Combustible Celluloid Review - Back to the Future (1985), Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, Robert Zemeckis, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, Claudia Wells, Billy Zane
Combustible Celluloid
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With: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, Claudia Wells, Billy Zane
Written by: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 111
Date: 07/03/1985

Back to the Future (1985)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Back in Time

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I love a good time travel movie, and Back to the Future is one of the most thoroughly satisfying; even the tiniest little seeds planted early on bear fruit later. ("Better get used to those bars, kid.") It's a master-class in screenwriting for the blockbuster era. There's nothing terribly deep here, but absolutely everything works spectacularly. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) helps his friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) test out his new time machine, a DeLorean that must be driven at 88 miles per hour to activate the time-shift. While escaping from terrorists (Doc had to steal some plutonium to power the engine) Marty accidentally travels back to 1955, and before he knows it, he has somehow prevented the event that allowed his parents to meet, which would eventually result in his birth. Worse, his mother, Lorraine (Lea Thompson), has fallen in love with him! Marty must get the weird, geeky George (Crispin Glover) to win her heart, despite the constant interference of bully Biff (Tom Wilson). At the same time, Marty must convince the 1955 Doc Brown counterpart to help him get back home. Everything about this is thrilling, from the editing and music, to Fox's animated performance; he's forever twisting his body around and walking backwards or sideways, bursting with pent-up energy. But the rest of the cast is on his same level.

Universal's 2009 three-disc DVD set comes with plenty of documentaries, deleted scenes, and a few funny outtakes. Elisabeth Shue replaced Claudia Wells as Marty's girlfriend for Parts 2-3. Crispin Glover is great as Marty's dad. Flea, Elijah Wood and Jason Scott Lee can be glimpsed in smaller parts. Steven Spielberg executive produced all three films. In 2010, Universal released a Blu-Ray collection.

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