Back To The Future

Featured In Issue 202, December 2015

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Robert Zemeckis
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"He was never in time for his classes... He wasn't in time for his dinner... Then one day...he wasn't in his time at all." Ever wonder what your parents were like as teenagers? Thanks to a time machine—in the form of a Delorean sports car—built by eccentric scientist Doc Brown (Lloyd in a wonderful, underrated performance), Marty McFly (Fox) accidentally travels back to the 1950s, where he gets to mingle with his parents while they are in high school. The only problem is that Marty, being the new kid in town and one who is able to stand up to the local bully Biff (Wilson), ends up being a big hit with everyone...including his mom, and changes the course of history. Determined to correct his interaction with the past and get his parents-to-be (Thompson and Glover) to meet, fall in love, and ensure his own future existence, Marty, with the help of Doc Brown, goes through one adventure after another in his effort to get "Back To The Future." The top-grossing movie of 1985, Robert Zemeckis' "Back To The Future" is a funny, nostalgic, and adventurous trip through time. Watch for a cameo by rock star Huey Lewis (who also contributed two songs to the soundtrack). Nominated for four Academy® Awards, including Best Original Screenplay. (Michael Coate)

The first film in the Back To The Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy, special features on "Back To The Future" include eight deleted scenes with optional commentary by Producer Bob Gale; the following featurettes: "Tales From The Future: In The Beginning..." (HD 27:24), "Tales FromThe Future: Time To Go" (HD 29:54), and "Tales From The Future: Keeping Time" (HD 05:43); the following archival featurettes: "The Making Of Back To The Future" (SD 14:28), "Making The Trilogy: Chapter One (SD 15:30), and "Back To The Future Night (SD 27:10); a Michael J. Fox Q&A (SD 10:20), which includes the following chapters: "How He Got The Role," "The Character Of Doc," "Working On A Film And TV Series At The Same Time," "Shooting Back To The Future Parts II & III Together," "DeLoreans," "Special FX And Stunts," "The Appeal Of Back To The Future," and "Shooting Back To The Future"; the original makeup tests; outtakes; a Nuclear Test Site sequence with optional commentary by Gale;
five photo galleries; the Huey Lewis and The News "Power Of Love" Music Video; the theatrical teaser trailer; Q&A commentary with Director Robert Zemeckis and Producer Bob Gale; feature commentary with Producers Gale and Neil Canton; My Scenes; D-BOX Motion Code; BD-Live; U-Control™; up-front previews; and a digital copy.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 DVD picture reviewed back in Issue 69 as part of the "Trilogy" release exhibited satisfying sharpness and detail. While contrast could seem slightly low in the darker scenes, shadow delineation was quite pleasing. While not as vibrant as the better titles of today, colors were well-balanced and nicely saturated, with accurate fleshtones and deep blacks. There was a bit of film grain and occasional artifacts noticed in the source element, but nothing that could be considered excessive. Edge enhancement was extremely minimal with this title, but there was some minor pixelization that can break apart finer details. This newly restored and remastered 1080p VC-1 Blu-ray Disc™ release is far superior in every visual aspect with surgical precision. Sharpness and clarity are outstanding, especially compared to the softer look of the previous release and the original theatrical presentation. Color saturation is much more intense and enhances the vibrancy of the imagery with warm and rich hues. Yet fleshtones remain perfectly natural. Blacks are nicely defined as well as shadow delineation. This is a terrific restoration with superb dimensionality that will please fans. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1 audio soundtracks for all three films were remastered for the previous DVD. The original recording's dated fidelity was rather noticeable. The soundtrack repurposing did result in a quite satisfying sense of spaciousness, though. Some low-end content was noticeable with Alan Silvestri's orchestral score, though, in general deep bass was quite reserved throughout. There was some notable engagement of the surrounds and, at times, a palpable sense of envelopment. The dialogue was presented with good clarity and articulation, despite the somewhat-dated audio quality. This newly remastered DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is greatly improved in terms of fidelity and dimensional engagement. Still, the sound is heavily frontal focused with subtle surround envelopment, but during the action sequences surround energy is sparked and often thrilling, and effectively enhanced with D-BOX Motion Code movement during scenes in which the Delorean time machine is engaged. The music is wonderful and very spacious and dimensional with a wonderful surround presence. Overall, though, surround envelopment is uneven, but that was the norm for the day. Dialogue is nicely dimensional and spatially integrated. This is a very enjoyable sonic experience that really enlivens the storytelling of the fun classic. (Gary Reber)