Do or Do Not.

Looking Back at “Back to the Future”

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Don’t worry, I’m not abandoning this thing already. Just haven’t had the time to post anything the last couple of days.

I will throw this out there, though: watched Back to the Future last night, start-to-finish, for the first time in fifteen years, easy. I was suprised, honestly, at how well it holds up as entertainment. I did want to point out a couple of things:

  • The Old Lady noted something that I hadn’t been paying much attention to at that point: the preponderance of advertising in the movie, far out of proportion to that found in most movies from 1985. Product placement in movies is all too common today (not to mention the obnoxious numbers of ads shown in the theater before the movie even starts), but BTTF was ahead of the curve on that trend. In addition to shilling DeLoren, Aiwa, Nike and JVC, that movie was part of Pepsi’s endorsement deal with Michael J. Fox, then at the crest of his wave of popularity. Pepsi products are scattered throughout and are even worked into one of the movie’s jokes, though these days when we see Marty ask for a “Pepsi Free,” I’d imagine even those of us old enough to have seen the movie first time around have to scratch our heads a bit to remember that particular Pepsi spinoff.
  • Speaking of Fox at his peak, it’s more than a little bittersweet to see the easy fluidity with which he moved back then–Fox always had an athlete’s sense of comfort with and confidence in his body (much like Tom Cruise does). That’s something that’s hard to fake… you can usually just tell when someone knows exactly what his or her body’s capable of and trusts that it will do exactly what they tell it. And now his body has now absolutely betrayed him because of the Parkinson’s Disease taking away so much of his muscular control. Just really sad.(And no, I don’t have a man-crush on Michael J. Fox. Too short for me. But he is cute, though.)
  • Many of the effects, and there were far fewer of them than you might have imagined for a big-budget science-fiction-y movie, are still passable, though it’s really noticable just how far chromakey technology has come over the last twenty years (most notably when Marty and Doc are standing on the DeLorean’s tire tracks o’ flame).

Written by Allen

January 21st, 2005 at 10:35 pm

Posted in General

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