Triple bill containing the entire time-travelling series of sci-fi comedy films. In 'Back to the Future' (1985), Teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) just wants to play electric guitar and date girlfriend Jennifer; he is also determined not to end up a loser in life like his own parents. Father George (Crispin Glover) is a weak-willed failure, bullied at work by his former high school tormentor Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson), while mother Lorraine (Lea Thompson) is an alcoholic. Marty's friend and mentor is the eccentric Doctor Emmet Brown (Christopher Lloyd), who has successfully invented his own time machine in the form of a plutonium-powered Delorean sports car. However, after Marty travels thirty years back in time, he discovers that he doesn't have enough fuel to return to 1985. And, after he accidentally prevents the first ever meeting between his own, teenage parents, Marty's own future birth and present existence are placed in jeopardy! In 'Back to the Future Part 2' (1989), accompanied by Doc Brown (Lloyd), Marty McFly (Fox) must travel thirty years into the future to save his own children from going to jail. Meanwhile, the aged Biff Tannen (Wilson) steals the Delorean time machine to return to the Fifties and make his younger self rich, creating an alternative 1985 timeline in which Marty's father, George, has been murdered. Whilst 'Back to the Future Part 3' (1990) sees Marty (Fox) go back in time to the Wild West of 1885 to rescue his friend Doc Brown (Lloyd), who he has discovered is due for a fatal showdown with one of bad guy Biff's nasty ancestors. Meanwhile, the good Doc has fallen in love with a newly arrived schoolteacher (Mary Steenburgen).
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
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
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.