Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Science Fiction #10 - Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future, in case you don't know, is a 1985 Robert Zemeckis comedy/drama/science fiction thing about time travel. Marty McFly, a trendy 80's teenager played by Michael J. Fox, is friends with Doc Brown, Christopher Lloyd, a mad scientist who's invented time travel, for fun I guess. So Marty ends up traveling back in time to the 50's and accidentally stops his parents from meeting. What follows is a quite epic time travel comedy filled with many a temporal time paradox. It's a cult classic and has two sequels that only make sense if you watch them all together.

I love Back to the Future. It's probably one of my favorite movies. It's loads of fun, it has the 80's and the 50's, and a wacky scientist, and a hip 80's protagonist, and the best time machine ever.

H. G. Wells has nothing on this.

Honestly, though, I'm kind of surprised that Back to the Future actually ended up on this list. It's a good movie, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't seem like the kind of movie that the people at the American Film Institute would be into. But hey, it's a classic, and probably the only reason I know what a Delorean is.

And to this very day, I ask people if they're sailors when they wear vests like this

This time machine is impressively user-friendly, as far as time machines go. It basically consists of a lever and a panel of numbers. And car parts, obviously. This is very simplistic for a time machine. I mean, look at the TARDIS. It has an entire room full of time travel equipment.

Compared to the Delorean, which is less complicated than my phone, this seems very involved. If he can invent a time machine more simplistic than the ones that aliens build, Doc must really be a genius. Mind you, the Delorean really seems to be a very temperamental car, so I suppose it all evens out.

What's really great about Back to the Future is how fantastically 80's it is. It was cool and current at the time, but now it's hilariously retro and outdated (in a good way), just like the 50's sequences were supposed to be. There's even an aerobics class in the second scene, for goodness sake. Time marches on, I suppose.

This is just such an awesome movie. I absolutely love it. Everyone loves Back to the Future. It's crazy awesome. This is without a doubt the best time travel-themed movie ever. And it has a really great score - the director specifically asked the composer for something big and dramatic because he didn't think the finale could stand up on its own. I think that it makes the movie at least 60% more awesome. In conclusion, Back to the Future is a surprising but totally appropriate choice for the number ten American science fiction movie ever.

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