Thirty years ago today, one of my favorite movies of all time was released... Back to the Future!
I've lost count of the number of times I've seen the film. Probably at least 30 times in the 30 years since release. It's just one of those movies you can watch over and over again and never tire of it. In celebration of this landmark anniversary, I'll be watching it again tonight...
Few films have had this kind of impact on me.
Seamlessly blending science fiction and time travel with a genuinely sweet romantic comedy, Back to the Future hits all the right notes, and is pretty much the perfect movie.
And then the sequels came along.
Back to the Future II very nearly eclipses the original film for me. I absolutely love the movie. The clever way they managed to go back into the original film continues to blow my mind to this day. Yes, it doesn't have the heart that made the original such a special film... but my mind can't separate them, so it's all the same to me. The "future" of The Future remains one of my favorite fictionalized takes on... errr... the future...
I wasn't quite so enamored with the third film since it lacked the deep connection to the original the second one had... but still enjoyed it a lot.
And then, just like that, The Future was over.
Except it wasn't.
Thanks to some brilliant minds at Universal Studios, the franchise lived on with Back to the Future: The Ride!
My favorite theme park attraction of all time, the ride fit flawlessly within the Back to the Future films and was so fantastically realized that it felt as though it were a part of the trilogy from the beginning rather than tacked on for a quick buck. Unfortunately, the ride eventually closed in 2007 when it was replaced with a ride based on The Simpsons. Fortunately, the footage was preserved and is up on YouTube...
Not the same experience you got from being jostled around in a motion-controlled 8-seater DeLorean, but better than nothing!
The end of the ride wasn't the end for Back to the Future though...
Most people don't seem to be aware that the Back to the Future trilogy didn't end with Part III.
TellTale Games released a series of five Back to the Future games back in 2010. Serving as a direct sequel to the original films, they pick up directly after BTTF III...
And here's the surprising part... the games are actually good. Very good. Especially the first three installments. You should check them out!
Even if you don't like video games, you can still enjoy the story that came out of them. There are several postings on YouTube that screen-capped the whole thing. Though, obviously, if you have plans to play the games, watching the following video with utterly ruin them for you...
I don't know if there are plans to make more video games, but the movies live on in all kinds of knick-knacks... puzzles... greeting cards... and the like. Oh... and lest we forget Back to the Future: The Slot Machine!
And next up for the future of The Future?
We already got a LEGO Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine set, which is fantastic...
So naturally I am beyond thrilled at the prospect of finally getting a BTTF title out of the amazing LEGO video game franchise.
And what's the future of The Future past LEGO Dimensions?
I dunno. Robert Zemeckis refuses to allow a remake while he and co-writer Bob Gale still alive, thank heavens... but given that the original films are still much-loved even today, I wouldn't rule out more Back to the Future in the future. More LEGO? More video games? Comics? Animation? Who knows?
The future is whatever you make it.
So make it a good one.