Back to the Future Part III (1990)

Genre(s): Adventure / Comedy / Science Fiction / Western
Universal || PG - 118 minutes - $19.98 || February 10, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-02-18


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer(s): Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale (story), Bob Gale (screenplay)
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson, Lea Thompson


Theatrical Release Date: May 25, 1990


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Deleted Scene
  • Outtakes
  • Q&A with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale
  • Animated Anecdotes
  • 4 Featurettes
  • Production Archives
  • Music Video
  • FAQ's About the Trilogy (Text)
  • Theatrical Trailers


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

[Note: Minor Plot Spoilers]

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.

Back to the Future Part III ends the trilogy on a good note, but much like Part II, it does not come close to the originals magic. That being said, Part III is still a fun sequel on par with the second one.

The final chapter begins, like the first sequel, directly after the previous installment finding Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), stuck in 1955, once again needing the help of Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) (again) to get back to the future after the old Doc Brown accidentally time travels to 1885. The 1885 Doc Brown buried the DeLorean in an old mine shaft so in ’55 Marty can use it to get back to 1985... until Marty discovers that old Doc Brown actually dies only from a gunshot wound by Bufford Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) in 1885 and thus Marty goes to that time to save him.

Along the way, driving through the Old West, Marty runs into a battle between the Cowboys and Indians and even runs into his great-great grandfather, Sheamus McFly and his family. He then manages to get into the fledging town of Hill Valley, meet up with Doc who falls for the town’s new school teacher, Clara Clayton (Mary Steenburgen).

Back to the Future Part III is actually not that bad of a movie and it’s great to see the series come to a nice conclusion that also wasn’t as far-fetched or puzzling as Part II. And the addition of Mary Steenburgen as the love interest to Christopher Lloyd was yet another brilliant piece of casting by co-writer/director Robert Zemeckis and co-writer/producer Bob Gale. She brings charm to the series and adds a bit of dimension to the Doc Brown character that was needed.

Parts II and III was, if I remember correctly, the first movies to be filmed back to back, now made famous with the filming of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3. If only they had done that with the first one to avoid a pretty inane story (the movie itself was good).

On the whole, the Back to the Future Trilogy ends on an up note, with a fun story and all the actors – minus Elisabeth Shue who only appears very late – back for one last round. My only qualm with Part III is the ending with the emergence of Doc Brown and his new family, I guess once again Doc Brown has not learned his lesson (after taking Marty to the future to save Marty’s dumb-ass kid).

In any case, Back to the Future manages to become one of the best trilogies ever made — as if Anaconda, Mimic, Major League could compete —, (obviously still behind The Godfather and Lord of the Rings) and certainly The Matrix fell off in quality by the third outing which proves BttF3 pulled off something special...



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

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 3 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 3 (16:19) 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 a couple Deleted Scene (1:14) and some short Outtakes (1:36).

Did You Know That? Universal Animated Anecdotes – When the Back to the Future Trilogy 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): Designing the Town of Hill Valley (1:08), a short and pretty pointless featurette on how the clock tower is now iconic; Designing the Campaign (1:18); Production Archives with some photos, production designs and posters; The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy (20:40), a featurette made back in the early 90s and hosted by Kirk Cameron; and a text FAQ from Back to the Future.

Plus we got the Theatrical Trailers; a Music Video (4:08); 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.



.::OVERALL::.

Back to the Future Part III is a good movie and fine finale to one of the best trilogies ever made. The DVD, even for a direct re-release with all the features and audio/video transfer of the 2002 Trilogy, is nice but given the trilogy release can be had brand new for $23, not sure if just buying this one would be worth the money.