Blu-ray

First Impressions: Back to the Future Trilogy on Blu-ray Arrives

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Great Scott! That was my reaction today when opening a package from Universal Studios Home Entertainment and finding the Back to the Future Trilogy on Blu-ray inside. Rather than have you wait around for me to publish a thorough review, I thought I’d take a quick flip through the discs and offer up some quick impressions of this high-def re-master.

The packaging (pictured in an “opened” state below) is relatively simple with a reflective outer sleeve and trifold inner case with transparent plastic backing that the discs “snap” into. I prefer how Universal handled The Bourne Trilogy that featured individual snapper cases for each film inside an outer shell. That made it easy for the studio to release each film as singles later on, though I’m still condifent we will see Back to the Future and its sequels released invidually either late next year or in 2012.

If you’ve heard about the upcoming Back to the Future video game and are anxious to take it for a spin then you’re in luck. Included in this set is a small promo sheet that includes a unique code to download – for free – the first of five episodes of Telltale Games’ Back to the Future game for PC or Mac.

Earlier this week Universal released a trio of short never-before-seen clips of Eric Stoltz as Marty. Unfortunately those clips represent all the Stoltz footage on this release so you won’t get to hear him speak any dialogue. The 6-part all-new documentary the clips are a part of, however, is fascinating and should be the first stop when heading into the bonus features.

The films themselves underwent an extensive high definition remastering process for Blu-ray that was approved by Bob Gale. The result are transfers that have been scrubbed clean of any evidence of dirt, imperfections, or at times, film grain. Some scenes I sampled, such as when Marty and Doc gear up to first test the time machine, are so squeeky clean the actors look like mannequins and their environment like a digital creation. Other instances, including the openings of Back to the Future and Back to the Future III, are presented more naturally with film grain intact.

DNR (digital noise reduction) pundits will likely have a field day complaining about Back to the Future on Blu-ray for weeks or even months after its release. If you can get by a cleaner image that doesn’t always reflect its age, the Back to the Future Trilogy on Blu-ray looks to be a ton of fun in high-def.

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