Gotta get back in time

I started in reverse and it’s been going downhill since then.

I can’t seem to wake up. Perhaps it’s the prospect of the cold, damp and grey morning outside that makes my bed suddenly more appealing. Perhaps it’s yesterday’s rude awakening from my dog who decided that he really, really, really needed to go outside and bark at the tree.

Once you’re up and awake enough to chase a dog in from a garden, there’s not really much chance of going back to bed. So I brewed some coffee and flicked on the tube to see that Back to the Future 3 was on later. This was all the motivation I needed to get the boxset out and start at the beginning.

There’s so many things wrong with the films from a technical (and I mean film making technical not the actual science of time travel) but their films that you can’t help but like, especially if you grew up with them. Plus they’re just a good bit of fun.

I started wondering whether they could be made now and, of so, what would be different. I’m pretty certain they wouldn’t be able to rip off plutonium from the Libyans. Or even mention that the Libyans were terrorists trying to build a bomb.

I think it’s safe to say that the special effects would get more than an update. Though there’s a worry these days that films go too far now and before long you’ve got another bloated George Lucas rehash.

The “check out that 4×4” when Marty’s looking longingly at a new Toyota Hi-lux, for example. Would that be replaced with “check out that hybrid” and a new Toyota Prius? Would a DeLereon be recognised by the target demographic or would they have to use another motoring miss?

Would they really get away with Biff having a car polish company? Or would that be seen as somehow too much like slave-labour? Having your former nemesis and high-school bully scrubbing your car for you? I’m sure that fantasy is still one that’s intact.

Did Toyota see sales jump up on their black Hi-lux’ as result? Did the film really capture the aspirations of the young American drivers of the time? Do films even try to product-place cars now? I know they’re not allowed to do so with cigarettes but with so many Hollywood celebs jumping on the green bandwagon, are gas guzzlers the new outlaws? The only memorable car from a recent film I can remember is the Chevrolet in Transformers. It went from a loud, snarling beast to a more neautered new Chevrolet Camaro with, presumably less emissions. Yet that transformed into Bumblebee which doesn’t really lend itself the aspiration factor. Young car buyers aren’t likely to buy a car based on the premise that it’s going to transform into a robot.

Which kind of makes those Citroen ads unlikely.

The Transformers too, caught another point. There was a lot of complaining about Megatron carelessly flicking away a human. People complained? It’s fictional, it’s fantasy, there’s no way these things are likely to happen, why are you complaining? A human didn’t really get flicker away in such manner. Is this a sign of an over-sensitve audience? Didn’t matter about the wholesale destruction of buildings and homes and general carnage. It’s fine to blow up hundreds of people’s offices but computer-generate a person flick and that’s going too far.

Could a film be made with the same ethos and values as they were back in the early – mid eighties. Look at the home-town charms of the first Gremlins, does that image of America still exist strongly enough to be put into a film? The small town Christmas and white picket fences don’t seem to be present anymore, if I remember there wasn’t much domestic biss in Transformers. Now people would probably complain if the Gremlins were disposed of in such a way.

NOT that I’m after a remake. I’ve already stated my thoughts on that.

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