Thursday, April 30, 2020

why are things so heavy in the future?

It's the little thing, really...

And not the obvious stuff like one of the clocks has Harold Lloyd hanging from it like Doc will later. I mean, stuff like the broken clock under the table when the dog food spills.

The rundown movie theater is a church. The other movie theater is showing Orgy American Style. On the main square there's a sex shop, a pawn shop, a loan shark, a travel office, a psychic, a seedy motel, a couple closed down businesses, and Mayor Goldie Wilson's reelection campaign headquarters.

And how weird is it that the diner became a workout gym and then turns back into a diner by 2015?

(If that ain't America in a nutshell...)
Marty checks out two woman in leotards and Jennifer barely seems to care--but she does notice. She deserves better than this flighty musician.

Graffiti on the school says DANGEROUS BOB and I imagined some crew member was referencing the director with that one. But, really, 'Dangerous' Bob Widin was the assistant property master, and probably did that bit himself.

Speaking of crew members, Dean Cundey and Ray Stella both worked cameras for this film and both worked on Halloween, and in the process of my Michael Myers Minute podcast time, I met Dean and talked to him a couple times.

In the present, Biff wants to get his reports retyped after George writes them. In the past, he's just going to rewrite reports.
 
 
 
 
 
Separate from good things, why do Dave and Linda still live at home in 1985? Nowadays, sure, the kids in their 20s would live at home. And, to be fair, in the original version of 1985, maybe they would be pathetic enough to live at home still. Especially Dave, working in fast food. But, in the later version, they both seem fairly successful, and too successful to be living at home in Reagan's America.

The Pepsi product placement is so obvious as to feel kinda quaint.

Doc's truck has a bumper sticker:

ONE NUCLEAR BOMB CAN RUIN YOUR WHOLE DAY

Marty asks if Doc's outfit is a Devo suit.

The destination time when Doc sends Einstein into the future is not 1:21am. But, that time couples well with the 1.21 gigawatts.

Why does Marty immediately think Doc stole the plutonium? What does Marty think of Doc? Why does he do things for, or with, him at all? How did they meet? Who are these people? I'm watching this movie in 1985, I'm 9 years old, do I care? I mean, there was a news report about the stolen plutonium earlier (which Marty didn't see) and in a moment, Libyans Arrive and murder him, but a dog just traveled in time and Alex P. Keaton is about to, too, and I want a Delorean time machine and I can't even drive yet. Do I care that this 17-year-old kid is hanging out with this old man and apparently violating several laws in the process? Of course not.

It is great that Doc mentions not having plutonium for the return trip already in the vehicle.

Why does Marty speed directly toward the photo booth? Why does he look down at the speedometer? Does he know at some subatomic level that he has already time travelled, will always time travel?

On the IMDb page for Katherine Britton, who plays the Peabody daughter--and who looks like an adult woman who has been shrunk down, and she was 36 at the time--it says, "Very active in her high school drama department and because of her 'petiteness' she has always been able to obtain roles of much younger girls." I'm not buying it. I think she and Ma and Pa Peabody are a thrupple, and there's just the one kid.


The travel office not only exists in '55 but also has the same name and I think even the same sign. Mr. Foster must be very good at his travel arrangements or possibly a mob front.

The motel is there still... Is it still, if it is technically earlier? It looks much nicer in '55, of course, than in '85.

Asked for something without sugar, the Lou gives Marty coffee. And, wow, I realized that the diner and the aerobic fitness center are both Lou's.

As I mentioned yesterday, Lorraine's dad has hit a kid before.

Despite Milton not knowing what a rerun is, reruns were already a thing. I Love Lucy had reruns when Lucille Ball was pregnant, and in 1955, Rod Serling's Patterns did better in reruns than it did in its first run.

When Doc initially says he hasn't invented any time machine, he touches the bandage on his forehead. If he is already connecting his vision from falling in the bathroom to time travel, why is he being so flippant in his disbelief rather than legitimately testing Marty?

That Doc says the president has to look good on television is interesting, historically, as just five years later, Nixon and Kennedy would debate on television and a big thing that hurt Nixon was that on television he looked nervous and sweaty. Television was about to matter a whole lot to presidents.

What excuse did Doc use when he went shopping for clothes that would fit Marty? Or does he often pick up young boys to help out with his experiments?
 
 
 
 
 
It is so sad that when asked what his parents like to do together, Marty says, "nothing."

I find it hard to imagine that Marty wouldn't know that his father used to write. My kids know I used to write. I read them stuff I wrote before bed many years ago. It's like George just put all of that stuff away and never spoke of it at all. And, that makes me more sad for their household. How depressing was it? George and Lorraine have been together for 30 years, have three kids, aged 17 to, say 21, 22, 23 (it's hard to gauge the intended age of Dave, but Linda seems to have graduated in '84 so she's barely older than Marty). They had time together as a couple before they had kids. What did they do together? What did they do apart? What did they do at all? How did one date, one kiss get them trapped in each other's lives for so long? I mean, this movie doesn't really paint a bright picture of what it meant to get married in 50s America. You give up on your interests and raise kids that will be bigger failures than you ever were?

For that matter, does Lorraine have interests? She has a book about the Portuguese on the table at the diner (the density destiny scene). Is that for a class? Or does she like history, or languages, or other cultures? What did she give up to be with George?

And, what did she do to the other kid her dad hit with his car and dragged home? (Might that have been Biff and that's why Biff is infatuated with her?)
 
 
 
 
 
Asked about whether or not he has a permit for his new weather equipment, Doc gets into his wallet for his "permit".

I neglected to mention the bottle of vodka on the counter and the open beers on the table when the McFlys had dinner in '85. That Marty tells Lorraine not to drink in '55 is a suggestive element as to what the next 30 years have been like. She got stuck with George, and she drank away her troubles and constantly recounted to her kids how romantic it was that she and George got together the way they did not because it was romantic, or even that she believed it was, but because she wanted it to be. She needed it to be. Otherwise, what were all those years for?

Meanwhile, even in the good version of those 30 years, George has only just managed to get his first novel published. Back to the Future just does not paint a nice picture of anything, does it? No wonder I liked it as a kid and it has stuck with me. Never mind that the screenplay is practically perfect, with every scene augmenting the ongoing plot just right. It's actually a tragic tale being rewritten into an only slightly better tale. Dave isn't a fast food slave but an office slave. Linda still needs a man. And, Marty still wants to be a musician but won't end up as one (hell, in Part II, he's just excited that future him ended up living in Hilldale, never mind the prospect of making big as a musician).

Add "Johnny B. Goode" to the bootstrap paradox list.

And Marty's name.

And, man, Dave's name shoulda been Calvin in the reshaped '85. That woulda been nice.

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