Friday, October 23, 2015

Back to the Future Day

Happy Back to the Future Day! It was actually this past Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 as that was the day Doctor Emmett Brown and Marty McFly traveled from 1985 to the then future 30 years ahead in a souped up Deloreon. Since 1985's biggest box office hit, the classic film spawned two hit sequels, an animated series, merchandising galore and one memorable vision of the future. While we never got hover boards, hydrated pizza or flying cars, society has embraced movie sequels, VR glasses and video chat among other things. To prep, Pepsi released a limited run of Pepsi Perfect bottles seen in part II, We're Going Back staged large scale events with guests and props at shooting locations, USA Today used the cover from part II and multiple theaters around the country screened the trilogy. If you'll recall, we've seen part I a good 7-8 times in theaters and the full marathon twice. Heading over to the Cinemark at Playa Vista we caught the last minutes of I before settling down for II & III. It was nice to see the giant theater nearly sold out for this momentous movie occasion.

Between films they played Universal's hilarious Jaws 19 trailer, their frigging atrocious Hoverboard spot as well as the Christopher Lloyd reprising his role as Doc ad for the new blu-ray set. Watching II again I was surprised at how efficient the story was as you go to the future, back to the present, which is now an alternate reality, back to the past where you intersect with the events of the first movie. It all works pretty well even if the back half of II is the least engrossing portion of the trilogy to me. I never noticed how many roles Thomas F. Wilson got to play as young dumb Biff, old crotchety grandpa Biff, Donald Trump style 1985 successful Biff and future psycho grandson Griff. Then in part III he gets to play a crazy gunslinger, not a bad run. I prefer the third over the second with it's mix of time travel and modern humor juxtaposed against a western with the old one street town, hats, dusters, six-shooters, rifles, shotguns, whiskey and ol timer talk. The focus is shifted to Doc as he gets a love interest and the ending finale is similar to the first only with more trains and explosions. All in it was a great night revisiting the films and our crowd was excellent as well, cheering and applauding at all the appropriate moments. These films stand up so well as their simple message that the future isn't set so it's up to us to make it a great one goes in line with additional optimistic 80's favs like "no fate but what we make" from The Terminator or "there's only one of you in the universe" from Masters of the Universe. The celebration was a hit with screenings pulling in over $1 million bucks on just over 1,000 screens while some 25 million Facebook users posted BTTF related items. The limited run of Pepsi Perfect sold out instantly, infuriating would be buyers forcing the sugar giant to announce a second run for November.

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