Great Scott! The entire Back to the Future trilogy has made its way to the 4K Ultra HD format! Ah, but is it your destiny, or your density?
The story: Aww, come on, do we really need to tell you the stories? OK then… First up, Marty McFly goes back to he 1950s to save Doc Brown, a scientist who has built a time machine out of a DeLorean car in the 1980s, but has also made some extreme Libyans rather upset. Marty’s teenaged mum gets the hots for him, so in order to secure his existence in the 1980s he must make sure that his future parents meet and fall in love. No pressure…
Next? It’s off to the future – 2015 to be more precise about it – and Marty and Doc’s quest to stop Marty’s not-so-bright son from messing things up forever for their family, before Biff gets in on some almanac action and a return to 1955 is required.
Finally? Toot-toot, chugga-chugga-big ol’ train, as Marty heads to 1885, where Doc is trapped and about to be killed by a cowboy forebear of Biff, but it’s all complicated by a certain wild-haired genius falling for a school teacher, and digging the sounds of ZZ Top. Or something like that.
“This is heavy!”
The 4K disc: Damn! Damn, damn! Damn, damn, damn! We can’t think of anything bad to say about what’s on offer here. With the original movie in particular being a bona fide, must-regularly-watch classic, the pressure was on for Universal to deliver on the 4K Ultra HD format, and deliver they have. All three films have been given the Dolby Vision HDR treatment, and all three are all the more natural looking for it. The density (sorry) of blacks and the brightness of whites put the existing Blu-ray releases to shame. Detail is at a premium in all films, while grain is slightly more present in the first outing, but never unnatural looking or distracting. The second and third instalments, filmed concurrently, look even better – but that’s not to say that the first one looks bad, because it doesn’t. Right, we’re glad we have that sorted.
Audio-wise, anybody who’s invested in a sweet, sweet Dolby Atmos setup will be overjoyed to hear that we get three crisp new Atmos mixes, as well as actually hearing them when they sit back to watch this most famous of trilogies. While many classic movies that make their way to 4K fall down in the audio department, these three discs defy the trend. From the scene where all of Doc Brown’s clocks go crazy in the first outing right through to the arrival of the cavalry in episode three, height channels are used to bolster the overall soundstage, rather than overwhelm it. Dialogue never battles with effects or score, and in all this is a masterclass in how to lavish that extra bit of love on older classics in order to make them feel completely at home now, in what is their future.
Extras? Where we’re going we don’t need extras, but they are a cool thing to have, and here we get plenty of them. The first movie’s 4K disc includes two commentaries, deleted scenes, a Michael J. Fox Q&A, several featurettes, a trailer and Huey Lewis (and the News!) music video. The BTTFII 4K disc also features two commentaries, as well as deleted scenes, featurettes and a trailer. Finally, the third instalment gives us another two commentaries, a deleted scene, more featurettes, a ZZ Top video, trailer and a few other bits and bobs. But wait, there’s more! A bonus standard Blu-ray offers up more featurettes, including a look at yen musical, original auditions (including Jon ‘Duckie’ Cryer as Marty!), a 2015 message from Doc Brown and more.
Remember: Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one – and add this trilogy to your 4K collection!
Release date: October 28, 2020
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.