[July 4, 2018 Update: Revisiting this post showed that the planned trilogy of posts ended with the one below.]
Not getting my pre-ordered copy of "Back to the Future: The Complete Adventures" 30th Anniversary Flux Capacitor Blu-Ray (BD) set on the October 20, 2015 release date after a painful two-month wait was agony. Ripping the box open Wolverine style a week ago made the wait worthwhile and eliminated any doubt regarding whether the roughly $88 price is valid.
As an aside, folks with concern regarding unwarranted reports that physical elements of the "Capacitor" set will not pass the test of time (no pun intended) should remember that this (and any other deluxe) DVD or BD set is not intended for children. Adults who use reasonable care will not scratch the discs taking them out of their sleeves or rip pages out of the well-bound 64-page collectible book. You merely need to restrict any Wolverine tactics to opening the box in which the set is delivered.
In the spirit of "Future," this review is separated into three parts that will be spread out over several months. This series starts with discussing the importance of "Future" and the features of the Capacitor set. Part Two focuses on the animated series, and Part Three addresses the BD versions of the film trilogy.
At the heart of the matter. "Future" is the "Wizard of Oz" (complete with a quest by the young hero to return home from a strange land) to the children and the children at heart of the '80s It is the one on which this generation grew up and thoroughly enjoys each time that it is watched. As a recent review on the "Future" documentary "Back in Time" shares, your reviewer first saw "Future" at a second-run theater primarily out of boredom and friendship but immediately was hooked. The other notable "Future" story involves driving through a blizzard to see "Back to the Future III" on its opening night.
The personal legacy of home-video ownership begins with the DVD set of the "Future" trilogy being one of the first additions to a now-library of almost literally countless film and television sets. The "Future" purchase being from a Circuit City provides a sense of the "ancient" nature of that acquisition.
The Capacitor packing itself nicely distinguishes this set from other 30th Anniversary versions. The aforementioned device allows the altered DeLorean that the franchise features to time travel. The image of said capacitor adorns the front of sturdy packaging and wonderfully lights up at the push of a button. One technological enhancement regarding this bonus is that, unlike "talking" DVD sets of roughly a decade ago, the batteries that allow the lights to go on are replaceable.
The all-new bonus disc in the set alone almost warrants the cost. It is the ONLY such disc regarding which yours truly has watched (and LOVED) every feature.
The bonus disc begins with a short inspirational message from trilogy star Christopher Lloyd in his Doc Brown character. Brown also host the roughly 10-minute 2015 bonus film "Doc Brown Saves the World," which explains why our version of 2015 lacks self-lacing sneakers and other 2015 tech. from "Future II."
The "Looking Back to the Future" documentary on the bonus disc greatly improves on "Back," which earns a grade of 88. Lloyd, Michael J. Fox and most of the other heavy hitters who participate in "Back" also provide interviews for "Looking." The pace is simply a bit faster and includes far more cool footage of the filming of the movie. Scenes of Fox rocking out and enthusiastically joking around while filming are particularly special.
The separate bonus disc documentary on restoring the aforementioned luxury automobile compensates for the scope of"Back," but not "Looking," including that topic.
The bonus disc moves on to offer the pilot episode of the aforementioned animated series and the premiere episode of the second season of that show. The four-disc set of the complete animated series also includes these episodes.
This gem of a special features disc wraps up with an all-new fall-on-the-floor faux trailer for the "Jaws 19" film that plays a role in "Future" 2 and a separate highly amusing commercial for the skateboard-like hoverboard that is an integral part of "Future" lore.The "Jaws" trailer wonderfully mocks every film franchise cliche, include the element of "this time its personal."
The aptly titled aforementioned 64-page booklet "Back to the Future: A Visual History" includes a great introduction by "Future" writer Bob Gale. Gales pounds the nail on the head in writing that "that love (for "Future") is the reason that you have this booklet in your hands." The plethora of essays, alternative posters, photos, and diagrams that make up the remainder of the booklet simply are too numerous to adequately discuss in this post. Suffice it to say, veteran and new fans will not be disappointed.
Anyone with any questions or comments regarding the "Future" franchise or the 30th Anniversary sets is encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.
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