I know I was annoyed by Blu-ray for a while, but I think we picked just the right time to jump, since lots of our favorites are just now being re-released in that format. And as the studios hoped, since we have a new Blu-ray player, we’re eager for content to feed into it.
The latest announcement that has me salivating is the Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy, due out October 25th (my birthday week!). The set (also available on DVD) promises new audio and video restorations, and I’ve always enjoyed the movies for their blend of science fiction, comedy, and adventure.
A new, six-part “retrospective documentary featuring never-before-seen interviews with the cast, crew and filmmakers, including Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, and director Robert Zemeckis” heads up over two hours of new bonus features, available in both formats. It covers each of the films, plus pre-production and casting, songs and score, and reactions to the movies, including the Universal park ride and fan response. There are also
- a feature on the physics and science of the trilogy
- the storyboard sequence of the original proposed ending of the film titled “Nuclear Test Site”
- plus lots (everything?) carried over from the previous 2002 DVD set, including 16 deleted scenes, two commentaries on each film (a Q&A with Zemeckis and producer Bob Gale, or one with producers Gale and Neil Canton), the making-ofs, behind-the-scenes, galleries, trailers, and the Huey Lewis and the News “Power of Love” music video
The Blu-ray exclusives are, for the most part, those that take advantage of the new technology. That’s a really smart way to do things, since it doesn’t look as though you’re punishing DVD customers or trying to force them to upgrade. The Blu-ray only elements include such things as a trivia track, a storyboard comparison while watching the movie, BD-LIVE links, the ability to bookmark favorite scenes, and the ability to control your Blu-ray player from your iPhone, Blackberry, or Android phone or Macintosh or Windows computer with Universal’s pocket BLU app. That app also allows you to control the film’s Video Timeline or get exclusive Mobile-to-Go content.
There is one Blu-ray video exclusive: the archival featurette “Back to the Future Night”: “Hosted by Leslie Nielson, this original 30-minute special aired on NBC prior to the first television screening of Back to the Future.” I’ll definitely be picking up this set — now if I can only avoid the temptation to upgrade all my Pixar movies to Blu-ray.