WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME

FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV


PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Eating homemade burritos and drinking pineapple soda. Trying to get caught up in the magic of Flux Capacitor Day.

It’s no secret that the movies we’re watching for Cinema 52 this year are all films we adore. I can’t speak for the obsession levels of my fellow Cinemanauts, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who celebrates his favorite film series every year with a completely made-up holiday in honor of a completely made-up invention. Yes, my friends, I celebrate that fateful day when Dr. Emmett L. Brown slipped off of his toilet while hanging a clock and hit his head on the edge of the sink, for when he came to, he had a revelation. A vision. A picture in his head. A picture of this:

This is what makes time travel possible. The flux capacitor.

At the very least, I try to watch the entire Back to the Future trilogy every year on November 5th. When I’m surrounded by friends who are as enthusiastic as I am/tolerate my fanboying, I go all out. Here are some pictures from Flux Capacitor Day 2010:

Drinking game rules.

Delicious cake.

And then there’s this year…

On this most joyous of Fake Movie Holidays, I found it a little hard to get excited to watch Back to the Future, considering that a science experiment had required me to watch it the other 44 weeks of the year. For starters, it’s hard to get your friends excited for a movie that you have been talking about and writing about since January. So I watched it alone.

Just you and me again, babe.

Interestingly, my mood changed significantly over the course of the movie’s runtime. At the beginning, I just kept thinking ahead to the sequels, wanting to hurry up and get started on two movies that I hadn’t been watching week after week. But around the last thirty minutes, I suddenly didn’t feel like watching any of them. I wanted to stop the whole “celebration” altogether. Get these characters away from me. I have things to do. Blech.

8-year-old me would be heartbroken.

I pressed on and still managed to finish the trilogy, especially thanks to Cinemanauts Becca and John happily joining me for III, but that’s a story for another article. Today was an important lesson in too much of a good thing; you really can’t have an annual celebration year-round without the joy getting sucked out of it.

I know I’m supposed to avoid talking about the sequels as much as possible, but these two Part I-related questions popped into my head while anticipating the rest of the series.

1) If Marty prevented his parents from hooking up and had an entire week to fix it before the ripple effect started gnawing on his hand, by the end of the trilogy, does Hill Valley have to brace itself for the mother of all ripples in a week or two?

“It’s looked like this for three days now. Better not get one o’ them Hitler futures.”

2) A lot of people pick on Doc’s plan in Part II, where he travels to 2015 to stop Marty and Jennifer’s kids from going to jail when he could have just told 1985 Marty to prevent it instead. Well, guess what, sequel haters? What do you think Marty does in Part I? From Doc’s perspective, Marty’s from the future, and not once does the kid suggest, “Hey, put some extra plutonium in the car. Thanks, buddy!” Nor does Doc figure it out for himself.

“Remind me again why we’re doing the lightning thing…”

Look, Part II is my least favorite in the trilogy also, but come on, you have to be angry about both or neither on this one.