Part II Minute 14 – Bickering Simulacrums

Part 2 Minute-00014

Marty orders a pepsi and sits at the bar where he is spotted by a geriatric Biff Tannen.

GUEST: Zach Luna of Geek By Night


5 thoughts on “Part II Minute 14 – Bickering Simulacrums

  1. Guys, GUYS. First the truck driver and now the book shop attendant. I just figured out why everybody in the future in the 1967 draft is calling Marty & Co. assholes.

    Because “What, do we become assholes or something?” !!

    • ….GREAT SCOTT!!!
      I really think you’re on to something here.

  2. There are so many future predictions in the ’67 draft that are way cool and prophetic. The ‘payphone’ that’s actually a digitized yellow pages, with a yellow screen to indicate such–what a smart, well-designed way to imagine how payphones would change. The computer touchpad menus at the diner tables; that’s real, they’ve got those at restaurants in my city today.

    And the future bookstore! I took a course on the history/future of books and we looked at ebooks a bit. Who really owns the book when it’s a digital download? Can you lend it out to friends like you could with a physical book? What if Amazon decides to yank your copy of Fahrenheit 451 from your digital library; is it in their right to do so? Anyway, the bookshop attendant mentions to Marty that you can rent, lease, or download books which got me to thinking about these things again, because they’re real!

  3. It’s especially weird to see Ronald Reagan arguing with Ayatollah Khomeini?

    Sim-yoo-lack-rum. Yep.

    It could be that there are real waiters in regular restaurants, and they wanted to show that Max Headroom and the owner thought that making them the waiters would be interesting?

    “A Million Ways to Die in the West” got it wrong, because it’s set in 1883, and Doc went back in 1885. RAAR.

    There’s even more ’80s nostalgia outside of the Cafe ’80s because in the comics, Doc came to the future and won the ’80s car contest.

    I really didn’t the Max Headroom thing either. It doesn’t feel like it advances anything. It was just sort of thrown in just because Zemeckis wanted to? (The mesquite-grilled sushi just sounds so horrifying.)

    Michael Jackson saying “be cool, don’t be bad” sounds *just* like one of those “Don’t Do Drugs” PSAs that they did all the time during the ’80s and ’90s.

    Okay, the idea of a $46 surcharge for dealing with actual cash is kind of hilarious, especially since it’s the reverse nowadays. Gas stations will charge you more per gallon for paying with a credit card than paying with cash because part of their agreement with the bank or whatever is that they have to pay a percentage of any purchases made with a credit card. To see the reverse in this movie is fascinating because apparently, the cashless transactions are just easier to deal with? Maybe businesses in BTTF2-2015 hate having to deal with the physical inventory of money, so they charge an inconvenience fee for handling it, and potentially getting it out of circulation so that everything can be cashless? I kind of wonder what happens to the poor in that 2015 — are they all paying a poor tax because they don’t have bank accounts, and *must* use cash? How many of Hill Valley’s residents live at or below the poverty line?

    The 1967 script is so *bizarre*.

    Okay, so I can understand where the clerk is coming from — I have to say similar spiels when I’m telling people how to print things at the library’s computer lab — but whaaaaaaaaat?

    Not only that, but gee, how incredibly anvilicious is the whole “we should buy the almanac and get rich” plotline? UGH.

    Also, Doc just sort of pacing around and looking at his watch feels incredibly weird to me? I don’t know whyyyy.

    The Cafe ’80s is a McDonald’s? Whaaaaaaaaaaat?

    As much as “Norman” makes my soul cringe, it’s a lot better than Marty Jr. as a name? That could just be me — I’m just not a fan of using the same name over and over again because there’s bound to be confusion when all the guys with the same name are in the same house, and when one person calls for “Larry” and four guys answer, it’s like, “No, I meant X Larry”. And it’s just annoying and unimaginative in a narrative context.

    All that being said, poor Norman.

    I’m not surprised that Crispin Glover was intended to play Marty’s son because there’s a sense that the Bobs were going to reuse Crispin and MJF in order to play their ancestors/descendants in the movies. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Seamus was originally intended to be a Crispin role as well. There’s a sense of things repeating, and if Crispin is supposed to portray the weak-willed McFlys in the family line, then it would make sense that loser!Marty’s son would be played by Crispin.

    I wonder if both Bobs tended to start from a place of extreme complexity with their scripts, and then just cut away more and more until they’ve got the most streamlined thing possible leftover? I’d love to see the initial drafts of the first BTTF, just to see if they went into overly-complex explanations and scenes that they ended up gutting or just removing.

    Because if they don’t get overly-complex on first drafts, I’m wondering if that’s what Bob Gale did, and Zemeckis had to tone him down in order to get something useable out of it? Gale was stuck writing 1967 by himself, wasn’t he? Because Zemeckis was working on something else at the time, and couldn’t take time away to write with Gale? I know that when Zemeckis read the 1967 draft, he told Gale to rewrite it? (Did you guys mention that in an earlier minute? That sounds like a bit of trivia you guys would’ve mentioned earlier in the BTTF Part 2 run.)

    If the sushi is mesquite grilled sushi, Cajun-style, with Thai sauce, I wonder if people are drinking milk because of the rumor that drinking milk is supposed to counteract the capsaicin. I imagine that Cajun style could mean “we’re going to set fire to your stomach and have you pay us for the privilege”? I know that there’s a pad thai where you can get it “hot”, and it’s like, “Oh, that was my stomach. Ow.”

    Holy shit, that story about Brendan Hillock is badass. O_O

    I wish that the conversation between old-Biff and “Marty Jr.” wasn’t quite so clunky? Though if Marty Jr. were mentally disabled, I wouldn’t be surprised by the attitude.

    • yeah, since the min wage went up where I live more fast food chains are installing computer ordering systems to reduce labor costs. not so much bdcause ‘it’s the future!’ but, ‘it’s cheaper’ I refuse to use them out of solidarity but give it five years when 15 properly hits and it’ll be the norm in all lower end/fast food places. waiters will never be replaced in upper scale sit down places since that’s the ambience (also as tip wagers the min wage increase doesn’t affect them as much)

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