Back To The Future 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 253, January/February 2021

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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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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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 35th 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; Join Team Fox; 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 Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra Dolby Vision/HDR10+/HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed on 35 mm Eastman film stock using the Panavision Panaflex Gold and VistaVision VistaFlex camera systems and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. This newly restored and remastered 4K Ultra HD is far superior in every visual aspect with surgical precision compared to previous releases. 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 saturated and enhances the vibrancy of the imagery with warm and rich hues. Fleshtones are perfectly natural. HDR contrast delivers a wonderfully realistic picture with natural blacks and revealing shadow delineation. White levels are vivid and bright. This is a terrific restoration with superb dimensionality that will please fans. The picture is absolutely gorgeous, (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Amos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is wonderfully dimensional with an aggressive holosonic® impact, which is evident in the opening with the aggressive directionalization of the clocks ticking and alarms. Bass energy is deep such as Marty's guitar playback through a five-foot diameter loudspeaker driver and during sequences of the Delorean. The four-channel surrounds are directonalized, especially in the presentation of Alan Silvestri's orchestral and Huey Lewis and Chuck Berry music segments. The music is wonderful and very spacious and dimensional with a wonderful surround presence. Still, overall, the sound is frontal focused with subtle surround envelopment in atmospherics, but during the action sequences surround energy is sparked and often thrilling, especially during scenes in which the Delorean time machine is engaged. While surround envelopment is uneven, that was the norm for the day, but this presentation greatly extends the energy to the four surrounds. Dialogue for the most part is nicely dimensional and spatially integrated.

The Immersive Sound element is nicely aggressive but limited to the extension of music segments to the height layer.

This is a very enjoyable sonic experience that really enlivens the storytelling of the fun classic. (Gary Reber)