Wednesday, 6 October 2010
We started showing a remastered digital print of "Back to the Future" last weekend. Here's a film that I omitted from my lament for true family movies , but one that fits the criteria perfectly.
Made slap in the middle of the 80s, the film is a PG comedy involving swearing, sex references, incest references, violence, rock n roll, implied drug use, attempted rape, voyeurism, reckless driving, dangerously imitable skateboarding and an eccentric old man who hangs around with school kids.
It's also one of my favourite films. Ever.
There is always the danger with fond cinematic memories that they can be unconsciously rose-tinted as time passes, causing a sense of disappointment upon revisiting them. BTTF suffers no such memory/reality discrepancy. It's every bit as light, funny, exciting and clever as you remember it being all 500 times you saw it before.
If you haven't seen this film, first of all SHAME ON YOU, and second of all: go and watch this rerelease immediately. If you need to know, it involves a kid from the 80s (Mickey J Fox) going back in time to when his parents were teenagers and getting himself into all manner of scrapes whilst trying to ensure his folks get together and he doesn't fade from existence.
Everything about this film is perfect. The cast are uniformly hilarious, delivering perfectly judged turns each as memorable as the next. Crispin Glover is monumentally but convincingly sweet, strange and awkward, Lea Thompson is innocent, naive, headstrong and sexy all at once, Thomas F Wilson is simply the last word in cinematic meathead school bullies, Christopher Lloyd brings the crazy but never loses Doc's heart, and MJF is one of the funniest, most charismatic and convincing twenty-odd year-old teenagers ever. It's bizarre to think that there's a version of this film in some parallel universe where Eric Stoltz is playing Marty McFly and, by all accounts, not being very good at it.
The effects, although a little rusty now, still do the trick, the movie clips along at a perfect pace, delivering economic set-ups and cheer-inducing pay-offs at regular intervals, and Alan Silvestri's score infuses the action with a thrilling epic adventure feel.
Add to this the fact that Marty raises the roof in one of the finest musical moments in cinema history, running through thirty years of rock n roll guitaring in one amp-smashing, power-sliding rendition of "Johnny B. Goode", and you have the ultimate sci-fi fantasy family comedy adventure musical thing.
"Back to the Future" was, of course, followed by two marginally inferior sequels (funnily enough, the flying-car future of part two was only set five years from now), but the trilogy as a whole remains one of the most consistently entertaining movie franchises of all time.
So don't miss your chance to see this shiny new print in super hi-def with face-smashing surround-sound! If your kids haven't seen it, take them and they will thank you for introducing them to their favourite movie!