Director: Jason Aron
Stars: Bob Gale, Steven Spielberg, Michael J. Fox, Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Alan Silvestre
Back to the Future isn’t just my favourite Time Travel movie. It is one of my favourite movies of all time. The movie itself has inspired movie makers and fans for over 30 years now (Yes we are in the Future) and continues to entertain new generations to the original movie made back in 1985 and it’s two sequels (1989 & 1990)
The Documentary “Back in Time” reminds us of a time when writer Bob Gale and Filmmaker Robert Zemekis tried pitching the story to all the big studios with non of them interested in making a movie about “Time Travel” it’s very hard to sell a story about a mother who falls in love with her own son in 1955’s Hill Valley (Disney wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole) infact “The Bobs” only had one supporter of the project and that was Steven Spielberg who in his words said the movie and it’s story was “lightening in a bottle”
Back in Time really pulls all the stops as arguably the definitive documentary of the time travel series with just about everyone involved. (Well apart from Crispin Glover who played George McFly and Tom Wilson who portrayed Biff Tannen in the original movie and Eric Stoltz, who we’ll get to in a moment)
Bob Gale on countless interviews and documentaries has explained the inspiration for the story coming across one of his dads old college yearbooks and discovering his dad was class president and this made Gale think if he would have been friends with his dad if they went to the same school at the same time. Gale would then let us know there was previous and numerous versions of the time machine before he and Zemekis settled on a Delorean.
There is also interviews from the cast from Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Claudia Wells, James Tolkan and Donald Fullilove who explain their experiences in making the movie and how it had changed their lives forever and when posed the question whether or not they would do a part four, well lets just say some of the answers to that question where surprising.
When Universal came calling to take the project Robert Zemekis was 6 weeks into filming when he sensed the humour in some key scenes weren’t working with the actor playing Marty McFly at this point the one and only Eric Stoltz. Robert Zemekis stated Stoltz was a fine actor and admitted it was one of the hardest decisions of his life to replace him with Family Ties actor Michael J Fox (Who was the original choice to play Marty, but due to scheduling conflicts at the time couldn’t get their man)
The first half of this documentary was really interesting and in-depth if you haven’t seen any of the other documentaries on the franchise (The 2003 DVD Release documentary covered all 3 movies in the same fashion) then you will enjoy this. The 2nd half of the documentary focuses on the effect the Movie has had on fans, filmmakers and charity organisations. The segment of the doc was humbling at times when you see how much time a devotion some fans invest in to have their own time traveling delorean and I have to admit and admire these people who have nailed the details of the car right down to the time circuits and flux capacitor.
Director Jason Aron puts together a really interesting documentary on one of the most iconic movies made in the history of film and even though if you are a fan of the movies and you have watched countless “making ofs” you will still enjoy the up to date instalment and to be honest its always nice to see Fox and Lloyd reunited in some fashion and I have to admire their enthusiasm even 30 years on and appreciate what that movie did for their careers.
From a music point of view we get to see Huey Lewis interviewed and he explains how the big hit of 85 was written specifically for the movie “The Power of Love” and you can sense his excitement even to this day to be involved in the soundtrack to the movie. I have always been a fan of Alan Silvestre’s work and even more so in Zemekis films. The score to Back to the Future is as important as any of the characters and it was interesting to hear from the composers point of view on how he put the music together for his audition in such a short space of time (pun intended)….and as they say the rest is history (pun intended…again)
Don’t get me wrong, if you haven’t watched Back to the Future (GREAT SCOTS!) this isn’t the documentary for you as this is a fan fest of everyones favourite time travel movie. But if you are a fan of the franchise you will enjoy and perhaps pick up some little nuggets of information in there you may not have been aware of. Highly recommendable.