Movies: Back in Time

So this is a documentary about Back to the Future. And I was kind of wondering what anyone could really have to say about that movie, or rather, I was curious what the angle was, so to speak. Was this about the making of the movie? What was the point of this documentary?

It did start out with a history of getting the film made, about Gale and Zemeckis writing the script and shopping it around and so on. In truth, though, there wasn't much to this backstory; it was the story of many a script in the industry. Lots of passes and then finally a deal. Hollywood is slow, so yeah, it took some years and Zemeckis had to have a hit with Romancing the Stone before he got to make Back to the Future. In terms of Hollywood stories, this one is fairly typical.

Oh, but then this documentary goes into a really long bit about fans who make "time machines" (meaning they dress up DeLoreans to be like the car in BTTF). And there was one guy who'd bought some of the cars, I guess, and some guys who got together and restored the actual BTTF car that was part of the Universal tour. Truthfully, this is where the documentary lost my interest because I don't really care about fans recreating movie props. At least not in this particular context. Maybe if I had some really strong connection to BTTF—if I was a fan the way these people are fans—it would be more interesting to me. I like the movie (it came out when I was nine), and I've seen it a dozen times at least, but it doesn't evoke this crazy reaction in me. So I don't know, maybe this documentary is "by a fan, for fans" rather than for just mildly curious bystanders.

There was something about people inspired to try and create real hoverboards, too. The point being BTTF sort of predicted a lot of technology we now use, and it also inspired innovations. Like, there's a company now trying to make flying cars. (I have reasons to think that's not a great idea, but that's another argument for another time.)

Really, this documentary seemed to be a kind of melting pot of all things BTTF, semi-organized into food groups. For big fans of the movie, I'm sure it's great. For someone like me who likes and remembers the movie but hasn't the drive to be a mega-fan . . . Eh. It was okay. But everything after the story of how the movie got made—everything focused on the fans—sort of bored me.


Stephanie Faris said...

I didn't know there was a documentary about this! It still surprised me that nobody came up with a "Cafe 80s" like the one in the movie. It would have been an easier thing to do than hoverboards and such. But now the 80s nostalgia craze has been replaced with a 90s nostalgia craze...so we need a Cafe 90s!

M said...

Actually, in the documentary they talk about a company that has recreated the town in BTTF so people can dress up and act out the parts. But I agree, a Cafe 80s would be a hit now that all those kids are grown and nostalgic.