This blu-ray box set passed my criteria for "movies I am willing to buy again" for a number of reasons. The main reason was that the apsect ratio problems from the previous DVD box set have been corrected. That alone made this worth buying. The wealth of new bonus features, in addition to many old featurettes, was the second valid reason.
I watched all three movies plus a smattering of bonus features over the course of the holidays. People, let me tell you something. As crappy as the second movie is, it's much more enjoyable if you watch all three movies in one marathon session. Despite the recasting of Jennifer, the three movies meld together as one like very few other series. Connections not immediately obvious become apparent. Plus, you can't get from 1 to 3 without watching 2.
The 5.1 surround sound was excellent, and the 1080p picture simply great. What is also great is that a lot of the cheesier special effects (particularly makeup) were not ruined by 1080p. The illusions still hold.
As mentioned, the bonus features are ample. There are new featurettes and interviews to go with this 25th anniversary edition, as well as the older ones. There is also the previously seen footage of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly, enlightening as it is. One thing I haven't gotten around to yet is the "u control" feature.
I am really glad I got this set. I re-gifted my old DVDs to an uncle who doesn't care about aspect rations and was just plain glad to have these awesome movies.
on July 2, 2010
How can you go wrong with Back to the Future. This is simply one of the best trilogy that exist. I know some people complain about the fake widescreen. I don't know if the problem was corrected or not, but even on a 16x9 screen, you won't notice it. English and French audio track for all three movies and MANY extras for you to learn even more about each of the three movies. A must buy.
on June 13, 2004
I read somebody else's review from December 2002 about how there were errors on discs 2 and 3, that they weren't really widescreen. I did a little more research and found this information on dvdtown's site:
The most controversial part of the video concerns the framing of the image for widescreen viewing. When Universal went back to the full-frame, open-matte negatives to do the DVDs, they made some changes, intentional or not, from the laser disc framing. Then they issued an official press release as follows: "Universal Studios Home Video is aware of a minor technical framing issue on the 'Back to the Future Trilogy' widescreen DVDs. The framing appears differently from the laserdisc releases for approximately two minutes during 'Back to the Future II' and four minutes during 'Back to the Future III.' The framing difference is unnoticeable to widescreen DVD viewers and does not detract from or interrupt the viewing experience. Consumers with further questions can call (888) 703-0010."
The studio is probably right in saying that the differences are unnoticeable (whether they meant "widescreen" or "full screen" or whatever), because unless a viewer has a photographic memory of the theatrical versions or has the laser discs on hand for direct comparison, there is little to notice. It's doubtful that anyone but the most meticulous "Back to the Future" partisan need worry about any possible framing problems.
Universal certainly has done it up right in re-releasing the Back to the Future franchise as they have done this time around.This four disc set comes with a remastered Back to the Future(July/85),Back to the Future 2(Nov/89),Back to the Future 3(May/90) and a special features fourth disc,but more on that later.
I usually go into plot summaries but by now these legendary films' plots are well known by most so I'll just skim the surface.All the film's two main stars are Michael Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as "Doc"or Professor Brown.The first film introduces us to the BTTF world as Marty works part time helping Doc clean his work and experimental environment.One day the Doc has plans to test his theory of time travel using a Delorean car.The plutonium which powers the flux capacitor which powers the car was stolen and the Doc gets killed before he can go.This forces Marty to drive it and he goes back to 1955.He finds and meets his parents and he also meets and convinces the younger Doc to help get him back to 1985.Back in 1985 he prevents the Doc from getting killed,but Marty soon realizes they have changed time somehow,as things are quite different at home.While he's taking this in the Doc appears from the future and whisks Marty back with him to prevent a tragedy from happening involving Marty himself.
In the second film we find the Doc and Marty trying to prevent Marty's future son from being arrested.Marty poses as his son and gets the job done.However Biff,Marty's nemesis from the first movie,is now rich and famous and married to his mother.It seems the 1985 Biff has given a sports book to his younger self,who has bet on every event in the book and racked up alot of money in the process.In order to correct this they travel back to 1955 to retrieve the book.When they try and leave together the Delorean(driven by Doc)is struck in mid air by lightning and disappears.Moments pass when he is approached by a courier who gives Marty a 70 year old letter.It is from the Doc in 1885.Marty goes back to the 1955 Doc for help.
The last Future involves the year 1885 of course.Marty and Doc in 1955 use the info in the 70 year old letter to locate and repair the Delorean.Marty returns to 1885 to retrieve the Doc,but knowing the Doc will be killed if he doesn't get to him in time.Marty manages to circumvent things but the Doc falls in love and will eventually marry and have children(there would be no future Docs without this happening!).Along with this is the problem of getting the car up to speed to return in time to 1985.The Doc determines the only solution to be to push the car up to speed via a train.This they do in a harrowing running battle with Biffs' own ancestor.As they dematerialize from 1885 to 1985 onto the rail tracks which still run on the same spot,he barely gets out before the car is demolished by a modern train.There will certainly be no more time traveling for Marty or Doc.Moments later the Doc from 1885 appears in a train hovering over the ground just to let Marty know all is well and to leave him a picture of he and his family.The film ends as we see the Doc roar back to....?
Imaginative,well written and smart these films will leave you on the edge of your seats from start to finish.The plots will also sometimes leave your head spinning as you try to keep up with the changing time lines and whether it all jives or not.The supporting cast is wonderful throughout and the two main stars give excellent and unforgettable performances.As if a remastering of the films wasn't enough,they have added a fourth disc into the mix filled with special features.There is a six part documentary on the film,deleted scenes,several featurettes,the Power of Love music vid,audio commentaries with each film,a look at the Universal studio theme park BTTF ride,and more.
Technically each film is in its a/r of 1:85:1 and the sound and picture have never looked better than this.
If you have fond memories of the BTTF franchise,fasten your Delorean seat belts for this four DVD set.The films sparkle like never before as you re-discover this wonderful set of flicks all over again.Highly recommended.
on March 19, 2004
Back to the future is a combination of every time travel movie ever made. This movie contains "kick butt" extras and amazing facts straight from Universal. They take you behind the scenes so well that it makes you want to watch it over and over and over again. I also learned some facts I did not even notice like at the beginning there is a clock that has an old man hanging from the hands. This signifies the ending. Einstein's clock reads 1:21 am and the car needs 1.21 "jigawatts" of electricity. Marty runs over 1 of the twin pine tree when he meets old man Pebody and this changes the name, Twin Pines Mall to Lone Pines Mall! Also Old Man Pebody's son is named Sherman. If you have seen Rocky and Bullwinkle than you know Mr. Pebody (a dog) and Sherman (a boy) were time travelers. Pretty cool huh? I also found out that in an early script the Time Machine was going to be a refrigerator but the director thought that kids might get stuck in the fridge so it did not work out. This DVD colletion is truely amazing and is a "have to have" set. And Im sorry for my lack of spelling.
on March 14, 2004
To everyone, here is the latest update about re-relase of corrected version !!!!
Thank you for contacting the Universal Studios Home Video-Online Store.
We are not currently shipping out the Version 2 (V2) of the 'Back to the Future' Trilogy,for online orders placed on the Universal Studios Home Video Website.
The online store is currently shipping item #22121,which is the original version.
This is the information we have from Universal regarding this issue:
-When the Back To The Future Trilogy was originally released in Dec. 2002, it became evident that the image on the widesceen versions of Parts 2 & 3 was misframed. It was not noticeable to the casual viewer, however, corrected versions were created. Consumers who wish to exchange their original versions are able to mail in their discs and have replacements shipped back to them.
*If you have already purchased and received the original widescreen version, please call 1-888-703-0010 for information on how to receive a pre-paid envelope to return the original version for exchange.
Since the original versions were not recalled, the corrected DVDs will gradually be sent into retail locations.
The only way to identify the corrected versions is that the new packaging has a "V2" printed near the bottom of the screen format/bar code sticker. This will indicate that the set contains the remastered versions of BTTF 2 and BTTF 3.
Please reply back to us,or e-mail Universal Studios-Customer Service
By the way.. GREAT MOVIE! :) I am sure everyone of any age will enjoy this great adventure.. ;)
on February 26, 2004
Since I have already reviewed each of the movies separately, this will be more of a review of the DVD set than the films. But, to give a little bit of background: The "Back to the Future" trilogy are action/adventure/comedy/science fiction movies that deal with time travel. The films started with the premise of going back into time and seeing what your parents were like in high school, but they became more involved than just that. The films also touch on what happens if you go back in time and how your actions can affect the future. These are not serious movies. They are fast paced, and are a lot of fun to watch. These were some of my favorite movies when I was growing up.
This is a three disc set with each movie being on a DVD. Each film has multiple commentary tracks (a Q&A session serves as a commentary), and a pop-up trivia feature so that when you are watching the movie little tidbits of information about the scene or the making of the scene. There are also deleted scenes, outtakes, and two "making of" documentaries for each film.
There has been some controversy about framing issues for discs two and three, and this held me up from purchasing the movies for more than a year. On the widescreen set (which I am reviewing) for several minutes in each movie the movie is mis-framed. Specifically the frame is raised higher than it should be so that in one particular scene it cuts off the bottom of Marty's body and his hand and shows more of the empty air above his head. Knowing about the mis-framing bothered me quite a bit, but when I was watching the movies this time I forgot all about it and didn't notice it at all. If you see a screen capture of a scene it is noticeable, but not so much when you're enjoying the movie. If this is a concern, Universal will replace your discs with corrected DVDs, but I still haven't been able to find one in the store. As it stands I am perfectly happy with my set and will not be sending the discs in for replacement (despite the framing issue bothering me on principle).
This is a great DVD set, and though I may not be watching the special features over and over again, I am so glad to own these movies on DVD. The movies still hold up well years later (even the first movie). If you like the Back to the Future movies then you should get this set.
on January 25, 2004
Let's face it. Practically everyone has seen the Back to the Future films. They have become known around the world as being part of one of the greatest trilogies ever made. The films combine superior acting, action, humor, first rate special effects, an amazing overall soundtrack and an extremely interesting look at time travel. The entire cast is filled with amazing actors that include Michael J Fox, Lea Thompson, Christopher Lloyd, and Thomas F Wilson. The only dissapointment cast wise was Crispin Glover. The reason is not because of a bad performance. In fact, he was quite good as George McFly. However, he only signed on to be in the first film, which was quite a dissapointment to the fans of the trilogy. The main reason the cast did such a great job, is because they were assigned the difficult task of playing more than one character. Over the course of the three films, Michael J Fox, Lea Thompson and Thomas F Wilson played 8 different characters between the three of them.
The extras included in the DVD set are outstanding. There are featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes, and much more. This really lets you see the films in a whole new light. I did have a few complaints however. As you have probably already read, the widescreen format on the second and third films is absolutely horrible. My other complaint, is that they took the "To Be Continued" out of the first film for some reason. While this may be a very small flaw, I was still upset because the film should be shown in its intirety. Overall, this is one of the greatest trilogies ever made in my opinion. The set is worth buying just for the films themselves. The DVD extras only make the set that much more attractive. Now despite the flaws the set has, it is definately worthy of being added to anyone's DVD collection.
Just in case there is anyone out there who has not seen the Back to the Future films, I will include a short synopsis of each film:
Back to the Future
The first chapter of the trilogy introduces us to Marty McFly(Michael J Fox) and his friend Emmet "Doc" Brown ( Christopher Lloyd)who is perceived by the town of Hill Valley as a crazy old mad scientist. Doc has discovered a way to travel through time, by building a time machine into a Delorian. Marty is accidentally sent back into the year 1955, where he must find the 1955 version of Doc to help him get home. Along the way, he meets and becomes friends with his parents(who don't know his true identity), and he also has to deal with the town bully named Biff ( Thomas F Wilson). To make matters worse, Marty's mother ( Lea Thompson)has the hots for him, and he must find a way to make her fall for his father(Crispin Glover), to insure that he is born.
Back to the Future II
The second chapter of the trilogy takes us 40 years into the future, where Marty and Doc travel to the year 2015 to insure that Marty's kids turn out alright. Along the way Marty picks up an alminac that contains the outcome of every major sporting event from 1980 to the year 2000. Unfortunately, the elderly 2015 version of Biff manages to get his hands on the alminac as well as the time machine, and delivers the alminac to himself in 1955. When Marty returns to his own time, everything is turned around, and Biff is the most powerful man in town. Now, Marty and Doc must travel back to 1955 to put things right without running into their other selves.
Back to the Future III
The third and final chapter of the trilogy takes us to the year 1885 in the Old West. Doc is accidentally sent back to the year 1885 after the Delorian is struck by lightning, which leaves Marty stranded in 1955. Once again, Marty must find the 1955 version of Doc to help him with the time machine. When Marty discovers through old records that Doc is going to be killed by a psychotic gunslinger named Mad Dog Tannen, he travels back to 1885 to prevent the tragic death from occuring. Unfortunately, back in 1885, Doc manages to meet a woman named Clara ( Mary Steenburgen) whom he falls for at first sight. This makes Doc want to stay in 1885, regardless of what happens to him.
on January 22, 2004
The "Back to the Future" Trilogy is one of the greatest DVD sets out there right now. Yes, we are all aware of the framing issues in the widescreen versions of BTTF 2 & 3. Universal may have flubbed and you may have a right to complain about it, but in contrast, the quality of this set overall is excellent. They included "hoverboard" tests, director commentaries, pop up trivia, outtakes and deleted scenes, music videos, behind the scenes features, special effects segments, and more. As a complete boxed set, I couldn't have asked for more. It's a great bargain considering all that's included. The 5 total minutes of "bad framing" is disappointing, but in no way does it take away from the whole of the story. You are still aware of what's going on whether you're seeing it for the first time, or if you've seen it a hundred times.
Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox have chemistry. You actually believe that these guys could be friends in real life. Crispin Glover also plays a classic nerd. Even when he's "hip" in the future, you still know that he's a madeover nerd. It just works for him. Thomas F. Wilson plays a good bully. He looks the part, and he plays the part. Great casting by all. I rank these movies in order of release. 1 is best, 2 is great, and 3 is good. If you don't already own this, I suggest you add it to your DVD collection. Others have said it, and I will too...you won't be disappointed!
on December 12, 2003
The DVD is an ideal medium for box sets of this type. The films look great, sound great, and there's the nice bonus features to keep the fans of the film entertained for many additional hours. There are two commentaries per DVD, and luckily the participants in the commentaries (Zemeckis, Gale, et al.) are interesting and have some good stories/insights. There are also a number of little documentaries, on a variety of topics.
Clearly, the first Back to the Future is the jewel of the series - fun, fresh (at the time), with outstanding performances that catch just the right spirit. Both Michael J. Fox (as Marty McFly) and Christopher Lloyd (as Doc Brown) get right into their characters and we have fun because they are having fun. The time travel is pretty simplistic and follows the one timeline rule - if you change something in the past, the future you know will be altered by it (see the Terminator films, Star Trek, etc.). However, the filmakers wisely avoid explaining time travel in detail, which is a smart move because it isn't really a science fiction film, but a comedy.
Back to the Future II is much more a polished exercise in filmaking, and it feels somewhat like a technical exercise. Because the timeline winds back and forth between 4 time periods (including two different versions of the year 1985), it certainly benefits from a second or third viewing. Watch it to admire the technical skill, and the deft juggling of the time travel - Marty gets to watch himself play at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, for example - and try to avoid the cynical thought that the filmakers are just trying to repackage the 1st film to make more money.
I was very disappointed in the third film when I saw it in the theatres, but it's growing on me since then. It is still the weakest of the three - it's a little thin on plot and the dialogue is definitely below the standard of the first two. However, it comes together with a fitting if artificially cheerful conclusion at the end.