BACK in 1985, Toxteth was in the grip of riots, Charles and Di were still together and a 13-year-old me enjoyed watching a new film called Back To The Future at the Odeon in Warrington town centre, before multiplexes ruled the world.
Last night, 38-year-old me got to relive that part of my childhood when I joined my friend Anne-Marie and gunned the De Lorean to 88mph at the Liverpool Odeon to watch Back To The Future again.
Alot has changed since then, including my hairline and a plot point of Libyan terrorists trying to build an atomic bomb in America being used as comic relief – but one thing that hasn’t is the film itself, which was just as brilliant as ever on the 25th anniversary of its original release.
I mean, sure, I’ve seen BTTF and its sequels loads of times in the intervening years on DVD, but to see it as it was meant to be seen – on the big screen and with super-polished pictures and sound – was a real treat. Hell, even being able to say ‘two tickets for Back To The Future’ was worth it on its own.
It wasn’t just the bits you remember – although I thrilled to the skateboard chase, Huey Lewis and the News, the frenzied cries of ‘Great Scott!‘, and the bald Hill Valley Principal being the aircraft carrier commander from Top Gun.
But I also had my eyes opened to aspects of the film I hadn’t considered before.
For starters, it has flawless tone and pace, moving perfectly from one great moment to the next which I suppose I’d always taken for granted.
And as good as Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd are (i.e very good indeed), the supporting players are also spot on, especially Crispin Glover as Marty’s dad George and even a young Billy Zane as one of Biff’s gang.
All the way through, I felt privileged to be watching if not film-making perfection, then as close to it as any film gets.
In what seemed like no time at all, Doc was saying his famous ‘Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need … roads.’ line and I had a grin a mile wide.
I felt good, happy, glowing, struck by lightning even, as 25 years rolled back, feelings shared by everyone else in the cinema judging by their expressions.
Geeks like me, couples and plenty of parents bringing their kids, like their parents has brought them decades earlier – all of us were young again.
Leaving the cinema I must have said ‘That was great!’ about 30 times and I am still jazzed now.
Back To The Future is on at selected cinemas for a week – go and see it before you have to wait for the 30th anniversary (which, by the way, is when BTTF2 says we will have hoverboards, home nuclear reactors and flying cars).
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