Archive for the Back to the Future Category

Nerd Lunch Episode 2: We gotta get back in time…

Posted in Back to the Future, movies, podcast with tags , , , , on September 14, 2011 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

The boys from Nerd Lunch and I recorded a sequel to our ground breaking (and Internet breaking) podcast, Nerd Lunch! In episode 2 CT, Jeeg and I are joined by special guest Shawn Robare from Branded in the 80s.  Shawn has been a good friend to this blog almost from the beginning.  You may have heard me mention him several times in various articles plus we even did a huge blog crossover last year in which we talked about unofficial movie trilogies.

Me and Doc Brown

Anyway, this week we are discussing one of my favorite topics, the Back to the Future franchise.  I could talk for days about the BTTF movies, but don’t worry, CT managed to edit this one down to an hour.  And it’s a lot of fun.  Come hear the four of us discuss our favorite movie, our favorite scenes, some problems we may or may not have had with the movies’ temporal physics and whether we want to see a Back to the Future Part 4: Marty’s Grandkids.

So head to iTunes, download and subscribe to us or check out Nerd Lunch to listen to 4 nerds talk nerdy about Back to the Future.

14 vintage ads for video games based on movies

Posted in Activision, advertising, Atari, Back to the Future, Batman, movies, Star Wars, video games with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2011 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

I love movies. I love video games. So, obviously, I love video games based on movies. Well, I love the idea of video games based on movies. And this type of corporate synergy has been going on for years. Ever since the enormous popularity of the Atari 2600, both video game companies and Hollywood have tried to capitalize on popular movie brands to boost sales. And it makes for awesome pop culture ephemera.

So here are 14 awesomely vintage ads for video games based on popular movie franchises.

Atari 2600 ET
ET (Atari 2600 – 1982) – This is it. The game that felled the house of Atari. Yes, I owned this game and hated every second I played it. I know a lot of people now retroactively say they enjoyed it, but I HATED it.  You can only fall into an empty pit so many times before you throw the controller through the TV screen.  Surprisingly, this game was designed by the same guy that did Yars’ Revenge, the highest selling original Atari game (and one of my all time favorites).  Talk about Jekyll and Hyde.  Seanbaby rated ET #1 on his list of 20 worst video games OF ALL TIME.

Atari 2600 Raiders
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Atari 2600 – 1982) – Around the same time ET was released, Atari also released this game based on the first Indiana Jones movie.  And it’s starring YOU!

NES Total Recall
Total Recall (NES – 1990) – Video game based on the popular Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Total Recall.  Seanbaby rated this game #15 on his list of 20 worst video games OF ALL TIME.

NES Bill and Ted
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure (NES – 1991) – Bill & Ted.  It is amazing this movie was as popular as it was.  I mean, the movie spawned a sequel, a cereal, a cartoon show and a live action show at Universal Studios.  And Keanu is even talking about making another one.  Most excellent.  I never played this game but I loved the first movie.

NES Rambo
Rambo (NES – 1988) – A side scrolling shoot ’em up adventure game that very closely resembled the Zelda sequel, The Adventures of Link.

Atari Star Wars Arcade(via oldmanwinters)
Star Wars Arcade (Atari – 1983) – The original vector based Star Wars game by Atari was extremely popular with fans.  So, of course Atari was going to port it to their home consoles.  Here’s an ad for the Atari port of the Star Wars arcade game for the 2600 and 5200.

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A review of the Back to the Future trilogy on its 25th birthday plus Blu-Ray news

Posted in 80s, Back to the Future, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , on July 3, 2010 by Paxton

Time Travel

Back to the Future opened 25 years ago today on July 3, 1985.

BTTF Starts Today

I can’t believe it’s been 25 years.  I saw Back to the Future during the Summer of 1985.  If it wasn’t opening day, it was very close.  My dad took me right after school to go see it.  I loved it.  That summer I saw it at least 8 or 9 more times in the theater.  I was able to do that because during the summer of 1985 our local radio station I-95 had a promotional movie night on Mondays where it was $1.95 to see a movie and soda and popcorn were $.99 each.  We went nearly every week.  And every time I saw Back to the Future again.  It was the spectacle of this movie that instilled in me a deep love for movies and watching them in the theater.  Back to the Future was really the first movie I consciously wanted to go see more than once while it was at the theater.  I’ve been a movie whore ever since and I’ve owned this movie and its sequels in nearly every home video format since.  I had the VHS, Laser Disc, DVD and I will soon have the Blu-Ray.

Speaking of Blu-Ray, before I get to the reviews, it was announced this week that the Back to the Future trilogy would be released on Blu-Ray on October 26, 2010.  Here’s the box art from DVDActive.com (click the image to see the whole article).


(Via DVDActive.com)

I love that cover. The extras are voluminous, too. It says it contains a new 6 part documentary, but previous releases had 3 part documentaries (which the article mentions are included as archival footage). So they filmed another “making of” documentary? Why?  These documentaries tend to be repetitive because there’s not much else to say about the making of these movies 25 years later. That juice has been squeezed. I’m more interested to know if the Back to the Future The Ride footage will be included.  Or the scenes filmed with Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly.  These are the things that have been missing from the last few releases of the trilogy.  Regardless I’m looking forward to see the new High Def transfer.

Now on to the movie reviews.

Back to the Future
Back to the Future (1985) – Similar to when I watched the Karate Kid right before the remake opened, I am charged up after watching Back to the Future for the first time in a few years.  Like Karate Kid, it is a nearly perfect film.  Every scene is entertaining and all of the actors bring their A game.  Michael J Fox is great as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd is also great as Doc.  This is good because the entire movie only plays if Doc and Marty have chemistry, and they do…in spades.  The entire movie is extremely entertaining and is edited to a very brisk pace from scene to scene.  It seems like almost every line early in the movie pays off at some point in the end.  I mean, this script is tight.  I found myself saying all my favorite lines along with the actors while watching the movie.  “What’re you lookin’ at, Butt Head.  Say ‘Hi’ to your mom for me.”  “A portable television studio.  No wonder your President has to be an actor, he has to look good on television.”  “Who in the hell is John F Kennedy?!”  It’s so much fun!  And the gag at the end with the flying Delorean is just as great as you remember, “Roads?  Where we’re going we don’t need…roads.”  I have the first DVD release of the trilogy which, I didn’t realize, does not have the To Be Continued… title card at the end of the first movie.  I know it was not a part of the original theatrical release of the movie, but it was a little disappointing not to see it.  It’ll be interesting to see if it’s on the Blu-Ray release.  So, I can happily say I wholeheartedly recommend this movie.  It’s a fun family romp that’s endlessly entertaining, never boring and just loads of fun to watch.  Let’s hope Hollywood doesn’t decide they need to remake it.  Because then I may have to activate Operation Burn Hollywood to the F’n Ground.  No one wants that.

Back to the Future Part II
Back to the Future Part II (1989) – Part II has fans divided.  Many actually hate it.  I admit, when I first saw it in the theater, I was a tad disappointed.  It hadbeen 5 years since the original came out and my enthusiasm had bubbled up to an unattainable level.  I enjoyed the movie but not as much as I’d hoped.  Some of it was the fact that the movie’s tone was a bit darker.  A lot of exposition and action was crammed into this movie.  The heroes traversed three separate time periods.  It was dizzying.  However, after years of watching this movie, it has slowly made it up into the second spot on my Back to the Future favorite list.  Watching Part II again for this anniversary, it only confirmed that I did really enjoy the movie.  The hover board chase in 2015, the alternate 1985-A and revisiting the first movie from a different point of view all make for a truly entertaining movie.  Plus, in my last few viewings of the trilogy, I’ve come to be really impressed with Tom Wilson’s performances as the different incarnations of Biff.  He is really funny, goofy and terrifying as the ever present bully.  He’s become a stand up comedian, and a pretty funny one at that.  Check out his Question Song on YouTube.  It’s hilarious. One gripe about this movie, it’s almost a bit too long. The stuff at Marty’s house in 2015 where Michael J Fox plays like 4 characters, that could have been cut in half. It’s not my favorite part of the movie and seemed more gimmicky and not necessary than the rest of the movie. I also don’t like how all of a sudden Marty hates being called a chicken. Where the hell did that come from? I realize it drives the whole “crash into the Rolls Royce” subplot but it’s off putting. Other than that, pretty much everything in 2015 (except the “old Marty” stuff) and most of the stuff in 1955 is great. I still really enjoy this movie. Quick trivia, in 2015, when Marty plays the Wild Gunman video game in front of two kids, one of those kids is Elijah Wood. I didn’t realize it until this very screening.

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Empire magazine celebrates issue 250 and Back to the Future’s birthday

Posted in Back to the Future, movies, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , on July 1, 2010 by Paxton

Time Travel

Back in April, British magazine, Empire, celebrated it’s 250th issue.  At the same time they also celebrated Back to the Future’s 25th Anniversary.  For that month’s issue they had a Back to the Future themed cover on newsstands.  Here is their 250th issue.

Empire 250

They also had an exclusive subscriber cover. It featured the more traditional Struzan artwork from the poster.

Empire 250 subscriber only

Inside was a nice interview with Bob Gale and Steven Spielberg about making the film. Not much new information was gained by the interview, they mainly treaded the same ground as all the other documentaries and interviews they’ve given over the years. They talked about the genesis of the idea for the movie (Gale wondering if he would have been friends with his dad in high school) and Spielberg talked a bit about the troubles in getting Michael J Fox into the Marty McFly role (Fox was the original choice but couldn’t get out of Family Ties obligations).  Even the pictures were mostly retreads from the souvenir magazine and the Official Book of the Complete Trilogy.

It was a nice nostalgic article, though, that also featured “Viewing Guides” for all three movies with trivia items to watch for.

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Flipping through the Back to the Future Official Book of the Complete Trilogy

Posted in Back to the Future, books, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , on June 30, 2010 by Paxton

Time Travel

Back to the Future turns 25 years old this week. It was released on July 3, 1985. This week on the Cavalcade of Awesome we are celebrating this anniversary with several Back to the Future related articles. On Monday I discussed the Back to the Future Official Souvenir Magazine. Today we are looking at the Back to the Future Official Book of the Complete Trilogy.

BTTF Trilogy Guide

The cover for the official book of the trilogy is above.  It was published in 1990 to coincide with the release of Back to the Future Part III (which celebrated its 20th anniversary this past May). As far as I know, Part II and Part III did not receive an official souvenir magazine like the original Back to the Future.  The closest we got would probably be the Back to the Future Fan Club newsletter which I discussed back in May.  So, with the release of the final movie in the trilogy, Universal compiled this “souvenir book” and had it cover all three Back to the Future movies.  The articles and pictures in this book are what you would normally find in a souvenir magazine, but here it’s on a nicer paper stock and bound in hardback.

The book is chock full of on-set pictures and details about the making of one of the greatest trilogies of all time.  The book has a lot of the photos from the Back to the Future souvenir magazine but it also includes lots of pictures from the other movies.  One of the cooler articles in the book is a two page spread on the Mattel Hoverboard (click the image to make it bigger and easier to read).

Mattel Hoverboard

This page is a great resource for one of the trilogies most memorable, and controversial, props.  The text describes how they filmed the famed hoverboard chase in downtown Hill Valley 2015.  The chase was filmed in at least five different ways and no two consecutive takes were done the same way.  Some takes were done with the actors suspended from wires with the board attached to their feet, other takes required the actor to stand on a board that was suspended from wires.  Still other takes required a crane rig with a steering wheel to be piloted by a crew member while the actors were suspended from a harness.  This last one was used to execute turns and spins while on the hoverboard.  It’s amazing the amount of work that went into this one sequence.  The page even makes a mention of the infamous Zemekis interview in which he stated that hoverboards were real and the only reason we didn’t have them was because parent groups were blocking their distribution.  This, of course, resulted in kids all over the world to lose their damn minds over the idea that parents were actually keeping something as awesome as a hoverboard from becoming a reality.  For years afterwards kids wondered, “Why?  Why, if my parents loved me, would they not want me to be happy.  Because clearly, I won’t be happy until I have a f’n HOVERBOARD!!!”  Zemekis eventually had to crush all the kids’ hopes and dreams of a happy life by telling them that he was, in fact, lying and hoverboards are not real. And neither is the Easter Bunny.  Or Santa.  Now get a job.

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