By Pete Zamplas- “Back to the Future” is screened next week at the local Epic Theatres, as among highlights of the year-round Flashback Cinema classic film series.
The 1985 hit flick starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly is next up (July 28 and 31) in a series of films most people have not seen on the big screen in years — if ever.
Patrons told The Tribune it is more exciting to see action films or ones with scenic cinemetography on a large screen — several times larger than biggest home TVs. The local Epic’s largest screens are 47-by-21 feet, and are used for blockbusters apt to draw larger crowds with smaller theaters for other Flashback films, noted one of the managers, Sheila Israel.
Flashback Cinema is John Hersker’s nationwide series of films 20 years or older, shown in 33 states. It is in merely nine cinemas in the state; the sole one in WNC is Epic Theatres of Hendersonville off Four Seasons Blvd. near I-26. The series debuted there four years ago, in September of 2015.
Flashback films are in Epic on a Sunday then Wednesday at regular prices, in two matinees ($7.75/$7.25 senior citizens) and in evening ($10.25/$7.50 seniors) both days. Showtimes vary.
Next week, “Back to the Future” features Fox’s sly as a fox Marty. He zooms in a DeLorean Time Travel car back 30 years to simpler 1955 in his Hill Valley, Calif. small town. Robert Zemeckis directed and co-wrote the family drama, and first of a trilogy.
Marty, a slick skate boarder, has to outwit big bully Biff “I Hate Manure (in his face)” Tannen to defend honor of Marty’s parents so his wimpy father George McFly and Lorraine (who Biff relentlessly pursues) still get together. Marty can also enhance McFly lives in 1985 onward, and be a rock star at the prom.
Huey Lewis & The News had monstrous hits “The Power of Love” and “Back in Time” on the soundtrack.
On deck, Tom Cruise cruises the skies with death-defying dare and devilish grins as Navy fighter pilot Maverick in “Top Gun” (’86) in Epic Aug. 4 and 7.
Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrall star in S.F. Chinatown comic drama “Big Trouble in Little China,” shown in Epic Aug. 11 and 14. This is also from 1986, two years ahead of Cattrall as sultry “Sex in the City” Samantha.
The Coen Bros.’ daffy “The Big Lebowski” (’98) with Jeff Bridges is Aug. 18 and 21. Aug. 25 and 28 is Mitzi Gaynor in romantic musical “South Pacific” (1958), set in WWII.
Recent Classic Film treats include “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) with Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones on Father’s Day, and devouring dinos in “Jurassic Park” (1993) shown last week.
When the ferocious lead raptor soars up toward the camera for a near-miss chomp, it is much more dramatic in large size. So are Indy Jones chase and combat scenes, such as on the speeding cargo truck and the opened ark’s swirling spirits.
“The Matrix” (’99) futuristic thriller launching Keanu Reeves was the Flashback flick earlier this week.
Some classics draw well enough across the state that they are brought back a year or so later, Epic managers noted. This is the second summer in a row with the trio of “Raiders,” coming of age “Dirty Dancing” (’87) shot partially at Lake Lure, then Jaws” (’75) chomping into July; with “The Sandlot” (’93) comedy soon after.
Other biggest drawing films in the series according to Epic managers include action-drenched sci-fi “Star Wars” (’77), “The Wizard of Oz” fantasy and dramatic “Gone with the Wind” (both 1939), Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” (’41), romantic fantasy “The Princess Bride” (‘87), Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi “ET” (’82), and rare “R” films in “The Godfather” (1972) and “The Godfather Part II (’74) apt to draw “mobs” of fans.
Most are very family-friendly, and draw different generations, Local Epic General Mgr. Lane Miller noted. There is a mix of comedies, dramas and musicals — and eras.
Miller enjoyed seeing his “all-time favorite” — “Singing in the Rain” (’52) with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds — two years ago. The American Film Institute ranks it as the greatest musical ever. Miller has worked at the local Epic for 13 years — since 2006, the year after it opened.
In the last year, Flashback movies shown include George Lucas’ “American Graffiti” (’73) set in ‘62 , silly “Ghostbuster” (’84), clever romantics “When Harry Met Sally (’89) and “The Philadelphia Story” (’40), Hitchcock thriller “To Catch a Thief” (’55), bratty “Home Alone” (’90), wacky “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (’75) and “The Blues Brothers” (’80), musicals “Grease” (’78) and “The Sound of Music” (’65), Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” horror and eerie “2001: A Space Odyssey (’68), and Spielberg’s sci-fi “Close Encounters of the Third Kind (’77).
Flashback films last year include “Casablanca (’43) with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, George C. Scott as “Patton” (’70) also set in WWII, “Forrest Gump” (’94) with Tom Hanks exploring life as a box of mixed chocolates, Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny in “Space Jam” (’96), “The Notebook” (2004) Forties romance, musical “Oklahoma!” (’55), John Wayne’s western “The Quiet Man” (’52), and disco diva Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” (’77).
The “Back to the Future” local link is a touring DeLorean matching the film’s original was at a Flat Rock Playhouse benefit three summers ago. It raised money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Fox, 58, has lived half of his life with Parkinson’s. It was diagnosed in him when he was 29.
Oliver and Terry Holler of Myrtle Beach, S.C said their 1982 DeLorean represents BacktotheFuture.com. It is a souped-up version of John DeLorean’s sleek sports car made in 1981-83.
Features in the replica include a makeshift “flux capacitor.” In the film, it supposedly ran on plutonium, or (spoiler alert) a lightning strike if driven to precisely 88 mph.
Patrons can lobby for films to see (i.e. James Bond) via FlashbackCinema.net/newsletter. Scroll down to Request a Movie. Click on Schedule, to see upcoming films and plot synopses. For Epic current films, check epictheatres.com/location/9671/Epic-Theatres-of-Hendersonville-Showtimes