To the Future, Finally

You just know the whole director's commentary thing has gotten way out of control when they're showing up on porn DVDs; sorry, but didn't really need to know the fluffer on duty during the filming of Stop! My Ass is on Fire. (Well, come to think of it...) Then there's the small fact that the DVD has been a commercially viable format for six years, yet only slowly do top titles trickle out of the studios. For years Back to the Future--and its two sequels, though significantly less so--sat atop the list of DVDs most coveted by users, alongside the first three Star Wars films and the Indiana Jones trilogy, which might be released before decade's end. While the others are easily found on burned-from-laserdisc bootlegs--and, if I do say so myself, the Star Wars trilogy looks mighty fine, even if they are the particularly wretched special-edition editions--the BTTF trilogy at last makes its official bow with a 50-buck box, forcing you to buy all three movies when two will do. (The third, a Western that's more mild than wild, still feels wholly irrelevant and dopey.)

Revelations unearthed from 10 hours of extras: Director Robert Zemeckis excised several scenes from the first film in which Michael J. Fox said "shit" a lot; the second movie became dark in tone when Crispin Glover made outrageous demands and had to be written out; had Zemeckis known there would be a second film, he never would have had Fox's girlfriend in the DeLorean at movie's end; and Kirk Cameron made some BTTF special in which he answers mail, for some reason. Oh, and Fox had a lot of fun. He says it right there on disc one. And two. And three. Amazing, though, they could fit three movies on three DVDs. Took four for the first Lord of the Rings. By the time that trilogy's done, they may whittle 'em down to 24.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky