“I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.”
– Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in Back to the Future
Unless you gave Michael J. Fox an actual time machine, I doubt even he could have predicted the immense success and popularity the Back to the Future franchise continues to amass 30 years after the original’s premiere in 1985.
The first film in the series ranks as #2 on this Outlaw’s movie hierarchy right behind Ghostbusters and the trio of stories is by far and away my favorite trilogy of all-time. (Star Wars zealots may now commence their hang the Outlaw campaign from the Clock Tower campaign to GeekOutlaw@outlook.com).
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 88 million times; the orchestral score of a film or television series can elevate a show from greatness to the stuff of pop culture legend. Back to the Future is one of the franchises where the soundtrack plays just as important of a character as either Doc or Marty. Dare I say, Alan Silvestri’s musical masterpiece is one of the greatest human achievements of 1985. I was 7 at the time, so there is no arguing with that statement.
Fast forward to summer 2015 (the year Marty McFly travels to the future to see if his kids become the part of the anatomy related to the sphincter) and unfortunately, outside of a few items being developed only for the anniversary of the franchise, many of the predictions Back to the Future II made never came to fruition.
While flying cars are still years off – which isn’t such a bad thing if you’ve driven through Los Angeles on a two dimensional plane – the Hollywood Bowl put together one of the “heaviest” events ever over the summer. Dubbed, “Back to the Future – In Concert”, the experience saw thousands of time-traveling fans pack the celebrated outdoor music hall to watch the original movie that started it all as the LA Philharmonic performed Silvestri’s iconic score in sync with how it was incorporated into the film, note per note. To be fair, that last tidbit is a bit of a mistruth in that additional music was added during the film’s score explicitly for this event.
If that wasn’t enough to disrupt the time-space continuum, the entire production started off with Back the Future executive producer Bob Gale walking on stage to announce that the gathering at the Hollywood Bowl officially set the record of the largest crowd to watch the film at a single venue in one showing. Had I know I would have been part of “Future” history, I would have made sure to show up in full Outlaw regalia. Alas, the surrounding viewers in my section were probably better off I took a pass.
Joining Gale on stage were some members of the film’s cast, including: Christopher Lloyd (Emmet “Doc” Brown), Lea Thompson (Lorraine Baines), Donald Fullilove (Goldie Wilson) and Claudia Wells (Jennifer Parker). Of course, it would have been blasphemous to not have composer Alan Silvestri himself at the affair, and he joined the crew on stage to take a bow and for a few words too. Lloyd of course received the biggest ovation, but if I could have been able to bypass security without getting ruthlessly tasered into submission, I would have given Gale a huge hug for his recent comments insisting Back to the Future would only be rebooted over his dead body, and if he had any say, well beyond that unfortunate but inevitable occurrence.
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Christopher Lloyd and crew making ‘time” for the 17,000 plus in attendance.
So enough of the formalities, how did the screening play out? Like George Mcfly, I’m not going to pull any punches; this was easily the most entertaining and memorable way I’ve viewed any movie I’ve seen to date. Getting to take in my second favorite film of all time in a huge outdoor auditorium with over 17,000 fellow Back to the Future fans (my father included) was an experience that is close to indescribable. The closest way to describe the event would be to call it a ‘movie concert’. Hearing people cheer wildly as Doc Brown (Llyod) dances on screen in joy from his feat of sending Marty ‘back to the future’ sent the warm and fuzzies down the Outlaw’s spinal cord. As a massive fan of musical scores, hearing my favorite movie score live in its full orchestral glory was triple chocolate cream cheese frosting on the molten lava cake. (See video below for exclusive footage!)
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: A taste of the ‘Future’ straight from the Hollywood Bowl
In addition, on the outskirts of the main auditorium, three replicas of the renown DeLorean were on display as well as Marty’s 4×4 Toyota truck that was featured throughout the series as well. As I was admiring (aka drooling) over the truck, Papa Outlaw – whom I took with me to the record setting event – really got a kick out of seeing the sleek silver gull-winged beauties in the aluminum.
I’m guessing he was day-dreaming about setting the time circuits to a time where he could figure out how to get his son to be world famous brain surgeon versus over strapping action figures to himself while walking the convention floor talking to people dressed like characters from non-fiction movies. Alas, as Doc Brown states in the final chapter of the series, “your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it.” Oh well, wonder if it’s too late to invent a real flux capacitor…
MORE (Non-Erasing) “FUTURE” PHOTOS