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Blu-ray Review: ‘Back To The Future’ 25th Anniversary Trilogy
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Back To The Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy
Blu-ray Edition
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson, Elisabeth Shue
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 26, 2010

Every decade there is a movie or a series of movies that just blow us away. One set of films in the 80s did just that and became the greatest time travel trilogy ever. We are talking about Back To The Future directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Steven Spielberg.

I am a huge fan of this trilogy. While Part II is not the best of the bunch, my favorite movie would have to be the first one. It’s my favorite because of how original the concept is. What would it be like to travel back in time and run into your parents when they are just teenagers? I think it would be fun to see my dad owning people in football like he did when he was younger. I would also like to see what it was like for my mom to be raised by my grandma. This first film opens up the thoughts of what would you do if you did run into your parents? What would you say? I love all the jokes in this film and how real these characters are. But, my favorite character in the entire trilogy is the time-travel machine, the DeLorean, because it truly does take on a life of its own.

For those of you not familiar with the trilogy, here’s a rundown of what each film is about.

The first part of the trilogy, simply called Back To The Future, starred Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown. The movie starts off in 1985 where Doc invents a time machine out of a DeLorean. We find out that the machine needs plutonium to run and that the flux capacitor is what makes time travel possible. The Doc then gets shot up by Libyan terrorists and Marty escapes in the DeLorean, traveling back in time to 1955, the year Doc invented time travel and aso the year Marty’s parents got together. Once in 1955, Marty inadvertently screws up the past and prevents his parents from getting together, which means, it’s up to Marty to get his parents together and get back to the future before his actions end up erasing him from existence.

In Back To The Future Part II, Marty and the Doc and Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer travel to the year 2015 where there are flying cars and a million TV channels. They have to save Marty McFly Jr from going to prison and ruining the future of the family. While in the future they stumble across a sports alminac that contained the sports scores for the last 50 years. An older Biff Tannen (Marty’s nemesis from the first film) steals the book and the time machine, traveling back to 1985 to use the knowledge to gain money and power. Biff ends up changing history and controlling the town of Hill Valley, so Doc and Marty have to go back to 1955 and change time again without running into themselves.

Released in 1990, Back To The Future Part III finds Marty McFly traveling back in time again, this time to the year 1885 to bring back the Doc who has been living in the Old West for some time. While in the Old West, Marty runs into his great-grandfather Seamus McFly (who is also played by Fox), and of course, Biff’s ancestor too. In this film we see the construction of the Hill Valley clock tower which will be struck by lightning in 1955. While living in the Old West, Doc falls in love with a schoolteacher (played by Mary Steenburgen) and is torn between going back to present day where he’s from or staying in the year 1885. Of course, there’s always the issue of how to get back to where they belong, so Marty and Doc have to find a way to get the DeLorean to reach 88mph and send them back.

Special Features

Note, while this Blu-ray set is packed with awesome features, enough to make any fan of the trilogy extremely happy, you should know that the packaging is quite frustrating. It’s very difficult to actually get the discs out of the case without fear of breaking them. Apparently, this is a new way of packaging and I can imagine a lot of people actually breaking these in an attempt to get them out. My Geeks of Doom colleague Vactor had the same concerns, so after some research he found that Universal actually sent out an instructional sheet on how to remove the discs (visit HD Room for the PDF).

Tales From The Future
A six-part documentary about the making of the trilogy starting with the pre-production and casting for part one and showcasing how they filmed parts two and three back to back. It also includes interviews with Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Steven Spielberg, and Robert Zemeckis.

The Physics of Back To The Future:
This feature talks about the how real time travel is and about the science involved in the films.

Commentaries For All Three Films:
Feature-length commentaries with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale.

Theatrical Trailers

Music Videos:
Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News
Doubleback by ZZ Top

Deleted Scenes

Behind-the-Scenes

* Outtakes
* Original Makeup Tests
* Production Design
* Storyboarding
* Designing the DeLorean
* Designing Time Travel
* Hoverboard Test
*Visual Effects Sequences
* Designing Hill Valley
* Designing the Campaign
* Nuclear Test Site Ending Storyboard Sequence (a storyboard that was the planned ending for the film)

– U-CONTROL:
Options for trivia tracks, storyboard comparisons, and “setups & payoffs,” a cool little feature that points out plot points that will be important in later parts of the movie and the sequels.

Back To The Future: The Ride
This is about the Universal Studios theme park, which was replaced in recent years with a Simpson ride. This feature includes pre-show footage and other great things about the ride. A must-watch for all of us who miss this wonderful ride!

– Photo Galleries
Includes production art, additional storyboards, photographs, marketing materials, and character portraits.

– Q & A Michael J. Fox

– Q&A Commentaries with Director Robert Zemeckis and Producer Bob Gale

– 8 Archival Featurettes
Previously released documentary, making-off featurettes

This Blu-ray also comes with options for BD-LIVETM (more content through BD-Live using an Internet-connected Blu-ray player), My Scenes (bookmark your favorite scenes); and pocket BLU (advanced features accessed with Internet handheld devices and computers).

There are so many special features to this set and it truly does enhance the experience of these films, which all look amazing on Blu-ray. I love these movies so much and they are a must have for any fan of time travel, comedies, sci-fi, and for any geek. I give this Blu-ray set 5 time traveling DeLoreans out of 5.

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