What a delightful trilogy. The sequels are overstuffed and have lots of bad ideas. Marty’s biggest flaw is that he gets mad when people say he’s chicken?” Thats a symptom of a flaw, sure, but talk about a gross oversimplification of a real personal problem. The time travelling inevitably introduces loopholes if you think too hard about it. The only consistent female character in the series is quite literally abandoned on a porch because the filmmakers didn’t know what to do with her. Like many sequels, it trips over itself to introduce conflict. 

But it also gets a lot right: there’s sincerity here that doesn’t exist in our modern blockbusters. Characters actually grow and change. Corny elements are embraced, not mocked, because we’re supposed to have fun, which seems like a foreign concept in our current DC and Marvel nightmare. Clearly modern blockbusters are borrowing from this series extensively in tone, but they forgot to bring the characters along for the ride. 

An aside: we watched the trilogy in 4K after I found the set at a used store. For many years, I have privately moaned about how Universal let Back to the Future’s film quality slowly degrade over time. My Blu-ray set was awful, barely better than the VHS set we had when I was a kid. But these new 4K discs look amazing. Care has been taken to restore these films, and I can’t imagine them looking a whole lot better than they do now. They’ve also remixed the sound into an Atmos mix, and what an amazing mix. I’m not joking: the sound mix for Back to the Future is nearly as aggressive as Dune. It’s insane. The 4K version is well worth your time if you love these movies.

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