Back to the Future, 25th Anniversary Trilogy
Well wonders never cease. Time has finally caught up with our old friends Marty McFly and Doc Brown in the form of a digitally restored, six-disc Blu-ray collection of the entire Back to the Future trilogy, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first movie’s theatrical release. This compact treasure of the three Robert Zemeckis classics contains not only one Blu-ray disc per movie (each showcasing a mind-boggling array of bonus features), but also one digital disc per film, compatible with PC or Mac, which can be downloaded and then transferred to pretty much any device you own, with the possible exception of your toaster.
Not only does this Blu-ray edition allow these films to shine in all their HD supreme glory – the way Back to the Future was always meant to be seen – but it also offers endless possibilities in its extras sections. You would really have to put your mind to exhausting all the features it has to offer, though just owning this restored piece of 1980s history may actually inspire you to do just that. If you have ever called yourself a child (or teenager or young adult) of the ‘80s, you will unconsciously find yourself trying to set aside time for a Back to the Future marathon, in which you can watch the movies in sequence before learning everything there ever was to know about them. And if you can pencil it in, there’s no way you’ll be disappointed.
After you experience each of McFly and Doc’s adventures in their time-traveling DeLorean, you can see (for each separate movie) different outtakes, deleted scenes (with or without commentary), character sketches, photo galleries, production designs, FAQs, visual effects, etc. Each disc also includes segments of a six-part retrospective documentary entitled “Tales from the Future,” a collection of exclusive interviews with cast and crew. All of the films also have two separate commentary tracks – one with director Robert Zemeckis, and another with producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton. You can also use the feature “U-Control” to activate interactive trivia questions, storyboards, and other special items to pop up while the movies play. The discs feature “BD Live,” through which you can access current movie trailers through an Internet-connected player, and also post comments, ratings, or messages to your social network of choice. Confused by some of these more sophisticated features? Don’t worry – the collection is idiot-proof, as it includes “How To Guides” on each disc to orient you, should you get confused. Add onto this music videos, BTTF theatrical and teaser trailers, and an item that showcases “Team Fox,” Michael J. Fox’s Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and offers instructions on how to get involved. There you have a nice overview of the bonus features, though there are several that I have omitted in the interest of space and time.
Myriad extras aside, let’s be honest – most people will buy this Blu-ray set to relive the excitement they experienced so many years ago when the BTTF franchise took the world by storm. Be assured, it’s still every bit the adventure it was then, especially when viewed from the perspective of . . . well . . . the future. The most hilarious part is in the second installment, which is set in 2015, a mere five years from our own time. Someone ought to get a move on when it comes to inventing Hoverboards, levitating vehicles, and clothing that shrinks to fit you at the push of a button. And I need to remember to put a fax machine in every room of my house. Regardless of certain design absurdities, however, there are a few creepily prescient observations. They were right about flat-screen televisions with enormous screens in everyone’s home, the dwindling need for house keys, and a kind of “texting” implement. Even the clothing portrayed as the dominant style of 2015 might have just been channeling Lady Gaga. I’m hoping to see another special released in five years entitled Back to the Future’s Predictions: We Told You It Would Be Like This.
Of course, the whole thing gets a little meta (again in second film) when McFly walks into a retro ‘80s restaurant while in 2015, and you realize you’re watching the 1980’s perception of what 2015’s perception of the 1980s would be from the actual year of 2010. Sure, it’s all a little trippy, but it does make you ask yourself if you could have such foresight about 30 years from now. If you choose to engage in this little thought exercise, please don’t predict levitating cars; I really don’t know why everyone is so obsessed with them. And if you fell like you don’t have time for such pointless diversions, remind yourself that you just set aside an entire day (if not two) to have a Back to the Future marathon.