Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Thursday, 14 October 2010
Back to the Future
At 1:20am in a deserted car park Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) unveils his DeLorean time machine to teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox). However, the terrorists (Richard L. Duran, Jeff O'Haco) who supplied Doc with the plutonium to run the time machine on turn up and gun him down. To escape them Marty drives off in the DeLorean and, upon hitting 88 miles per hour, travels back in time to November 1955. Confused and freaked out he unwittingly stops his teenage parents (Crispin Glover and Lea Thompson) from meeting for the first time and puts the existence of himself and his elder siblings (Marc McClure, Wendie Jo Sperber) in jeopardy. So he has to find a way to get his parents falling in love, get home to 1985 with great help from the Doc of the '50s, and find a way to save the life of the Doc of 1985, which is further complicated by the fact that his dad is constantly bullied by Biff (Thomas F. Wilson) and his gang (J.J. Cohen, Casey Siemaszko, Billy Zane), with Biff constantly trying to woo his mom, who has fallen in love with Marty.
The film's screenplay is fast-paced, well written, exciting and really witty. The physical and verbal comedy is very cleverly created and hilarious to watch, and include some really neat references to the culture of the 1950s. These references include visual references, such as the slicked back hair styles, leather jackets and turned up trouser legs for the fashion, and the layout of the diner to reference mise-en-scene; the verbal references, that include a neat reference to Chuck Berry, by his fictional cousin, Blues' musician Marvin Berry (Harry Waters Jr), the fact everyone assumes A) that Marty is called Calvin Klein as it is labelled/branded on his undies and B) that Marty is a lifeguard or sailor, due to his puffy body warmer, and the fact Marty's working-class grandparents (George DiCenzo, Frances Lee McCain), mother, aunt (Maia Brewton) and uncles (Jason Hervey, and two uncredited child actors) of the '50s refer to TV as new and incredible and don't know what a rerun is; and music references in the use of Mr Sandman and some swinging '50s dance and blues music.
The film also boasts some excellent special effects, which are really enhanced by the intricate editing, making the time travel scenes and the lightning bolt scene in particular bright, fast-paced, visually exhilarating, adrenaline pumping and truly memorable.
In spite of the witty, top-notch screenplay and really good effects and editing the film is carried by its cast. Fox and Lloyd make a great double act/team and make their characters really exciting and memorable, with Fox making Marty a seriously cool and charming teenager, and Lloyd capturing the mad scientist type down to a tee. Glover captures the nerd type brilliantly and makes him very entertaining, while Thompson makes Lorraine gorgeous and seductive, and Wilson is seriously powerful and intimidating as Biff. These five leads work in perfect sync both with each other and with the great support cast (including Cohen, Siemaszko, Zane, Waters Jr, McClure, Sperber, Claudia Wells, James Tolkan, Donald Fullilove and Norman Alden) and bring the above mentioned screenplay to a glorious, really entertaining and truly memorable life.
All in all Back to the Future is a hugely entertaining and truly memorable sci-fi adventure with a brilliant screenplay and an outstanding cast, making it a great film for the whole family and one you will watch again and again.
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Crispin Glover, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson, J.J. Cohen, Casey Siemaszko, Billy Zane, Marc McClure, Wendie Jo Sperber, Claudia Wells, James Tolkan, Harry Waters Jr, Donald Fullilove, Norman Alden.
Oscar: Best Sound Editing (Charles L. Campbell, Robert R. Rutledge).
Oscar nominations: Best Screenplay (Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale), Best Sound Mixing (Bill Varney, B. Tennyson Sebastian II, Robert Thirlwell, William B. Kaplan), Best Original Song (The Power of Love - Chris Hayes, Johnny Colla, Huey Lewis).