Thursday, 7 October 2010

Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Re-release

It's been a busy year for Back to the Future. Of course it's 25 years since the original 1985 release of the movie - and it's a little strange to think how close we now are to the dates used in 1989's Back to the Future Part II. We might not have hoverboards, but we're getting closer to massive holographic sharks, so that's good.

As any of you who use Twitter to an obsessive extent will no doubt no, the anniversary festivities really got underway on July 5th when Totalfilm got it a bit wrong and thought JUL 05 2010 had ever appeared on the top row of the DeLorean's time circuits... and then did some ill-advised Photoshopping to go alongside their apology.

But now it's October - just like in the movie - and the 25th anniversary DVD and Blu-ray versions of the original film are being released to mark the proper milestone. What's more, they've only gone and put it back on the big screen, too. Great Scott!

1.21 jigowatts?!

If, like me, you spent your childhood knowing without question that there's 1.21 gigawatts of power in a direct lightning strike, or that the speed required to send a DeLorean through time - in either direction - is precisely 88 miles per hour, the chance to see Back to the Future in the cinema will no doubt have been a momentous occasion. And I have to say, it didn't disappoint. The Universal logo was a bit fuzzy, but beyond that opening shot the film looked just fine - even the fire effects of the DeLorean's tyre trails didn't look too bad.

I've seen this movie more times than I can count - definitely double figures and possibly pushing the 100 mark by now. I can quote a decent number of the lines, and I definitely know what's coming when I watch it. I was expecting obvious superimposing, because to be honest on the small screen it sometimes hasn't looked that great. But I was wrong - the big screen really does justice to the amount of detail that goes into some scenes (such as the Doc's collection of clocks right at the start) in a way I hadn't really seen before, even on my projector at home. I believe the films have been remastered ahead of the upcoming Blu-ray release, which probably has something to do with why it looked pretty sweet.

The 'Real' Future Day

If July 5th was a hoax, then October 26th is the real thing. A quarter-century since the date used in the original film and high time for a re-release of the entire trilogy on DVD and Blu-ray. I can say, if the version I saw in the cinema was the remastered movie, it looks great, and the sound was excellent. It'll be good to see the other two - yes, even Part III - given the onceover as well, not to mention the extras that have only been hinted at for the high-definition discs.

Understandably, there's a bunch of collector's editions to choose from - so here they are. Take your pick. I think I know which I would go for.

Just the Movies

Back to the Future Trilogy - 25th Anniversary Edition [DVD]
Back to the Future Trilogy - 25th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]

Collector's Editions

Back to the Future Trilogy Limited DeLorean Edition [Blu-ray]

This isn't the one for me, but I can see its appeal - it's a nice, neat and fairly robust-looking boxed set containing the Blu-ray versions of the films and a pretty sweet collectible in the form of a die-cast model of the DeLorean. If it's all about the car for you - and I imagine there are plenty of people out there for whom that is the case - then indulge yourself with this and hey, why not build your own crude and not-to-scale model of Hill Valley, hook it up to the mains and see if you can send your collector's item back to the future? OK, don't do that. It's a bad idea. It's bound to end in tears, or flames, or both.

Back to the Future Trilogy Limited Edition Collector's Tin [Blu-ray]

This has to be it, surely? Just look at it all. You could pretty much film your own YouTube tribute to Back to the Future with the props you get in this tin. Here's the rundown of what's included:

- the Blu-ray trilogy
- a blueprint of the DeLorean
- a replica registration plate (OUTATIME)
- Grays Sports Almanac
- Save The Clocktower poster
- lenticular photo of the McFly family

That last one is one of those where you look at it from one angle and they're all there, you look at it from another and... they're erased!

The Verdict

So that's it. All you need to know about the movie re-release and the upcoming DVD and Blu-ray versions, including those fairly decent boxed sets - which would you like to unwrap on Christmas morning? All that's left is for me to award marks out of 100... can you guess what it's gonna be?

Final Score: 88%

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