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As a loyal fan of the Back to the Future phenomenon, I long awaited a
to publish my take on the series. It may be a bit surprising to some that
would choose to write my comments in the section specific to the last
which has been considered to be the worst film of the trilogy.
For many years, in consideration of this one trilogy which served to inspire and excite me as to possibilities of the motion picture industry, I would look with a disappointment on BTTF Part Three, believing it to be an unwelcome, unexciting film which ended the legacy.
However, recently it came upon me to purchase the trilogy on VHS and re-experience it, as I had once did, though now from a more balanced perspective. I watched the first two Back to the Future movies avoided the third in the fear of being once again disappointed. Utter disappointment is no longer the feeling I can use to describe my take of the movie.
Back to the Future 3 is a well-written, well-directed, well-balanced piece. With an incredible musical score, brilliant acting and excellent composition, the movie reminded me that Back to the Future was never about action. It was truly about the characters we came to know and love in the first movie. It was a return to the basics, the friendship between Marty and Doc and how each was thrown through time to change not only the future of Hill Valley, but also their own lives and their future choices.
Robert Zemeckis' (the writer) decision to send the two friends back to 1885, in their final adventure, was brilliant. Imagery like the "famous Hill Valley courthouse under construction" and the "steam engine train wheeling up to the rear of the futuristic Delorean" was unforgettable. For example, the dancing at the Courthouse welcoming festivities contrasted with the action-laden scene (in BTTF2) between Griff and Marty at the same place just a century and a half later.
All in all, Back to the Future Part Three was a perfect ending to a perfect trilogy. To anyone who despises this film, I recommend another full watching. There are so many details which are kudos out to fans of the previous two movies. The movie successfully slowed the pace of the other two movies (in preparation for conclusion) without losing the loyalty of true fans. It captured the essence of what brought these fans to Back to the Future in the first place.
If you haven't seen it, rent and enjoy :) If you have seen it and wasn't particularly pleased, I beg another viewing.
Doc Brown and Marty McFly are back for another time travel adventure, and
once again their exploits are great to watch. The film is well-written and
directed, and all of the actors involved delivered spectacular performances
once again. There could not have been a sharper contrast between the last
Back To The Future and this one (we go from the neon colored future of
flying cars and 3D movies to the old dirty west with its overflowing
spittoons and gunfighting), yet the story holds together strongly and keeps
the attention of the audience from start to finish.
The old west was portrayed beautifully, although maybe a bit crudely and stereotypically, and the way that the town of Hill Valley was transformed for all three films is one of the biggest highlights of the series as a whole. In Back To The Future III, the challenges that face Doc and Marty are ingenius, and a solution to their problems is extremely difficult to think of, which makes it that much more fun to watch the film.
Back To The Future III is an excellent way to have ended the trilogy, which as a whole is among the best trilogies ever made. What other group of movies follows the same characters through their adventures which take place in three different centuries? Clearly, Back To The Future III deserves a lot of respect, as do the previous two films. They are all a huge amount of fun to watch, and the films can be enjoyed by people of all ages, which is a quality that few films possess.If you haven't seen these films, go out and get them, and if you have seen them, you may want to go out and watch them again.
Having set a new standard in time travel films with Back To The Future and
Back To The Future Part II, it was with eager anticipation that I looked
forward to seeing if Robert Zemeckis could bring his trilogy to a satisfying
conclusion. To conclude any trilogy in a successful manner some of the key
ingredients you need are: 1. do something in your wrap up you haven't done
before 2. keep the main characters true to what they have been previously 3.
tie up all the loose threads and 4. give us a satisfying
For this third outing in the series, Zemeckis takes us where we have yet to tread, that being 1885 Hill Valley. With Marty trapped once again in the year 1955, he enlists the 1955 Doc Brown to help him return home. As we know by now, things are never that simple when it comes to Marty and Doc. Marty has no magic ruby slippers to click together three times and say, "There's no place like home." It seems Doc ended up in the Old West, but hid the DeLorean in a cave for Marty to find some 70 years later so he may return home back to 1985 and destroy the time machine. After discovering that Doc met with some misfortune shortly after arriving in 1885 Hill Valley, Marty decides to travel back in time to rescue him.
While BTTFIII does not have the break neck frantic pace of Part II, it is a good film on its own. For the first time, Zemeckis slows things down a bit, making this third film straightforward, yet just as delightful in a lot of ways as the other films. The first thing he does is throw us a little change up. Zemeckis and Gale decide to center the complications of this third film around Doc Brown by having him fall unexpectedly in love with a school teacher by the name of Clara(Mary Steenburgen). In essence, Doc loses his head over a woman and loses his scientific reasoning in the process. It is left up to Marty to become the voice of reason when Doc begins to let his emotions rule his reactions. Yet, Marty seems as a amused as we are by the whole thing. This is one romance that could easily have been the downfall of this film, but thanks to the performances of Steenburgen and Christopher Lloyd, together they develop a chemistry that makes it all work and work to perfection. So by having the majority of the film take place in the old west, then introducing something to the plot we didn't expect, Zemeckis takes care of the first point I mentioned above.
There's also the matter of Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen. The meanest, grimiest, filthiest, most ruthless outlaw to ever inhabit Hill Valley. If you liked Thomas F. Wilson's portrayals of Biff, you'll be amazed at his rambunctious portrayal of Mad Dog. He even somehow manages to top his villainous portrayals in the first two films which is not an easy task. So yes, all the characters from the first two films are here in some form or another, and though Doc Brown may be in love, he is still the Doc. This solidly takes care of my second point about keeping the characters true to what they have been before.
Zemeckis and Gale have been absolute geniuses in writing these films. In each film they have taken little pieces from the previous films and make them essential to what's happening. For instance, if you've seen the second part there is a short scene that is extremely relevant to what goes on in the finale. When originally viewing it in Part II, I'm sure you never gave it a second thought. When the pay off comes in this film, you can't help but chuckle and say, oh I see. As for my third point about tying up loose ends, they do that and tie up some things we didn't even know were loose ends.
In Part II, it was necessary for several of the actors to play different roles. This one is no different. Besides being Marty Mcfly, Fox also portrays his ancestor Shamus Mcfly, who is Irish, and again Fox shows his versatility as Lea Thompson does as his wife Maggie. Of course James Tolkan is back as Strickland and theres a couple of good jokes about his character that will surprise you...well at least one of them will surprise you the other will just leave you laughing. As if all this wasn't good enough, Zemeckis also gives us several old western character actors, Dub Taylor, Pat Buttram, and Harry Carey Jr. Another great touch thrown in just for the fun of it.
In reviewing the fist two parts of the trilogy, I failed to mention Alan Silvestri's terrific score. All three films owe a great deal of their success to it, and the fact that he was able to keep the same theme, yet do variations on it that perfectly fitted each film deserves as much credit as all the others responsible for making this film received.
So what about point 4, a satisfying ending? Of course, you'll have to see the film to find out for yourself. I can only say that when Part 3 was over I felt a certain amount of sadness that the trilogy had ended. Even now when I watch the three films, I wish there had been a fourth, and a fifth. This was not because the ending of the third film left me unsatisfied in anyway, quite the contrary in fact. It was because I would miss not only the films themselves, but most of all the rich detail and characterizations brought to life for us by a wonderful cast, director, writers and the rest of the crew responsible for enabling us to enjoy one of the most memorable series of films ever. And when you live in my memory forever, you get my grade. For Back To The Future Part III it's an A+. As for the trilogy, there is no grade high enough, no rating high enough, for me to give it the award it so richly deserves.
Picking up where #2 left off, Marty is stuck in 1955 again and has to
the 1955 Doc why he's back and uses a letter Doc sends him from 1885 to
explain what happened. After fixing up the time machine (hidden in a from
cave), they find out that Doc is murdered in the past by Buford "Mad Dog"
Tannen (played by Thomas F. Wilson) "over a matter of $80 dollars." So
decides to go back and rescue Doc before the murder can occur, but he is
bedeviled by a rip in the fuel line - meaning they have to find another
the time machine to hit 88 miles per hour - and Doc falling in love with
teacher Clara Clayton (Mary Steenburgen). Along the way, he gets advice
from Doc and his 1885 ancestor Seamus McFly (also played by Michael J.
that he should really learn to control his temper.
Fox and Lloyd are fun to watch as always, and I give my hat off to the studio for hiring Mary Steenburgen as Doc's love interest and not some super model type; it's more fitting of who Doc is. Wilson's Biff Tannen officially became a traditional "villain" in #2 with him murdering George McFly, and now Wilson plays an even bigger villain in Buford Tannen, whom he makes both funny and menacing.
Ironically, Wilson is said to be a very nice man in real life. Leah Thompson makes the most of a thankless dual role as both Lorraine McFly and Marty's great, great grandmother Maggie McFly, and James Tolkan plays his Principal character's soft spoken law man ancestor (killed in a deleted scene by Buford Tannen; "Remember son... discipline.")
It should be noted that originally there were no sequels planned with the first movie; that bit with Doc taking Marty and Jennifer to the future to help their kids was just another gag. But the film was such a hit that the studio couldn't NOT do sequels, so this one and part 2 were filmed back to back, which is becoming more of a craze these days.
Although on the surface it's a lighthearted comedy about time travel, it's also about what it means to be a man. The first film defined being a man through violently standing up to your tormentors, while this film and #2 go with the theme that being a man also means you have to reign yourself in when people start annoying you. Marty' willingness to fight back was his strength in the first film but here it is his flaw, as people in both 2015, 1955 and 1885 continually get his goat. The message of self-control is bluntly stated when Doc says to Marty "You can' t keep going off the handle every time someone calls you a name, that's why you get into that accident in the future!" (referring of course to the car accident mentioned in part 2). It is not until Marty realizes his error when he's about to meet Buford in the gun fight that he achieves this ideal and, much to Seamus's glee, says of Buford and the opinions surrounding him "He's an asshole! I don't care what Tannen says, and I don't care what anyone else says either!" Because of this, he is able to avoid said accident.
Also loaded with gags, references to other great westerns ("My name is Clint Eastwood.") and Doc's response to being asked if his hijacking the train is a hold up: "It's a science experiment!"
Even in the best franchises which proved that sequels can be just as
good, if not better than the originals, the third parts are often
fairly controversial. Look no further than to the third entries in "The
Godfather" and "The Terminator" movies. "Back To The Future III" is no
exception to that rule as it clearly is the weakest part in the
trilogy, but it's still one hell of a great ride.
Writer/producer Bob Gale and writer/director Robert Zemeckis are two very clever men. They know the difficulties of sequels well. As Zemeckis explains somewhere on the "BTTF"-DVD set, the hardest part is to give the audience something new without moving too far away from the original's spirit. "Back To The Future II" achieved that goal gloriously (although Zemeckis who is very critical about his own work is always downsizing the greatness of it). Maybe the two Bobs went a bit too far away from what audiences loved about the original in part 3.
Although the movie is set mainly in the Wild West, it's still seen through the eyes of two people from the 80's. There are shootouts, horse chases and train robberies, but "Back To The Future III" is never a real Western. What makes this movie seem different from its predecessors is that fittingly it doesn't have a lot to do with teen culture anymore (save for a Michael Jackson-reference). Marty himself seems to have grown up quite a bit and you'll be surprised to see him behaving more focused on his mission than Doc in the latter half of the movie. This change of places by the characters was a deliberate decision by the writers and it does push the story and the relationship of Marty and Doc forward, but something about it just doesn't feel right.
It's intriguing to learn about the origins of Hill Valley and the ancestors of the McFly-clan. However, the earnest Seamus McFly and his family - that for some reason includes a woman looking like Marty's mother - seem strangely out of place in a BTTF-movie. They're just not quirky enough.
What makes the story seem even more estranged is the introduction of a new character, Clara Clayton, with whom Doc falls madly in love. Now, although we should all be happy for Doc having found his own private happiness, somehow we don't want him to behave like that. It's not Doc as we know and love him - and that's exactly the problem Robert Zemeckis was talking about. Marty and Doc used to be a team. Was anyone happy for John when Yoko got between him and The Beatles?
I still think "Back To The Future III" is an amazing accomplishment, a fine finale to one of the best trilogies ever made. You can't give enough praise to Zemeckis and Gale for not just making these movies for financial reasons but for actually trying to make them as good as possible. Personally, I love this movie to bits and I don't think it could have been realized any better. The only explanation I got for why this brilliant sequel got a lukewarm rating of 6.7 from IMDb users, is the dilemma Zemeckis himself was aware of, but couldn't fully avoid.
Fans who are still longing for a fourth part should keep that in mind and would be best advised to let it go. Zemeckis and Gale have said repeatedly that they don't plan on ever continuing the story. And why should they? Everything has been said, everything has been done. The movies are perfect the way they are. Let's be thankful there are still filmmakers that stick to their artistic conviction.
I think this movie makes a great end for the Back To The Future trilogy. I didn't think that I would like it much because it was about the old west, but I loved it! Michael J. Fox shows off his talents again, by playing Marty McFly, and his old relative in the west. The only part I didn't like was the ending. I'd really like to find out what happens to all the characters years later. But overall, an awesome film!
I agree that most of the time sequels to great movies are no good. Get to the third installment and it's become a joke. One of the lone exceptions to this rule is Back to the Future Part III. It's just a perfect movie. Entertaining, intelligent, and funny it is a hoot for fans of the first movie. Back to the Future is one franchise where all three movies are worthy of your attention.
Part III, the wild west entry, is probably the most fun. The original has
just such a fantastic premise that creates a sense of urgency about seeing
it out till the end, but there is something uncomfortable about your mother
having a crush on you that leaves a bad taste in the mouth during Part I.
The premise of Part III is this: in 1955, Doc learns that he will eventually
travel back to 1885 to live out his days as a blacksmith, but then
Copernicus, Doc's 1955 dog, stumbles upon a gravestone that tells Doc and
Marty that Doc will be shot to death by Buford Tannen over a matter of 80
dollars. Naturally, Marty says he will travel back to 1885 and get Doc and
bring him back to the future with him (though it couldn't be 1955, because
there's already one Doc there).
There are time-jumping laws that are not obeyed by the scriptwriters here, and much worse than in the second film, but this one's so well concentrated and so much the better movie that they hardly matter. It has a climax involving a train that rivals the clocktower climax of the first one. A fantastic scene.
Thomas F Wilson, the perennial bad guy of these movies, who started off as Biff Tannen in the original, played Griff Tannen in the second one, throws himself into a Yosemite Sam part as Buford 'Mad Dog' Tannen in the third. Mary Steenbergen, in one of her few leading roles, is a nice addition to the cast. She fits right into the wild west world, as the dainty schoolteacher who plays "his beloved Clara" to the Doc.
Like the others, its larger-than-life tone, with the over-blown time-travel dialogue and melodramatic highs and lows, render it into a kind of live-action cartoon. Kids will enjoy Part III the most, but it is so good-natured that adults should have fun with it too. Out of the three, this is the one that you'll be able to put on any time and feel good. Great, harmless fun.
Well, I just finished the Back to the Future trilogy and all I have to
say is that I was pleasantly surprised and relieved that I finally had
the opportunity to see these films. Without a doubt, the first was my
favorite, the second was my second favorite, and the third worked, but
it didn't work as well as the other two movies. Part three worked the
same formulas from the first and second, but some of the situations
just seemed a tad too unrealistic.
Marty and The Doc are now in the Wild Wild West way back in 1885, and as you know the tools are not quite advanced as they are in 1985, so they have to figure out the best they can on how to get back to the future. But Doc falls in love with a woman he saves from going over a cliff, Clara, and Marty has been challenged by Mad Dog, or Biff in a different generation, to a duel. This is a major problem since Marty found a tombstone in the future with a possibility of having either his or Doc's name on it.
Well, I'm really glad that I had the opportunity to see these Back to the Future films, because they were good movies. I have to say that I was wrong, I tried to stay away from these films, I'll admit, because it just seemed so hokey and not my type of movie, but I think that's a major problem we all need to work on and not be so judgmental before we typecast a movie that we think we won't like because we might end up with little treasures.
Marty and doc are back, but in another time. They go to the West in 1885 in order to save Doc's life and from then on the Western adventure takes place. It's a pity that so many people disliked the third movie because, in my humble opinion, it's a great finale to this fantastic trilogy. It is very well written with rich characters and clever dialogues. This third part does differ in the sense that it's set in the West and has less of the futuristic gadgets and gizmos (obviously, since it's not set in the distant future but you'll still see a few including a time-travelling freight train) but it still retains the same energy, a different kind of action and it pays a nice homage to Western classics. Fox and Lloyd continue their roles of the teen hero and the crazy doctor (and it never gets old) but this time there's a new female lead. Mary Steenburgen delivers a hilariously wonderful performance as the ditsy Clara. She and Lloyd are funny and sweet together. Clara is the perfect lady for Doc and Steenburgen fits the part like a glove. This time, Lea Thompson appears as an Irish settler. Zemeckis has brilliantly picked up from where the second one ended. The film ends on a delightful note and I would have liked to see more 'Back to The Future' movies. But, I'm still very pleased with the way it is. There have been only very few trilogies that have impressed me overall. My list includes names like Ray's 'Apu Trilogy' and Coppola's 'Godfather' trilogy and of course Zemeckis's 'Back To The Future' movies.
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