In this 80s sci-fi classic, Californian teen Marty McFly is accidentally zapped back into 1955 in a plutonium-powered DeLorean time machine when an experiment by his eccentric scientist friend, Doc Brown, goes wrong.
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Zemeckis works like a choreographer. His style involves dually designing shots to move story and inform on character. Every image and audible cue is educational; and every means of movie manipulation (lens, angle, movement) punctuates an intended point relative to the whole. With grace, his actors, effects, props and camera all move within the frame with precision and purpose, seemingly effortlessly.
After recently re-watching this time travelling blockbuster from the '80's my mind was transported back to a time when, as a teenager, Spielberg was God and I watched anything with his name attached to it, even if it was just in an Executive Producer capacity. And d'you know what?! It's still terrific fun with a manic Lloyd stealing the show, entering into the spirit of things and having a ball with his zany antics..
BACK TO THE FUTURE is a naive defender of the liberal American dream, but who cares when its heart pumps so vigorously for its story and characters. It takes a great storyteller to create such a striking cinematic clockwork, but an even greater one to operate with such transparency and — Zemeckis' even touches upon Oedipal themes and determinism — effortless density. One of the greatest American films of the 80s.
I remember watching this with my older brother and after Marty McFly said "I'm going to be late for school!" and Power of Love starts playing, he turned to me and said, "Aren't 80's films great?". And indeed they are. Who doesn't love this film?