Robert Zemeckis

Back to the Future Part III (1990)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Back to the Future Part III (1990)

Director:

Robert Zemeckis

Writers:

Robert Zemeckis

Bob Gale

Starring:

Michael J. Fox

Christopher Lloyd

 Mary Steenburgen

Thomas F. Wilson

Lea Thompson

Blurb:

Stranded in 1955, Marty McFly learns about the death of Doc Brown in 1885 and must travel back in time to save him. With no fuel readily available for the DeLorean, the two must figure how to escape the Old West before Emmett is murdered.

Thoughts:

What would have happened if Marty killed Mad Dog? I’m sure Doc Brown would say the universe would cease to exist, but maybe it wouldn’t. No Biff would be a positive for everyone. Would Marty’s parents still get together, though? Maybe Mad Dog already had his kid, and it didn’t matter. Perhaps the loss of Marty and his siblings is worth the loss of the Tannen line. I guess we’ll never know.

Marty continues to be stupid in this movie, but I didn’t feel like it was more than the other movies. It might have been less, actually. He did learn a lesson, in the end, taught by his ginger ancestor. It took me a second to wrap my head around his great-whatever-grandparents. Seeing his mom married to him was weird for a bit until I worked out the genetics of it all.

Many of the set pieces and story in Back to the Future Part III are callbacks to the previous movies. Some of that is using what you’ve learned about Marty to show how he could live in the old west. Too much of it, though, was lazy storytelling. I like the previous movies, and I don’t dislike the third. I just wish the story had been something different. Getting stuck back in time, again, and dealing with changing their personal history, again, along with all the other little things, was too much fan service for me.

Doc’s relationship with Clara is one of the few new things, and I thought it was sweet. She wasn’t set aside and ignored. She was a big part of the story. Another change from previous movies. Her role mattered. I liked that. Plus, Mary Steenburgen is a great actress and beautiful woman. There’s a fifteen-year difference between the actors, but at the time, she was thirty-seven, so that’s old enough not to bother me.

I’d say Back to the Future Part III is my second favorite of the franchise. I like the first movie because it set up this great franchise, but I prefer the future setting of the second one. So my order would go two, three, one.

They aren’t going to remake this series, Zemeckis has basically said over his dead body. I’m fine with that, but I wish there could be something like it made. Maybe with a minority in the lead because that would certainly make travel to the past more interesting. Also, more women, please.

Back to the Future Part II

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Back to the Future Part II

Director:

Robert Zemeckis

Writers:

Robert Zemeckis

Bob Gale

Starring:

Michael J. Fox

Christopher Lloyd

Lea Thompson

Thomas F. Wilson

Elizabeth Shue

Blurb:

After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985…without interfering with his first trip.

Thoughts:

Back to the Future Part II was always my favorite in the Back to the Future franchise. They go to the future! There are flying cars, hoverboards, automatic lacing shoes, and so much more. It was so awesome to think that the future would have such amazing things. Sadly, 2015 was nowhere near that amazing. The idea of people in flying cars is actually terrifying. The hoverboards were a massive disappointment too.

One of my major complaints about the original movie is the depiction of women. Unfortunately, Part II didn’t do much better. We still had the whole Biff and Lorraine rapey vibe going on in the 50s as well as the 80s. Jennifer was drugged and kept being left places, first in an alley and next on her front porch. Women get in the way, and cause issues is the theme in the Back to the Future franchise. It’s annoying.

Despite that, I can relate to the plot in Back to the Future Part II. If I was ever to gain access to a time machine, the first thing I would do is figure out a way to make money. I would go the lottery and stock market route, though. Doc Brown may not have invented the time machine for personal gain, but that is most certainly what I would use it for.

If you didn’t know already, it would be abundantly clear that the third film was made simultaneously. At the end of Part II, a trailer gives away the final part’s entire plot. If I weren’t doing this re-watch, I would have immediately put it in. It was hard not to. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait a couple of years before I get there.

Back to the Future (1985)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Back to the Future (1985)

Director:

Robert Zemeckis

Writers:

Robert Zemeckis

Bob Gale

Starring:

Michael J. Fox

Christopher Lloyd

Lea Thompson

Crispin Glover

Thomas F. Wilson

Blurb:

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown.

Thoughts:

Would I like Back to the Future as much if there was no nostalgia attached to it? I don’t think so. However, it’s impossible for me to separate the two. Time travel stories always get an extra point from me because I love the idea of time travel and people out of time. That love is in big part because I watched Back to the Future at a young age. See the problem? It’s always been there and so the two are tied together.

Marty is a fucking idiot. At least he’s consistent though. He starts the film cranking a giant speaker up to the highest settings and then having it explode in his face causing what is going to be lifelong hearing damage. From there it’s just downhill. Doc has just shown him time travel is possible in the DeLorean if he reaches 88 mph. So naturally when he’s running from the Libyan terrorists (yikes) he decides to hit 90 mph all the while with a date to the 1950s set and ready to go. Then he acts surprised that he time traveled. Moron.

The list goes on with regards to the times Marty doesn’t take things to their logical conclusion. He can’t possibly make things easy for himself, the entire story is fixing his screw ups. I get it, it’s supposed to be entertaining, but it wears after the first few times he screws up his parent’s potential relationship. After meeting his parents as teenagers all you can really say, though, is at least he’s not a pervert.

George McFly is a peeping tom. He’s a cute kid with a great face, but he climbs trees and watches women undress. Meanwhile, Loraine needs to be taught how to masturbate cause damn girl is thirsty. She not only strips a man of his pants but studies his underwear enough to know what’s written around the band. She’s also so ready to fall in love that if any kind of meet cute approaches her she starts the process. She’s infatuated with Marty until George gives her an obvious line and you can see her switching her interest when Marty then gets into a fight with Biff bringing her attentions back on him.

I get why Loraine would be attracted to Marty when he confronts Biff for basically sexually assaulting her in the middle of the cafeteria. (Seriously, Strickland you have no issues with sexual assault of one of your students but god forbid they get into a fight??? Slacker.) Of course she’s going to be attracted to the person that saves her.

Side note, after all Marty had seen how could he not know his plan at the dance to get his parents back together would fail? She was so clearly into him that there would be no assault if he did anything. There would have been no hesitation on her part. He ends up failing so much that things work out for him. *cough* white men fail up *cough*

Biff is one of the worst villains in film history. He has no redeeming traits and nothing from his past could justify his behavior. The man quite possibly raped Loraine in the parking lot. That’s all it took to push George to live up to his potential, though. He needed to unwittingly stumble upon a rape in progress. *rolling eyes*

When I list it all out like that it’s difficult to see why I like Back to the Future. The time travel is really the only thing. Even Doc is a bit suspicious. Why is he hanging out with a teenage boy, really? The first movie was never my favorite. I’m hoping that my issues with the first movie aren’t in the second one as well. I’ll find out in a couple of years.

And now it’s time for Random Facts from the Wikipedia Article!

-A couple reviewers at the time of release compared Back to the Future to It’s a Wonderful Life. All I’ve got to say to that is what the fuck where these people smoking?

– Eric Stoltz was originally cast as Marty and had filmed several weeks’ worth of material before they replaced him. He still got paid, though.

– Jeff Goldblum was considered for the role of Doc Brown (wtf)

-Chuck Berry did not give them the rights to use “Johnny B. Goode” until the day before filming.

And that’s the end of another edition of Random Facts I Learned from the Wikipedia Article!

Next up, The Goonies.

Romancing the Stone (1984)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Director:

Robert Zemeckis

Writer:

Diane Thomas

Starring:

Kathleen Turner

Michael Douglas

Danny DeVito

Blurb:

A mousy romance novelist sets off for Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure hunting for treasure with a mercenary rogue.

Thoughts:

I love adventure movies, and Romancing the Stone ticks all of my boxes. Not only is it an adventure, but it also includes romance, and it does it well. How often can you say that? Never, that’s how often. I wonder if it’s because a woman wrote it? Sadly, Diane Thomas was killed in a drunk driving incident, and we never got to see other movies from her. Apparently, she was working with Spielberg on some things at the time too. That’s two female writers in the 80s, attached to movies I love, that died…

Reviewers have compared Romancing the Stone to Indiana Jones, and I don’t see it. Apart from the fact that they’re both adventure movies, they don’t share anything else. Joan Wilder, Kathleen Turner, is definitely the main character. I don’t care what Michael Douglas thinks. Joan was the main one, and he was her sidekick.

They weren’t fighting Nazis. They were searching for treasure with a treasure map. Archeology played no part. Seriously, other than the adventure aspect, how is this like Indiana Jones? It feels like reviewers getting all pissy cause it was female-led.

Two conspiracies in one post, nice!

And now it’s time for Random Facts from the Wikipedia Article!

-Sylvester Stallone was considered for the role of Jack Colton. Thank goodness that didn’t happen, I can only imagine how he would have demanded things be changed, plus he’s not good with romance.

-Robert Zemeckis almost didn’t get to make it because 20th Century Fox had no faith in him after two failures. It was because of the success of Romancing the Stone that he could go on and make Back to the Future.

And that’s the end of another edition of Random Facts from the Wikipedia Article!

There weren’t many random facts this time. The film didn’t have much drama going on with it, so that’s nice.

I wish more movies like this were being made—films like this and tv shows like The Librarians. I’m hoping that because of everything that’s going on in the world, entertainment will start to veer toward a lighter fare. Bridgerton was wildly successful, proving that people want happy, predictable media right now. Please, please bring back my adventure movies. The only upcoming one I’m aware of right now is Uncharted with Tom Holland, and considering it’s based on a video game, I do not have high hopes.

I’ve written a whole long blog post about my favorite Adventure movies and my feelings on them, so there isn’t much else to say about Romancing the Stone.