1. Life & Culture

It's 'Back to the Future II' Day this week: Look back, look forward … and party

MovieStillsDB.com (1989)
Hoverboards, anyone? Anyone?
MovieStillsDB.com (1989) Hoverboards, anyone? Anyone?
Published Oct. 19, 2015

2015 is a big year for the Back to the Future franchise. No, we're not talking about when Lea Thompson came and rocked our nerd world at Tampa Bay Comic Con this summer. (Though it was pretty great when she told us she wanted a DeLorean so she could go back and tell the Academy to give the movie some Oscar love.)

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The 1985 movie that started it all turned 30 this summer, but more importantly, Wednesday is Oct. 21, 2015 — a.k.a. the date that Marty McFly travels forward in time to in Back to the Future II. There are plenty of parties and a chance to relive the movie on the big screen, but it also seems like a great time for a little reflection, too. So we asked our Things to Do crew to look back and look forward because, after all, it's Back to the Future.

Where were you when Back to the Future came out in 1985?

"I turned 7 that month. Back to the Future was the first movie I remember seeing in the theater. I thought Michael J. Fox was dreamy and that the DeLorean was the coolest car ever. And I wanted a floppy-haired dog just like Einstein — still do." — Ellen E. Clarke, Times staff writer

"I was a new mom with a little boy, sleep-deprived, with a rare night out. Went to a movie and saw a (future) mom hit on her (future) son. It gave me pause." — Lennie Bennett, Times art critic

"I was putting myself through college in Reagan's America, but I vividly remember going to see Back to the Future in the theaters and it was one of the few I saw a second time because there were several lines I missed because we were laughing so hard." — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer

"I was gestating!" — Robbyn Mitchell, Times staff writer

"It was a hot, muggy Florida day no doubt, and therefore I wore no pants. At a wee 8 months old, I could be found kicking back in a rented stroller somewhere in Walt Disney World's Fantasyland, caring not about my shoelessness or the throng of tube socks surrounding me at eye level. It was the best of times. It was the '80s-est of times." — Lydia Harvey, Times staff writer

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Which Back to the Future II "2015" tech do you want — or most appreciate?

"The Hyperdunk shoes. Though I'm 6'3", in basketball I never was a very good jumper and could do no more than grab the rim. A high school coach wanted me to spend the summer doing toe raises, which strengthen the calves. Instead, I got into a play and was forever after hooked on theater. But I still wish I could dunk." — Andrew Meacham, Times performing arts critic

"Something I'm glad they did predict: newspapers! I think it's rather delightful that, in the crazy, hoverboarding world of Future's 2015, print media is still thriving, so much so that the USA Today Marty reads in the movie can boast "3 Billion Readers Every Day." Forget that there aren't that many readers in the real 2015; the fact that Future was so confident in newspapers' longevity is comforting." — Michelle Stark, Times food editor

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"I would like robots that could walk my dog. We actually have that technology, but bureaucrats at the Federal Aviation Administration have so far put the brakes on drones. That's also why we don't have jet packs that other futuristic movies promised us, but that's probably a good thing. Do we really want millions of people flying around willy nilly?" — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer

"What are the odds you could walk into FedEx today and ask them to deliver a letter 70 years in the future, at one precise moment, to a kid standing by the side of the road? The fact that 1885 Doc Brown and Western Union pull that off near the end of the movie might be more impressive than anything at Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise. Sometimes the coolest tech of all is not the most futuristic." — Jay Cridlin, Times pop music/culture critic


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