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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2010

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"Back to the Future Trilogy" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by John Johnson

Back to the Future Trilogy

Synopsis

Part I: In 1985 (when the first movie was made), Dr. Emmett Brown (Lloyd), an eccentric inventor, designs a time machine using a DeLorean automobile. Marty McFly (Fox), a high school student, gets in the car and is accidentally sent back to 1955, when the local town was just being built, and his parents were in high school but had not met each other or even dated. He meets Dr. Brown 30 years younger as well, and Brown is horrified because anything Marty does to interfere with his parents-to-be Lorraine (Thompson) and George McFly (Glover) could erase Marty's existence.

In Part II, it is 2015, and Biff Tannen (Wilson), who was the school bully when Marty was a student, has become rich based on a future race results book that Marty left in the back seat of Biff's car. Marty and Dr. Brown travel there partly because Marty's children are getting out of hand, but also Marty has to pose as his own son to keep out of prison.

Part III has Marty going back to 1885, where Dr. Brown has already travelled, and meets his grandfather. He is definitely the stranger in town, and he calls himself Clint Eastwood. "Clint" has to face Buford 'Mad Dog' Tannen (Biff's grandfather) in a gunfight in order to save Doc Brown's life. In the meantime, Brown meets a new schoolteacher, Clara Clayton (Steenburgen), and falls in love with her. Marty and Doc Brown build a mechanism to get an old railroad train up to the right speed to take them back to 1985, but Brown hesitates, because he has to leave Clara behind.


Specifications

  • Universal
  • 1985, 1989, 1990, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 56 min, 1 Hr 49 min, 1 Hr 59 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Mary Steenburgen, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson
  • Directed by Robert Zemeckis
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

Part I of this series was a surprisingly big hit at the box office, so naturally, sequels followed. Part II is the least entertaining of the three, partly because it is confusing as to when who is looking at whom in the future or the past. Part III is the best, in my opinion, and I remember it especially because my daughter took me to the theater to see it for my birthday. I loved every minute of it, and being a scientists myself, sort of identified with Doc Brown's preoccupation with the why and how of nature rather than just the what.

Technical

These are old films, but are transferred with loving care. Modest (my term for not enough) use of surround. Not that important though because the stories are so much fun.

Extras

This package is the 25th Anniversary Trilogy, so there is a huge compilation of extras, including Deleted Scenes, In the Beginning, Keeping Time, Behind the Scenes, Outtakes, Production Design, Making the Trilogy, Michael J. Fox Q&A, and plenty of storyboard and other photos.