Back to the Future - 25th Anniversary Trilogy

Back to the Future - 25th Anniversary Trilogy

4.7 67
Director: Robert Zemeckis

Cast: Michael Fox, Christopher Lloyd

     
 

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The "Complete Trilogy" is right. All three movies are here, and that would be a pretty full meal in itself, but along with the 339 minutes of movie on three discs -- all transferred about as well as anyone ever imagined they could be for the home screen, with bright, solid colors and resolution that reveals picture details that might have previously escaped viewers,… See more details below

Overview

The "Complete Trilogy" is right. All three movies are here, and that would be a pretty full meal in itself, but along with the 339 minutes of movie on three discs -- all transferred about as well as anyone ever imagined they could be for the home screen, with bright, solid colors and resolution that reveals picture details that might have previously escaped viewers, plus ear-popping sound -- we also get ten hours of extra features. Each disc leads off its bonus section with a 14-minute making-of featurette, done at the time of each respective movie's release, about the evolution of ideas for the plots, the design of the sets and props, the way in which the score was conceived, and the makeup, casting, etc. None is revelatory, but it also would have been silly not to have included each in this package. Much more interesting is "The Making of the Trilogy," three new 15-minute featurettes in which the creators explain themselves better in all of the areas covered by the older featurettes, especially where the special effects and makeup are concerned, though each also reveals some superficiality in the thinking of the producers, such as Bob Gale's statement that no Hollywood movie had ever been built on the notion that every adult was once a kid (there's a movie called It's a Wonderful Life that spends a good bit of time on that very subject). Not that this matters -- the makers came up with two eminently enjoyable and one genuinely funny, touching movie, and it's fascinating to see how they did it, to learn that the movie was nearly sunk by its PG-rated orientation (with R-rated comedies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High making a fortune, every studio thought Back to the Future was too "soft," except for Disney, where they felt the script was too "dirty" because of the implication of defacto incestuous attraction between two of the characters), and to see how Michael J. Fox managed to get the lead role after shooting had already commenced with Eric Stoltz in the part. And then there are the sets of commentary tracks on each disc, one a live question-and-answer session by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale before an audience of film students; another an "enhanced" interview with Michael J. Fox (who appears in a window in the upper right-hand corner of the screen) discussing the movie and his role in it; and a commentary track by Gale and Neil Canton, which is deliberately keyed to carry the viewer past the boundaries of the other two commentaries. Disc two contains a similar range of material, but without Fox's enhanced reminiscences; instead, we get a selection of some substantial outtakes from the movie, with the optional accompaniment of Bob Gale's commentary explaining why they were deleted, and an array of outtakes, including flubbed lines and cues. Disc three, in addition to two commentaries, contains one violent scene that was cut out of the third movie, with Gale's explanation of why. The commentary is a little bit thin by this time, as though the participants lost some of their own continuity, even engaging in some strained and limp humor that doesn't quite work. They do admit to an error in the script during the first ten minutes of the movie, but otherwise the remarks here are less focused, and seem to suffer from some of the same weariness that overtook the makers in shooting the third movie. Each disc is dual-layered and offers a seamless, invisible transition, even on older players. Each one opens to a three-tiered menu that is very easy to use, with bonus features that advance automatically on the selection list as they play out. There are also production stills, storyboards, conceptual art, and promotional and marketing materials presented in an interactive format, and each disc offers a DVD-ROM function (for those playing these discs on their computers) that includes the original script for each movie. These extras all may be a little bit more than the trilogy deserves in the total scheme of cinema -- none of the Back to the Future movies is remotely as significant as, say, The Birth of a Nation, Citizen Kane, etc. -- but it is all interesting to take in, one movie at a time, one day at a time, and enlightening about how important luck is, along with talent and bold intentions, in making a successful film (or two or three).

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The legendary DeLorean sports car makes one stylish, streamlined time machine in the Back to the Future trilogy, the '80s classics from director Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump). The first of the series is the strongest, telling the story of young Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), a small-town teen in 1985 who takes an accidental trip back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean built by eccentric, white-haired mad scientist Doc (Christopher Lloyd). Through a series of comedic missteps, Marty inadvertently keeps his parents (Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover) from falling in love, thereby threatening his own existence. Quite simply, this is the best time-travel film ever made, and it revels in Marty's fish-out-of-water 1980s take on 1950s Eisenhower-era innocence. With their self-assured handling of clever plot twists and time-travel paradoxes, writers Zemeckis and Bob Gale earned an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. And while the plot ticks with Swiss-watch precision, at the film's heart is an appointment with destiny, a single moment that sets the pattern for all the characters' lives, expressed eloquently in the film's central image of a tower clock stopped for 30 years by a bolt of lightning. Back to the Future Part II careens 30 years into the future (where the DeLorean has been made to fly) before Marty and Doc return to a nightmarish alternate 1985 (with shades of It's a Wonderful Life) that that can only be repaired by another trip back to the '50s. Labyrinthine time-travel complications are the name of the game in Part II, capped off by a brilliant reprise of the tour-de-force climactic sequence of the first film. Back to the Future Part III catapults Marty and Doc back in time to the Wild West of 1885, where fun and games with genre conventions -- cowboys, Indians, and gunfights -- and a little romance (Mary Steenburgen is introduced as Doc's true love) replace the plot complexities of the first two films. Fox and Lloyd anchor this series: Fox's boyish charm and energy is completely in sync with the film's buoyant spirit of fun, while Lloyd's archetypal portrayal of a mad-but-loveable scientist stands, along with his stint on Taxi, as the signature work of his career. And while only the original Back to the Future can be considered a true masterpiece, the sequels have a refreshing unpredictability that puts the trilogy as a whole -- along with the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies -- at the pinnacle of post-Hollywood New Wave blockbuster fun.

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/17/2002
UPC:
0025192212123
Rating:
PG
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
5:42:00

Special Features

Michael J. Fox discusses his experiences making the Back to the Future trilogy; Hilarious outtakes: Flubs, bloopers, and antics from the films; Deleted scenes: Exclusive, never-before-seen footage from all three films; Audio commentaries: On all three films by writer/producer Bob Gale and producer Neil Canton; Live Q & A session: On all three films by director Robert Zemeckis and writer/producer Bob Gale; Hoverboard tests: Original "flying skateboard" on-location road tests; Digitally remastered: All three films have been completely remastered in 5.1 digital surround; Making the Trilogy: A rare, behind-the-scenes look at the making of all three film, including original and new interviews with the cast and crew; Animated anecdotes: Hundreds of fun facts and interesting trivia you can choose to view while watching the films; Music videos: "Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News, and "Doubleback" by ZZ Top; Evolution of the Special Effects: Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic shows how the films' special effects were developed; Behind-the-scenes segments: Designing the DeLorean, makeup tests, time travel, storyboarding, production design, and more; Production archives: Interactive environment featuring production photos, original storyboards, conceptual art, props, and theatrical marketing materials

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Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Back to the Future
1. Main Titles
2. Late for School
3. The Slacker
4. The Family McFly
5. A Time Machine?
6. Escape to the Past
7. 1955
8. Dad the Dork
9. Calvin & Lorraine
10. Future Boy & Doc
11. Marty's Problem
12. The Matchmaker
13. Skateboard Hero
14. The Big Date
15. The Real George
16. Johnny B. Goode
17. Back to the Future
18. Doc's Decision
19. Future Shock
20. Roads? (Credits)
Side #2 -- Back to the Future Part II
1. Back From the Future [2:55]
2. Main Titles [1:20]
3. Hill Valley, 2015 [8:26]
4. Marty Junior? [4:24]
5. Batter Up! [4:07]
6. The Almanac [5:42]
7. The Future McFlys [7:15]
8. Chicken [4:17]
9. Past Imperfect [7:42]
10. My Father!? [4:23]
11. An Alternate 1985 [4:57]
12. About That Book [5:57]
13. Back to 1955 [5:43]
14. Biff's Lucky Day [7:30]
15. Back to the Dance [13:13]
16. Get That Book! [6:42]
17. Back to Normal? [3:02]
18. A Letter From 1885 [2:51]
19. I'm Back [2:48]
20. End Titles [4:39]
Side #3 -- Back to the Future Part III
1. Back Again [2:48]
2. Main Titles [2:10]
3. A Letter From Doc [7:40]
4. Doc's Destiny [3:07]
5. Back to 1885 [6:25]
6. Clint Eastwood? [7:47]
7. Mad Dog [3:12]
8. Reunited [4:28]
9. Out of Gas [4:09]
10. Clara [8:48]
11. The Town Festival [6:15]
12. Trouble With Tannen [9:26]
13. The Course of the Future [9:57]
14. Late for a Train [4:21]
15. Showdown [9:47]
16. Racing Against Time [11:45]
17. Back to Normal [3:47]
18. Marty's Choice [2:00]
19. Meet the Family [3:44]
20. End Titles [6:30]

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