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Great Scott! It's Back to the Future Day!

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When I first saw Back to the Future Part II, some time around the mid-nineties, I remember thinking that it was depicting a very plausible vision of the future. Admittedly, I couldn't have been older than 6 or 7 at the time, but still, a little under 20 years seemed like a pretty reasonably amount of time to give for people to get hoverboards, flying cars, self-tying shoes and robot waiters figured out. We do, however, have VR, smart glasses, video conferencing, watches that do just about everything, flat screen technology and a lot of other things the film predicted.

Well, lo and behold, it's October 21st 2015 and I still don't have a goddamn hoverboard. I could get one, but it neither hovers, nor is it a board, it's just segue-way with no handle that got Whiz Khalifa tackled by a police officer that one time. It's true that the world has developed hugely since 1989, just not perhaps in the ways we were expecting, and this day has become an interesting blend of past reflection, future prediction and general Back to the Future love. I have zero issue with any of those things.

Content has been cropping up online all week, but the influx has intensified today and some of the stuff that's been appearing has been nothing short of glorious. Film tributes range from special episodes of established YouTube series, shout-outs from people who were actually in the film and much more, here's a rundown of some of the best content.


Teens React to Back to the Future



If you haven't even seen any of the Teens/Kids/Adults React videos, I don't know where you've been but it probably doesn't have the internet, or windows. These videos have always been good at putting popular material in a new perspective, but what this one succeeds at doing more than any before it is making me feel all warm and fuzzy. I was expecting every single teen to stare at the screen with utter bemusement, before turning to camera and asking what this outdated nonesense was, but lo and behold, they all know the movie, and they all love it. I could cry


We're Going to Need a Much Bigger Boat



God bless you, Universal, you actually did it. I imagine they are probably more than a few fan-made trailers out there, dredged together from clips of the previous films, footage of actual great whites and scenes from Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, but the studio behind the actual film decided not to go that route. Instead, this beautiful teaser essentially acts as a commentary on the evolution of cinematic culture from 1975 to present. Presumably the shark still looks fake.



Advertising... Advertising Everywhere

If you thought that the advertising would be limited to the companies who actually had product placement deals for the movie (Pizza Hut, Black & Decker, Pepsi, 7-Eleven, Nintendo), you'd be wrong. All of those brands are present and correct, but dozens of other companies have gotten in on the act and the results have ranged from brilliant to awful to downright bizarre. Pepsi performed well with an amusing ad set in the assumed 2015 depicted by the movie, Disney cannily tried to trick everyone into thinking the film had predicted Star Wars Episode VII, Pizza Hut replicated the film's instant pizza machine and Manchester City have done a really weird tribute involving Bacary Sagna. Nike are also teasing at something, I think I can guess what it will be.






And Now Sports...

A huge part of the plotline for Part II was Biff stealing a sports almanac from 1985 and using it to place bets, thus granting himself enormous wealth. As such, sport has been playing a key role in the online chatter today. The film predicted that the Chicago Cubs would be in with a chance of winning the world series and much has been made of the fact that they do have a shot, but it's getting slimmer by the day as the New York Mets are leading them 2-0. Christopher Lloyd himself has said that he wants to throw the first pitch if the Cubs do make the World Series, so I think I speak for everyone when I say that the Mets should do the honorable thing and bottle it. Elsewhere the BBC have been tweeting at an amusing 'what if' series concerning what the 2015 would look like if certain sporting events had gone differently.





The Hoverboard...

Naturally, a lot of the chatter has been surrounding the hoverboard, or lack thereof. Several companies have been developing working hoverboards with varying levels of success, from colossi like Lexus to smaller startups like Hendo. There's been a lot of humor surrounding the fact that, as previously mentioned, the hoverboard that you can buy retail is pretty tragic. Generally though, the Vine and meme game has been strong. Following on from the Jaws trailer, Universal have also unveiled a fake ad for the actual, Mattel branded board from the movie, as well.







Christopher Lloyd Wins the Internet

The direct involvement of Doc Brown himself has been the real highlight of the day though. As well as featuring in a hilarious Funny or Die skit which involved him apologizing for hoverboards not being a thing, he also delivered a personal and distinctly heartfelt message to all his adoring fans and anyone else who might be paying attention. I'll let him do the talking.





On a Heavier Note...

It's worth remembering that even on a day celebrating a science fiction film from the 80s, there are still opportunities to spread important messages. Since starring in the films Michael J. Fox contracted Parkinsons disease, and Parkinsons UK have used the day to raise awareness and call for donations to aid research and treatment. 

Parkinsons UK

Back to the Future...

There's still plenty more stuff to come as the day goes on. Doc Brown and Marty McFly won't even show up until 16:30 pacific time, so there's plenty of content yet to roll out before that happens. Nike have yet to make their big reveal and Universal probably have some more cool stuff tucked away, there's also a documentary about the making of the film set to go out on Netflix, but it's this you should really be getting excited about - 



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Great Scott! It's Back to the Future Day! Reviewed by Callum Davies on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 Rating: 5

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