A look at the very real impact the Back to the Future movies have had on our culture. What was once a little idea that spawned a tightly-focused documentary has grown into something truly amazing over two years of filming. Back in Time is a cinematic monument to the vastness of the trilogy's fandom. In addition to the footage and interviews revolving around the time machine itself, the crew found that simply by delving into the impact of the trilogy an epic journey began to unfold before them. The crew captured countless hours of footage during filming. From Steven Spielberg to Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, to the Sheas and Hollers, and from James Tolkan and Lea Thompson to Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox, Back in Time features interview after interview that simply must be seen.
We actually use the same logic when we go to see movies as we do walking into a casino. We largely know we're gonna get ripped off, but the chance is worth it. If it were any other industry, we would have long ago shut it down and sued everybody. Because if it was cans of tuna, the equivalent would be like every third can had a human finger in it. Movies are so bad now.
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As a die hard BTTF fan I was pretty excited for this. I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign based off the trailer, which looked amazing. With all the coverage the trilogy was getting this year and especially in October, I thought finally viewing this would be a great way to cap it all off. Unfortunately, it left me pretty disappointed.
The marquee names involved are obviously great, but way too much time is spent on random fans and contributors. It's hard to believe that what we see in the final piece is the best they got out of the interviews with Fox, Lloyd, and Thompson; all of which appear on screen for a total of maybe 10 minutes total.
There are a few nice anecdotes and facts sprinkled throughout but overall the surface barely gets scratched on the depth of not only the movies themselves, but also the incredibly devoted subculture that has been generated over the years. To be fair, I am an above average fan so I know or am at least aware of the more behind the scenes stories and facts. However, even for the regular person with just basic knowledge of the films the documentary leaves a lot of holes.
Storywise the editing is not good at all and very fragmented. For example, the first part (it's split into 2 very unequal parts for some unclear reason. Part 1 is about the move getting made) ends on the topic of the iconic delorean. Then we see a title card for "Part 2: The Fans", and for a minute or 2 they talk to some people, but then somehow the topic gets back to the delorean and into a pretty long exposition about people replicating the cars etc. Now sure, technically this is fans who build the cars, but there is so much of it there really should have been an entire section just about the car. Then, another part about the subculture of fans. I really saw no point at the attempt to segment the film into actual parts, of which there are only 2.
There are some really nice nuggets and stories in there—like the private owner who actually owns the delorean from part 3 and 4x4 from part 1. But overall this really fell flat for me which is a big shame. I contributed because of my love for the movies. And although I'm sure the director is a passionate fan, it may have been better left in the hands of experienced story tellers.
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