Back to the Future (1985)
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover
Marty McFly (Fox) has big dreams for his band, and he’s hoping for a date with his dream girl. Despite coming from a family of under achievers, he’s always looking for a path to a better life. One of his best friends is the eccentric Doc Brown (Lloyd), who’s asked him to help out with his latest and biggest experiment. Soon, Marty finds himself witness to a working time machine. After a catastrophe Marty ends up traveling back to 1955. After he meets his younger father (Glover) and mother (Thompson) Marty has to make sure they still fall for each other and find a way back to 1985.
Some movies will stand the test of time, and I think this is one of them. Robert Zemeckis (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) and Bob Gale (1941) shared an Oscar nomination for this entertaining screenplay. In addition to his writing duties, Zemeckis got into the directors seat for this one. His work was made a bit easier, thanks to the cast of young talent that brought this story to life. Michael J. Fox (The American President) was a rising star when he was offered the role as Marty McFly. He took on the role as a personal one, stating that “all I did in high school was skateboard, chase girls and play in bands.” Now he had a chance to play a character that was truly like him. In addition to Fox, the film also cast Christopher Lloyd (The Onion Field), Lea Thompson (Red Dawn), and Crispin Glover (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape).
Robert Zemeckis is known as a talented director with a knack for special effects. This 1985 film took advantage of every bit of technology available to bring a time machine to life. It’s not Avatar, but the effects still work today. Sure, they show their age, but this movie doesn’t rely on them to tell the story. The camera work, costumes, and set design are great aspects of this movie as well. They managed to create a stylized version of the fifties that works for me despite the obvious attempts to overuse stereotypes.
This film does show its age. I’m not sure that it matters, but some people may be a bit surprised at how much it reflects the best of 1985 special effects. This isn’t a fatal flaw, nor does it hurt the experience. It’s also worth mentioning that these effects won an Oscar.
In addition to the Oscar win for special effects, the movie was also nominated in several other categories. As mentioned above, Zemeckis and Bob Gale were nominated for the screenplay. The movie also received a nomination for Best Sound. Huey Lewis put together an Oscar-nominated song as part of a soundtrack that featured some great music as well.
This movie is successful on many levels. The acting, the sets, and the special effects are all enjoyable, even after almost 30 years. If you’ve never seen this one, definitely take the time. It’s also a great movie to dust off and enjoy again if it’s been a while. This movie is good for the whole family, and fun over and over again. I’d recommend this to fans of the stars, science-fiction fans, or people who just like fun action-comedies. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.