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Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

October 26, 2015 by  



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“Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy” is a wonderful release for fans looking to have all three films in a set plus an extra supplemental disc. While the more hardcore fans will opt for the more expensive “The Complete Adventures” Limited Edition set. But if you loved the films and are wanting to buy the trilogy for the very first time, you’ll love this Blu-ray collection and it’s definitely worth owning and having in your Blu-ray collection! Highly recommended!

Image courtesy of © Universal Studios Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy

YEAR OF FILM: Back to the Future (1985), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990)

DURATION: Back to the Future (1 Hr. and 56 Min.), Back to the Future Part II (1 Hr. and 49 Min.), Back to the Future Part III (1 Hr. and 59 Min.)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Color, 1:85:1 aspect ratio, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French and Espanol DTS Surround 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, DTS-Expres 2.0, DTS 2.0, Subtitles: English SDH, French and Espanol

COMPANY: Amblin Entertainment/Universal Studios Home Entertainment

RATING: PG

RELEASE DATE: October 20, 2015


Back to the Future

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Written by Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale

Produced by Neil Canton, Bob Gale

Executive Producer: Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg

Music by Alan Silvestri

Cinematography by Dean Cundey

Edited by Harry Keramidas, Arthur Schmidt

Casting by Jane Feinberg, Mike Fenton, Judy Taylor

Production Design by Lawrence G. Paull

Art Decoration by Todd Hallowell

Set Decoration by Hal Gausman

Costume Design by Deborah Lynn Scott

Back to the Future II

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Written by Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale

Screenplay by Bob Gale

Produced by Neil Canton, Bob Gale

Executive Producer: Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg

Associate Producer: Steve Starkey

Music by Alan Silvestri

Cinematography by Dean Cundey

Edited by Harry Keramidas, Arthur Schmidt

Casting by Mike Fenton, Valorie Massalas, Judy Taylor

Production Design by Rick Carter

Art Decoration by Margie Stone McShirley

Set Decoration by Linda DeScenna

Costume Design by Joanna Johnston

Back to the Future III

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Written by Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale

Screenplay by Bob Gale

Produced by Neil Canton, Bob Gale

Executive Producer: Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg

Associate Producer: Steve Starkey

Music by Alan Silvestri

Cinematography by Dean Cundey

Edited by Harry Keramidas, Arthur Schmidt

Casting by Mike Fenton, Valorie Massalas, Judy Taylor

Production Design by Rick Carter

Art Decoration by Margie Stone McShirley, William James Teegarden

Set Decoration by Michael Taylor

Costume Design by Joanna Johnston


Starring:

Back to the Future

Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly

Christopher Lloyd as Dr. Emmett Brown

Lea Thompson as Lorraine McFly/Lorraine Baines

Crispin Glover as George McFly

Thomas F. Wilson as Biff Tannen

Claudia Wells as Jennifer Parker

Marc McClure as Dave McFly

Wendie Jo Sperber as Linda McFly

George DiCenzo as Sam Baines

Frances Lee McCain as Stella Baines

James Tolkan as Mr. Strickland

Billy Zane as Match

Harry Waters Jr. as Marvin Berry

Back to the Future II

Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, Marty McFly Jr., Marlene McFly

Christopher Lloyd as Dr. Emmett Brown

Lea Thompson as Lorraine Baines

Crispin Glover as George McFly

Thomas F. Wilson as Biff Tannen/Griff

Elisabeth Shue as Jennifer Parker

James Tolkan as Strickland

Jeffrey Weissman as George McFly

Casey Siemaszko as 30D

Billy Zane as Match

J.J. Cohen as Skinhead

Charles Fleischer as Terry

Back to the Future III

Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, Seamus McFly

Christopher Lloyd as Dr. Emmett Brown

Mary Steenburgen as Clara Clayton

Lea Thompson as Maggie McFly/Lorraine McFly

Thomas F. Wilson as Biff Tannen/Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen

Elisabeth Shue as Jennifer Parker

James Tolkan as Marshal James Strickland

Jeffrey Weissman as George McFly

Marc McClure as Dave McFly

Wendie Jo Sperber as Linda McFly


Experience the future all over again with the Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy! 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! From filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, this unforgettable collection features hours of bonus features and is an unrivaled trilogy that stands the test of time.


The year was 1985 and a sci-fi film directed by Robert Zemeckis (“Cast Away”, “Forrest Gump”, “Beowulf”) titled “Back to the Future”, a film created for $19 million would become an international blockbuster.

With the first film earning over $389 million in the box office and becoming the highest grossing film of 1985, the film would win multiple awards including a Hugo Award for “Best Dramatic Presentation”, the Saturn Award for “Best Science Fiction Film” and the Academy Award for “Best Sound Effects Editing”.

The film had become popular and referred in American pop culture and in would feature two more sequels: “Back to the Future II” (1989) and “Back to the Future III” (1990) which both cost $40 million to make and the second film would go on to earn $332 million in the box office, while the third film would make $244.5 million in the box office.

Also, an animated series, theme park ride and video games would follow.

In 2007, the Library of Congress selected “Back to the Future” for preservation in the National Film Registry and would rank in the American Film Institute’s “AFI Top 10 – #10 best film in the science fiction genre”.

The film would star Michael J. Fox (“The Good Wife”, “The Michael J. Fox Show”, “Family Ties”), Christopher Lloyd (“Taxi”, “Granite Flats”, Deadly Games”), Lea Thompson (“Caroline int he City”, “Switched at Birth”), Crispin Glover (“Alice in Wonderland”, “Texas Rising”, “Dead Man”) and Thomas F. Williams (“The Heat”, “Ghost Whisperer”).

While “Back to the Future” was released on Blu-ray in October 2015 as a collection for the 25th Anniversary, a 30th Anniversary Trilogy set will be released and will include hours of bonus features.

“Back to the Future” begins with aspiring musician Marty McFly (portrayed by Michael J. Fox) who is dating Jennifer Parker.  His father George (portrayed by Crispin Glover) is often bullied by his supervisor Biff Tannen (portrayed by Thomas F. Williams).  Meanwhile, his mother Lorraine (portrayed by Lea Thompson) is depressed and an alcoholic and doesn’t like Marty dating Jennifer.  Lorraine often talks about how she met George, when her father ran over him with the car.

One night, Marty receives a call from his friend, scientist “Doc” Brown (portrayed by Christopher Lloyd) who is testing a time machine that he build with a modified DeLorean and is powered by plutonium stolen from Libyan rebels.  As Doc demonstrated the navigation system with the date November 5, 1955 (the day he created the machine), the Libyans find out that he is responsible for stealing the plutonium and kill him.  With the Libyans now wanting to kill Marty, Marty gets into the Delorean and tries to outrun the Libyans but accidentally activates the time machine which sends him back to 1955.

Marty eventually encounters his father George, who is often bullied by his classmate Biff.  Marty is saved from George from an oncoming car and is knocked unconscious and when he wakes up, he wakes up to an young woman who has fallen for him.  Marty realizes that the young woman is his mother Lorraine.

Marty needs to go back to the future but must first track down “Doc” to help him find the power source to generate the necessary 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to power the time machine.

“Back to the Future II”

For the sequel, at the end of the first film, Doc arrives in his DeLorean time machine telling Marty and Jennifer (portrayed by Elisabeth Shue) to come back to the future with him to help their future children.  But Biff Tannen witnesses them leaving.

Once they arrive, Doc has Marty posing as Marty Jr. and they are participating in a robbery with Biff’s grandson, Griff.  And trying to prevent a future in which Marty Jr. gets into trouble with the wrong people.

But trouble begins when Marty purchases Grays Sports Almanac, a book that details the results of major sporting events from 1950 to 2000.  Doc warns him about attempting to profit from time travel, but when Marty and Doc are preoccupied helping out Jennifer, Biff steals the time machine and travels to 1955 and tries to get his younger self to become rich through betting using the almanac.

But when Marty, Jennifer and Doc return to 1985, they find out that the world has changed, unaware of Biff’s actions.

How can they fix the past?

Back to the Future Part III

Continuing at the end of “Back to the Future Part II”, Doc is stuck in the year 1885.  With the help of 1955 Doc and the information from Doc’s 1885 letter, the two try to locate and repair the DeLorean time machine.    But Marty discovers six days after the letter, Doc was killed by Bif Tannen’s great-grandfather, Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen.

Marty travels back to 1885 to save Doc, during the time the U.S. Cavalry is pursuing the Indians and during a time where he meets his great-great-grandparents, Seamus and Maggie McFly.  Meanwhile, Doc finds love with a woman named Clara Clayton (portrayed by Mary Steenburgen).

But now, Marty and Doc must find a way to leave 1885 and get the DeLorean time machine working again (as it is out of gasoline).  Meanwhile, “Mad Dog” is not only after Doc, he is also after Marty.

Can Marty and Doc find a way to get back home?


VIDEO:

The “Back to the Future” films is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). It’s important to note that the Blu-ray release of the films have not changed since the 25th anniversary blu-ray release, so for those who are curious if there are differences between the 2010 or 2015 Blu-ray sets. While the film looks very good on Blu-ray, one must know that when some certain sci-fi films are in HD, certain special effects and its age start to become more pronounced.    The good news is that for films released in the ’80s and early ’90s, there are no major DNR issues, as the film maintains its grain.  Colors are much more apparent, details are much more apparent and you will notice the difference in quality as the films become more recent.  But overall, if you didn’t own the 25th Anniversary edition, then the 30th is definitely worth picking up!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

As for the lossless audio, the trilogy is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and French, Espanol DTS Surround 5.1.  Also, the soundtrack is presented in English Dolby Digital 2.0, DTS-Express 2.0, DTS 2.0.  Not much has changed since the 2010 Blu-ray release but the film does feature crystal clear dialogue and music.  The films are not entirely immersive and for the most part, the films are front-channel driven.  But there are moments of surround channel activity but it’s important to note that the lossless soundtrack has not been changed for this 2015 Blu-ray release.

Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Espanol.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy” comes with the following special features:

Back to the Future

  • Deleted Scenes – (10:44) Featuring eight deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by Producer Bob Gale.
  • Tales from the Future: In the Beginning – (27:24) Director Robert Zemeckis discusses the making of “Back to the Future”.
  • Tales from the Future: Time to Go – (29:54) A featurette about how the head of Universal had difficulty with the title of the film.
  • Tales from the Future: Keeping Time – (5:35) A featurette about the music of the film.
  • Archival Featurettes – Featuring the original featurettes: “The Making of Back to the Future” (14:22), “Making the Trilogy: Chapter One” (15:30), “Back to the Future Night” (27:10).
  • Michael J. Fox Q&A – (10:18) Interviews with Michael J. Fox about the “Back to the Future” films.
  • Behind-the-Scenes – Featuring the original makeup tests (2:15), outtakes (2:49) and nuclear test site sequence (4:10, with optional commentary by producer Bob Gale) and photo galleries.
  • Huey Lewis and the News “Power of Love” Music Video – (6:27) The full music video for “Power of Love” from 1985.
  • Theatrical Teaser Trailer – (1:21)
  • Q&A Commentary with Director Robert Zemeckis and Producer Bob Gale
  • Feature Commentary with Producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton

Back to the Future II

  • Deleted Scenes – (5:45) Featuring seven deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by Producer Bob Gale.
  • Tales from the Future: Time Flies – (28:31) Director Robert Zemeckis discusses the making of the sequel.
  • The Physics of Back to the Future with Dr. Michio Kaku – (8:24) A featurette featuring theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku discussing time travel.
  • Archival Featurettes – Featuring the original featurettes: “The Making of Back to the Future II” (6:39), “Making the Trilogy: Chapter Two” (15:30).
  • Behind-the-Scenes – Featuring Outtakes (:49), Production Design, Storyboarding (2:55), Designing the DeLorean (1:23), Designing Time Travel (3:31), Hoverboard Test (:58), Evolution of Visual Effects Shots (5:42) and Photo Galleries.
  • Theatrical Trailer – The original theatrical trailer for “Back to the Future II”.
  • Q&A Commentary with Director Robert Zemeckis and Producer Bob Gale
  • Feature Commentary with Producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton

Back to the Future III

  • Deleted Scene – (1:12) Featuring a deleted scene with optional audio commentary by Producer Bob Gale.
  • Tales from the Future: Third Time’s the Charm – (17:04) Executive Producer Kathleen Kennedy discusses making the third “Back to the Future” film.
  • Tales from the Future: The Test of Time – (16:57) A featurette with the cast of “Back to the Future”.
  • Archival Featurettes – Featuring the original featurettes: “The Making of Back to the Future III” (7:32), “Making the Trilogy: Chapter Three” (16:20) and “The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy” (20:40).
  • Behind-the-Scenes – Featuring the original short featurettes: Outtakes (1:35), Designing the Town of Hill Valley (1:08), Designing the Campaign (1:17) and Photo Galleries.
  • ZZ Top “Doubleback” Music Video – (4:08)
  • FAQs about the Trilogy – (20:01) The most asked questions to director Robert Zemeckis (text based).
  • Theatrical Trailer – The original theatrical trailer for “Back to the Future III”.
  • Back to the Future: The Ride – (31:04) An original show featuring Doc discussing the DeLorean time machine and Biff causing trouble at the corporate headquarters.
  • Q&A Commentary with Director Robert Zemeckis and Producer Bob Gale
  • Feature Commentary with Producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton

“Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy” Supplemental Disc

  • 2015 Message from Doc Brown – (:45) Doc has a positive message for the audience.
  • Doc Brown Saves the World!s – (9:38) Doc Brown must save the world from a nuclear holocaust that will occur in 2045.
  • Outatime: Restoring the DeLorean – (22:00) A featurette about how the car had to be restored and also historical insight to the vehicle used in the film.
  • Looking Back to the Future – Featuring the following featurettes: The Script (3:02), Casting Marty McFly (5:05), Christopher Lloyd Reflects on Doc Brown (5:18), The DeLorean Time Machine (6:26), Building Hill Valley (5:02), Prepping for the “Johnny B. Goode” Scene (7:28), The Score (5:08), Rushing the Cut (3:53) and The Legacy (4:57).
  • Back to the Future: The Animated Series – Featuring two episodes “Brothers” (first episode of season 1) and “Mac the Black” (first episode of season 2).  Each episode is nearly 24 minutes long.
  • 2015 Commercials – Jaws 19 (1:28) and a hoverboard commercial (1:06).

EXTRAS:

“Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy” comes in a digipack (holds all four discs) with a slipcover and also Digital HD codes for all three films are included.


I don’t know how much I watched the “Back to the Future” trilogy.

From the first film, I watched it in the theater many times and loved the film that I owned the original soundtrack, wanted the same vest that Marty wore in the film and even went as far as to make a wooden skateboard to match what Marty was using back in 1955.

While there are many time travel films, “Back to the Future” combines adventure, comedy but also action and I’m not surprised that the film is part of American popular culture but also is enjoyed worldwide because the first film, is a classic film and the trilogy are favorites that have been shared from generation to generation.

With the 30th anniversary of “Back to the Future”, my wife and I introduced our son to the films and he absolutely loved it.

The concept of going back to the past and getting stuck to the past and trying to get back to the future (or present time), it’s an amazing journey that Marty and Doc undertake.  It’s a journey that captivates viewers and at the time, with popular music, a cool DeLorean vehicle and also the futuristic gadgets of the second film, there is a lot to love about each of these films and they will no doubt with us for many decades to come.

Personally, the original film was fantastic but I remember being young and highly anticipating the sequel and feeling a bit let down (while I didn’t mind Elisabeth Shue now being in the sequel films, I was surprised Crispin Glover was no longer in the films as well).  I was hoping, at the time, that the sequels would feature a storyline that didn’t connect to Biff or his offspring or ancestors, but I suppose everything ties together for the McFly family and I liked the sequels, just didn’t love it when compared to the first film.

With that being said, I did enjoy the film and have watched each of the films many times since they came out in theaters and the trilogy is one of those films that you can’t pass over (especially when you are changing the channels and notice the films airing on cable/satellite).

While I’m sure many people own the 25th Anniversary Blu-ray set of the “Back to the Future” trilogy, the questions many may wonder is if upgrading to the 30th Anniversary Trilogy is worth it?

It’s important to note that in October 2015, there are two releases.  This “Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy” is not a big difference in terms of picture quality or audio quality from the 25th anniversary.  The special features are also similar, with the exception of a supplementary disc featuring Doc and also two episodes of the animated series.

But the bigger release is the “Back to the Future: The Complete Adventures” Limited Edition Blu-ray releases which includes the films but also the DVD’s of the “Back to the Future: The Complete Animated Series” (all 25 episodes), a 64-page Collectible Light-Up Flux Capacitor and 2 hours of extra content.

So, if you are a first time buyer, then either release is fine, but if you want to upgrade and you are a hardcore fan, “The Complete Adventures” is probably worth your time and money because of the addition of the animated series and the extra swag that comes along with it.

But still, “Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy” is a worthy release for those who didn’t own the 25th Anniversary box set.  The Blu-ray release is presented in digibook packaging in order to hold all four discs.  You get the HD codes for all three films and while not the complete animated series, you still get two episodes and other goodies included in the supplemental disc.

And if you have never owned the Blu-ray release before, all three films come with a good number of special features including two audio commentary tracks.

Overall, “Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy” is a wonderful release for fans looking to have all three films in a set plus an extra supplemental disc.  While the more hardcore fans will opt for the more expensive “The Complete Adventures” Limited Edition set.  But if you loved the films and are wanting to buy the trilogy for the very first time, you’ll love this Blu-ray collection and it’s definitely worth owning and having in your Blu-ray collection!

Highly recommended!

 

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