Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy [Blu-ray]
4.4 Stars (out of 5) - Rated PG
In this classic sci-fi adventure from director Robert Zemeckis, eccentric inventor Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) turns a DeLorean into a time machine that inadvertently sends his young friend, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), 30 years into the past. While stuck in the 1950s, Marty disrupts his parents' destiny and risks throwing the time-space continuum completely out of whack. The only way back to 1985 now is to get mom and dad to pucker up.
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, Claudia Wells, Marc McClure, Wendie Jo Sperber, George DiCenzo, Frances Lee McCain, James Tolkan, J.J. Cohen, Casey Siemaszko, Billy Zane, Harry Waters Jr.
Blu-ray Release Date:
October 26, 2010
English SDH, French, Spanish
Overall rating weighted as follows:
Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt
Audio 3.9 Stars (out of 5)
Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison
● Subwoofer – 2.5 Stars
● Dialog – 5.0 Stars
● Surround Effects – 4.0 Stars
● Dynamic Range – 4.0 Stars
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: DTS 5.1, Spanish: DTS 5.1
Upgrading audio from a 25 year old film can be a difficult task, and Universal did a satisfactory job of bringing this series into the future. Dialog is handled with care and doesn’t allow any lines from the script to be lost to time traveling adventure. Surround effects are often used throughout the series, and feature sounds of birds, ticking clocks, helicopters, flying cars, horses, and rolling thunder. At times it seems like the rear channels were forced to produce sound, and nothing really flowed naturally to the back. The subwoofer was the least impressive aspect of this DTS-HD mix, it can be heard but it’s weak and slight. You do notice it during gunshots, galloping horses, some music, a few explosions, the Delorean’s engine, and the sonic boom sound of time travel. High pitch sounds like Marty’s guitar sounded great but overall the dynamic range was a little flat.
Video 4.8 Stars (out of 5)
Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison
● Color Accuracy - 5.0 Stars
● Shadow detail – 4.5 Stars
● Clarity – 4.5 Stars
● Skin tones – 5.0 Stars
● Compression – 5.0 Stars
Codec: VC-1, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
This 27 year old trilogy looks just as good as many of the new Blu-ray releases. Colors are natural and full of life, and draw attention to lush green trees, Marty’s pink cowboy shirt, neon and florescent lights in the future, and Marty’s puffy red vest jacket. Film grain is kept at a medium level, and helps keep the cinematic feel of the films. The clarity is usually crisp and clean and brings out the details in loose hairs, beard whiskers, brinks on the clock tower, stripes on clothing, and zebra striped carpets. Skin tones look great when actor’s faces aren’t covered with bad makeup that tries to age them 30 years.
Bonus Features 4.5 Stars (out of 5)
● U Control - Universal's "exclusive signature feature" allows you to access "Setups and Payoffs," that show you how plot points are prepared. |"Storyboard Comparison," which shows the original conception of several sequences; and "Trivia Track," a host of factoids about various aspects of all three films.
● Tales From The Future - A six part documentary about the film, from development through filming and release. These are:
○ "In the Beginning" (27:24) - Covers pre-production and the original casting.
○ "Time to Go" (29:54) - Production of the original film.
○ "Keeping Time" (5:43) – Features Alan Silvestri's score.
○ "Time Flies" (28:37) – Discusses the special effects and shooting the 2nd and 3rd film back to back.
○ "Third Time's the Charm" (17:07) - Focuses on the production design of the 3rd film, as well as Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown as a romantic character.
○ "The Test of Time" (17:00) – Discusses the cultural impact of the movies.
● The Physics of 'Back to the Future' (HD; 8:25) – A discussion with physicist Michio Kaku about the science of the films.
● Nuclear Test Site Ending Storyboard Sequence (HD;4:12) – A look at the original ending of the film.
● Back to the Future Night (SD; 27:10) – Footage of the pre-show of the first aired television broadcast of the first film.
● Deleted Scenes (HD; 17:57 over three discs) - 16 deleted or extended scenes.
● Michael J. Fox Q & A (SD; 10:20)
● Q & A Commentaries with Zemeckis and Gale.
● Feature Commentaries with Gale and co-producer Neil Canton.
● Archival Featurettes, a compendium of older documentaries on the films, which includes:
● Making of the Trilogy: Chapters One (SD; 15:30), Two (SD; 15:30) and Three (SD; 16:30), a 2002 documentary released with the DVD version of the films.
● The Making of 'Back to the Future' Parts I (SD; 14:28), II (SD; 6:40) and III (SD; 7:32)
● The Secrets of the 'Back to the Future' Trilogy (SD; 20:41) a Kirk Cameron hosted tv special which answers fan questions about the series.
● Behind The Scenes, a series of archival material which includes:
● Original Make-up Tests (SD; 2:17), where you can see Lloyd before his "Einstein-Stokowski" transformation;
● Outtakes (SD; 5:23 over three discs), with gags and on set mishaps.
● Production Design (SD; 2:55)
● Storyboarding (SD; 1:29)
● Designing the DeLorean (SD; 3:31)
● Designing Time Travel (SD; 2:41)
● Hoverboard Test (SD; :58)
● Evolution of the Visual Effects Sequences (SD; 5:42)
● Designing Hill Valley (SD; 1:08), more production design info.
● Designing the Campaign (SD; 1:18), marketing info.
● FAQs, text only questions about the series, with answers by Zemeckis and Gale.
● Back to the Future: The Ride (SD; 31:06) – Feature about the ride from Universal Studios the theme park.
● Music Videos of Huey Lewis and the News performing "Power of Love" (SD; 6:27) and ZZ Top performing "DoubleBack" (SD; 4:09).
● Photo Galleries, which include production art, storyboards, photos, marketing materials and character portraits.
● Theatrical Trailers and Teasers for all of the films.
Movie – 4.5 Stars (out of 5)
The Back to the Future Trilogy is a cultural milestone in American film. It captured what the 1980’s were, what we thought the past was, and what we thought the future could bring. Most people would agree that the first movie is the best, and the series degrades as it goes along. I’m not saying the 2nd and 3rd movies weren’t good, but when you match them up to a movie that’s as near to perfect, it’s hard to compete. However, watching all the films back to back is a real treat, similar plot points become apparent, certain character traits are easily noticeable, and the overall trilogy flows as one strong storyline. Back to the Future has become a family favorite in my household, and it’s a testament to the film because it stands up to the test of time. The films are thoughtful, smart, funny, and silly when they need to be. As a whole, the trilogy has several moral lessons, but at its core it tells us that the future is not written.
Posted by The HT Guys, May 16, 2012 7:54 AM
About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.