Back to the Future: Past and Present

The time has finally come when my kids are now old enough to watch some classic sci-fi movies that were favorites of mine when I was a kid. We usually do a family movie night on Saturdays and they’ve become so much more enjoyable for me now we don’t have to be quite so strict about the content.

Last Saturday we watched Back to the Future. I was just a teenager when this movie came out over twenty-five years ago. At the time it was a huge hit, spawning at least two sequels that I’m aware of. I was really curious to see what my kids would make of it and interested to see if it had stood the test of time. The verdict from my kids: Awesome! The verdict from me: just as much fun as it was the first time around. My younger boy said it shouldn’t count as sci fi ‘cos there were “no spaceships in it,” while my bigger guy insisted that “time travel should totally count.” Oh, how I love those little geeks of mine.

I think the thing that stuck me most, apart from the acid washed jeans and big hair, was the terrific performance from Michael J. Fox. Oftimes the funniness of certain scenes were so effective due to his facial expressions or physical comedy. The scene where he is trying to fend off the advances of his mom as a teenager had my kids screaming with laughter. First time around I just noticed what a little cutie he was; this time around he got my respect for his acting. The whole cast was terrific, in fact. The film not only thoroughly entertained the whole family, but we also got a good conversation about bullying out of it. When Marty returns to the present to find that his father, who had been bullied at school, was a different man after learning to stand up to a bully, we got to have a discussion about the long term effects that bullying can have on an individual.

How long has it been since you saw Back to the Future? How old were you when you watched it? What are your memories of it?

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Diane Dooley blogs at Writing, Stuff and Nonsense. Her next release will be Mako’s Bounty from Decadent Publishing.

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11 comments

  1. The last/first time I watched it was about 3 years ago. I was 15 years old and on a ski trip with some family. We had just watched Weird Science and my thought was that no movie could be a better combination of funny and weird than that. I was wrong. Love Back to the Future!

    1. Oh, Weird Science. I’d forgotten about that one!

  2. I was a teenager when this movie came out, too. Loved it, loved the sequels, and certainly loved the Western aspects and steampunk in movie #3, (though it wasn’t called “steampunk” at the time, as far as I know). I loved Doc Brown, and I still love Doc Brown. And I’m not shy about saying that there’s a little Doc Brown in the hero of Stellarnet Rebel.

    Watched it again with my kids a few years ago. My oldest liked it so much, we ended up going on eBay and buying her an old toy DeLorean. Might have to watch it again soon. Thanks! :D

    1. Anyone who loves Doc Brown so much is a friend of mine! *grin*

  3. I watch #1 and #3 anytime I come across them on TV (#2 wasn’t that great IMO). I even dated a guy in high school just because he had an old beat up DeLorean lol

    BTTF is one of those rare 80s movies that’s going to stand the test of time. But I’m still waiting for my self-adjusting shoes and hoverboard :)

    1. The two sequels are definitely in out family to-watch pile.

  4. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of Back to the Future and Indiana Jones! I actually just recently watched these when they released on blu-ray. I’ve never seen a single person who doesnt like these films. Great post.

    1. Ooh, Indiana Jones would be awesome on blu-ray. Thanks for the rec.

  5. Like Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones, the first Back to the Future imprinted on me when I was five or six and I’ve never gotten over it. I think it’s an American classic. Exciting plot, great characters, and the story structure is genius. That finale with the lightning strike…OMG…and then they managed to top that with the train sequence at the end of BTTF3, when Clara suddenly…no, no, I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it (both of you.)

    Thanks for the geek-out, Diane!

    1. You can always rely on me for a geek-out!

  6. Recently I’ve re-watched some of my all-time favorite movies of the eighties, and was very disappointed. Ugh. But I have a feeling I’d still enjoy Back to the Future. I’m going to have to watch it with the kids. Thanks for this!

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