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DVD Review: Back to the Future Trilogy (Widescreen) 447

Posted by timothy
from the what-the-hell-is-a-gigawatt dept.
da3dAlus writes "The Back to the Future trilogy has probably been one of the most highly anticipated DVD releases, mainly due to the age and enduring popularity of the movies. No matter how many times the movies have been shown on TV, I guarantee that nobody has seen the Back to the Future series like this before." da3dAlus gives the Robert Zemeckis-directed trilogy a 9.8 out of 10; read the rest of his review below, as well as a warning about the transfer quality.

All 3 movies have undergone audio and video re-mastering. Audio was updated to the de-facto 5.1 digital surround, and all film was not only digitally transferred, but cleaned up and rendered crystal clear. The bonus material not only gives additional value to the DVDs, but also helps to answer numerous questions about the movies, including time travel, plot lines, and the characters themselves. My intentions here are to generally review the DVD, but not reveal any of the specific deleted scenes, for those that still want something to remain a surprise.

To begin, the movies themselves are intact, as originally shown in the theaters. Unlike recent DVD releases of 80s classics (ie. the gun-to-walkie-talkie edits in E.T.), there were no political corrections made. While this is not usually something of concern, there were TV edits made that removed "the Libyans" from the first movie, shortly after the 9-11 events. All that aside, the DVDs are a pretty standard affair, with each one being themed after the respective movies: Part 1 in the 50s, Part 2 in the future, and Part 3 in the old west.

For a DVD box set that has been over 15 years in the making, Zemeckis and team definitely deliver. This set has all that you would expect of any feature-packed DVDs, including deleted scenes, outtakes, original trailers, and behind the scenes features. The movies themselves contain additional commentaries, and an option that pops up an icon for additional production notes and factoids during viewing. Even the deleted scenes have an option for viewing with commentary by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale.

The larger behind the scenes features include a "Making of" for each of the three movies, and an overall "Making of the Trilogy" that spans all three DVDs. Among the smaller behind the scenes features are the evolution of special effects, production Q&A's, making of the DeLorean time machine, and the original discussion of the time-travel plot lines.

Among the only drawbacks I noticed were a few minor flaws in the DVD menus. While viewing the bonus material, some features returned to a pure black menu. However, the problem isn't critical, as pressing the Menu button on your DVD remote will eventually take you back to the main menu. It's just distracting to have such a flaw that appears on each of the DVDs.

Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the conversion of the movies to DVD format, and even more so with the additional material on the DVDs. Personally, I know I've had questions about what I thought were plot holes in the whole time travel theory, and Zemeckis made sure to include plenty of notes, FAQs, and Q&As to clear up any confusion, or add to it, depending on your acceptance of his answers. Bottom line: if you've ever waited for an answer to your "whys" or "what ifs" --- or if you just want to enjoy the movies as they are, then look no further than the Back to the Future trilogy.


However, hang on a second: NetGyver writes with a reason to hold off on buying this trilogy:

"The Digital Bits is reporting that the widescreen matting has been done in error on the BTTF Part II and III discs in the trilogy box set. The results very from minor to extremely irritating. Here is a side by side frame comparison between the full-screen DVDs/Laserdisc/and widescreen DVDs for you to view.

The widescreen DVD set is considered defective and Universal has an exchange program on the way where you can mail in discs II and III for replacements. But that won't roll out until late February 2003. There is no word for disc replacements for other regions besides North America, at least for now. This a fix for those who already own the widescreen DVD set. The corrected DVD batch will arrive in U.S. stores in late February according to Universal Studios."


Slashdot welcomes reader-submitted features and reviews, and thanks da3dAlus for this one.

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DVD Review: Back to the Future Trilogy (Widescreen)

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  • To make this first post mine...
    Ha!
  • ...we could all work together to make the world a better -- OOOH!!! SHINEY!!
  • by pandrew (233890) <j_mullins&hotmail,com> on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:37PM (#4945799)
    Great, now that the DVD's are out, maybe I can begin to convert my 93 Accord into a time machine!
  • by rickthewizkid (536429) on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:38PM (#4945815)
    ... and possibly buying another. In a few years, the "defective" discs will probably be collectors items. It seems that is the case with laserdiscs or CEDs (RCA Select-a-vision [cedmagic.com] discs) etc.

    Just my 88 miles-per-hour worth...
    RickTheWizKid
  • While this is not usually something of concern, there were TV edits made that removed "the Libyans" from the first movie, shortly after the 9-11 events.

    I can believe that overly-nervous TV executives would want to cut this out, but I'm at a loss to actually figure out how they would do it. The Libyans are sort of a central plot point to the film (after all, they are the whole reason that Marty ends up in 1955 to begin with!) Has anybody seen this edit?
    • ah censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrChuck (14227) on Monday December 23, 2002 @02:28PM (#4946191)
      It truly scares me when the gov't and entertainment companies feel the need to change what was acceptable a few years ago.

      As a student of film and animation, watching the old 20's and 30's cartoons with betty boop and heckle & jeckle and the watermelon eating negros of that time certainly show the changes that have happened. (except with Trent Lott :)

      To go and CHANGE that and show it is wrong. It's important to know where we came from and what attitudes were. Its fine to understand that these attitudes were wrong, but denying that they existed is just horrifying.

      Perhaps charlie chaplin's imitations of hilter should be altered to not offend people. Perhaps all our references to iraqi's as friends should be stricken from the record.

      It's not like I have much expectation from the king of sugar coated movies, steven spielberg, but for him and zemekis to allow the content to be edited for non language (swearing) reasons is just frightening.

  • by antdude (79039) on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:39PM (#4945820) Homepage Journal
    From this story [dvdfile.com]:

    "Back to the Future redux - 12:43am

    Thinking about picking up that Back to the Future trilogy box set this week for a stocking stuffer? You may want to hold off on that. Amid numerous consumer complaints over noticeably misframed shots in the widescreen edition of Parts II and III of the trilogy, Universal Studios Home Video announced yesterday that they will be repressing the discs with corrected framing, and these repressed versions will be included in all future runs of the box set.

    While the shots - some of which ruin crucial jokes and visual gags - may be relatively minor to some, what to do if you've already picked up the set and want the corrected versions? A Universal spokesperson has told us that consumers unhappy with the current version (widescreen only - the full frame edition is not affected) can call the Universal Studios Home Video Consumer Hotline at (888) 703-0010 to request an exchange. While repressed versions of discs 2 and 3 (disc 1 remains unaffected) won't be available until February, Universal will provide corrected versions to those who have already purchased the set. Consumers will need to send the discs back to Universal at their own expense. Stay tuned for any further updates as the story develops..."

    • Rather disturbing, that Universal knows that pretty much all copies of II and III out there are defective (ok, widescreen only), yet just today I saw several hundred being offered for sale in one store alone.

      Isn't this the sort of situation that product recalls are for (I mean beyond 'this meat will kill you')? Why would Universal knowingly allow their dealers to sell defective merchandise? Is the Xmas shopping mania just that strong that we couldn't possibly pull a known defective product? Instead, they'd rather everyone go to the time and expense of mailing these 2 discs back and forth in February.
      • The movies have been available in regions 2 and 4 for months, and they have the same misframing problem there. People noticed it as soon as they did comparisons to the widescreen Laserdisc (which has a slightly less wide and incorrect aspect ratio, but at least the matting that is there is applied correctly), but Universal allowed the problem to slip into the R1 release and they didn't acknowledge any problem despite repeated inquiries until Wednesday.
  • E.T. modifications (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zathrus (232140) on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:39PM (#4945822) Homepage
    Unlike recent DVD releases of 80s classics (ie. the gun-to-walkie-talkie edits in E.T.)

    You know that the ET DVDs have both the original, unedited version released in 1982 and the modified 2002 release on them, right?

    No, I didn't think you did.
    • Ah, then that explains why I looked like a fool. My sister who is 22 had never seen E.T. before. I rented it a couple of weeks ago and was telling her about how Spielburg had P.C.'d the movie by changing guns to walkie-talkies and changing the line about going out for Halloween looking like terrorists, and then lo and behold, she says "terrorists" and everybody had guns... guess I played the wrong version of the movie. Guess that also explains why I didn't notice any new scenes updates...
      • and then lo and behold, she says "terrorists" and everybody had guns... guess I played the wrong version of the movie.

        You mean the right version? :)

        -jfedor
  • Universal, in an astounding display of audacity, is planning on leaving the BTTF's last two films mis-framed until February.


    Check out the Home Theater Forum [hometheaterforum.com] for evidence.


    Here is Universal's official response, as found on The Digital Bits [thedigitalbits.com]:


    Thank you for your email. Universal Studios will exchange Back to the Future parts 2 and 3 for copies with the updated framing in late February 2003. You may send the DVDs back now or wait until February. Please send Back to the Future disks 2 and 3, without the case, and a letter with the following information: Name, Full Mailing Address, Daytime Phone Number, Reason for Return and Return Address. Send to:

    Back to the Future DVD Returns
    PO Box 224468
    Dallas, Texas 75260

    Thank you,
    Universal Studios Customer Service

    Those in Canada can call 866-532-2202.

    As for me, I'm waiting until February to get a correct version of all three films. The fanboy who reviewed this got a bit carried away.

  • I traveled back in the future to post this comment [slashdot.org] just today, knowing full well a Back to the Future post was on the way!

    I still want my hoverboard. And my regenerated spleen. Never know when having an extra spleen could come in handy.
  • ARGH!
    Must...wait...after...xmas....maybe...paren ts...hi p enough...to get it for me...

    And when I do get 'em, I can go into ubergeek mode and start showing people the resseblance between it and Buckaroo Banzai! : )


    Joy

  • > answer numerous questions about the movies,
    > including time travel

    We knew this all along. The flux capacitor. It's what make time travel possible!
  • plot holes (Score:4, Informative)

    by Satai (111172) on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:46PM (#4945873)
    Well, I am a card carrying member of the BTTF fan club, and I remember from one of the four magazine issues I recieved a Q&A section, where the magazine was given the question of why did the future family exist, when Marty and Jennifer were brought forward -- the future they traveled to should have been a future where they disappeared in 1985. The answer was a blunt "we messed up," with an explanation that the future HAD to exist, because the ending of the first movie had the statement "Something's gotta be done about your kids!" and they couldn't very well go back on that, eh?
    • I'm finding that just a bit hard to believe. It's pretty obvious that as long as they actually went back to the time they came from, that they never would have "disappeared," so no such event would have occurred.
    • Re:plot holes (Score:5, Informative)

      by SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) on Monday December 23, 2002 @02:10PM (#4946050) Journal
      They didn't mess up....

      In order for them to exist in the future, they would have eventually needed to make it back somewhere between 1985 and 2015. Preferably no later than 1995 in order to have time to have kids that would be as old as they were in the future. They had a whole 10 year window to return to. Having an existence in that particular future proves that they eventually made it back to their proper time.

      An analogous example would be when Bill and Ted told themselves to remind themselves to leave the keys, tape player, and garbage can in the appropriate spots so things could have gone the way they did (what a paradox if they failed, though)
      • In order for them to exist in the future, they would have eventually needed to make it back somewhere between 1985 and 2015. Preferably no later than 1995 in order to have time to have kids that would be as old as they were in the future. They had a whole 10 year window to return to. Having an existence in that particular future proves that they eventually made it back to their proper time.

        No; the Marty who had travelled in time was not the Marty who crashed into the Rolls and went on to become a loser. He returned to 1985 in cowboy gear and (presumably) made a success of his life, being able to ignore being called chicken. The Marty who became a loser is one who did not travel in time - never saw his own fate, never not-confronted Mad Dog Tannen.

        This needn't be a major plot hole because there are countless possible consistent histories involved. It's more of a philosophical problem. What happened to Marty in BttF2 changed his future; he saw what lay ahead of him and had to change it. That future no longer exists, so Marty OUGHT to have met his successful future self. So... if he goes to the future and sees it's all roses, how does he know to avoid becoming... ick. It's the grandfather paradox again.

        • Re:plot holes (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Restil (31903)
          Marty left 2015 thinking his life WAS roses. He didn't know that the upscale (1985) neighborhood his future self lived in had turned into a ghetto. He only thought his kids had problems, and after the encounter with Biff's grandson, he figured that problem was solved too. His only reason for ever picking up the sports almanac was an effort to have a fallback in case he needed one, although the likely reason was simply one of momentary greed, since his desire was spawned by the solicitor commenting on his wish that he gambled on the Cub's world series upset.

          It was Jennifer that had a firsthand look at his bleak future. The Rolls Royce crash, the firing, the spoiled kids, etc. She probably would have mentioned something about it, but she fainted before she got a chance, and never woke up until the end of the third movie. Marty actually came to terms with his peer pressure problem when facing a much bigger threat (a gun battle) rather than a dangerous car race. As a result of that, he resisted the taunt to race at the end of the third movie, missed his opportunity to hit the Rolls Royce, and rewrote his future.

          The point is, he never had to meet his future self to make that happen. He had an independent assessment of where his life was going if he didn't change his behavior, and changed it appropriately before it detrimentally afflicted his future.

          -Restil
    • Re:plot holes (Score:2, Interesting)

      by entrager (567758)
      While a bit off-topic, I feel this is the perfect time to visit the idea of paradoxes and time travel. It may be argued that this can be explained by them eventually going back to 1985 and getting married, having kids, etc. This is a valid argument, but what about a more exotic situation?

      Example: What if Marty from the future killed Marty from 1985? How could that happen?

      Simpler example: Imagine a billiard ball that has a trajectory that takes it into a time portal that goes back in time by a small portion of a second. However, before the ball makes it to the portal, it comes out (naturally, it went back) and knocks the original ball off it's trajectory so that it never hits the portal. This situation actually has a fairly logical conclusion (believe it or not). Suppose instead that the ball was headed towards the portal, but in such a way as to miss it. However, when the ball goes through the portal (hold on a sec...) it goes back and hits itself onto a trajectory that forces it into the portal (there it is!).

      I know this example is confusing, so I provided these [anu.edu.au] links [ifrance.com] to better explainations. The second link has a nice diagram demonstrating this. Credit must be given to Kip Thorne for coming up with this solution to the famous "Grandfather" paradox.

      Anyone else have any thoughts on the idea of time travel and paradoxes? I am of the opinion that these paradoxes prevent time travel from occuring. Another popular belief if that time travel is possible, but only in the forward direction. Yet another belief is that when you travel through time, you actually enter a different "universe" from our own. This theory is directly tied in to the "multiverse" theory. Any other insight?
    • That doesnt seem like a big plot hole to me because the 1985 Marty and Jennifer did make it back to 1985 at the end of the movie. Now what confused me was why the future family didn't know the 1985 Marty and Jennifer were there. Did the future family just forget that they had travelled forward in time 20+ years ago? If I went forward in time, I think I would mark it on my calendar to go visit myself on the day that I get there.
      • Now what confused me was why the future family didn't know the 1985 Marty and Jennifer were there. Did the future family just forget that they had travelled forward in time 20+ years ago? If I went forward in time, I think I would mark it on my calendar to go visit myself on the day that I get there.

        The future Marty visits is not the future that eventually comes to be. He saw himself as a loser who gets fired for being a party to fraud, who still couldn't say no for fear of being called chicken. After seeing this future, and after his experience in 1885 with Mad Dog Tannen, Marty is able to overcome this personality flaw and set out to a more prosperous future. The future he saw in BttF2 no longer exists. In some alternate reality, Loser McFly is still there, but he never travelled in time, and so doesn't expect to meet himself - that's where the plot hole comes in, because by the time we meet him Marty has already left 1985, so Loser McFly's future ought not to exist.

        Perhaps Loser McFly is a Marty who didn't go to 1885 to rescue Doc Brown, but even then I'd expect his future to become very different, simply because he would take deliberate steps to prevent it coming about. He can't be one who never visited 2015, because Marty is already in 2015 when he's introduced.

    • The three movies, viewed together, are full of such holes. It's a complete mess. The best approach is to damn the torpedos, and just enjoy the hell out of them, because they're fine movies and excellent entertainment.

      If you have difficulties, just remember that what you see on screen is what must have happened, because it's there on film! Duh! ;-)

      Remember when Doc wakes up at the beginning of BTTF3, sees Marty, slips backward on the hoverboard, and lands ass-and-hands on the pipe organ? Oh yeah.

      "'And take good care of Einstein for me--' ...Einstein?"
      "It's your dog, Doc. It's what you call your dog in the future."

      And who can forget: "Of course your President has to be an actor; he has to look good on TV!"

  • by teamhasnoi (554944) <(teamhasnoi) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:51PM (#4945924) Homepage Journal
    You would have slept with your mom, if your mom was Lea Thomson.

    Dirty birds...

    • I dunno...

      You could rationalize it as:
      Well, she's not really my mom, she barely even knows my would-be dad exists yet.

      But then you come to the horrifying conclusion that this consumation would probably make it so you would no longer exist.

      Either that or make you your own father. *cringe*
  • by fleener (140714) on Monday December 23, 2002 @01:56PM (#4945951)
    Anyone with an oedipal complex [reference.com] knows what the triology was really about. How many times did we see Marty in bed with his hot mother (or hot maternal kin) next to him?
  • Sleepwalking (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dcuny (613699)
    I recall reading a review of the second film, where the reviewer wrote that it looked like Michael J. Fox sleepwalked through it. And, in fact, he may have - I think he was still shooting a sitcom at the same time. But apparently Parkinson's was starting to set in as well.

    Anyhoo, I missed the second film, and the third got such bad reviews that I didn't even bother trying to go.

    Still, my hat's off to anyone who can work a day job, a night job, and battle a degenerative nerve disease.

    And "Mister Fusion" was inspired.

    What do you mean, rambling? This is Slashdot!

  • by Lxy (80823) on Monday December 23, 2002 @02:01PM (#4945980) Journal
    Ever notice that /.'ers get excited about DVDs and not new albums? RIAA, START PAYING ATTENTION.

    I have seen each of these movies at least 3e6 times each. I have them recorded off TV. I own all three on videocassette. I try to watch them when TBS is running them. Even though I can probably recite each movie by heart, guess what: I was waiting for Target to open last Tuesday so I could be the first to own these. Why? I love these movies.

    There's so much techological genius in these movies that the 'making of' stuff is worth the cost of the set to me. I haven't even watched the movies yet, I just opened disc 4 and started watching. GOOD STUFF.

    My point? I paid $39.99 for something I already had. I did it VOLUNTARILY. I can download all this stuff off Kazaa I'm sure. Why didn't I? Because it's GOOD STUFF THAT'S WORTH THE MONEY. Most music that's out these days is pure crap. I had no idea that I could take a dump in a jewel case and sell it for $15.99. It's not rocket science: put stuff in the package that people WANT, and they will buy.

    • "There's so much techological genius in these movies that the 'making of' stuff is worth the cost of the set to me. I haven't even watched the movies yet, I just opened disc 4 and started watching. GOOD STUFF."

      Every once in a while there's really cool supplemental stuff in a CD, like videos or images or something. I also love reading the editorials written by music historians in the sleeves of rereleases of old albums remastered. I spent hours studying Eddie Vedder's drug-inspired doodles on the Vs. album. Same goes for Thom Yorke's doodles in OK Computer.

      But that's not quite enough. Movies have something that music doesn't have. A large number of people are impressed by and can appreciate visual special effects. It's therefore obvious that people would want to pay extra for a DVD with a large section devoted the the creation of the film. I spent hours watching disc 2 of Attack of the Clones, even though I don't really dig the film. And how many people saw the movie just to see the special effects?

      On the other hand, most people I know laugh at me for how thoroughly I read album sleeves and band biographies. They look at me funny when I stop and say something like, "Listen to this guitar line - isn't that cool? He routed his guitar through a flanger and a phase shifter in series...etc." There just isn't the demand for that sort of thing in the public. People just want to hear their Moby (or whatever). They don't want to know what kind of wah-wah pedal he uses or how he looped a particular sample. That's one reason why some technically brilliant bands aren't all that famous, like Kraftwerk [kraftwerk.com], for instance. Their sound engineering is INCREDIBLE, especially considering that they were among the first to use a lot of the technology and techniques so common in music today. (The recording, mixing, and mastering for Electric Cafe (1986) was entirely digital.) I would repurchase all of my Kraftwerk collection at a higher price if there included notes about the making of the album, but I'm a music geek.
      • But there have been album connoisseurs forever.

        One thing I miss about CD's was sitting there listening to it with the album cover and all it's detail.

        Oh, and it's hard to focus on the little tiny Pink Floyd covers when you're baked. :) I miss that.

        On one hand, there's no sound to me like the sound of the needle landing and finding the groove.

        On the other hand, it's nice to have high end after playing it 30 times.
        And not getting up to flip them every 20 minutes.
        And not having them warp.
        And not having to carry them when I move (we weighed 250lbs of records).
        And skips.

        Ripping them all to mp3 means I still get that needle/groove sound, but can carry them all in an iPod.

        (does the fact that I paid the RIAA license to use the music mean that I have a right to the CD quality version of it? If I own 20 Dylan records, can I just use my pal's CD version? I paid them, right? Hell, I'll sling bob $20 for it - more than he'd get from the corp.)

    • And I'm sure Sony the music magnate is trembling while Sony the movie studio dances that you paid $40 for $1-2 of media.

      I'll presume that the efforts of the editors would add another $2 and royalties to the director and Speilberg, Inc add another $1-$2. Maybe a buck or two for the artists to all split.

      50% markup and that makes Sony (the movie studio) $15 (37%) for no effort and the locally owned store* that you bought it from $20 (50%).

      You show them!

      - - - -

      * I know you didn't buy it from Blockbuster, which forces edits of movies. Perhaps if EVERYONE went in and asked for "last temptation of christ" (banned cause it's not christian enough for the owners), we could start a movement.

      And walmart refuses to carry material White Alabamans consider too offensive for you. Nice.

      • What's your point?

        The buyer of the $40 DVD box set is not doing it to punish Sony Music. He is doing it to reward Sony Home Video for value-adding the product. Hopefully Sony Music will get the hint and start adding value to their releases as well. Everybody wins.
      • It's not about markups dude. Yeah, I know there's a hefty profit margin for Sony, Universal, et al.

        Ever go to a restaurant and order soda with your meal? What, it's $1 at fast food joints, probably $2 at a fancy place. What does it cost them? In fast food, the cup itself costs more. I think the cost of a 32 oz soda is something like 3 cents. Does it feel good now? Yup, that's right, McDonald's charged you $1.20 for a soda that cost them ~10 cents. At fancy restaurants it's even cheaper... the glasses are just washed and re-used, the only thing you consumed is the soda and a straw.

        Imagine my surprise when I discovered *GASP* that there's a MARKUP on everything we buy!!! Hey, this holiday tin only cost 39 cents for them to make! Why is it $5? Markups, paying off the artists, it's all about making sure people get their cut and the stores turn a profit. Don't like it? Don't buy it. Like the $5 holiday tin? Buy it then. It's your money, if you want it, buy it!

        What is a movie worth to me? Most movies I buy are $10-$15 on DVD. Ok, it costs $20 for my wife and I to go see it in the theater, so it's probably worth it for an evening of entertainment. What? I get to KEEP it? Even better!

        It's all about what it's worth to YOU, not how much people are making off it.

        The RIAA is different... they publish shit I don't want, then when I don't buy it they call me a thief. They assume that CDs are a neccesity, that we can't ever live without it. If we're not buying it, we're obviously stealing it. There's just no other possibility. It can't be that nobody wants our product, it is, after all, a NECCESSITY TO LIVE!

        Look at the reverse though... if they put out an album with good artwork, interviews from the band, and a cool looking disc, maybe it's worth $15 even though the RIAA is getting rich off it. Again, what is it worth TO YOU.
    • I'd say that the real technological genuis would have to have come on your part, in your ability to open and view a fourth DVD in a three-DVD box set :-)

      /* Steve */
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 23, 2002 @02:01PM (#4945986)
    Hey, thanks for buying the new DVD set. We knew you guys wouldn't resists.

    Universal Studios appreciates your business. Especially since $3 from every sale goes directly to a needy Senator, who is working hard right now to make sure the entire legal system in this country is designed to line our pockets with cold, hard, cash and take away your control over the things you buy.

    That's right! Enjoy your DVD today, because tomorrow you may need to pay $4.99 to "re-key" your shiny new DVD+ player so it will play.

    That's what we call progress! And you're funding it!

    Thanks again,

    Universal Studios
  • by Dimensio (311070) <`moc.uolgi' `ta' `ratskrad'> on Monday December 23, 2002 @02:02PM (#4945988)
    You can find comparison shots here [1badgp.com], here [1badgp.com] and here [1badgp.com], with more to be seen here [gluxx.de] (warning, that site is very intensive and not the best designed. It's also in German, but the pics are right in one of the frames if you let it load completely and scroll down a bit).

    Keep in mind that those screenshots are just examples. The framing for ALL of BTTF 2 and BTTF 3 is messed up in the same way EXCEPT for special effects shots (those were hard-matted on the print, so there was no need to apply any matting to the transfer).

    I've already called Universal and arranged my return, but the screwup is inexcusable given that it's been known for four months and Universal didn't acknowledge the issue until Wednesday.
    • Its not the corporations responsibility to inform you of defective products. The only loophole is for products with safety concerns. And many people had to die to get those laws passed, and its rather limited product range.
      -
      My government supports terrorism. [objectivistcenter.org]

  • Get a better DVD player. Yours is defective.

    No problems with the menus on my system. (Pioneer, twin laser).

    What's yours?

    Simon
  • "I guarantee that nobody has seen the Back to the Future series like this before."


    Was this story straight out of the mouth of a Universal Studios weasel or what?
  • Well this sucks. I just picked up a copy of the trilogy for my gf. She's been waiting for it for a long time now and here it is. All wrapped and under the tree. Then the next day I find out about the misframing. Yes kids, it's on the entire BTTF II and III films, not just select scenes. While I'm not a DVD afficiando, I do certainly appreciate watching a well produced DVD. Seeing all the example shots and taking a look at the film myself now proves that the misframing basically ruins the movie. Most of the gags are site gags and without the bottom or top of the frame, it's just not the same movie.

    What really has me peeved is the fact that a) Universal knew about the problem as people in R2-R5 have been yelling about it without any resolution and b) you have to return the discs at your own expense to replace them. Sure, Universal is not going to spend whatever the cost would be to get everyone a copy but now to really enjoy the movie I'm going to have to shell out another $10US or something to get the updated discs.

    And basically, even though they knew about it but might not admit it, there's not a damn thing any of us can do about it except eat up the cost of replacing the discs. Oh well, live and learn.
  • Libyan terrorists (Score:2, Interesting)

    Funny how in BTTF, the bad guys were Muslim terrorists after nuclear weapons. How little has changed in 20 years ...
  • Once again, moron webmaster tries to prevent 'image theft'.

    The easiest thing to workaround. Right-click desired image, keep mouse button pressed, dismiss warning dialog with SPACE. Menu appears.

  • ...that Hollywood seems to have forgotten? When I think about BttF, I think of those wonderful days back in the 80's when movies were fun and intruging. Remember Ghostbusters? Indiana Jones? Star Trek IV? (heh)

    Anybody else feel like some of the fun spirit of these movies was lost when the 90's rolled around?
  • I guess there are some early, practice footage of the hoverboards on the dvds. I remember how nuts everyone went after BttF2 came out, and how almost every kid I talked to wanted on (if only someone had been able to capitalize on that!)

    I've been waiting 17 years for this to come out (check the user name, and my website [docbrown.net]), and now I only have to wait a few more days to see if someone got it for me for Christmas! WooHoo!
    • I remember the rumour (started as a result of a joke told in deadpan fashion by Zemeckis) that Hoverboards were real and parents groups had prevented them from being put to market.
  • Huey Lewis and the News will be releasing a DVD video box set of their greatest hits... It's speculated to be only half as annoying as the botched widesceen conversion of the back to the future (BTTF) Trilogy...
  • by 0123456 (636235)
    One thing you'll find is that many of the most vocal proponents of the 'misframing' of these DVDs are people who've never seen them. I watched all three over the weekend and counted about half a dozen shots which looked like they could have been framed better, most of them in the first future sequence of BTTF2... that's it. Frankly, I was so utterly unconcerned by the slightly odd framing in those shots that I doubt I'll even bother sending my disks back for replacements if they release a version with those few shots changed.

    Most, if not all, of these comparisons have been between the movie and the laserdisk. Yet the laserdisk apparently wasn't even released in the correct aspect ratio, so who's to say how it was supposed to look other than the director? Until and unless the director or one of the other major creative production staff actually come out and say 'no, they were framed wrong, thanks for getting them to fix the movie', I'm going to presume that the version we got was the version intended and keep it, rather than a new version that's been edited by committee. Oddly, some of the people making the most fuss about these disks are some of the people who make a big fuss whenever a movie is released in a different form to that which the director intended... yet now they want to control how the movie is framed regardless of what the director may think.
  • I still remember watching the original film on VHS back in '86 or '87, and I always told my folks that there would be a sequel. Well, after watching the special features, I learned that originally the whole "We gotta do something about your kids, Marty!" was more of a closing joke than a setup for the next film. Anyway, no matter how many times I saw the original film, nothing was cooler than watching the DVD and seeing the DeLorean roll off Doc Brown's truck for the first time. The audio was great, and my floor shook to the rumbling of the engine. Also, hearing Alan Silvestri's work in CD-quality sound really makes the movie come to life even more. I highly recommend anyone who liked the movies to watch them again on DVD. It really is a whole new experience.
  • the first time i saw back to the future in the theatre, marty followed up his dad's explanation about the alien that told him he would melt his brain with, "let's just keep this brain melting stuff to ourselves." the next time i saw it in the theatre and every subsequent time i've seen it in any format (tv, vhs) that line was not in the movie. has anybody else out there seen a version that had that line in the movie?
    • You sure you're not misremembering? I always remember there being a scene in Return of the Jedi that isn't there (Luke "installing" the light saber in R2D2, only you only see Luke's hands, so you're not sure what you're seeing until the lightsaber shoots out). Near as I can tell, I must have read something like it in the novelization.
  • Confusing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nemesisj (305482) on Monday December 23, 2002 @04:04PM (#4946936) Homepage
    "For a DVD box set that has been over 15 years in the making"

    Am I the only one wondering how a DVD box set could be in the making since before DVD's existed? Maybe this guy just meant that was the last time the movies had been seen in the theaters, but it sounds a little silly.

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke

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