Back to the Future / Back to the Future Part 2 / Back to the Future Part 3 Robert Zemeckis

Back to the Future / Back to the Future Part 2 / Back to the Future Part 3 Robert Zemeckis
Imagine Eric Stoltz racing against the clock to fix up his parents while Jeff Goldblum dangles from the clock tower. That's what it almost came to when plans for Back to the Future were first set in motion. Thankfully, Stoltz didn't have the comic flair and the lovable Michael J. Fox rightfully became Marty McFly. Following 2005's trilogy box set, the three Back to the Future films have been re-released separately for no given reason, other than perhaps to celebrate the original's 24th anniversary, or the second part's 20th anniversary. Who knows, but what is evident after giving this trilogy another look is that the magic of this franchise is still present. Back to the Future is one of the '80s most memorable flicks thanks to Fox's star power and "comic flair." With his squeaky-clean teen idol image and relatable persona, he makes Marty the epitome of that era's cool. In the role, he accidentally travels back to 1955 in his friend Doc Brown's suped-up DeLorean, messes up his parents' future together and is forced to embark upon a mission to make things right. It's still a rush to watch and some new special features add to the fun. Featuring new interviews with Zemeckis, Fox and Lloyd, "Looking Back to the Future" reflects on the process of making the movie, emphasizing how much of a struggle it was for the star, who was shooting Family Ties concurrently, though the constant comparisons to It's A Wonderful Life throughout this and the copious amount of extras (all from the box set) are a bit much. Also new is "Back to the Future Ride," featuring nauseating video footage from the Universal Studios ride, which, minus the experience of sitting in a faux DeLorean, is just one big head- and bellyache. There is also a dated NBC special starring Leslie Nielsen that is just unbearable. What Part 2 lacked in story — Marty and his girlfriend travel ahead to 2015 to fix their family and in turn, have to travel back to 1955 all over again when Biff steals a futuristic baseball anthology and destroys the future — it made up for in technology. Though its idea of what 2015 would look like was as naïve as any sci-fi flick, the movie introduced every kid to their dream toy — the hover board — while ushering in a pair of cool Nike kicks and flashing some neat-o graphics (the Jaws hologram is wicked!). All of the extras are the same as on the previous release, but it's funny to hear in the "making of" how in order to design the future they "had to get past the images of Blade Runner." Part 3, which originally hit cinemas six months after the first sequel, felt a little too rushed and a little to reliant on western clichés. Marty, still in 1955, is forced to travel back to 1885 to save Doc, who through time travel has found himself facing death at the hands of Biff's ancestors. However, when Marty returns, the lack of gas to fuel the car poses a problem, not to mention the outlaws that want his head. Adding a romance for Doc into the mix (Mary Steenburgen), BTTF3 was a welcome and understandable conclusion but, like its predecessor, couldn't muster up the thrill of the original. Again, the extras are all recycled but it's worthwhile to revisit how they took the BTTF concept to such a primitive age. These DVDs are essentially just the box set with three new features added to the first film. It feels very unnecessary, especially since the price of the box has dropped considerably over the years, making that your best bet. (Universal)