his Grandfather's car and ends up being hit and taken home instead where his teenage mother falls in love with him! Marty must now make his parents fall in love or he won't exist - even if he does somehow make it back to 1985.
Like many great films the inspired casting of Back to the Future was somewhat fortuitous. Eric Stoltz (best known for Mask with Cher) was originally cast as Marty but left the production after five weeks of shooting when Zemeckis and producer Steven Spielberg looked at the footage they'd shot and decided Stoltz wasn't right for the part. Stoltz was too serious and wasn't providing the humour they needed. He was trying to give too dramatic a performance. They returned to a young Canadian actor they had considered before Stoltz. Michael J Fox was already well known through the popular sitcom Family Ties but his contract to that show made it incredibly difficult to get hold of his services. In the end, a deal was worked out and Fox practically went without sleep during the production, shuttling back and forth between Back to the Future and Family Ties. With his more natural gift for comedy, Michael J Fox was almost perfect casting. Much funnier and less aloof than the urbane Stoltz. Back to the Future made him a star. Fox said he was more or less Marty in real life and it wasn't difficult for him to capture the essence of the character. Christopher Lloyd's equally inspired casting also had an element of luck and fate. John Lithgow had been the first choice for Doc Brown and when that didn't pan out Lloyd had actually turned the film down. He was persuaded to reconsider in the end and the flamboyant madness that he brought to One Flew Over the Cuckoos' Nest and the classic sitcom Taxi is a pleasant mesh here for the bonkers inventor. Despite his brazen eccentricity and propensity to shout a lot there are some very poignant moments when Lloyd tones it down and we see the essential warmth of the character and his relationship with Marty. We sense that Marty is probably his only friend and this makes their friendship all the more important and charming. The opening of Back to the Future is very clever. A room chock full of ticking clocks, photographs of famous inventors and scientists, various elaborate mechanical gadgets and contraptions that can (just about) do things like cook and prepare breakfast. It's the home of Doc Brown of course and Marty is there to try a guitar plugged into a humongous amplifier. Not only does this scene have a funny coda but it helps establish why they are friends. Marty likes the Doc and thinks he makes some cool things that he enjoys trying out.
One of the joys of the film is of course the culture clash between Marty and the 1950s. He is truly a fish out of water and frequently bemused by his surroundings and people. "Hey kid, what's with the life saver?", a barman barks when he clocks his oversized eighties jacket. The scene in the diner where Marty realises the teenager sitting next to him is his father is fantastic and wonderfully staged and acted. I love the use of science fiction riffs here too. The Delorean, for example, is mistaken for a UFO when it crashes into a 1950s barn. The sleek and somewhat futuristic Delorean was specifically chosen as the time machine vehicle for this joke. Marty's frantic attempts to make the dubious younger Doc Brown believe he is from the future produce some great lines in particular I think. "The actor?" laughs Doc when told that Ronald Reagan is President in 1985. "Who's Vice President? Jerry Lewis?" There are many felicitous moments that deliciously pay off earlier lines and scenes in the film that seemed inconsequential at the time. The scenes between Fox and Crispin Glover as "young George" are often a delight here. Marty must somehow imbue his drippy teenage father with enough confidence to win the heart of Lorraine so that he will exist in the future. Glover is great in the film and very funny. He's a very strange actor and reigned in enough so that his natural weirdness doesn't overbalance George but is a strength instead. "Yes. I'm George, George McFly. I'm your density. I mean... your destiny." Very Cyrano De Bergerac as Marty romantically coaches him and tries to steer him in the right direction (with the crafty help of some eighties gadgets and knowledge). The recreation of the period is impressive and convincing. Very fairy tale cinematography and fifties nostalgia at its most dreamlike. I suppose the ironic thing about the film today is it works as eighties nostalgia too.
There is a subtext in the film about the temporal nature of things that is especially interesting. Jackie Gleason's television show and rock and roll music will last but how much of Marty's era will survive and be cherished for eternity? Certainly not Huey Lewis and the News that's for sure. Calvin Klein maybe. The name on Marty's underpants and therefore the one he takes to hide his true identity. Lea Thompson is excellent as Marty's mother in both the 1985 and 1955 sequences and makes a convincing fifties teeny bopper. The humour here derives from Marty discovering that she was not quite as straight laced as a young woman as he had expected. Thomas F Wilson is well cast too as the dim but determined bully Biff Tannen. He plays Biff with the right mixture of menace and buffoon. The improvised skateboard chase with Biff's souped up car in hot pursuit of Marty is a truly great set-piece. The fifties is gently sent up here as a place that was perhaps not quite as picture perfect and innocent as youngsters like Marty were led to believe. Beneath the veneer of slickness and fun this is also a moral fable too. Marty will learn a great deal about his parents on this fantastic and improbable journey and come out a better person for the experience. It builds to a frantic and charming third act and is generally one of the most sophisticated and touching mainstream blockbusters ever made. A great film. Oh, and the stirring Back to the Future theme by Alan Silvestri is wonderful.
Starring Michael.J.Fox in one of his greatest ever roles, Back To The Future is a classic piece of eighties sci-fi cheese that, whilst it has aged a little, is still just as much fun as it was back in the day!
Marty McFly is best friends with eccentric scientist, Dr.Emmet Brown. One night he meets him in the parking lot of the local mall where The Doc proposes to show him his latest technological invention. Using something he has invented called The Flux Capacitor and a stylish DeLorean car, it soon turns out The Doc has created a machine that can travel back in time! The only snag...it needs Plutonium to fuel The Flux Capacitor! Fortunately The Doc has managed to obtain some by swindling some Libyans; unfortunately, the Libyans quickly discover they have been hoodwinked and come back to take their revenge....just as The Doc is showing off his invention to Marty.
With The Doc dead and himself next in the firing line, Marty takes the only option by jumping in the DeLorean and jumping back in time to 1955. Unfortunately he travels back with no way of returning and has to track down The Doc from the past to enlist his help. Along the way, Marty manages to upset the Space Time Continuim by accidentally preventing his parents from ever getting together!! Now Marty must put things right and prevent himself from being erased from all existance before he can go back to the future. And time is running out with only a small window in which it will be possible for him to return.....
This is an awesome, awesome film with a cracking soundtrack and starring Christopher Lloyd in probably his most famous role to date! There is nothing about this film that is possible to not like and it is a great piece of cinema that remains a classic to this day!
If you haven't seen this in a while, I reccommend yoy pick it out again as this is a film that deserves to be watched and enjoyed all over again!
**What is it?**
Back to the Future is the first of three films made in 1985 and directed by Robert Zemeckis.
**What is it about?**
Marty McFly is an American teenager who is sent back in time, in the DeLorean time machine, accidentally from 1985 (when the film was set and made) to 1955 to the night of his parents prom. At the prom Marty's mother takes a fancying to him and it's up to Marty to ensure that his parents meet and fall in love like history says should happen otherwise he may never be born.....
**Who is in it?**
Marty McFly is played by a young Michael J. Fox, who plays Marty brilliantly with a cheeky teenage flair. It also stars Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown - the mad scientist who invents the time machine responsible for Marty's time traveling. Lea Thompson stars as Marty's mother, Crispin Glover as Marty's father and Thomas F. Wilson who plays Biff Tannen (and his father) who is a bully present in both 1955 and 1985.
**Is it any good?**
This is a classic 80's film. I think it is the kind of film a teenager or child of 7+ would enjoy. It has all sorts of acting and storylines within it. Comedy, romantic, sci-fi, a little bit of tension and it deals with real life issues such as bullying.
Marty McFly in this film is cool. He is the kind of person that boys would want to be and girls would want to be with. I'm sure many a teenage crush started here.
Watching this film back as an adult I'm not sure how I feel about it, obviously it is not realistic in the slightest but maybe that is what appealed to me when I was younger and now that my film taste has changed I only see the appeal as a form of nostalgia.
I would recommend this film for children, however I am not sure how much they would enjoy it as it is nothing like the kinds of films that are made for children these days.
If you ever watched this on TV as a youngster or many many moons ago it's a perfeccct film to bring back youthful feelings.
This is definitely the finest of the three Back to the Future films, they definitely go downhill from here.
**Where can I get it?**
Being a film from the 1980's it is available cheap as chips on Amazon, also it can be found in DVD shops in the older films sections where you can probably pick it up for a couple of pounds. So not a bad bargain.
Remember, back in the 80s, when Hollywood assumed that the future would be a bleak grey world of sky scrapers, flying cars and hovercrafts. Back To The Future went against the grain by actually presenting time travel as an exciting colourful adventure full of lively characters and surprisingly advanced special effects, mainly due to the efforts of film director Robert Zemeckis.
Zemeckis was responsible for the less engaging "The Frighteners", which also starred Michael J Fox. More famously though, he is the man responsible for the Hitchcockian styled "What Lies Beneath". He has such a visual flare that he is able to take the simplest of plots and turning them into a visual treat. As early as 1985, on the release of this film, he was already showing his promise in the first of three Back To The Future films.
Marty McFly is the typical American teenager, well at least in the 80s. He's smarter than most of the adults around him, has an eccentric doctor friend, and runs around on a skateboard. Unbeknown to mostly everybody in the town, Old Doc Brown has created a smart car that will allow him to travel back and forth in time. After a tragic incident though, Marty takes off in the Delorian, and oddly enough, finds himself back in 1955, the year of his parent's prom.
When Marty arrives, he goes searching for his folks. He is bemused to find that his father is the high school geek, while his father's boss Biff is constantly bullying him. Marty sets about changing his father's fate, but is at risk from obliterating himself from existence. Marty finds himself racing against time to keep his mother and father together, humiliate Biff forever and get himself back to the future before time runs out.
This is a superbly simple film that calls upon its intricate plot device, the acting of its fresh faced cast, and some effective effects to create something spectacular and that remains a firm favourite 25 years on. Zemeckis has cast the parts perfectly from the lead character to the equally important but less high profile characters that make the film so rounded and enjoyable.
Michael J Fox takes on the lead role as Marty McFly. I haven't seen Fox in quite a while, but the last time I saw him he looked about 12 and that was a good 15 years after his performance in this film. He embodies that smart talking boy next door perfectly, and is also physically perfect for the sequences in which he has to duck out of situations that mean trouble. Christopher Lloyd is equally perfect as the eccentric Doc Brown. His is the most comedic role, and he fits the role perfectly.
Crispin Glover and Lea Thompson are brilliantly matched, oddly enough. They look like they might be from different leagues, but together they just gel and you'll have no trouble accepting that the geeky looking George and homely looking Lorraine belong together. Thomas F Wilson completes the circle of the cast, ably irritating and infuriating in equal measures. Every time I watch this film, I find something new to hate about him from his foul appearance to his slobbish behaviour and bully antics.
Apparently Eric Stoltz and C Thomas Howell were considered for this film, given that they were biggish names at the time. However, I couldn't imagine anybody else but Michael J Fox doing the part. The film was released most recently on DVD in 2005, and is available on amazon for the slightly overpriced tag of £10.99. You can buy it for a fraction of that in the used section. The film is being released on blu-ray on 25 October 2010, so might be a better option for those of you looking to enjoy the full experience.
Back to the Future has to be one of the best teenage comedies to come out of the 80's and went on to be a time travelling classic film today, that nearly everybody out there loves! Made in 1985, this is one of Michael J. Fox's most memorable performances.
Marty Mcfly - played by Michael J Fox, is a typical teenager with dreams and high hopes of becoming a successful musician.
Although almost everything about his life is average, his friendship to a local scientist - Doc Brown - played by Christopher Lloyd, is not. Doc Brown is eccentric to say the least and sees Marty as almost his only friend and a person he really trusts.
Marty gets a strange call from Doc Brown one day asking for his help with an experiment, but after Marty turns up to an isolated car park late at night, he realises that the Docs latest experiment is something unbelievable!
Doc has invented a time machine...........and not only that.............he's built it into a car.....a DeLorean!
After coming under attack from terrorists that Doc Brown acquired materials from for his time machine, Marty ends up getting into the DeLorean after seeing the Doc apparently get gunned down! The only way he has of escaping is in the car but unfortunately he forgets about the fact that it travels back in time when it hits 88mph!
After a nifty chase scene, Marty finds himself back in 1955 because of hitting the time controls during his escape.
With things exceptionally strange all around him and also hard to take in, Marty knows his only chance of returning home is to find the Doc Brown of the 50's, but along the way, fate deals him another blow as he has no way of avoiding his (at that time) teenage parents, and setting events into motion that could lead to him never being born and disappearing from existence right in front of our eyes!
This has to be one of my all time favourite films!
Although Michael J. Fox was the first choice for the role of Marty, due to filming schedules, it was in fact Eric Stoltz who began filming for the role of Marty first, but after many conflicts of interest Michael J. Fox ended up getting back involved with the film, and this role couldn't have been more perfect for his particular acting style.
From his rather small height, to his particularly young look and his excellent unique facial expressions, Michael J. Fox plays a brilliant teenager thrown into all kinds of uncomfortable and strange events. He seems to have the ability to draw the audience in and really make them become involved in the situations he gets himself into. He also manages to do this with a massive amount of humour that purely comes from the way he acts.
One of the things he seems to do in a lot of his films, but especially in the Back to the Futures is to fend off the bully, a bully twice his size, and do it in style. This is something that is great to watch and always makes you feel good that the bully gets his comeuppance.
I found that the acting by all in this film was particular well done, from Doc Browns eccentric behaviour, to Marty's naive ness about his young parents, right up to Biffs attitude as the local bully. They all seemed to really get into their roles and have great fun at the same time. The one liners worked perfectly and the friendships developed by all seemed so believable.
I must say that one of the greatest and most memorable things to come out of this film (apart from the cool DeLorean time machine) was the soundtrack, and in particular the track "The Power of Love" this song is brilliant in it self, but for me and I suppose many others, when ever I hear it I always think of Back to the Future. You can even find a video on youtube that has Doc Brown and the DeLorean turning up at a gig for this song.
What the director Robert Zemeckis did with the Back to the Future trilogy was something amazing. He managed to create lovable and memorable characters that have gone on to be remembered for over 25 years later and he did what many other trilogies have sadly not achieved, a trilogy of films that kept true to the original story, utilising original actors and characters, and doing it successfully.
I love this film and believe that it appeals to all age groups. It's fun; action packed and at times has a fair amount of depth.
I recommend this to all as a film to watch over and over!
I personally bought this as part of the trilogy box set for £7.99 from HMV but I believe you can get it as an individual DVD for as little as £2.99.
The running time of this film is an easy 116 minutes and the dvd is packed full of special features including deleted scenes and hilarious outtakes. There is also a great making of featurette that is really interesting to watch!
Enjoy a classic!
Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd stars in this 1985 classic about a teenager who is whisked away back to 1955, the year his parents were meant to meet. However, events how they were meant to transpire, are changed due to Marty's (Fox) interference and he has to fix the past so he can exist in the future.
Lloyd plays Doc, the mad scientist who invents the time machine in the form of the now iconic DeLorean.
Both characters here have a lot of chemistry between them as they work together to fix the past in 1955 and they get along as if they were old buddies.
Direction is great by Robert Zemeckis and he made sure that every attention to detail was paid to with the sets looking to display the atmosphere, look and feel of the 1950's with the old fashioned cars, clothing, hair styles, music and buildings.
You really feel the vast difference between 1955 and 1985 that the film is set in at the beginning.
The pace moves along steadily and there is literally nothing about this film that is not entertaining.
As well as it being a science fiction film, there are comedic moments in it too, especially in scenes to do with Marty's teenage father from 1955 when he has to try and persuade him to ask out his mother so he can be born.
I think every performance in this movie is good from all the main cast, including Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover, who play Marty's parents.
The SFX are also great, although they may seem a little dated compared to today's standards, such as the fire trails from the DeLorean in the scenes where Doc is testing out the time machine for the first time.
However, this movie oozes charm and in that respect, it stands up to the test of time.
The score for the film is memorable. It's quite epic sounding while at the same time, light-hearted.
This is a great film that should be seen by everyone, although I am pretty sure that practically everyone has by now.....right?
Don't disappoint me!
** Back To The Future **
There were a whole bunch of feelgood family films that came out in the mid 80s. One of the most notable in the science fiction comedy genre was Back To The Future with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd (of Taxi fame if anyone can remeber that series from the 70s).
I will not spoil the plot with great details but broadly the film charts the unlikely scenario where a luckless loser teenager Marty -played by Fox -from a low achieving family travels back in time to meet his parents and fiddle with his own destiny.
Making everything possible is Christopher Lloyd who plays a crazy scientist with a time machine, an unbelievably expensive car (for a whacky scientist) and a dog called Einstein!
Much mahem ensues. There are moments of excitment, romance, comedy and cleverly though out paradoxes created by the time travel.
There is also a healthy helping of 50's nostalgia and great use is made of culture shock. So often movie makers seek to dstroy our image of any golden age that has gone, but not Back To The Future which alludes very warmly and positively to the culture and music od mid 50's USA.
I wasn't born then but by the end of the film I wanted to jump into Marty's sneakers and head back for a nostalgic peak into the era of rock and roll too!
Music plays a huge part in making Back To The Future the brilliant film it is. Marty himself is a guitar player and this has hilarious consequences after his time travel jump. There is a wonderfully funny sequence near the start of the film with a special huge guitar amp that Christopher Lloyds character has built for Marty.
I won't spoil the sequence but I could pick faults and say that Marty would have to put the guitar lead jack plug int his guitar before turning the volume up in real life - but the film is too good to niggle at.
** My verdict **
Simply brilliant family entertainment. Flawless - almost!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel back in time and what would happen and if your actions could alter the future? I'm sure most of us from time to time have had that dream. Well Back to the Future, the first in an extremely famous series of films brings that to life. I can't decide whether Back to the Future or Back to the Future II is the best of these films. Watched them both the other night and they are as good now as they were back when they were released.
Back to Future was realeased back in 1985 unbelievably and I'm sure Robert Zemeckis every believed how popular it would become. Starring a young Michael J Fox in his heyday this is a fantastic family film and proably one of the best.
There have been plenty of time travelling movies over the years but this one combines a good cast with a relatively simple idea and put together in such a way that it appeals to children and adults alike. Michael J Fox plays the character of Marty McFly who is a normal 17 year old kid who is desperate for his dad George McFly to stop being such a wimp and being pushed around all the time by bullies even at his age. Therefore Marty spends alot of his time with eccentric inventor Emmett Brown played by Christopher Lloyd.
Doc Brown is one of those inventors that comes up with so many different inventions that most don't work or are completely useless. However, this time he feels he may have hit on something. He has invented what he believes to be a time-travelling machine in the form of a DeLorean car which can transport the driver back to whichever year he wants to travel to once the car hits a certain speed.
It's not long before Marty is whisked back to 1955 in this car to a time where his parents have barely met let alone started a relationship which will eventually lead to Marty being born. He must make sure that the future stays on course with maybe a few tweaks to ensure that in the future his dad doesn't get pushed around. It is an hilarious but hazardous journey in the past though as there are complications and if he fails then the future could be changed forever and maybe not to his liking.
So Marty must try to get back to the present day without wreaking too much havoc on future events by altering the past. Not that easy!
The whole story is extremely clever but at the same time very simple and easy to follow. Michael J Fox became an overnight success with this movie and it's not hard to see why as he is great in his role and brings so much life and energy to the role. Christopher Lloyd is equally very good as the nutty inventor. He, like Marty's mum and dad and a few others have great fun playing their characters in the present and past.
The story moves along at great speed so you don't get a chance to get bored or think about things. You get carried away in the adventure of it all and pray that he will succeed in his mission. It is a timeless comedy adventure that you have to see and if you haven't where have you been all these years!
For a long time, I've been faintly sneering at the Back to the Future trilogy. Although I loved them when I was younger, I started to think of them as being a little too brash and simplistic. Nice idea, shame about the execution.
I was wrong. I watched this film again the other night, to escape a very dull project for a couple of hours, and I was blown away right from the start.
The opening scene is one that's been much copied since 1985, despite being quite low in action. A gorgeously long tracking shot through a workshop cluttered with clocks, following an automated breakfast routine which would later be referenced by Edward Scissorhands and Wallace and Gromit. The door opens, and a person appears with a skateboard. Not the sort of thing you really associate with this workshop, which is clearly the den of some mad inventor.
The newcomer begins turning dials and fiddling with heavy-duty electronic equipment. A powerful hum starts up, and the audience gets the impression that there's about to be some breakthrough experiment in Mad Science.
No, it's just Michael J. Fox warming up to play guitar on an oversized amp.
This is the greatest element of Back to the Future. Its plot is constantly surprising, and unpredictable (well, as long as you haven't seen it a billion times). Professor Brown is an instantly lovable figure, his taste for grandiose gestures (building the time machine into a Delorean, standing in the path of the speeding car) completely at odds with his scruffy appearance. However, we then learn that he's been stealing plutonium and dealing with terrorists in order to build his masterpiece! These twists of plot add a greater depth to the film than is generally acknowledged.
The special effects have been described as looking a bit dated. However, I think they're nicely understated. The effects are very physical, solid and 'real'. Today, they would no doubt be achieved with a lot of computer morphing: very impressive, but somehow unsatisfying. The sparking, flaming noisy perfection of the effects adds authenticity. When the car appears, caked in ice, the viewer can very nearly believe it has travelled through time in a way which lengthy CGI shots could never achieve.
The climactic sequence at the clock tower has rightly entered screen legend, and for very good reason. Even having watched the film more than twenty times, it's still incredibly exciting stuff.
It's not giving away much of the plot to say that Marty McFly ends up being transported back to 1955, where he bumps into his parents as teenagers. The contrast between his parents as lively adolescents and the washed-out middle-aged nondescripts they become is almost painful, an unexpectedly sour element in what is essentially a feel-good movie.
Meeting up with a younger Doc Brown, it is also great to see that some people never change. Brown takes the time machine in his stride after some initial reservations, but is utterly enthralled by the video camera containing the recording of the first time travel experiment.
My only real gripe with the film occurs in the dance at the end, where Marty introduces Rock n' Roll to fifties America - by playing a fifties classic. I would have preferred it by far if he'd played some really far-out metal anthem or something, as Johnny Begood is only a little way removed from the jazz and blues already on display at the dance. A quick burst of Black Sabbath would have justified the dancers' bemusement perfectly. Fox's guitar stunts are pretty cool, and kicking over the amp was a great touch, but I was waiting, hoping and praying for him to smash the guitar up as well. And he never does. Bah!
But this is only a small grumble with a film that I have learned to love all over again. As the majority of the film is set at the birth of the Rock n' Roll Revolution, it's fitting that its message should be so totally non-conformist (I love films where the nerd gets the girl!), and all the Oedipal stuff is really brave for a blockbuster movie. I wasn't quite so keen on
Marty's 'ideal' lifestyle at the end, I felt it represented a bit of a cop-out, but just as you feel the sweet scent of celluloid happy ending cheese, Back to the Future packs its last twist, with a surprise ending that opened up to two great sequels, but could just have stood alone as a fantastic conclusion.
For such an effects-heavy film, there's a great cast, fantastic score, great use of music and astounding direction. I've already mentioned the fantastic tracking shots at the start, creating atmosphere from nowhere, but there's a lot more.
You can also have a lot of fun spotting all the little jokes in the film, which I refuse to spoil here. Suffice it to say, there's a lot of detail around.
This is a modern classic in massive need of rehabilitation.
This review is also in need of rehabilitation. In case it looks familiar, a little background. In 2002, before I joined Dooyoo, someone impersonated me (quite convincingly, it has to be said) and cross-posted a number of my Ciao and Epinions reviews. Suspicions were eventually roused, I was contacted, and the impostor's account deleted. His reviews remain, however, and I repost them under my account as and when I find them. They're not always very good reviews, as I've developed both my writing and my critical faculties in the last seven or eight years, but I assure you they are mine.
I have to write a review for this as at the moment i'm revisiting the 80's at the moment, in terms of observing the music and cinema of the time. This film in particular resonates with me in particular because I have lost count how many times I have seen this, the vcr tape was worn out so much it must have lost its magnetism. Luckily though I now own the DVD so there is no problem.
Anyhow it stars Michael J fox as a teenager who has a Bart Simpson-like affinity with his skateboard and an odd friendship with the local mad-scientist Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd( exceptionally well cast. Despite this he is not a geek, he does have street cred but is quite a unique character, if only for the lifejacket he sports. On one of the visits to the Doc things end up going pear shaped and he finds himself having to contend with being the same age as his father, lets just say. Stranded he must find a way to return to his former state of being.
This film plays around with the concept of time travel and does very well in staging the 50's feel. Though its a fairly innocent period time, there are still the usual idiots to contend with for our protagonist. Ironically enough it is Marty (J Fox), who has to race against time itself in order to secure his future.
Every time I watch this film I get caught up with the same old scenes and the same old jokes. There is probably not a bad scene in the whole movie actually. There are however quite traditional values to it of honour and integrity, as well as learning how to stand up for oneself. Its also family friendly and one for all to watch.
I would like to add that to date am yet to see a bad Michale J Fox movie.
Back To The Future is a 1985 science fiction adventure film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.
It's the present day of 1985 and Marty McFly (Fox) is a teenager dealing with the tribulations of life - he's always in trouble for being late to class and his band have been rejected for the school battle of the bands. On top of this, his dad George (Crispin Glover) is bullied by his work colleague Biff (Thomas F. Wilson) and his uptight mom Lorraine (Lea Thompson) appears to have a bit of a drink problem. We learn the only reason his parents are together is that Lorraine fell for George when her father hit him with his car. Add to the mix Marty's crazy scientist friend Doc Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) who calls Marty to a shopping mall car park to demonstrate his latest invention - a DeLorean car that is also a time machine! The Doc has ripped off terrorists to get the parts he needs and when they show up Marty flees in the DeLorean and ends up back in 1955. There he has to find the younger equivalent of the Doc to help him get back, but thanks to a mishap must also ensure his parents fall in love at the school dance, otherwise Marty will fail to have ever existed. To add to his troubles, Marty's mom has fallen for him!
Written by Zemeckis and producer Bob Gale, they thankfully changed their minds on what was going to be the time machine - a fridge(!) - when they were worried that children would begin locking themselves in kitchen appliances. They went with the iconic DeLorean (I say iconic, it still didn't stop the company going out of business!) instead which added another element of cool to the story. Another aspect was Michael J. Fox - aviator shaded, bomber jacketed, with skateboard at the ready - all kids my age wanted to be him. Whether we'd have all wanted to be Eric Stolz is up for discussion! Stolz was chosen after the producer of hit TV show Family Ties refused Fox time off to film BTTF, but a few weeks into filiming Zemeckis realised the former lacked the natural humour needed and was able to persuade the latter's producer to let him film. Fox filmed most of his scenes in the evening/early morning as a result.
Those that have yet to see this film - stop reading this and go watch it!! Zemeckis and cast have made a brilliantly entertaining film which works on a number of levels - you can enjoy the sci fi element and discuss the paradox at the heart of the film, you can enjoy the buddy comedy between Marty and the Doc, you can enjoy the screwball comedy as Marty outfoxes the bullies. Or, you can enjoy all of it, since it's a perfectly balanced family film where none of the aforementioned elements outweigh one another. There are thrilling sequences for the boys, a bit of romance for the girls and broad comedy that will appeal to all. The dialogue is also great. Nearly every main character gets a great line - "Are you telling me my mom has the hots for me?", "There's that word again, heavy. Is there a problem in the future with earth's gravitational pull?", "Why don't you make like a tree, and get out of here" Just a brief selection of the many, many funny lines.
A brief mention should also go to Alan Silvestri's bombastic score - it's playful, over the top nature fits in well and is as memorable as the rest of the film.
Michael J. Fox is perfect in the role of charming, confident Marty - as mentioned earlier, he's the epitomy of cool for kids, he has the comedic timing to ensure that every scene that is meant to be funny is funny and has an easy rapport with his co-stars. Crispin Glover is great as the nerdy, nervous George who eventually finds the courage to stand up for himself. It's a shame that the eccentric star has had such a low key career since. Lea Thompson is good as the feisty Lorraine, funny in her infatuation of Marty and proving to be a bit of a hypocrite in the way she behaves! Thomas F. Wilson as Biff superbly treads a fine line between being a lunkheaded figure of fun and utter malevolence, capable of some pretty terrible things. Christopher Lloyd is brilliantly hilarious as the mad scientist and thanks to his over the top performance even potentionally dull lines like "1.21 gigawatts?" are memorable.
Whether you have to have been a child of the 80s to hold this so dear I'm not sure, but I can't see how anyone would be anything other than thoroughly entertained by this film.
Back to the future is one of the greatest films of all time and is definitely gets my vote for being THE best. It was made in 1985 but remains a timeless classic. Everyone should watch this movie at some time during their lives - it's that good!
--- the BASICS ---
Back to the future is a science fiction film about time travelling, starring Michael Fox and Christopher Lloyd as the 2 main lead characters and directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film has mixed in with it some funny bits and pieces too and it almost makes time travelling makes sense - it actually still doesn't (took me about 10 years to figure out why - read on!).
--- the PLOT ---
An eccentric scientist affectionately known as doc (Lloyd) has invented the time machine in ultimate style - a Delorean. His only friend, a high school student Marty (Fox), agrees to witnessing the first time journey and helps out with filming the historic event while the doc remote controls the car (like 007). Time travel occurs once the car reaches a certain speed - 88mph. The experiment was abruptly ended when some Libyans who stole some plutonium for the doc (for powering the time machine - but the Libyans thought they were getting an atom bomb (?!)) came back for revenge and killed the doc. To escape from the pursuers Marty drove the Delorean inadvertently breaking the speed barrier - and arriving at 1955 which was the day doc had the idea of the flux capacitor which apparently is an integral part of the time travelling car. During this little adventure Marty bumped into his mum - before she met her eventual husband and Marty's dad! Will Marty even make it back to 1985? How will they find the energy to power the Delorean? What happened to doc in 1985? Enjoy the film and you'll find out.
--- the THEORY ---
(The time machine concept)
This being the centre which the entire plot is built on it should be subjected to scrutiny.
(1) Will time travelling ever succeed? In my opinion I believe so.
(2) But if that's the case how come we have not seen anyone from the future, you ask? I think there are already many people from the future around us - but there may well be governing agencies. One needs look no further than Time Cop for examples.
(3) Time travelling will never work? Not so I believe. A strong argument against time travel is the "Grandfather theory" I have adopted it and put it in my words - my theory was that if someone went back to change the past they will be obliged to change it despite the future being different (Example: a poor 50 year old travelled back in time 30 years and gave himself the winning numbers of the lottery - the 50 year old subsequently became rich and will not worry about time travelling to make himself rich - hence a cycle which is not sustained). This would not work.
(4) Dooyoo should have a feature on Time Travelling!!! I have loads more to say on this topic (inspired by the film I hasten to add!).
(A remote control car)
This would not work - despite the elaborate controls one just cannot control it like physically sitting inside the car. Well it would work but that's about it - no control possible. Definitely will not be introduced in the near future!
(A nuclear powered device in a car)
Again not possible - there is simply too much risk involved.
(Other technology in the trilogy?)
Read my other reviews on BTTF 2 and 3 and you will see my analysing the technology in the respective films.
--- CONCLUSION ---
The BTTF trilogy started with the best one in my opinion. This film touched on many issues of time travel and scientifically makes about 80% sense (in my opinion) which is already really good compared to other sci-fi films. It's most definitely worth its place in the all time greatest sci-fi / general movies and will not be out of date for many years to come!
I think it was this film, in 1985 which introduced my six year old mind to the idea of timetravel, and the consequences it could have. Obviously, as I grew up, I realised that the possession of a DeLorean that could get up to 88mph didn't automatically grant you the power to navigate time's currents, but the idea that you could go back and change little things was very appealing to me!
In Back to the Future, Marty McFly (Michael J Fox), is an average kid, with a hot girlfriend, who has a tendency to get picked on by the town bully, Biff Tannen. His only real friend is an eccentric old inventor called Doc Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) who is as scatty as he is brilliant, and who is obsessed with time.
So much so, that one evening, he meets with Marty in an empty car park to show off his latest invention - a time travelling DeLorean!
As they are testing it however, Libyan terrorists, whom Doc Brown 'appropriated' the uranium necessary to power his time machine, come looking for payback, and shoot the Doc. Marty jumps in the DeLorean and tries to escape, accidentally knocking the time control circuits on with a setting of 1955. As he speeds away, he hits 88mph, and suddenly he is back in the fifties.
While there, he accidentally saves his teenage mother from an accident, preventing his father, who originally saved her, from doing so. By changing this bit of history, Marty has set events in motion that will mean his mother and father will never get together... and he will never be born.
In an attempt to get back to the future, after correcting the mistake he has made, Marty enlists the help of the 50s era Doc Brown, who at first doesn't know who he is, but later agrees to help him.
The movie is a classic sci-fi stroke comedy stroke action movie, which has more charm in its little finger than most similar films. The acting is spot on, with an exceptional performance from Christopher Lloyd, and the comedy is funny without being over the top funny.
The sci-fi aspects are totally grounded in reality, which lends a bit of credence to the story, and keeps you firmly rooted in the tale. There is also a classic soundtrack, which will have you humming the theme, and singing the Huey Lewis song for weeks after watching it.
One of my favourite films of all time - not to be missed!
A fast-moving and heart-warming comedy, 'Back To The Future' presents the story of Marty McFly, a teenager from 1985 who commandeers the time-travelling DeLorean invented by Doc Brown, a wacky scientist friend, and is accidentally sent back in time to the 1950s.