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UNIVERSAL

SERIES INFO

Director:
Robert Zemeckis
Cast:
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson, Crispin Glover
Writing Credits:
Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale

Synopsis:
Join Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and a time traveling DeLorean for the adventure of a lifetime as they travel to the past, present and future, setting off a time-shattering chain reaction that disrupts the space time continuum!

MPAA:
Rated PG

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish
Brazilian Portuguese
Castillian
German
Italian
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Canadian French
Brazilian Portuguese
Castillian
French
German
Italian
Chinese Simplified
Portuguese
Russian
Arabic
Bulgarian
Cantonese
Chinese Traditional
Czech
Dutch
Greek
Hebrew
Hungarian
Korean
Polish
Romanian
Japanese
Thai
Turkish
Closed-captioned


See individual reviews for additional specs on the collection.


Price: $49.98

Available Only as Part of “Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy”
Release Date: 10/20/2015

Bonus:
• 2015 Message from Doc Brown
• “Doc Brown Saves the World!” Short Film
• “Outatime: Restoring the DeLorean” Featurette
• "Looking Back to the Future" Documentary
• Two Episodes of Back to the Future: The Animated Series
• 2015 Commercials


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy [Blu-Ray] (1985-1989)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 20, 2015)

BACK TO THE FUTURE: 30th ANNIVERSARY TRILOGY

BACK TO THE FUTURE: “Before I got these discs, I hadn’t seen Back to the Future in quite a while, and I’d almost forgotten just how much fun it offers. A lively and giddy romp, the movie suffers from some dated elements – anybody remember Pepsi Free? – but it packs so much gleeful comedic energy that it doesn’t really matter.”

BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II: “Back to the Future Part II will probably always be my least favorite flick of the trilogy, but it nonetheless provides a fairly lively second part in the series.”

BACK TO THE FUTURE PART III: “A warm and satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, Back to the Future Part III seems like a solid film. It falters at times, but it usually maintains a nice sense of heart and spirit, and it ends matters smoothly.”


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus A-

The Bonus Disc:

When Back to the Future debuted in 1985, I was 18 and in between the end of high school and the start of college. 1955 – the past depicted in the movie – seemed so long ago that it might as well have been 1755.

Now we’re in 2015 – the future shown in 1989’s Back to the Future Part II - and 1985 feels like yesterday.

Man, I’m old!

But not too old to enjoy these films, all repackaged for a 2015 “30th Anniversary Trilogy” Blu-ray set. For full information on the individual movies, please consult my reviews of those sets via the links above. Please note that the picture and sound grades found at the top of this article represent an average for the three discs.

Though this article covers the trilogy as a whole, I want to concentrate mainly on the package’s final platter. Called “Bonus Disc”, it includes a few more Back to the Future tidbits.

We open with a 2015 Message from Doc Brown. In this 45-second clip, Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Doc to let us know we’re now in the future. It’s nice to have but not anything memorable.

More new material shows up in Doc Brown Saves the World!, a short film. It lasts nine minutes, 38 seconds and gives us more from Lloyd as Doc attempts to prevent Armageddon from occurring in 2045. It incorporates the trilogy’s invented technology in clever ways and offers decent entertainment, though its social message seems heavy-handed.

Next comes a featurette called Outatime: Restoring the DeLorean. In this 22-minute piece, we hear from film historian Rob Klein, DeLorean Construction Coordinator Michael Scheffe, co-writer/producer Bob Gale, restoration team members Mark Dehlinger, Joe Kovacs, Chad Schweitzer, Ed Hillery, Ken Kapalowski, Eddie Dennis, Ara Kourchians, Scott Miller and Sean Bishop, Universal Studios Hollywood Creative Director John Murdy, restoration head Joe Walser, restoration producer Terry Matalas, special effects supervisor Michael Lantieri, DeLorean Motor Company’s Danny Botkin, Film Threat’s Chris Gore, and actor Claudia Wells.

The show details the creation of the movie’s original tricked-out DeLorean as well as its post-trilogy fate and restoration. I enjoy the discussion of the challenges involved in the restoration, but the featurette can seem more than a little self-explanatory at times. That leaves it as a mixed bag.

A 2009 program, Looking Back to the Future fills 45 minutes, 42 seconds with comments from Gale, Lloyd, writer/director Robert Zemeckis, production designer Rick Carter, cinematographer Dean Cundey, producer Neil Canton, 1st assistant camera Clyde Bryan, art director Todd Hallowell, editor Arthur Schmidt, executive producer Steven Spielberg, unit publicist Michael Klastorin, associate producer Steve Starkey, futurist John Bell, special effects supervisor Kevin Pike, animation supervisor Wes Takahashi, production designer Larry Paul, composer Alan Silvestri, editor Harry Keramidas, and actors Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, James Tolkan, Norm Alden, and Marc McClure.

“Looking” examines story/character areas, casting and performances, the DeLorean, sets and production design, effects, music, and the film’s release. “Looking” becomes an engaging piece, though a lot of it seems redundant; we learn so much across the three movie discs that there’s not a ton of new info here. Still, it’s a tight little summary and worth a look.

During 1991-92, CBS ran Back to the Future: The Animated Series, and the Blu-ray includes two episodes. We see “Brothers” (Season 1, Episode 1, 23 minutes, 24 seconds) and “Mac the Black” (Season 2, Episode 1, 23 minutes, eight seconds). Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Doc Brown, but only for live-action bits that open/close the shows. For the animated parts, Dan Castellaneta plays Doc and does a pretty strong impersonation.

Two actors do come back for the cartoon segments, though, as we get Mary Steenburgen as Clara and Thomas F. Wilson as various Tannens. David Kaufman plays Marty and does a credible job in the part.

Maybe the other 24 episodes of The Animated Series offer entertainment, but “Brothers” and “Mac the Black” seem pretty lousy. They hyperactive and silly but they come without a lot of wit or cleverness. I’m happy to see these shows as a curiosity but I can’t imagine I’ll revisit them.

The “Bonus Disc” concludes with some 2015 Commercials. We find promos for Jaws 19 (1:28) and a hoverboard (1:06). The latter seems annoying and doesn’t follow the approach it should, which is to sell the hoverboard to the little kids who use it in the movie. The Jaws 19 clip is more fun, especially since it synopsizes films five through 18.

30 years after its debut, Back to the Future continues to delight – and its two sequels offer good entertainment as well. They remain likable, charming action-comedies. The Blu-rays boast mostly solid picture and audio as well as a nice selection of supplements.

If you don’t own the 2010 Blu-ray package, the 2015 release is the way to go: it adds new bonus materials and sells for a lower price. If you do already have the 2010 set, though, I can’t recommend a double dip. I like the “Bonus Disc” but it’s the only difference between the two and it’s not enough to warrant a repurchase. The 2015 set does nothing to change/improve the picture and audio from the 2010 discs – it simply repackages those earlier discs.

One other purse strings notice: in addition to this “basic” four-disc set, Universal also offers “The Complete Adventures”, a set that adds all 26 episodes of Back to the Future: The Animated Series, a 64-page book and unique packaging. This version retails for $99.98, or twice the cost of four-disc release. While the “Complete Adventures” sounds good, I can’t believe you get great value from that extra $50.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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