This is heavy. What’s new, I’m your conductor Gavin Nowak and earlier this week I was transported to an alternate reality through a jar of Peter Pan™ peanut butter. There were many differences between this universe and our own, like Pinky and the Brain finally took over the world and initiated global peace. After I marveled at this world ‘s wonders, the whole situation reminded me greatly of Back to the Future Part II. When I returned home, I considered reviewing the Back to the Future Trilogy, but what sealed the deal was a blogging friend of mine, Matt Kaster, suggested to his readers rewatch the original movie in one of his posts. Alright then, I am up for the challenge. So grab your hoverboards and jam out to ‘Johnny B. Goode ‘ because this is my review of the classic film franchise! Let’s get this show on the road.
BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)
Set in 1985 Hill Valley, California, an easygoing teenager named Marty McFly gets himself in a bit of a jammy. After escaping in his mad scientist friend Dr. Emmet Brown’s time-traveling Delorean, he ends up thirty years in the past, and must be assisted by that time periods Brown to return to the present. Things become complicated when Marty’s future mother gets the hots for him, threatening his very existence. Can Marty reconcile his parents, take down his father’s bully Biff and reach the exact speed and position in the Delorean to travel back to 1985?
The defining quality of Back to the Future is it’s enduring protagonists Marty McFly and Doc Brown. With the added bonus of a seamless chemistry between the two very opposite friends, each has their friendly demeanor and mannerisms that make them relatable and easy to root for their cause. You want Marty to return to the future and by the satisfying finale you’re filled with suspense and crossing your fingers, hoping the effort is fruitful. It’s also remarkably written by the genius duo Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, blending all the ingredients for a perfect sci-fi adventure for children and adults alike: whimsy, humour, action, inventive ideas, and just the right amount of seriousness.
Back to the Future is a cornerstone of pure 80s spirit served to us in a inventive manner and with a raw sense of comedic one-liners and a tall tale ripped out of a retro comic book to fun and entertaining results.
BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II (1989)
Immediately following the return from his accidental adventure, Marty McFly is yet again convinced by Dr. Emmet Brown to be sent throughout the timeframe. This time, he must play the role of his son in 2015 to prevent him from arrest. Easy as pie, right. Well, things get a bit confusing when this future timeline alters the present Hill Valley into a corrupt dystopia. Behold as Emmet and Marty travel back to 1955 for a second go to fix the changes made in the alternate 1985… without intervening with the events of the first film of course!
With all the glory surrounding the original, it seems almost unrealistic that this installment would possibly reach its ranks. But that wouldn’t be a worthy comparison, so how does Part 2 stand as a totally separate feature? The best way to describe it is a very watchable family adventure, but too glum and sporadically repulsive to become a true classic. When compared with the first, it honestly depends on your tastes. While the original was mostly stationary and slow-burning, which makes the climax all the more thrilling, this time around it feels like its on constant fast-forward. One of the consistent good qualities about Part 2 are the performances, specifically those of Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox, whom are full of effort and genuine engagement in the film they’re in. However, the pacing is a blunder to sit through. It feels like a rapid fire game of Bop It, with no reflection on what kind of madhouse they’re in.
Instead of expanding the world or mythos like any second installment should do, Back to the Future Part II offers up a few “What if?” scenarios. Despite decent acting, this flick lacks any soul, to me it’s like a jab to the gut, you’re probably better off without it.
BACK TO THE FUTURE PART III(1990)
Stranded in 1955, Marty acquires a written note from Dr. Brown, who informs him the location of the Delorean and the unfortunate fact that he is stuck in 1955. In the time machine, Marty warps to an old western town where Emmet has gotten tangled up with a gang of thugs led by Biff’s great grandfather and has fallen for a schoolteacher. Using the technology of the time, Marty and Doc must make one final effort to travel back to the future!
Back to the Future Part 3 revives the heart of the trilogy after being almost completely absent from the previous time-traveling escapade, restoring the charm of the first again. Now from what I understand, audiences are split on whether 2 or 3 is the superior sequel, but I personally enjoy this one levels above the second as it is a much more simpler and satisfactory. Also, I want to see more westerns that are fused with another genre, for instance, this flick or Westworld, which is about androids going haywire at a Wild West themed amusement park. No movies spotless of even the most wee of stains, and for Part 3 it’s definitely the sets. It seemed rather cheap and recycled from some 1960s western show. I had zero doubts, nonetheless, that the performances would be pitch perfect for this third swing, with Michael J. Fox, newcomer Mary Steenburgen, and Christopher Lloyd most of all, along with the latter duo’s moments being undeniably adorable.
Back to the Future Part III reduces the volume of Part II’s vigor as well as the unrelenting pacing, wrapping up the brilliant franchise with a neat little ending that will surely leave audiences contented.
BACK TO THE FUTURE: The Animated Series (1991-1992)
Just when you thought the ventures were over, watch as the enterprises continue on Saturday mornings! Dr. Emmet Brown has settled down in a farm located in Hill Valley with his wife Clara and their two young sons Jules and Verne as to keep in touch with his good friend Marty McFly. Learn about scientific studies with Bill Nye, see what the dastardly Biff is up to, and travel through time itself time and time again every episode!
Resting in the category of cartoons that originated from a popular blockbuster that you’ve wiped clean out of your memory with ‘The Mummy’, ‘Jumanji’ and ‘Teen Wolf ‘, Back to the Future: The Animated Series is a shockingly low-level continuation of the pop culture phenomenon. The most aggravating factor of the show is that the personalities we remember so fondly have been twisted: Doc is played well enough by Dan Castellaneta (notable for voicing a good chunk of the characters from The Simpsons) to be given a pass, but Marty… just no with him. Sucked of his quick problem solving skills and filtering that out in turn for him to be “comically” slow witted , Marty may be the greatest sin the series ever did.
This poorly written series is somewhat an insult to the films, with only a single whisp of effort or originality to go around. With all do respect to the segments with Biff and Bill Nye, whom can juice out short-term interest and even a few chuckles, I would recommend the Universal Studios Ride as a more worthy sequel then this dumpster fire any day.
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