"Wait a minute, Doc. Ah... Are you telling me that you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"
I've watched my third movie and have officially reached my minimum goal for this quarter. I also have researched a bit about the basic elements of movies, so that's done too. But I wish that I would've looked into it more, maybe next time I'll have more information about movie making. This week I decided to watch Back to the Future, because last Wednesday was October 21, 2015. This was the day that Marty McFly traveled to save his kids in Back to the Future II. So I decided to start the trilogy because of all the hype surrounding that day.
Click HERE for Back to the Future SUMMARY
Back to the Future is a 1 hour and 56 minute fantasy/science fiction film centering around Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and his travel through time in his friend, Doc Brown's (Christopher Lloyd) time travel machine, which takes form in a DeLorean. Time travel has always been an fascinating topic, and people will eat up any form of media that talks about it. This movie is no exception. But what makes it a timeless (haha) classic?
The answer for me is simply this: it's a whole movie. By this, I mean that every aspect of the movie has a purpose, everything makes sense together and everything fits together to make a film that leaves you feeling very satisfied when you finish it. The attention to detail in this movie was great, in almost every shot there was a detail that added to the story, and if you were to re watch this movie again and again, I'm sure you could catch all of them and really appreciate the effort put into it. It doesn't hurt that the main hero, Marty McFly, is so darn lovable. In the beginning of the movie, he seems like just a regular "slacker" who's late for class and hangs out with the outcasts. But his character starts to develop as a guy who's easy going yet slightly goofy, and his charm manages to make the audience super invested in his life and his problems. His story of time travel also manages to be relatable, complete with a mediocre family, an unfair principal, a love interest, and an important mentor figure, which he finds in Doc Brown. Doc Brown as a character is also extremely likable. Although at first you may be overwhelmed by his crazy hair and easy excitability, you really start to care about him. I must admit, I got a little teary eyed near the ending, where Marty returns to see Doc Brown shot down again, only for him to reveal that he heeded Marty's advice after all by using a bullet proof vest. It's moments like these where emotion and tension really build up, which is a thing this movie does well. While I was a little bothered by the amount of problems that show up in the final act (how is everything going wrong?), I think that it was successful in adding to the movie rather than taking away from it, which is a problem that many films have. Some movies put in way too much tension and do it wrong, leaving the audience feeling annoyed and bored, but in Back to the Future, the tension was kept humorous and interesting, keeping me invested in all the shenanigans that occurred.
The characters in this movie are the best representations of their tropes: Marty is the lovable hero, Biff (Thomas F. Wilson) is the bully, and Doc Brown is the crazy scientist. Unlike in other movies, the tropes in this movie are well done and you don't really question them because you're already too invested in their journeys.
Speaking of Biff, this was one of my favorite lines in the movie, which is already intensely quotable. The comedy in this movie is low-key and not super out there, yet lines like these manage to make me really laugh and are just so easy to remember.
One of the main problems in this movie is the most uncomfortable: Marty's mother Lorraine (Lea Thompson) ends up developing a crush on Marty instead of on his dad George (Crispin Glover). The pure awkwardness of this dilemma leads to a lot of cringe worthy moments, and a lot of good jokes.
This is a video of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra performing the music of the clock tower scene live. The clock tower scene is one of the most tense scenes in the movie, and it's also one of the most well done.
The ending scene of Back to the Future, where Doc Brown comes back from the future to tell Marty that they need to go forward in time in order to save Marty's kids. With this widely quoted ending line, the movie introduces the idea of the second movie in the trilogy.
"I got chills, they're multiplying."
I'm on track so far! This is my second movie. I managed to research a bit about the basics of movies. Among the most important basic elements were soundtrack, acting, cinematography, dialogue, story, directing, and more. All of these elements have to have a focused goal in mind. By this, I mean that they have to aim to make the audience think or feel sad or feel happy or hate a character or love a character, etc. If these things aren't all coordinated, the movie most likely won't turn out that well. Of course, there are probably exceptions in where little thought was put into these elements while in the production process of a movie. But in general, I think these are important to consider.
Click HERE for Grease SUMMARY
Grease is a movie musical filled with comedy, romance, and lots of leather jackets. Like, a lot. Danny Zuko (John Travolta), leader of a gang named the T-Birds, falls into a summer romance with Australian Sandy Olsson (Olivia Newton-John). The two part at the end of the summer, see each other again at school, a comedy of errors pursue, and they end up together in the end. It's not the most inventive movie, plot wise. But there's something about this film that made it an instant classic, and it's that same magic that makes the movie fun to watch and easy to follow, even 37 years later.
I think it's fair for me to start out with THE SOUNDTRACK. As I am writing this analysis, I'm listening to the official movie soundtrack. All of the songs have a great feel to it that fit in amazingly with the characters and made sense in the movie. And the whole thing is just so catchy and fun to listen to. You might notice that I've used the word 'fun' several times to describe this movie. That's because this movie is just that: 1 hour and 50 minutes of fun. I went into the movie knowing that some things would be outdated, and some aspects of the movie wouldn't blow me away in a revolutionary sense. I was expecting a mediocre experience. But this movie really surprised me! The musical numbers are high energy and emotional, the acting is the perfect amount over the top, the characters captured my attention, and the comedy held up, making me chuckle more than just a few times. I found myself bopping my head to the songs and smiling in spite of myself. It's not hard to see why this movie is so popular. It's almost as if the movie is self-aware, conscious of the genre it is trying to be and embracing it.
The romance between Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson is the driving force of the movie, and while they're two very stereotypical characters, you can't help but root for everything to work out for them in the end.
While Danny and Sandy are great, it's the supporting characters like Rizzo (Stockard Channing), Kenickie (Jeff Conaway), and Frenchy (Didi Conn) that keep the movie interesting.
The movie also has it's share of cheesy scenes. In my opinion, it just adds to the fun!
This is the soundtrack to Grease that I was jamming out to while writing this. Some of my favorites are "Grease", "Summer Nights", "Hopelessly Devoted to You", "You're the One That I Want", and "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee". The movie sequences for "Summer Nights", "You're the One That I Want", "Beauty School Dropout", "Greased Lightnin" and "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" are so iconic and entertaining.
If you have anything you'd like to contribute pertaining to this movie, then in the words of post transformation Sandy:
This should go without saying.
Kelby Custodio, Junior at Pacifica High School.