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Back to the Future (30th Anniversary Trilogy) Blu-ray Review

back-to-the-future-trilogy-30th-anniversary-blurayU.S. Release (Region ABC)

The Collection

[Rating:4/5]

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It was October 21, 2015 in Back to the Future Part II when Marty McFly (Michael J.Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) landed into a future in the DeLorean time machine and found a world of hoverboards, flying cars, and automatic lacing sneakers from Nike. Well, that future didn’t exactly come to pass, but what did come to pass is the enduring nature of the three films from Universal Studios that people just can’t seem to get enough of.

The first film took the pair back in time where Marty had to fend of advances from his own mother (Lea Thompson), overcome the town bully Biff (Thomas F. Wilson), and make sure is parents gort together or else his own future would be in jeopardy. Back to the Future was such an overwhelming success that is spawned two more films, parts II and III.

In Part II Doc Brown returns from the future and whisks Marty and his girlfriend (now being played by Elisabeth Shue replacing Claudia Wells) back to 2015 under the premise that Marty’s kids need to be saved. In 2015, what do they find but an elderly version of Biff Tannen and his descendent who’s still a town Bully. After a chase on hoverboards with Marty slipping into the place of his future self, he tries to take a sports almanac with him back to 1985, but Doc catches him and makes him throw it away. Elderly Biff spots this, realizes what’s going on and takes the sports almanac from the trash and slips back with it into the 1950s where he alters the timeline. Now Marty must return to 1955, steal the sports almanac before Biff can change history, so they can get back to their real future.

Part III is the real weird one on the bunch. At the end of Part II, Doc was in the DeLorean and accidentally took off to 1885. Obviously, with no technology to get back, that’s where he was stranded, but he finds a way to communicate, sending Marty a Western Union telegram 70 years later that arrives just moments after he vanishes explaining his situation. Marty, determined to save the Doc, finds a way to get back to 1885 in the old stowed away DeLorean. This time, in 1885, Part III is like a sci-fi western comedy, with Doc and Marty finding a way to somehow cobble together a means to get the DeLorean working in the 19th century within a week, before the Doc finds himself shot in the back over a debt by, you guessed it, an outlaw who looks suspiciously like Biff Tannen.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

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The VC-1 1080p encodement is the same as what was previously offered from Universal five years ago in the 25th anniversary trilogy collection and it looks about as good. I wouldn’t classify it as absolutely stunning, but it certainly isn’t bad. There are some issues with film softness and I would have liked to see the colors and overall contrast look just a little stronger, especially in the first film, but for a set that stretches all the way back to 1985, this looks really good.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

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Each film comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack that is generally good. There is some mild clipping on dialogue in some rare louder passages and, generally, the surrounds carry mostly lots of reverberation with the odd discrete sound, but the films sound very good nevertheless. The low end is well done giving the time machine effect lots of extra oomph.


Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4.5/5]

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This set comes with mostly port overs from the previous 25th anniversary trilogy collection, however there is an additional bonus disc of features with new Doc Brown message and short, plus a feature on the the restoration of the DeLorean, two episodes of the animated series and more.

  • U-Control – Setups & Payoffs (picture in picture), storyboard comparison (picture in picture) and trivia track features on each disc

Bonus Disc:

  • 2015 Message from Doc Brown (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:00:45)
  • Doc Brown Saves the World! (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:09:38)
  • Outatime: Restoring the DeLorean (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:22:00)
  • Looking Back to the Future (1.78:1; SD; 00:45:42)
  • Back to the Future the Animated Series:
    • Brothers (Season 1, Episode 1) (1.33:1; SD; 00:23:24)
    • Mac the Black (Season 2, Episode 1) (1.33:1; SD; 00:23:08)
  • 2015 Commercials:
    • Jaws 19 Commercial (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:34)
    • Hoverboard Commercial (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:06)

Back to the Future:

  • Q&A Commentary with director Robert Zemeckis and producer Bob Gale
  • Feature Commentary with producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton
  • Deleted Scenes w/ optional commentary by producer Bob Gale (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:10:44):
    • Peanut Brittle
    • “Pinch Me”
    • Doc’s Personal Belongings
    • “She’s Cheating”
    • Darth Vader (Extended Version)
    • “Hit Me, George”
    • “You Got a Permit?”
    • The Phone Booth
  • Tales from the Future: In the Beginning… (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:27:24) – Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale discuss the beginnings of creating the iconic time traveling film.
  • Tales from the Future: Time to Go (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:29:54) – Zemeckis, Gale, and Spielberg talk about filming the story, the title, and more.
  • Tales from the Future: Keeping Time (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:05:43) – In this brief featurette the creators discuss Alan Silvestri’s scoring of Back to the Future.
  • Archival Featurettes:
    • The Making of Back to the Future (1.33:1; SD; 00:14:28)
    • Making the Trilogy: Chapter One (1.33:1; SD; 00:15:30)
    • Back to the Future Night (1.331; SD; 00:27:10)
  • Michael J. Fox Q&A (1.78:1; SD; 00:10:20)
  • Behind-the-Scenes:
    • Original Makeup Tests (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:17)
    • Outtakes (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:49)
    • Nuclear Test Site Sequence w/ optional commentary by producer Bob Gale (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:12)
    • Photo Galleries (1080p/24):
      • Production Art
      • Additional Storyboards
      • Behind-the-Scenes Photographs
      • Character Portraits
  • Huey Lewis and The News “Power of Love” music video (1.33:1; SD; 00:06:27)
  • Theatrical Teaser Trailer (1.33:1; SD; 00:01:24)
  • Join TeamFox – PSA for the TeamFox foundation for Parkinson’s research.

Back to the Future Part II:

  • Q&A Commentary with director Robert Zemeckis and producer Bob Gale
  • Feature Commentary with producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton
  • Deleted Scenes w/ optional commentary by producer Bob Gale (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:05:45):
  • Old Terry and Old Biff
    • “Dad’s Home” (Extended Version)
    • Pizza Scene (Extended Version)
    • Jennifer Faints (Extended Version)
    • Old Biff Vanishes from Car
    • Burned-Out High School
    • Marty Meets Dave
  • Tales from the Future: Time Flies (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:28:37) – The filmmakers and cast discuss how the sequel came to be and the elements of Part II that are different from the first.
  • The Physics of Back to the Future with Dr. Michio Kaku (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:25)
  • Archival Featurettes:
    • The Making of Back to the Future Part II (1.33:1; SD: 00:06:40)
    • Making the Trilogy: Chapter Two (1.33:1; SD; 00:15:30)
  • Behind-the-Scenes:
    • Outtakes (1.33:1; SD: 00:00:49)
    • Production Design (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:55)
    • Storyboarding (1.33:1; SD; 00:01:29)
    • Designing the DeLorean (1.33:1; SD; 00:03:31)
    • Designing Time Travel (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:41)
    • Hoverboard Test (1.33:1; SD; 00:00:58)
    • Evolution of Visual Effects Shots (1.33:1; SD; 00:05:42)
    • Photo Galleries (1080p/24):
      • Production Art
      • Additional Storyboards
      • Behind-the-Scenes Photographs
      • Marketing Materials
      • Character Portraits
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:21)

Back to the Future III

  • Q&A Commentary with director Robert Zemeckis and producer Bob Gale
  • Feature Commentary with producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton
  • Deleted Scenes w/ optional commentary by producer Bob Gale (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:18):
    • The Tannen Gang Kills Marshal Strickland
    • Tales from the Future: Third Time’s the Charm (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:17:07)
    • Tales from the Future: The Test of Time (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:17:00)
  • Archival Featurettes:
    • The Making of Back to the Future Part III (1.33:1; SD; 00:07:32)
    • Making the Trilogy: Chapter Three (1.33:1; SD; 00:16:20)
    • The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy (1.33:1; SD; 00:20:41)
  • Behind-the-Scenes:
    • Outtakes (1.33:1; SD; 00:01:35)
    • Designing the Town of Hill Valley (1.33:1; SD; 00:01:08)
    • Designing the Campaign (1.33:1; SD; 00:01:18)
    • Photo Galleries (1080p/24):
      • Production Art
      • Additional Storyboards
      • Behind-the-Scenes Photographs
      • Marketing Materials
      • Character Portraits
  • ZZ Top “Doubleback” Music Video (1.33:1; SD; 00:04:09)
  • FAQs About the Trilogy
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:18)
  • Back to the Future: The Ride (1.33:1; SD; 00:31:06):
    • Lobby Monitor
    • The Ride


The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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Great fun all around in this comedy sci-fi trilogy, Back to the Future. The first film in the set will always be my favorite, but each one is a great laugh and good family entertainment.

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