(As our editor Matt Holmes turns 25 today, he’s out of office and we are going to re-publish some old favourites. Such as this beauty from Gareth Bunkham)
Power up the DeLorean, turn the time circuits on and get the flux capacitor… fluxing, ‘Back to the Future‘ has landed back in U.K. cinema’s for a refreshing, and unique, nationwide re-release. This is something we’ve been asking studio’s to do for some time, put serious money in giving genuine classics that glourious chance to find a whole new audience.
To celebrate the release, he’s a re-running of an old favourite. 52 reasons (in no particular order) why Back to the Future might just be the greatest film of all time… (and make sure you check it out in theatres now)…
1. The Opening Scene
The opening scene in ‘Back to the Future’ is quite simply: perfect.
It flawlessly sets up the film’s central themes of time and space, provides heaps of exposition, presents the clock imagery that runs through the entire franchise and foreshadows events further on the film in one simple tracking shot; but most importantly it grabs your attention instantly.
Every time I watch Back to the Future I pick up on something new in that opening scene. The most recent occasion it was that one of Doc’s myriad clocks has a little scientist that looks remarkably like Dr. Emmett L. Brown himself hanging from one of the hands, foreshadowing that spine-tingling scene later in the film (more on that later though).
2. The Coolest Movie Car Ever
“You made a time machine… out of a DeLorean?”
I’ve heard all the arguments for other celluloid cars but nothing even comes close to Doc’s modified DeLorean – it’s a time machine for crying out loud!
3. Crispin Glover
The man who is the very definition of the phrase ‘cult actor’ got his big break in ‘Back to the Future’ and went on to carve out a career filled with eclectic performances coupled with a plethora of off-screen eccentricities.
Glover is brilliant as George McFly and as much of a cult hero as he has become, it’s a shame ‘Back to the Future’ wasn’t the start of a more successful career for this charismatic enigma.
4. Johnny B. Goode
“Well it’s an oldie where I come from”
One of Back to the Future’s most enduring scenes is Marty’s performance of Chuck Berry’s legendary ‘Johnny B. Goode’, complete with freak-out guitar solo at the end mimicking the playing traits of some of his all-time great guitar heroes.
As Marty looks out on the shocked crowd after his axe-wielding antics he realises he’s lost the 50s kids and quips:
“I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet… but your kids are gonna love it”.
5. The Chuck Berry reference
“It’s your cousin Marvin”
Mid-way through the aforementioned performance of Johnny B. Goode, before Marty’s over zealous string plucking loses the room, front man of the band playing the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, Marvin, of ‘Marvin Berry and the Starlighters’ fame, heads off to the side of the stage and makes a phone call.
Yelling over the music to his cousin ‘Charlie’ he remarks “you know that new sound you’re looking for? Well listen to this…” and holds the phone out to capture Johnny B. Goode, essentially suggesting that Marty is responsible for giving Chuck Berry the inspiration for Johnny B. Goode and the pioneering of rock n’ roll.
This scene is typical of the clever alternate time zone pop culture references that pepper the whole ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy – the use of Charlie rather than Chuck and the fact that Marvin’s surname is Berry, means this not an obvious reference to everyone but it’s very well done all the same.
This article was first posted on July 25, 2011