Tag Archives: Christopher Lloyd

#2 Robert Zemeckis/ Spielberg – Back to the future (Part II)

Doc: The encounter could create a time paradox, the result of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe! Granted, that’s worst-case scenario. The destruction might in fact be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.

Marty: Well, that’s a relief.

The quote is complicated enough to convey why this film took a giant dump on the first part. It is way too complicated! Or in other words, “Heavy!”

I feel it takes time for the audience to blend into the character’s boots. Unless the audience is totally convinced, that the lead character or at least one of the main character is a reflection of themselves, it is unlikely that they will care for what they do.

Jumping from intro to pitch is good in some cases. It should’ve worked in this one too, assuming that people know the first part fairly well. Over here, it was a bit too much. Had I watched this film in theaters, I feel I would’ve missed a major part of the plot as I managed to get comfortable on my seat, figuring out which hand-rest is mine. And frankly speaking I don’t have a flying DeLorean to go back in time and catch up on what I missed.

Was it necessary?

The first part is a legend. It inspired so many films in the future. The makers have also confirmed that MIB III was inspired by Back To The Future (1985). The story had it’s proper climax. The hero has sorted out his life, he kisses his girl and they celebrate a new beginning. A perfect ending! Did we need a sequel over here? Content wise? I don’t think so. But we’re into making commercial cinema, aren’t we?

Doc himself says that Time Travel is not to be used for personal benefit. Then why is he concerned about his Son going to jail in the future? Why doesn’t Doc just use the sleep inducing machine on Marty’s son in the future himself, so that he never shows up at the restaurant? Furthermore. if he really wants to help Marty, why doesn’t he just tell him to be careful while driving his truck and not to hit the Rolls Royce. Frankly speaking that caused a chain reaction. So my problem being, ‘was it necessary?’

The film lacks a good obstacle. I understand that getting back the Almanac is the major obstacle, but come on; they have the time machine, fully functioning! Plus, there are two of them right now. If one person messes it up the the other can go to the same point in time and guide him like Morpheus guides Neo in The Matrix.

And there are several other points in the story which I am not to convinced with. But I do not want the analysis to be entirely a rant. So…

The film has several good references to the pop culture. My favourite being, the mockery of Spielberg’s own film Jaws. Remember, “Sharks never looked real”? It serves as a good base for the much better third part, giving a much more logical explanation for Marty being Clint Eastwood in the Old West. The film ends by showing what happens in the third part. Which suggests that the makers planned and shot both the parts simultaneously. So when we talk of the second part, we need to consider the trilogy as a whole. In that manner, the film does not have an end only the introduction to the last part!

Note: The best foreshadowing ever –

Doc:  Better that I devote myself to study the other great mystery of the universe: women!

To be concluded!

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#1 Robert Zemeckis/ Spielberg* – Back to the future (Part I)

“Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?”

He stared at me, baffled. “Why the fuck would you do that?”

~ Stephen King

The film is ranked 49th in the IMDb top 250 list.

Time is such a vague yet interesting concept. Every great mind of modern times has spent time thinking about “time”. And for me, the Back to the future trilogy remains the best work in this subject.

If we take the time travel part out of the picture, we have a simple premise – a troubled teenager trying to correct a few wrongs in his life. This is what intrigues me! A simple premise embellished with a compelling treatment. Every good film has this feature in common.

I have watched this film so many times by now that I know the film frame by frame. Yet every time I watch it, I get excited when, in Marty’s language he discovers something, “heavy”. I love explaining the intricate details to my younger brother, just the way my dad did to me. It feels like passing on a legacy.

Why is the film so special?

Foreshadowing – a sign or warning about an incident in future

If I am correct, every major event casts foreshadow. The plutonium used in the DeLorean is shown missing on the news in the very first scene. We get an idea that Marty (Michael J. Fox) will not have any plutonium in the car, as Doc (Christopher Lloyd) mentions carrying extra shards during time travel. It is like letting the audience think that they knew it was coming, so that when it actually happens they link it to the former events and as a result recall it. If your foreshadowing succeeds you have an active audience. Nothing works better than an active audience!

The film does not really highlight this theory, but still I feel the makers must have studied it while making.

The Butterfly Effect – Can the flutter of a butterfly in Brazil cause tornado in Texas? Our smallest actions, do they have strong repercussions on the Universe? Wikipedia makes it real boring. I gave a more poetic, simple version.

Lastly, talking about the theme now. Ah, again! Who would not like to go back in past and see the moments when their parents actually fell for each other. I would like to see my father sweeping my mother off her feet. I would love to check how much of it is true and how much is, you know, amplified! I love the film because I can clearly see myself as the protagonist. I always have and I always will. And I am sure I am not the only one to feel so!

* I could not help but enter Spielberg’s name in the title. You have all the ingredients to a good Spielberg film in this one although he did not actually direct it.