Saturday, 24 October 2015

Review: Back To The Future

World of Blackout Film Review

Back To The Future Poster

Back To The Future
Cert: PG / 116 mins / Dir. Robert Zemeckis / Trailer
WoB Rating: 7/7

Well, if I can't enjoy one of my favourite trilogies in my favourite cinema, I suppose I'll just have to watch two-thirds of it in one which is 'alright, I suppose'. And that's not to be too harsh on one of Oxford's two Odeons, but as Magdalen Street's Screen 1 is converted from a theatre, the ceiling is way too high, meaning the sound bounces around everywhere. That's not really their fault, of course, but when both films begin with the sound half a second out of sync? That is. Added to that is the fact that the other Odeon (less than five minutes walk away) was also showing the exact same double-bill half an hour later, so there were less than 40 people in this massive room. It wasn't my intention to start this review on a downer, but the venue robbed the atmosphere of the night, somewhat.

Never mind, though. October 21st, 2015 was Future Day, and the assembled faithful had braved the elements to celebrate 66% of Robert Zemeckis' timeless trilogy. In exactly the same way as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, I can't disengage and watch Back To The Future objectively. I've seen it too many times and in various states of sobriety; it's become a part of me, and I wrote a piece in 2011 about why it means so much to me. I still stand by everything I said, there.

That said, Back To The Future is one of those wonderful films which just keeps on giving; whether it's a previously un-noticed visual reference to other parts of the trilogy, or a recurring theme which finally clicks into place when you weren't looking for it.

Future Day was no different, and tonight I noticed two things for the first time…

One: How come two of my three favourite trilogies have inadvertent incest*1 in them? In Back To The Future, Lorraine kisses her son Marty in the car outside the Fish Under The Sea dance; and in The Empire Strikes Back, Leia plants one on Luke - the full awkwardness of which wouldn't be felt until the Ewok-village conversation in Jedi. I suppose I should be relieved that Last Crusade doesn't feature a comedy-aside where Indy ends up bumming his dad…

Back To The Future, Star Wars, Indiana Jones. Well, one out of three ain't bad…

Two: I know it's a time-travel film, but what's going on with the passage-of-time (not to mention the weather) when Marty arrives in 1955?

And if that's the level of nit-picking I indulge in with a film I love, you can imagine how lesser fime-travel movies fare...

Anyway, I've been to see Back To The Future in the cinema, and I grinned like an idiot throughout the whole damn thing. If only my past self could have imagined that on Future Day, he'd go to watch BTTF in a cinema, and see trailers for the new Bond and Star Wars films beforehand! What a time to be alive…

Is this film worth paying £10+ to see?
Well, I've got it in the house - in several formats - and I still did, so…

Well, I don't like the cinema. Buy it, rent it, or wait for it to be on telly?
You should already have it.
If you haven't, I'm not sure if we can be friends any more

Does this film represent the best work of the leading performer(s)?
That's a tricky one. They're certainly the casts' most iconic performances.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
Didn't hear one.

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
Well, other than the clanging great Darth Vader reference and the film's effects being done by ILM, one of the film's exec-producers is long-time Lucas/Spielberg cohort Kathleen Kennedy, who now runs Lucasfilm of course.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Well, it's not incest-incest, but you know what I mean. It's a bit odd. And it's inadvertent on the part of the character themselves but not on the writers, which is more what I'm getting at.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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