Back In Time

Back In Time

Back In Time

directed by Jason Aron

starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale

MVD Entertainment

As a product of The ’80s, a love of Back to the Future is practically a requirement for me. And it is there, to be sure. I appreciate all of the performances, from Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd all the way down to James Tolkan as the Principal. But I have always admired the stories I heard about the making of the film, and the first of its kind making of the back-to-back sequels. That is why I was excited to watch Back in Time.

This documentary is not just an exploration of the films themselves, but also a look at the cult and culture that has grown up around them. Approximately the first third of the documentary focuses on the making of the original film. The two main hurdles were finding the right studio to produce a time travel movie, and finding the right lead actor. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale had written a script that everyone in Hollywood loved, but no one would take a chance on producing. The tale of eventual production is fascinating, as is the often-told tale of replacing Eric Stoltz with Michael J. Fox. Talking heads are present for both of the tales, with the primaries – Gale and Zemeckis, Spielberg, Fox, along with other actors and studio folks. But the best talking heads are the people who were inspired by the script and performances, especially Dan Harmon (creator of Community and Rick and Morty) who outlines how flawed the “perfect script” is from a technical perspective, while still extolling how well it works.

The rest of the documentary splits its time between a cursory review of the sequel filming, an in-depth look at the DeLorean Time Machine, and the fandom that has grown from the initial film into conventions, cosplay, music, charity fundraising, and technological innovation. Again, talking heads guide the story, with super fans explaining how much the movie and characters have meant to them. Fans worked and restored the original Time Machine at Universal Studios from a decrepit state into a display “better than the original.” Fans travel around the country raising money for Parkinson’s Disease. Fans used the visions of the future to develop real hoverboards, of a sort.

On the whole, Back in Time is a good love letter to not only Back to the Future but to the entire culture. Some things are missing, of course. While we hear about Eric Stoltz, we don’t get to hear from him. Nothing is mentioned of Crispin Glover and the controversy surrounding the replacement of him as George McFly. The sequels get short shrift, especially the third film, as Part 2 got some time as they talked about how accurate the portrayal of the future turned out. If Marty McFly and Doc Brown were a large part of your youth, take a return visit to Hill Valley with this documentary and catch up with some old friends.

backintimefilm.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Sweet Crude
    Sweet Crude

    Créatures (Rhyme and Reason). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Gregg Allman, RIP
    Gregg Allman, RIP

    Michelle Wilson gives tribute to the voice of an angel. Gregg Allman, RIP.

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples
    Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

From the Archives