Back to the Future was THE movie of my childhood. I can't fathom the amount of times I rented it from one of those old video stores (the one's you used to go to before Blockbuster came into town) and watched it. At that tender age I never really grasped the cultural significance of the movie nor did I catch all the subtleties of the script; I just thought it was a fun movie. And with the 25th anniversary of the original at hand Universal Home Entertainment has released the whole trilogy on Blu-ray and man what a trip down memory lane it is.
Of course that does make sense considering its a story about time traveling but whatever.
First the films themselves. They look stunning. Even on old VHS tapes I knew this was a glorious movie but high definition really brings everything to life. The 50’s seem crispier the 80’s flashier and the Old West dirtier. My first movie crush Lea Thompson looks as cute as ever. Even the special effects hold up for the most part and those that don’t aren’t at fault. Its just that our palette for CGI has gotten that much more fine-tuned.
Each film is accompanied by bonus discs with plenty of extra features. Let's start with the basics. We have behind the scenes features outtakes deleted scenes and everything else they can find from the movie. Some cool things worth taking a look at include the much publicized first look at Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly and storyboards of an alternate ending. As a huge fan of the script I’m glad they weren’t able to film the originally-proposed conclusion. Keeping it contained in Hill Valley makes it so much better. Robert Zemeckis Bob Gale and everyone involved give their whole story about making the film.
An interesting side note the production of BTTF II caused a landmark court case because they used images of Crispin Glover without his permission. They mention this almost in passing but they never discuss how much trouble they got in because of that little hiccup. I guess they didn’t want to remind people that they screwed Mr. Glover over.
One very interesting thing is the deleted scenes for the first movie. In them we get a much darker and dirtier Doc Brown. He curses looks at Playboys and even bribes a government official. Of course its all done in a light manner (like everything that happens in the BTTF movies) but it still adds interesting color to a well-known character.
Is it worth buying? If you’re really really really into the franchise as a whole yes. If you just want to see it on Blu-ray definitely rent it. If you want a definitive collection of the blockbuster motion picture trilogy then by all means purchase it.