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Back To The Future Trilogy DVD

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Before he grew up and started to become a serious filmmaker, Robert Zemeckis created arguably the most unashamedly entertaining film trilogy ever with his Back to the Future series. It's here that Zemeckis came closest to emulating his mentor Steven Spielberg, and here, too, that he showed his own talent for combining flashy visual effects and knock-about comedy. The vivacious screenplays, cowritten with Bob Gale, are chock full of forwards and backwards-looking jokes, 1950s nostalgia and wry nods to other movies. Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd, both alumni of successful small-screen sitcoms (Family Ties and Taxi respectively), bring a frenetic energy to their roles, but also the warmth and likability needed to carry the audience with them through time. Don't try and unravel the time-travel thread running throughout, as that way lie paradoxes: just accept its inherent absurdity and enjoy the ride. Marty McFly travels from 1985 to 1955 in a souped-up DeLorean sports car (Back to the Future), then forward in time to 2015 and back to 1955 again (Back to the Future II), before going all the way back to the Old West of 1885 (Back to the Future III). Matters become progressively more complicated as actions in the past have repercussions for the future, and vice versa. Marty learns life-lessons and Doc finds love at last; the joyful, helter-skelter pace never slackens for an instant. --Mark Walker On the DVD: Back to the Future travels through time to the DVD era with a three-disc set charting the much-loved trilogy in full, along with an abundance of special features. The real joy in this box set is the "Making of the Trilogy" featurette, which spans the three discs and offers a wealth of information on the films. The deleted scenes have not faired well with age, with the visuals and sound suffering immensely. On Disc One the anecdotes can be played along with the film as subtitles, which is more than can be said for the commentary with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale recorded at the California University, which is simply a Q & A session--not played along with the movie--and would have been stronger as a filmed special feature. But all in all as three-disc sets go it doesn't get much better than this--and you won't need 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to enjoy it. --Nikki Disney

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