Near the top of almost every DVD list was the Back to the Future the complete trilogy
The original film of the Back to the Future the complete trilogy remains one of the most beloved movies of the eighties and there are many fans for the second and third installment of the saga
When DVD first hit the scene not that many years ago there was immediately a list of most desired titles for the new format. Near the top of almost every list was the Back To The Future The Complete Trilogy. The original film remains one of the most beloved movies of the eighties and there are many fans for the second and third installment of the saga.
We all know the stories to the Back To The Future The Complete Trilogy, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) uses a time machine invented by his friend and mentor Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) to travel back in time to help ensure his parents would actually meet and fall in love. This seemingly simple task sets into play a chain of events that take Marty and Brown through alternate time lines of 1985, into 2015, 1955 and eventually the old west.
At the core of all the movies are stories of relationships. How Marty grows to appreciate the fact that his parent was really teenagers once with the same enthusiasm for life and hopes for the future that he has. Bullies are always the same no matter where or when they are. Most important perhaps is that small, seemingly insignificant moments in live can have many serious repercussions.
Although there are many mixed reactions to the two later films Universal decided not to release the individual discs. This seems consistent with the thoughts of many that the overall arc of the story requires Back To The Future The Complete Trilogy to be considered together.
While there is validity to this view the option would have been nice to have for those that were just interested in a single film. For the price the Back To The Future The Complete Trilogy three disc set is well worth the investment.
There is a somewhat variability to the audio and video of the three discs. The first film is of course older and was shot with a smaller budget than the other two. While the video is usually clear there are noticeable dirt and a more murky appearance than the other two. That is not to say the film is deficient, considering this is from a time before the current digital age the print used held up well.
The first film just has a bit of a worn quality to it. All the films are presented in the original theatrical 1.85:1 matte format. The second film is a bit better with a greater definition to the scenes, especially in the darker or interior sets. Of the lot three comes out the best with the most definition to the scenes. Other restorations have faired better than was was provided here. For those with 16:9 sets you may notice some of the edge effects disappear indicating that they are indeed compression artifacts. Overall, the video quality is acceptable albeit not up to the standards Universal and other studios have provided in recent films.
The audio also is acceptable but nothing really stands out as exceptional. The sound field favors the front speakers a bit too much leaving only a few moments for the rears to enjoy. It would have been nice to have a bit more of a feel of ambience coming from the speakers as a group. The sub woofer is mostly quiet throughout the three films. In the later two films you may need to put the captions on to get the dialogue. There are several spots where the music or effects just over power the actor's lines in the Back To The Future The Complete Trilogy. The dynamic range is somewhat limited and in need of a little punch. While better than many films of the time period there was not a lot put into bringing the films up to contemporary standards.
Each disc of the Back To The Future The Complete Trilogy was mastered to stand on its own, complete with extras particular to that film. There is a booklet provided with production notes for the three films. The films each have a question and answer session with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale recorded at the USC school of television and film. In it the audience covers many of the questions the fans have had on their minds for a long time.
There is also a scene specific running commentary. Each film has a 'Pop Up Video' style facts track that is becoming increasing popular with new releases. Some my find it a bit annoying but the facts are fun and somewhat interesting. One note here, the facts are not evenly distributed and leave a lot of scenes with nothing to say. Each disc in the Back To The Future The Complete Trilogy is also packed with the usual making of featurettes and promotional material. There is a 45 minute long feature about the trilogy that is split into 15 minutes installments, one on each disc. The deleted scenes provided for each disc are of rather poor quality and may disappoint some.
After all of that I have to admit the Back To The Future The Complete Trilogy carried the set for me. The flaws of the audio and video where not so bad as to prevent me from enjoying the set. I hope that most of the fans of the films will also be able to put their discerning eyes and ears to rest a bit and just enjoy three movies that hold up well together and provide an enjoyable time for the whole family. Review by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com
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