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Tag Archive: Lea Thompson


Back in Time

“It’s great to have a bunch of lunatics on your side.  They’re crazy, but they’re crazy good.” — Michael J. Fox

If you don’t know the lengths some fans will go to express their love for the target of their fandom, some documentaries on the subject may give you a jolt.  Filmmakers enjoy looking not at diehard fans of beloved movies and other properties, they seem to thrive on meting out the fringe of those fans.  If you’re already immersed in the fandom, these documentaries may be your thing.  But if you’re not, you may find more cringing than amazement.  Examples of this, for some, include the 1997 and 2004 Trekkies and Trekkies 2, and the more recent 2010 documentary by Gene Roddenberry’s son called Trek Nation.  With these looks at the fans themselves, viewers are left to wonder whether the fandom is a target being objectified for its oddity or a true love affair by and for the fans.

As part of the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future and Back to the Future Week, filmmaker Jason Aron is releasing the documentary Back in Time, the result of countless interviews with fans and even some interviews with the cast and execs behind the time-travel trilogy.  If Back to the Future is more than your favorite movie, you may want to track down this documentary this week in theaters or pre-order a copy here at Amazon.com to get it on its release date, Back to the Future Day, October 21, 2015.

Probert BTTF design

Andy Probert’s design for the DeLorean time machine.

Highlights include an interview with Michael J. Fox where he recounts the British release of Back to the Future attended by him and Princess Diana and Prince Charles, an interview with concept designer/artist Andy Probert (best known for his work on Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica) who worked on storyboards and the DeLorean time machine, and the story behind the screenplay as told by co-writer Bob Gale.  The documentary also includes more brief interviews clips with Huey Lewis, who had a hit with the show’s songs “Power of Love” and “Back in Time,” score composer Alan Silvestri, Donald Fullilove (who played Goldie Wilson), director Robert Zemeckis, executive producer Steven Spielberg, and cast members Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, James Tolkan (Principal Strickland), and Claudia Wells (the first Jennifer).

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BBTf Week logo

1985 and 1989.  Here we are at the 30th anniversary of director Bob Zemeckis’s sci-fi classic Back to the Future and only a few days from 4:29 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, the day Marty McFly went to the future in his DeLorean time machine in 1989’s Back to the Future II.  The principal cast–Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, and even Huey Lewis–are scheduled to meet for a reunion screening in New York to celebrate Back to the Future Day.

An interesting happening of the future year 2015 as predicted in Back to the Future II is the Chicago Cubs win the 2015 World Series.  Christopher Lloyd said last week that he will reprise his role as Doc Brown to throw out the first pitch of the third game of the World Series in Chicago if the Cubs make it that far and the powers that be make it so.

The craziest bit is the shot in the dark taken by Back to the Future II co-writer Bob Gale who came up with the idea of the Cubs winning the World Series in 2015, back when he wrote the screenplay in the 1980s, and the real possibility that the Cubbies will actually succeed this year.  Had the Cubs won Game 1 of the National League Championship Series vs. the New York Mets yesterday–and kept on a four-game winning streak–the team could have locked in the World Series appearance on NLCS Game 4–right smack dab on October 21, 2015–yep, right on Back to the Future Day.  But… they lost Game 1 Saturday.  Still–the Cubs have six more scheduled games in the series to make it happen.  Hear that Cubs players?  It is your density.  I mean destiny.

BTTF chronometer

We at borg.com are joining in with our own Back to the Future Week, including a review of the new documentary hitting theaters this week: Back in Time, and a preview of Issue #1 of IDW Publishing’s new Back to the Future comic book series, and anything else we can think of.

First up, have you pre-ordered the 30th anniversary box set of the Back to the Future trilogy?  Get it now at a pre-order discount here from Amazon.com.

I was There shirt BTTF

Let’s start off the week with a preview of a short film produced by Toyota, marketing the release on Back to the Future Day of the Mirai–Toyota’s new, futuristic, hydrogen fuel cell car.  The Toyota ad features Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, to premiere in its entirety on October 21.  Here’s a sneak preview:

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BTTF set October

One October 21, 2015, the future will finally arrive.  Back in 1985 director Robert Zemeckis joined forces with producers Steven Spielberg and Bob Gale to begin one of the most beloved sci-fi trilogies of all time with Back to the Future.  In 1989 Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd’s Doc Brown time traveled to the future to October 21, 2015, and in conjunction with the movie’s 30th anniversary, select theaters will bring the movies back for a limited showing, and new Blu-Ray & DVD boxed sets of the trilogy and animated series will be released.

Cast members Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson met with fans in London at a convention this weekend, taking this great photo (from Thompson’s Facebook feed):

BTTF crew July 17 2015 from Lea Thompson Facebk

The single most popular acting work Michael J. Fox is known for is the series (in addition to Family Ties and Spin City), and yet Zemeckis began the original film, and actually filmed a good part of it, with Mask actor Eric Stoltz in the lead as Marty McFly.  Watch the Zemeckis segment of Robert Rodriguez’s excellent series The Director’s Chair on the El Rey Network for more great trivia about Back to the Future, previewed here:

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Jaws 3-D movie poster 1983

Review by C.J. Bunce

When I was a kid I remember paying $5 at the geek show part of a carnival to see a giant great white shark. We were taken into a long trailer and were able to walk around it, suspended in some kind of clear block. It was sad, horrifying, and shocking that someone would display an animal this way.  After watching Jaws 3-D for our review of Halloween films, I had some of the same feelings return.

You’re not supposed to cheer for the monster in a monster movie like Jaws 3-D.  And yet I found myself hoping the shark would consume all this early 1980s fashion and bad moviemaking.  Every actor earns his or her sea legs in a different way, and here was Dennis Quaid (Enemy Mine, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), Bess Armstrong (House of Lies), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future), and Louis Gossett, Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman) before they all would make names for themselves in much bigger and better films.  There’s even the son of All in the Family’s Jean Stapleton, John Putch, before he would have small roles in several series, including playing Mordock the Benzite in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Putch plays Sean Brody, brother to Quaid’s Mike Brody, and they are the sons of Chief Brody from the original Jaws.  The Brodys find themselves again pursued by a giant shark, the latest some 35 feet long.

Jaws 3-D scream

Where Friday the 13th III in 3D is an example of over-the-top 3D effects that–absurd or not–you can still appreciate at least for its humor, Jaws 3-D reflects all that is bad about 3D.  The fundamental requirement of any movie, with or without special effects, is a good story.  This story doesn’t know what it wants to be.  At times it could be a poignant look at compassionate marine biologists caring about their animals and their work, with Armstrong and Quaid going about their jobs in a nice summer setting.   In a different genre years later this would be the backdrop for a movie like Summer Rental.  But a movie called Jaws requires chilling suspense.  Jaws 3-D doesn’t earn the title.

Were it merely a vehicle for three-dimensional whiz-bang action, this might have resulted in something like Friday the 13th III.  But the directorial choices are bad.  The images shown in 3D are superfluous to the plot.  The film sulks along and the only action comes about after an hour of the film as passed by.  As to story the movie doesn’t make sense even on paper.  A shark accused of killing people is finally caught, put on display at an aquarium, and then its mother sneaks into the park and torments the staff and guests until it breaks through the aquarium walls to get revenge on the facility manager.  Remember last year’s Syfy B-movie hit Sharknado?  Jaws 3-D is the original Sharknado, but without the necessary tongue-in-cheek humor.

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