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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Back to the Future (from the 25th Anniversay Trilogy Boxset) [Blu-ray]

 

(Robert Zemeckis, 1985)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Universal

Video: Universal Home Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:56:05.959

Disc Size: 44,793,322,279 bytes

Feature Size: 31,284,916,224 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.90 Mbps

Chapters: 18

Case: Custom Blu-ray foldout case

Release date: October 26th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: VC-1 Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4250 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4250 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

Blu-ray Exclusives

U-Control
Setups & Payoffs: Note key scenes and see how they play out as you watch the movies
Storyboard Comparison: Compare key scenes in the movie with the original storyboards.
Trivia Track: Get inside trivia and facts while you watch the movies.
Pocket BLU: Experience Blu-ray in an exciting new way with the app for iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, Android and more
BD-Live: Access the BD-Live Center through your Internet-connected player and download even more bonus content, the latest trailers and more
My Scenes: Bookmark your favorite scenes from the movies

Bonus Features

Q&A Commentaries with Director Robert Zemeckis and Producer Bob Gale Feature Commentaries with Producers Bob Gale and Neil Cantony

"Tales from the Future:" 6-part retrospective documentary featuring all-new interviews with Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Director Robert Zemeckis, Producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton plus Executive Producer Steven Spielberg
"In the Beginning..."
Time to Go
Keeping Time
Time Flies
Third Times the Charm
The Test of Time
The Physics of Back to the Future
16 Deleted Scenes
Michael J. Fox Q&A
Archival Featurettes
The Making of Back to the Future Parts I, II & III
Making The Trilogy: Chapters One, Two & Three
Back to the Future Night
The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy
Behind-the-Scenes
Outtakes
Original Makeup Tests
Nuclear Test Side Ending Storyboard Sequence

Digital Copies for all three films
 

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: From the Academy Award®-winning filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis comes Back to the Future, the original, groundbreaking adventure that sparked one of the most successful trilogies in Hollywood history. When teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is blasted to 1955 in the DeLorean time machine created by the eccentric Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), he finds himself mixed up in a time-shattering chain reaction that could vaporize his future—and leave him trapped in the past. Powered by innovative special effects, unforgettable songs and non-stop action, Back to the Future is an unrivaled adventure that stands the test of time.

 

 

The Film:

It sounds like a clichéd science fiction movie that could only appeal to fans of the genre - but that couldn't be more wrong. A huge hit, it appealed across the board for its invention, its exuberant energy, and the famous finale - so tense, so very exciting and yet able to make you gasp and laugh at the same time.

Looking back at it now, it seems less subtle than it did on release and you can't help but recognise how carefully the story sets out to manipulate you. Every scene, every line works but then later you see how you were set up: nobody says anything that doesn't become important to the plot later. That should be terrible, but it's done so very well that it's a treat. It's undeniably formulaic but so outstandingly executed that it vindicates the formula.

No surprise then that there were two sequels (and subsequent video releases of the film had the line "To Be Continued" added to the closing moments). They are good but not quite to the standard of this gem.

Excerpt from BBC Films located HERE

Teenager Marty McFly's dad is a hideous wimp, his mother a dipso, so he befriends mad scientist Dr. Brown (Lloyd). In a DeLorean time machine they travel back to 1955, the year his parents met in high school. But at that age, mom rather fancies her offspring more than his prospective father. Zemeckis takes obvious pleasure in solving not just the technical but also the emotional problems of time travel: how to avoid incest, how to unite your parents in order that you will be born, how to return to the future when both the car and the professor have blown a fuse, and above all how to avoid tampering with history. If this all sounds schematic, it shouldn't: the movie has all the benign good nature of a Frank Capra.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

Firstly - I wasn't crazy about the packaging - it took me a dickens of a time getting the first of three Blu-ray discs out. Mine were really wedged-in with the Digital Copy disc behind it. Ughh.

 

Ahhh... Back to the Future now there's a series of films that bring back memories. And part of those memories are that these films never looked pristine theatrically and I'm trusting that Universal have done their very best with the Blu-ray transfers.  While this review is essentially about the first entry in the series - we can state that the following two films, shot consecutively 4 years later look, predictably a bit sharper and glossier. Part One however shows the most grain and has a texture the other two don't. Ditto for depth. I like it - and while I suspected some edge-enhancements, and there is some - halos exist, but I could not find egregious evidence to suggest it was too heavily applied. I also thought I saw some moiring but any visual deficiencies where minor enough to dismiss. Frankly, considering the age and stock used this looks very good - better than I anticipated. The restoration has addressed some of the DVD issues and comparatively the 1080P is a vast improvement. I don't suspect any fans of the films will have vehement complaints - but saying that this series has a huge following - many of which are extremely picky aficionados. Still, there should be some give and take and while not exporting image quality of modern films I'm content that these restorations are as good as we are likely to get for home enjoyment.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP vs. Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is flawless - the first film sports a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a massive 4250 kbps. It's sharp as a tack from Marty's skateboard rollers to the electronic sounds of a DeLorean time machine travel and rock'in guitar riffs. Range is awesome and there are, more subtle, separations in the mix. I'd say crank the volume to get the most out of the Surround moments. For the most part everything has a crisp edge to it. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

The supplements appear to duplicate all the extras from the previous DVD releases, including commentaries, with a hunk of new bells ad whistles (UControl, BD-Live, Pocket BLU, My Scenes etc.) including, new for Blu-ray, Tales from the Future, a 6 part, 2+ hour documentary in HD. This is spread over the 3 Blu-ray discs - 2/film - and have all-new interviews with Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Director Robert Zemeckis, Producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton plus Executive Producer Steven Spielberg.  There are Making of's..., Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, Storyboard, Make-up tests and a Digital Copy of each film for use with your portable device. More than enough here to satisfy the most devout fan.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Great to revisit and show Back to the Future to my sons - passing on this gem to the next generation. I can't imagine anyone who is keen expecting or wanting more from the Blu-ray package. Zemeckis tells these tales like wholesome fables with modern morals - condemning bullying and seeking and finding true love. The perennially young Michael J. Fox and his wacky scientist friend, played by Christopher Lloyd, immersed in time-travel elements that add just enough sci-fi adventure to support seeing them over and over again. We strongly recommend to the big and littler kids out there. This Blu-ray package is the 'Ultimate'. 

Gary Tooze

October 20th, 2010

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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