[Crash course for newcomers: We’re conducting a three-year experiment in which, for every year, we have to watch the same movie once a week. I had Top Gun last year, in the category Movie You Don’t Love, But Don’t Hate. This year I have Back to the Future for Movie You Love. Check out what everyone else is watching on our Cinemanauts page. These are my results for February 2013.]

Last year, Cinemanaut Ty and I reached the same conclusion about this experiment at the same time: watching the same movie once a week feels like a marriage. Ty also compared it to a dead-end job, but isn’t that what a marriage is, zing?

Once I divorced Top Gun forever (minus the occasional 3D fling), I couldn’t wait to marry my second wife, Back to the Future. She had it goin’ on. Same age, same economic background, but enough shared interests and plenty of layers to keep me interested. I could wake up to her every morning, yes indeedy. For the first month of January, I was ready to settle comfortably into blissful matrimony with my sweetheart. 52 weeks of this sexy lady, I can handle.

Cut it out, Internet.

In February, I started to realize that Back to the Future is not mine to keep. Back to the Future lives in all of us. This is beyond a selfish love; this is an all-encompassing love that unites us and speaks to us.

Back to the Future is a religion.

Sorry, church, you just got DeLorean’d.

I grew up being persecuted for my faith. When I wore a labcoat and goggles to school to emulate the wise prophet Doctor Brown, I was ridiculed, ignored, and (thankfully) not photographed. As I quoted nearly every line of dialogue from this most sacred canon of films, each word fell upon deaf ears. Try as I might, I couldn’t convert the non-believers.

Then I met the Internet.

Turn it off, turn it off!

This is the month I discovered the Back to the Future Reddit page. Now, the first step of religion is thinking yours is better than everyone else’s. Check and double-check. My previous experiences with Reddit were not… positive. “It’s one giant comments section?” I moped. “So they took the worst part of every website and… made it the entire website??” When I finally found my Back to the Future disciples, though, I quickly warmed to the idea. This is a place where people are smart, friendly, and practice what I call “proper Reddit manners.” Everyone meditates on the trilogy. The nature of time. The power of love. Truly, I am among those who understand.

Now, I’m not going to link to specific comments or commenters, because nobody wants to be criticized for his or her level of devotion. Still, I can find every flavor of the devout here. Some are casual followers who haven’t visited the actual text in far too long. Others are offended at the attention paid to seemingly unimportant details; the story, the message, is what really matters. And, of course, arguments. Huge arguments over the smallest of technicalities; it wouldn’t be religion without debate. This is the ecumenical council, via upvotes and downvotes, of Back to the Future.

You know, until everybody gets sick of Reddit.

But that’ll never happen!

I haven’t had much in the way of other results from the experiment this month, but here’s a handy list anyway.

Time unknown, February 5th, 2013 – I had a dream that I was watching Back to the Future with some friends and discussing it with them, which brings the yearly dream count to four. None have dealt with characters or locations from the film, just the act of watching it.

11:10pm EST, February 22nd, 2013 – I had the following dialogue exchange with Cinemanaut Becca as we were setting our alarms before bed.

ME: When is your alarm set for?

BECCA: 7:00 am.

ME: Mine too.

BECCA: I bet they’ll go off at different times.

ME: Oh, interesting! Let’s do an experiment with our clocks! I’ll set mine– OH, SHIT. Yup. Gotta write that down. You know who likes to experiment with alarm clocks, right?

BECCA: Yup.

Pictured: Our bedroom.

Approx. 9:ooam EST, February 28th, 2013 – I bought a Back to the Future edition Hot Wheels DeLorean while on Amazon.com. Only one left in stock, $3.77. I tried to justify this as a “research purchase” for Cinema 52, but come on. I’m gonna drive it around the desk making temporal displacement sound effects with my mouth like I did when I was a kid. Back then, the closest I had was a gray Micro Machines Camaro that I pretended was the time machine, which, side note, looked damn similar to the movie when I sparked it up in our microwave oven for 15 seconds. This Amazon purchase was childhood wish fulfillment at its most blatant.

Mom, if you’re reading this, that’s why the microwave smelled that way.

TOP GUN?
Besides being scientifically obligated to see Top Gun: A 3D IMAX Experience in theaters on February 10th, my life has been pretty free of Top Gun. On February 22nd, I was atypically excited to hear a Bon Jovi song on the radio, which I could chalk up to the month I tried to knock the Top Gun soundtrack out of my head by bombarding it with other ’80s songs, but besides that, I think I may have gotten Maverick out of my system.

See you next month!