New Blu-ray Releases Back to the Future Trilogy

Here are the latest Blu-ray releases you should check out (and maybe even buy; go ahead and treat yourself!) this week.

Back to the Future Trilogy 4K

At this point, it pretty much goes without saying, but the first Back to the Future has a perfect screenplay. The script, penned by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, is held up as the prime example of perfect, economical, smart screen storytelling. Of course, Zemeckis and Gale didn’t know they were penning a perfect screenplay when they crafted this thing. It just sort of…happened.

Through a succinct three-act structure we meet Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), a cool ’80s teen who happens to be friends with crazy scientist Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. Marty accidentally ends up traveling back in time via Doc’s time machine – a DeLorean. And wouldn’t you know it, Marty has just ended up at the exact point in time where his parents meet. Unfortunately, Marty’s arrival in the 1950s ends up causing problems – his parents don’t meet when they’re supposed to, and, even more alarming, Marty’s mom has to hots for him. Now Marty has to make sure his parents fall in love or he risks being blinked out of existence.

It sounds like the set-up for some dumb joke, but it all works out perfectly. And then there are the sequels! Which are…uh…not as great. Look, I know they have their defenders. And when I was young I was thrilled with all the futuristic stuff of Back to the Future Part II, which had Marty literally going to the future. But that film is not nearly as well-put-together as its predecessor (and the subplot involving the very Trumpian Biff, the bully who has plagued Marty’s family for decades, is hard to watch at this point in time). And while the Wild West antics of Back to the Future Part III have their charms, they, too never recapture the magic of the original film. Still, there’s something remarkable about this franchise, and we should all be grateful they didn’t try to make a lackluster fourth film, especially since as a director Zemeckis has severely lost his mojo.

Own or Rent? 

This is a must-have. Not only do you get all three films in 4K, you also get some great new features, like audition tapes featuring actors who could’ve appeared in the first film had things worked out differently (Ben Stiller is one of them!). There are also new features that delve into the “rules” established by the films’ various methods of time traveling, and all the previously-released features from former releases. This is the definitive box set for the film. Accept no substitutes.

Special Features Include: 

BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE ULTIMATE TRILOGY bonus DISC FEATURES ON BLU-RAY:

  • An Alternate Future: Lost Audition Tapes (NEW) – Get a glimpse of the BACK TO THE FUTURE that could have been with rare audition footage featuring now-famous celebrities.
    • Ben Stiller
    • Kyra Sedgwick
    • Jon Cryer
    • Billy Zane
    • Peter DeLuise
    • C. Thomas Howell
  • The Hollywood Museum Goes BACK TO THE FUTURE (NEW) – Join Co-writer/Producer Bob Gale on an intimate tour of an exhaustive exhibit of the films’ props and memorabilia.
  • BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE MUSICAL Behind the Scenes (NEW) – Get a sneak peek at the new musical show including a Q&A with the cast and creative team plus two new song recordings.
    • Cast and Creative Q&A
    • Original Songs
      • Gotta Start Somewhere
      • Put Your Mind To It
  • Could You Survive The Movies? BACK TO THE FUTURE (NEW) – Explore the magic and science of BACK TO THE FUTURE and find out which laws of physics were actually violated in this special episode of the popular YouTube series.
  • 2015 Message from Doc Brown
    • DOC BROWN SAVES THE WORLD!
  • OUTATIME: Restoring the DeLorean
  • Looking BACK TO THE FUTURE
    • The Script
    • Casting Marty McFly
    • Christopher Lloyd Reflects on Doc Brown
    • The DeLorean Time Machine
    • Building Hill Valley
    • Prepping for the “Johnny B. Goode” Scene
    • The Score
    • Rushing the Cut
    • The Legacy
  • BACK TO THE FUTURE: The Animated Series
    • Brothers (Season 1, Episode 1)
    • Mac the Black (Season 2, Episode 1)
  • 2015 Commercials
    • JAWS 19 Trailer
    • Hoverboard Commercial

BACK TO THE FUTURE bonus FEATURES ON 4K Ultra Hd & BLU-RAY:

  • Deleted Scenes (Commentary by Producer Bob Gale available)
    • Peanut Brittle
    • “Pinch Me”
    • Doc’s Personal Belongings
    • “She’s Cheating”
    • Darth Vader (Extended Version)
    • “Hit Me George”
    • “You Got a Permit?”
    • The Phone Booth
  • Tales from THE FUTURE: In the Beginning…
  • Tales from THE FUTURE: Time to Go
  • Tales from THE FUTURE: Keeping Time
  • Archival Featurettes
    • The Making of BACK TO THE FUTURE
    • Making the Trilogy: Chapter One
    • BACK TO THE FUTURE Night
  • Michael J. Fox Q&A
    • How He Got the Role
    • The Character of Doc
    • Working on a Film and TV Series at the Same Time
    • Shooting BACK TO THE FUTURE II and III Together
    • DeLoreans
    • Special FX and Stunts
    • The Appeal of BACK TO THE FUTURE
    • Shooting BACK TO THE FUTURE
  • Behind the Scenes
    • Original Makeup Tests
    • Outtakes
    • Nuclear Test Site Sequence (Commentary by Producer Bob Gale available)
    • Photo Galleries*
      • Production Art
      • Storyboards
      • Behind-the-Scenes Photographs
      • Marketing Materials
      • Character Portraits
  • Huey Lewis and the News “The Power of Love” Music Video
  • Theatrical Teaser Trailer
  • Join Team Fox
  • Q&A Commentary with Director Robert Zemeckis and Producer Bob Gale
  • Feature Commentary with Producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton

*Only on the Blu-ray™ disc

BACK TO THE FUTURE II bonus FEATURES ON 4K Ultra Hd & BLU-RAY:

  • Deleted Scenes (Commentary by Producer Bob Gale available)
    • Old Terry and Old Biff
    • “Dad’s Home” (Extended Version)
    • Pizza Scene
    • Jennifer Faints (Extended Version)
    • Old Biff Vanishes from Car
    • Burned Out High School
    • Marty Meets Dave
  • Tales from THE FUTURE: Time Flies
  • The Physics of BACK TO THE FUTURE with Dr. Michio Kaku
  • Archival Featurettes
    • The Making of BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II
    • Making the Trilogy: Chapter Two
  • Behind the Scenes
    • Outtakes
    • Production Design
    • Storyboarding
    • Designing the DeLorean
    • Designing Time Travel
    • Hoverboard Test
    • Evolution of Visual Effects Shots
    • Photo Galleries*
      • Production Art
      • Storyboards
      • Behind-the-Scenes Photographs
      • Marketing Materials
      • Character Portraits
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Q&A Commentary with Director Robert Zemeckis and Producer Bob Gale
  • Feature Commentary with Producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton

*Only on the Blu-ray™ disc

BACK TO THE FUTURE III bonus FEATURES ON 4K Ultra Hd & BLU-RAY:

  • Deleted Scene (Commentary by Producer Bob Gale available)
    • The Tannen Gang Kills Marshal Strickland
  • Tales from THE FUTURE: Third Time’s the Charm [FEATURED BONUS]
  • Tales from THE FUTURE: The Test of Time [FEATURED BONUS]
  • Archival Featurettes
    • The Making of BACK TO THE FUTURE Part III
    • Making the Trilogy: Chapter Three
    • The Secrets of the BACK TO THE FUTURE Trilogy
  • Behind the Scenes
    • Outtakes
    • Designing the Town of Hill Valley
    • Designing the Campaign
    • Photo Galleries*
      • Production Art
      • Storyboards
      • Behind-the-Scenes Photographs
      • Marketing Materials
      • Character Portraits
  • ZZ Top “Doubleback” Music Video
  • FAQs About the Trilogy
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • BACK TO THE FUTURE: The Ride
    • Lobby Monitor
    • The Ride
  • Q&A Commentary with Director Robert Zemeckis and Producer Bob Gale
  • Feature Commentary with Producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton

Parasite 

It feels like a million years ago, but Parasite actually had its big Academy Awards moment this year. Everyone was rooting for Bong Joon-ho‘s movie, but everyone assumed the Academy – who are prone to make less-than-great choices – would blow it and Parasite would be ignored. But no! It won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film, and became the first non-English language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

I can remember being wonderfully surprised by the Oscar triumph, and I stupidly thought it was some sort of sign that good things were on the way. That the universe, which has been tilting towards misery for so long, was finally going to start tilting back the other way. That Parasite cleaning up at the Oscars was proof that good things could still happen. And then a deadly virus broke out across the world. So let this be a lesson to me: never, ever have hope in anything.

That said, Parasite remains a modern classic – a tale of a lower-class family who con their way into the lives of a wealthy family, and then get a lot more than they bargained for. A searing indictment of capitalism and a deeply, darkly funny movie that also has the power to horrify you. It’s one of those rare movies that actually lives up to – and in fact, exceeds – its hype.

Own or Rent? 

Parasite already came out on Blu-ray. Actually, it came out twice – once on regular Blu-ray, once on 4K. And now here it is again! This is, of course, a Criterion Collection release, which gives it a certain amount of pizazz. But it also has new things to offer, like a new commentary track from Bong Joon-ho and a new 4K digital master. This is the version to own.

Special Features Include: 

  • New 4K digital master, approved by director Bong Joon Ho and director of photography Hong Kyung Pyo, with Dolby Atmos soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring Bong and critic Tony Rayns
  • Black-and-white version of the film, with Dolby Atmos soundtrack and a new introduction by Bong
  • New conversation between Bong and critic Darcy Paquet
  • New interviews with Hong, production designer Lee Ha Jun, and editor Yang Jinmo
  • New program about the New Korean Cinema movement featuring Bong and filmmaker Park Chan-wook
  • Cannes Film Festival press conference from 2019 featuring Bong and members of the cast
  • Master class featuring Bong from the 2019 Lumière Festival in Lyon, France
  • Storyboard comparison
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Inkoo Kang

El Camino

When word broke that there would be a Breaking Bad movie that would “wrap-up” the story of Jesse Pinkman, I was skeptical. I thought the way the show ended – with a badly damaged Jesse driving to freedom while laughing like a maniac – worked, and worked well. But El Camino ended up being a wonderful surprise. It’s a tense, exceptionally well-directed character piece. And while it may not be necessary, and some of the Breaking Bad cameos may feel excessive, it doesn’t diminish what’s ultimately a post-modern Western about a gunfighter’s last stand. Aaron Paul does some of the best work of his career here, playing Jesse at various stages of his life, which also means we get Jesse in varying states of distress. Paul is run through the wringer here, and it makes his character all the more endearing. Yes, Jesse has done some horrible things, but we can’t help but sympathize with him and hope he gets away clean. Somehow.

Own or Rent? 

Anytime a Netflix movie hits physical media, I can just hear the groans of people asking: “Why buy this when I can just watch it on Netflix?!” And I get it. But this is a physical media column, god damn it! And I firmly believe movies just look better on disc than they do when streamed on Netflix. Is it psycho-sematic? Am I fooling myself to justify my out-of-control Blu-ray habit? Maybe! But I still think it’s true. On top of that, this Blu-ray release features something Netflix does not: special features! While I would love for Netflix to invest in special features – The Criterion Channel does it, so Netflix really has no excuse – for now, a release like this is the best way to get access to a commentary track, or deleted scenes. So this put this one in the “own” column.

Special Features Include: 

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES

  • Audio Commentary with Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Scene Studies with Vince Gilligan

BLU-RAY AND DVD

  • Super Commentary!: An ensemble audio commentary featuring 46 members of the cast and crew
  • Making El Camino: A behind-the-scenes documentary featuring never-before-seen interviews with the cast and crew
  • Snow Globe: A Breaking Bad Short
  • Skinny Pete in the Box Teaser
  • On the Radio Teaser
  • Rocker Salvage Commercial
  • Vamonos Pest Commercial
  • “Enchanted” by Chloe x Halle
  • Visual Effects Design Galleries

Haunt

A delightfully creepy entry in the budding “Halloween haunts that turn out to be really haunted and/or deadly,” Haunt hails from writers-directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, who also wrote A Quiet PlaceHaunt isn’t as slickly produced as that blockbuster, and that’s just fine – it doesn’t have to be. The indie quality only adds to the horror, as a group of college kids end up in what first appears to be a rather low-rent Halloween haunted house. The further they travel into the building, though, the more clear it becomes that this is no normal Halloween attraction. That something is very, very wrong here. And that the masked figures running the show aren’t playing around. It’s not the most sophisticated of ideas, but Beck and Woods elevate things first by giving us a memorable new final girl in the form of Harper, played by Katie Stevens. She’s stuck in an abusive relationship, and, as we learn, she comes from an abusive home life. It’s made her timid and nervous – conditions that are obviously only worsened by the haunted house. But as the body count piles up, Harper grows stronger, and we’re really rooting for her. The other thing that kicks things up a notch: those masked figures. The masks look like dime-store plastic, but that makes them somewhat even creepier. And just wait until what you see under the mask…

Own or Rent? 

Haunt is streaming on Shudder, but I highly recommend you pick up the Blu-ray. It has several different commentaries as well as a making-of featurette which you can’t find on any streaming service. And if you really want to splurge you can pick up the collector’s edition, which the “CD Soundtrack by tomandandy, four 16” x 20” fold out movie poster reproductions, a 16” x 20” fold out reproduction of the haunt map, six enamel pins featuring costume masks featured in the film, four 2” x 3 ½” replica VHS box-style magnets, and over 5 hours of special features.”

Special Features Include: 

  • NEW To Escape the Haunt: The Making of HAUNT featurette including interviews with writers/directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, actors Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Andrew Lewis Caldwell, Lauryn Alisa McClain, Schuyler Helford, Justin Marxen, Chaney Morrow, Special Makeup Effects artist Chris Bridges and co-composer Andy Milburn (tomandandy)
  • NEW Audio Commentary with actors Justin Marxen (Clown), Chaney Morrow (Ghost) and Damian Maffei (Devil)
  • Audio Commentary with writers/directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, Behind the Haunt, The Sound of Haunt, Deleted Scenes with an introduction by Scott and Bryan
  • Popcorn Frights Q & A with Scott, Bryan and some of the cast
  • Egyptian Theatre Premiere Q & A with Scott and Bryan, moderated by Eli Roth
  • Short Film: The Sleepover – Scott and Bryan’s first film
  • Director’s Diary
  • Theatrical Trailer
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