Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back To The Future VS Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

                                                                 TALE OF THE TAPE

               Title: Back To The Future                                           Title: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
               Tomato Meter: 97%                                                    Tomato Meter: 82%
                IMDB Rating: 8.4                                                        IMDB Rating: 6.8
               Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd                Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter
               Director: Robert Zemeckis                                          Director: Stephen Herek
               Box Office: $210 million                                              Box Office: $40 million
               Academy: 1 win, 3 nominations                                  Academy: n/a
               Year: 1985                                                                   Year: 1989

Time travelling teenagers from the 80's go head to head. It's the irresistible force of the DeLorean meeting the immovable object of the phone booth.

Back to the Future, set in the then present day of 1985, see's Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) go back to the year 1955 in a time machine built out of a DeLorean by his friend and crack-pot scientist, Dr. Emit Brown (Christopher Lloyd). In 1955 he accidently interferes with a sequence of events that cause his parents to meet and fall in love. As a result, if he doesn't fix this issue, they never get married and he doesn't exist. To make matters worse, he has to get them to fall in love in less than a week or so, or he misses his opportunity to go back to his own era. Stephen Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment go out of their way to truly create a setting with the look and feel of 1955. Everything from props, costumes and dialogue create this illusion. Marty is truly the fish out of water when his 80's sensibilities conflict with 50's reality. He orders a drink "with no sugar" at a malt shop. His fashionable 80's orange vest is routinely mistaken for a life preserver. And the President of the United States is just an actor at this point in time. The writers adopt one of the many more plausible theories regarding time travel, the butterfly effect, and the grandfather paradox, into a cohesive story element that is presented in an easy to understand format for general audiences, as well as a water-cooler discussion piece for sci-fi enthusiasts. 26 years later, it is still regarded as the definitive time travel movie that blends considerable scientific theory regarding the premise, as well as comedic and dramatic moments that seek to entertain us. 

Bill & Ted are two underachieving slackers with delusions of becoming rock stars. However their dreams may be crushed under the weight of reality, as they are doomed to fail history class. What's worse, Ted's Father is threatening to send him to an Alaskan Military School if he fails. But don't worry, Rufus, played by George Carlin, arrives from the future with a time machine that looks a lot like a phone booth to help them with their history report. Rather than travel time and learn about history first hand, they decide to kidnap historical figures and bring them back to the 20th Century to help them with their oral book report. Unlike Back To The Future, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure doesn't concern itself with science, and goes straight for laughs. Napoleon becomes a water-slide enthusiast at a water-park coincidentally called Water-Loo. Billy the Kid and Genghis Khan tearing ass through a shopping mall is funny on an epic level. The plot to assist their history report may not seem as grand a plot as Back To The Future's, where Marty is trying to save his own existence. But through the course of the movie, it is Rufus who is trying to save his future society from non-existence. If Bill & Ted break up, the band never gets off their feet, and the future society, based completely off the music of Bill & Ted's Wyld Stallyns band, disappears. Yes, these two idiots become hugely successful. 

Both films are hugely popular, and retain a high level of re-watchability. The fight is a classic confrontation of two great competitors that split the audience down the middle. Both have spawned sequels and animated television series. But as the fight goes on, it becomes apparent that Back To The Future is outclassing Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. B&T is resilient though, never staying down for long, and hitting with some impressive combo's. In the end, Back To The Future wins with a T.K.O. in round 8.

Winner: Back To The Future

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