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Friday, June 10, 2005

hello! mcfly!?!

I watched Back to the Future II last night. Though I am a long time fan of the BTTF Trilogy, this is my least favorite of the three. For those of you not familiar with the second film, here is the just of it (if you haven't seen it and don't want me to spoil it for you, leave now and if you stay, I'm assuming you saw the first film).

The movie picks up just before the end of the first film: Marty returns to 1985 and discovers his "present" has been pleasantly changed: his dad is now a successful author, his mom is a hottie, and he is now the proud owner of a super cool black truck, and Biff is now his dad's *slave*, and Lea Thompson is still hot. Just as Marty and Jennifer (Thompson) reunite, Doc Brown returns in the Delorian (which can now fly). He rushes Marty and Jennifer into the Delorian and tells them they have to come with him to 2015 to save their future son, Marty Jr., from being thrown in jail for some unexplained reason.

So, Doc, Marty, and Jennifer travel from 1985 to 2015 and discover a Hill Valley filled with flying cars, 80's retro cafes, automatic fitting coats, and hover boards (very cool). Marty intervenes and pretends to be his son, and takes on Griff (who's Biff's grandson, and I'm assuming is Needles' son). Mayhem ensues as Marty out hover boards Griff and his gang of hyper implanted hoodlums. Just when Doc and Marty are ready to return to 1985, the cops pick up and unconscious Jennifer (who Doc zapped to sleep when the first arrived in 2015) and use her finger prints to identify her as Jennifer McFly. Still unconscious, they bring her to her 2015 home in what is then a complete ghetto.

1985 Jennifer

Right before Doc and Marty leave to try to recue her, Doc discovers that Marty had purchased an Almanac of Sports Statistics from 1955 to 2000. Knowing how bringing the book back could change time and have far reaching implications, Doc throws in a garbage can. During this altercation, 2015 Biff had been listening to the entire argument… Doc and Marty go to rescue Jennifer as she is stuck in her 2015 home with 2015 Marty, his parents, and their kids. While the rescue is going on, 2015 Biff steals the Delorian and travels back to 1955 with the Almanac that Doc had taken away from Marty. Jennifer is rescued after seeing what a bunch of losers her 2015 family is.

2015 Marty and 2015 Needles

So, back to 1985 they go (not knowing that Biff had returned the Delorian from 1955 to 2015). When the three return to 1985 Hill Valley, they discover that it is not the same Hill Valley. 2015 Biff had traveled back to 1955 Hill Valley and gave the Sports Almanac to 1955 Biff. Since that point, an alternate history was created and a new 1985 was created. Marty’s dad was dead (shot by Biff), his mom was now the bimbo wife of Biff (now the richest man in America-having never lost a sports bet). Doc and Marty discover what 2015 Biff did and decide that they now must travel back to 1955 Hill Valley and stop 2015 Biff from giving 1955 Biff the book (yes, this is very confusing to write). So, Doc and Marty leave Jennifer and Einstein (Doc’s dog) in the alternate 1985 Hill Valley and travel back to 1955 Hill Valley (the setting of the first movie).

Hilarious mayhem ensues as Marty tries to get the Almanac back from 1955 Biff. Long story short, with the help of Doc and his 2015 hover board, he does. The movie is about to end when the Delorian, with Doc in it, gets struck by lightening and vapourized right before Marty’s eyes. All hope is lost; Marty is stuck in 1955 with no time machine.

But then, a mailman (played by Joe Flarhety) drives up (in the pouring rain) and delivers a letter to Marty which had been waiting to be delivered to that exact spot in 1955 for 75 years. Marty opens the letter and sees that it’s from Doc! The lightening strike zapped him back to 1885! He’s okay! But Marty is still stuck in 1955… (end scene)

Okay, I hope this was brief enough. If I made any *major* mistakes, let me know.

Though I did enjoy the film, I found it to be too jumpy and chopy (all that time travelling and so on). Here are some things I liked about this film:

1. The political references in the 2015 Hill Valley 1980’s retro café (especially the Reagan/Ayatollah reference).

2. The hover board and the fun of 2015 Hill Valley in general!

3. Seeing alternate 1985 Mr. Strickland blast his shotgun while yelling “slackers!”

4. The scene with 2015 Biff and 1955 Biff (“Shut up butthead!”).

5. My favourite quote, Doc to Marty: "Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads."

I have some unanswered questions:

1. Why does Doc let Marty take the 2015 Hover Board back to 1985? And then to 1955?

2. Would a mail delivery company hold on to a letter for 75 years?

3. If 1980’s are coming back now (2005), then are they going to stick around until 2015? (god hope not!)

4. Is Needles, Biff's son?

5. What did 2015 Marty do to get fired from his job?


Anonymous said...

1. It's a useful plot device. Seriously, don't think too hard about the logic of time travel.

Austin: So, Basil, if I travel back to 1969 and I was frozen in 1967, presumeably, I could go back and look at my frozen self. But, if I'm still frozen in 1967, how could I have been unthawed in the '90s and traveled back to the '60s?

Basil: I suggest you don't worry about those things and just enjoy yourself.
[to camera]
Basil: That goes for you all, too.

2. If you paid them enough. This is actually one of the more plausible parts of the movie.

3. You know another great 80s movie? Wall Street. The cell phones in that movie are the size of my head.

4. Not sure. I tried Googling for the answer but I found some BTTF fanfic, which traumatized me too much to continue.

5. Also not sure. Probably deliberately ambiguous. Here are some script snippets:

Needles: Did you take a look at that little business proposal of mine?


Needles: If this thing works, it'll solve all your financial problems.

Marty: And if it doesn't work Needles, I could get fired. It's illegal! I mean, what if the Jitz is watching, huh?

Needles: The Jitz will never find out! Come on, stick your card in the slot and I'll handle it.


Marty: Oh! Fujitsu-san! Konnichi wa!

Jitz: McFly! I was monitoring that scan you just interfaced. You are terminated!

Marty: Terminated! No, no! It wasn't my fault sir, it was Needles, Needles was behind the whole thing!

Jitz: And you co-operated!

Marty: No I didn't! It was a sting operation! I was setting him up!

Jitz: McFly, read my fax!

So, if Marty needed to stick a card in a slot, that probably means one of two things:

(1) Needles wanted to do something that required Marty's authorization in the form of his key-card, or,

(2) Marty's card contained information that Needles wanted.

The Jitz says "that scan you just interfaced." That's just meaningless filler technobabble. So I humbly suggest you just stop worrying about the "why" and just enjoy the movie.

Star [Wars|Trek] nerds can't do that - that's why they end up writing things like this.

Senator Catalyst said...

Good questions Dave. And really good answers Anon!

Needles isn't Biff's son though. He only occupies the Biff posture.

Last week I loved Chris-face's rant about Back to the Future III. However, I have to admit that I think II is the best part of the trilogy, if for no other reason than it's the most comic-booky. Plus, I've always loved the alternate Hill Valley where Biff is Mayor/Donald Trump.

For years I've been looking for a post-dated sports almanac of my own. I would sooooo pull a Biff!

daveberta said...

Anon- thanks for the post and the answers. I think you're right, I shouldn't think too much abouti it. I was pretty much just bored and felt like writting about BTTF II. So... yeah....

Sen- Thanks for the clarification about Needles, I really wasn't sure. Yeah, the Donald Trump bit was pretty funny (Donald Trump running around with a gun...)

daveberta said...

Wow, and I thought I had alot of free time on my hands - check out this I found it when I googled "Is Needles Biff's son?" I agree Anon, I think i'm traumatized too! :P

Anonymous said...

Sorry Dave, I have to agree with the Senator. Back to the Future 2 was my favorite too.

Welke said...

It makes no sense for "Douglas J. Needles" to be the son of "Biff Tannen", unless Biff knocked up some broad named Needles and then split. Otherwise, I would expect that Biff's son would share his last name.

As far as I know, it is never revealed who is Biff's son/Griff's dad. I just refer to this mystery character as "Spliff".

Unknown said...

The answer to your first question about the hover board is simple. It was in the script. Remember this is a movie, not real life. If you have time to worry about all this, then maybe you need a life.