Back to the Future Part II (1989)
|Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Comedy / Science Fiction|
|Universal || PG - 108 minutes - $19.98 || February 10, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-02-16|
Writer(s): Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale (story), Bob Gale (screenplay)
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson, Elisabeth Shue
Theatrical Release Date: November 22, 1989
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Back to the Future is known as one of the quintessential 80s movies but for my money, it’s one of the best, well at least most entertaining, movies of all-time. I have probably seen it a dozen times through my movie-watching life because, simply, I have fun. For that reason alone, this film is in my movie hall of fame, right there with, yes, The Godfather.
And here comes the sequel, appropriately entitled, Back to the Future Part II. This entry takes a big step in the doo-doo known as time travel implausibility as Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) takes Marty (Michael J. Fox) and his girlfriend (now played by Elisabeth Shue, replacing Claudia Wells) to the year 2015 because Marty and Jennifer’s son, Marty Jr. gets into deep trouble thanks to Griff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson).
Of course, does this not go against everything Doc Brown railed against about using the time machine for personal use in such a way? What about destiny? Would it not serve Marty Jr., the idiot he is, to pay for his stupidity? Brown ignores all the perils of time travel to save Marty’s kid... Really??? Or could it be the writers tried to force a sequel to cash in on the original’s success? Not like that hasn’t happened before or since...
Well, as noble as Brown’s intentions were, no good deed goes unpunished as Marty discovers a get rich quick scheme involving the Sport Almanac which he planned to take back to 1985 and use the scores inside to make some dough. After Brown discovers this, he throws the Almanac into the trash where it is picked up by Old Biff Tannen. He seizes the opportunity to steal the DeLorean and go back to 1955 and give it to his younger self, and the younger Biff uses it to gain wealth and power thus altering the 1985 Doc Brown and Marty (and Jennifer) return to. So now, Doc Brown and Marty must go back to 1955, risking running into their other selves, and stop Older Biff from giving Younger Biff the Almanac.
Get all that? Here’s the shorter version: Brown and Marty go from 1985 to 2015 to an alternate 1985 to 1955 and finally back to the correct 1985.
Back to the Future Part II is, despite such gigantic loop holes (don’t understand how older 1985 Biff doesn’t recognize Marty has the guy who kicked his butt, but OK), a movie that’s actually grown on me over the years. First, the set design of the future is both visually pleasing but also laughable as the year comes closer. But the highlight is going back to 1955 where Zemeckis and company use different angles and some nifty visual effects to place BTTF1 Marty with BTTF2 Marty in the same area (ditto on Doc Brown).
Sure, the story made little sense and will make your brain explode, but between visual effects and the natural chemistry between Doc Brown and Marty, it makes this a sequel despite so many flaws worth watching.
Everything is carried over everything from the 2002 release. For the sake of time and space, I’ll only cover the most interesting features and lump the others together.
Feature Commentary with Producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton.
The Making of Back to the Future Part 2 (6:40) is a classic “EPK” (before there was EPKs) with older footage and interviews with the cast and crew on the set from 1988/89.
Making the Trilogy: Chapter 2 (15:30) is presented in full frame and features interviews with Director Robert Zemeckis, Writer/Producer Bob Gale, Michael J. Fox and others.
Q&A with Director Robert Zemeckis and Producer Bob Gale is sort of an audio commentary as this Q&A session at UCLA runs with the movie.
We get 7 Deleted Scenes (5:40) and some short Outtakes (0:50).
Did You Know That? Universal Animated Anecdotes – When Back to the Future first came on DVD now 7 years ago, I believe those pop-up trivia tracks were popular, don’t see them as much anymore now (though I guess VH1’s “Pop Up Video” is still on)...
The rest of the disc is a hodge-podge of features (most self explanatory): Production Design (2:55); Storyboarding (1:31); Designing the DeLorean (3:33); Designing Time Travel (2:42); Hoverboard Test (0:58) where some stunt performers do visual/special effects testing; Evolution of Visual Effects (5:42) showing the cast just roaming around a set or twirling and whatnot; Production Archives with some photos and futuristic designs.
Plus we go the Theatrical Trailers; “Power of Love” Music Video; and the classic Cast and Crew Filmographies and Production Notes (talk about back to the future) along with DVD-ROM content.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Considering the disc is probably the same as the 2002 release, I assume Universal has done no restoration or a new audio track. Anyway, the movie is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 1.85 aspect ratio and features a good Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.
I think Back to the Future Part II, despite some time travel loopholes, is a sequel that has gotten better over time. No, it doesn’t match the greatness of the original (what sequel does?) but it’s a fun action/sci-fi/comedy that is worth more than one viewing.
With the DVD in mind, the only thing you’re getting is some new disc artwork and a shiny slip cover. That’s it, so if you already have the trilogy, you can skip this release.