Back to the Future Trilogy DVD Set

The well known time-travel comedy series has been released to DVD. Review of the three-DVD widescreen boxed set.

I actually borrowed this (German) DVD set from a co-worker a while ago, but only now got started: Last night, I watched DVD 1 of the set containing (naturally) three DVDs.

I think the story is by now well-known: Marty McFly, high-school student and aspiring rock-singer gets stuck in the year 1955 when he flees from Lybian terrorists in a time machine his friend, Doc Brown, built – out of a DeLorean. Not only doesn’t he have any means to get back, he also accidentally interferes with the first meeting of his mother and his father, messing up the course of history. Now he has to try to get back home, with the help of a younger version of Doctor Brown, he also has to fix things with his parents if he ever wants to be born.

The movie itself is excellent, a wonderful exploration of time-travel, and very humorous, without going over-the top: Never does it slide from funny into silly. The characters are memorable and well-played – especially Emmett Brown – the pacing of the story is excellent, what can I say, it’s one of my all-time favorite movies, and it isn’t even the best in the trilogy.

Now, about the DVD. It contains the movie in brilliant picture quality, and a load of extras. I didn’t try the animated anecdotes; the outtakes are okay, the deleted scenes are not really missed – the making of is interesting but not that big of a deal. My favorite extra on DVDs, the audio commentary, is also only so-so – it’s basically a Q&A session recorded at a Californian university. Really, this could be better! Still, it was rather interesting and even funny in parts; it was not nearly as bad as the audio commentary on the Blade DVD.

I would give DVD 1 an Okay rating. The combination of so-so extra features with the movie in brilliant quality makes it a worthwhile addition to a DVD collection, but it isn’t a must-have.

_Update December 24th, 2002:_ I’ve now seen discs two and three as well, and am left with a bit of a “so what” feeling. There are not any really great extras on either of these DVDs, moreover, instead of the crummy “we’ll use whatever we have at hand” audio commentary, the DVDs have none. Pretty weak for such a successful series, I must say. To me, overall, the DVDs are mostly interesting because I finally got to see the movies in the original English (the German dubbing of the three movies is not all that bad – I have seen much, much worse). So, overall, I can only recommend the DVD boxed set to fans – everybody else should wait for a low-price deal, or do what I did – borrow them from someone else.

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