The Blu-ray trilogy of Back to the Future is here with the comedic antics of Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly struggling with life as a teenager until Doc Brown turns his world upside down using time travel.
Film making 22/25
Bonus Features 25/25
Back to the Future is one of those rare films that actually worked for all three in the series and turned heads toward Robert Zemeckis. Relative newcomer Robert Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale had previously worked with Steven Spielberg on another film but went their own way for their break in the first Back to the Future.
Back to the Future turned out to be the top grossing film of 1985 and still earns money now even 25 years later, the film’s success obviously led to the sequels. Both sequels were filmed back to back four years after the original, this is obvious from the trailer for the third at the second films end.
Back to the Future stars Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, a misfit high school with few friends except a cute girlfriend in Jennifer played by Claudia Wells. Even the school’s principal Mr. Strickland sees he is a slacker and will not amount to much unless he does something with his life.
Meet Doc Brown played by Christopher Lloyd, a scientist who is a little crazy but fun loving and full of bright ideas like his time travel machine. Doc Brown demonstrates his time machine to Marty by sending his dog Einstein a minute into the future.
Doc has stolen some plutonium from terrorists to power the time machine and they want it back, starting the sequence of events that turns their lives upside down. In the first film Marty goes back to 1955 when the terrorists try to kill him after having apparently succeeded in gunning down Doc Brown.
Marty meets the 1955 version of Doc Brown and his own parents before they started dating and get a little push in that direction from Marty. Doc helps him get back to his present only to discover that events that occurred in 1955 have altered 1985.
The second film has Marty meeting future Doc Brown as he takes Marty and Jennifer, now played by Elisabeth Shue, to 2015 to do something about their kids. Marty makes a mess of things and inadvertently gives old Biff Tannen, the school bully, a sports almanac from 2015 to the Biff Tannen of 1955.
This again alters time and gives Biff money that he uses to take control of their hometown and getting everything he wants in the future when Marty returns to 1985. Now Marty must again return to 1955 to stop Biff from getting the sports almanac from the future and altering the past.
The third film has Marty standing at the future site of his subdivision in 1955 as Doc Brown is blasted somewhere when the DeLorean time machine is hit by lighting. A couple minutes later a Western Union courier drives up and gives Marty an envelope, amazed that the letter in their care since 1885 was correct.
The letter stated that Marty McFly would be on that road at that time and Western Union was to give it to him, instructions included in the letter show the location Doc hid the DeLorean and how to fix it. Doc was transported to 1885 and is living happily as a Black Smith and local scientist, just worried about Marty stuck in 1955.
Doc hides the electrocuted time machine in an abandoned mine and tells Marty to use the 1955 Doc Brown to fix it and send him home to 1985. At the old mine that is adjacent to an old cemetery Marty and Doc find a grave marker with Doc Brown on it and a date that is several days after he gave the letter to Western Union.
Marty again travels back in time to rescue Doc Brown from his fate only to find Doc’s fate is now his own as he gets in the middle of the feud between Mad Dog Tannen and Doc Brown. Doc meets Clara the new school mistress and they fall in love during the escapades in 1885 trying to fix the DeLorean and get Marty back to 1985.
Marty gets back after putting Tannen in his place only to have Doc Brown and Clara with kids tagging along show up minutes after Marty shows Jennifer the wrecked DeLorean. Doc and Marty used nearby train tracks to get the car moving fast enough and Doc’s wish of having the time machine destroyed came true when the train in 1985 turns the DeLorean into scrap.
The second Back to the Future was probably the best but all three are great films and a fun adventure with that perfect mix of adventure comedy and a bit of drama to make you sweat. The films were all high ranking mostly because they were more about the people and relationships, not the technology of time travel.
The films do a great job of the back and forth with meeting your own parents, the paradoxes of time travel and the possible consequences rather than how it actually happened. They left out the highly technical how of time travel and gave us the more entertaining what happens when you do time travel that really makes all three films a success.
The Back to the Future Trilogy looks and sounds great, about as good as you’re ever going to get from a series of films that have been transferred to Blu-ray. Of course audio is great with Master DTS-HD 5.1 surround sound track but the video is also great with well done color, nice deep blacks that show just enough shadow and detail that is clear and sharp.
With movies from the 1980’s and early 90’s these look great even if the transfer does leak out a little of the technical knowledge behind the effects like green screens. The films look great with just enough of that realism and Hollywood magic to make things look great most of the time but with a film this old you can’t hide everything, especially without computers.
Audio is crisp and clear with no problems in voice but surround could have more fully been utilized throughout all three films. This is easily overlooked by the excellent music used and the fact that again the film was made so many years ago.
Extras include plenty on all three movie discs of the Blu-ray 25th Anniversary edition with the three films on Blu-ray and the three digital copies of the movies. Extras amount to several hours of extras with some from the previously released versions but also some new material.
Making of features and in film U Control are new and some older stuff from the previous releases along with commentary and discussions with actors and crew abound. It is not surprising that this is the heaviest of bonus features I have seen on a Blu-ray and also the best available for just about any film.
Back to the Future and the two sequels are one of those rare breeds of films that actually were great throughout all the sequels. You will not find a better set of entertaining and bonus filled discs with three films you can watch back to back as well as spend more time than the films enjoying the bonus content.
Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy is a must have film for any collection and well worth the cost for this trilogy of great movies.