Jake Lipson

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Thank you, Josh!

I just locked in a pre-order of the new set with Amazon. I like the Target price better, but Amazon won't place a hold on my card until it ships. I'm still not sure if I will keep the pre-order or not, but this way I get a lock in on the lowest price if it drops and then can make up my mind closer to street date. Mostly I want to see reviews of the new transfers and what the price ends up being closer to the release.

I do like the steelbooks a lot, and it's a really cool idea to do one long image that crosses the three covers. But can't justify a $70 price tag, especially since I wouldn't be able to use the 4Ks. So if I get it, it will probably be the regular edition.

Did everyone see this reunion from a few months ago?

 
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Jake Lipson

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While looking on Amazon, I noticed that there is also going to be a new reprinting of "Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History Revised and Expanded Edition" releasing on November 3. I think the original edition of this book came out in 2015, but I never got it. I've pre-ordered with Amazon. Right now, they're showing a price of $50 for the book, which I assume is retail. I won't keep the pre-order if it doesn't go down, but locked it in for now to see what happens.

Here's the Amazon link just so anyone interested can locate the new edition, although I'm not sure if my posting it gives HTF credit for the purchase. So you might want to go through an HTF link to actually make a purchase. (Or, if a moderator would like to substitute this link with an HTF-coded one, that's fine with me.)

Amazon product
 
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Osato

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While looking on Amazon, I noticed that there is also going to be a new reprinting of "Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History Revised and Expanded Edition" releasing on November 3. I think the original edition of this book came out in 2015, but I never got it. I've pre-ordered with Amazon. Right now, they're showing a price of $50 for the book, which I assume is retail. I won't keep the pre-order if it doesn't go down, but locked it in for now to see what happens.

Here's the Amazon link just so anyone interested can locate the new edition, although I'm not sure if my posting it gives HTF credit for the purchase. So you might want to go through an HTF link to actually make a purchase. (Or, if a moderator would like to substitute this link with an HTF-coded one, that's fine with me.)

Amazon product
I recall seeing the previous version at Costco. It looked like a really good book. I may need to add this one to my shelf too.
 
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Dave Moritz

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While I have the 25th Anniversary blu-ray set sitting in my library I am looking forward to buying the 4K set as soon as it is available. While there is a small concern about transfer just because we do not know until we start seeing it for ourselves it is just that sometimes things happen like the T2 transfer. Anyway I love this trilogy and it is heavy that BTTF set will be out on 4K blu-ray this year. :D
 
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Jake Lipson

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I watched the first movie again last night, as I mentioned in the sticky Daily Viewing List thread. I'm not going to repost that here, but something else occurred to me after I finished writing that post and went to bed. I happened to not sleep well last night for whatever reason, so as I was lying awake, I started thinking. Everyone always asks about a potential theoretical Back to the Future Part IV, even though Zemeckis and Gale have been adamant that this won't happen. Even Josh Gad asked them about it in the recent Reunited Apart video that I posted yesterday in post #62.

I love the trilogy as-is and don't want another one because I think it ended perfectly -- for the purpose of this discussion, we'll put aside the animated series -- and I don't think asking for Part IV is the right question.

I think the question is: what is the next original movie that will have the same kind of impact as Back to the Future did when it came out? And can that actually get produced in today's Hollywood system? It's hard to think in these terms now because it is a huge iconic trilogy, but Back to the Future was not a franchise film when it came out. Once upon a time, it was a totally new IP with a really great hook. Spielberg's name was on it as a producer, but it was a new quantity that broke out and became huge.

Speaking generally, I have no problem with the mega-franchises of today. I saw Avengers and Spider-Man four times each last summer in their theatrical runs, and I think they're great. But those are big, widely-known IPs that Disney (and, in the case of Spider-Man, also Sony) spent years cultivating into these huge brands. There's nothing wrong with that necessarily because they're making good movies. But it does make me wonder: if Back to the Future hadn't existed until now, would Universal (or whatever studio) make this film today? I'm not sure that they would.

I don't mean literally this exact film -- presumably, if the concept was new today, Marty would start in the present day and go back about 30 years, so it wouldn't be 1985 and 1955. The '80s would be the older time period now. Nor am I saying that I want a remake of any kind. But I mean, the type of smartly written high concept original property that Back to the Future represented in its day.

In terms of last year's top grossers, you had to go down to #12 on the domestic box office chart to find a film that wasn't based on existing IP, which was Us with a final gross of $175 million. That's a great result for that movie and I don't mean to knock it at all, but it isn't really comparable to what Back to the Future made in 1985. Back to the Future isn't a low-budget movie, but it also isn't a $200 million style tentpole in the way that we know them today. People just don't go to the movies as often for things that they don't already know they're going to like.

So, as much as I love many of the big franchise films that we get today, I wonder if there is some great original script sitting in the slush pile in studio offices, struggling to get made, that in another lifetime would have been as significant as Back to the Future. We have more avenues for movies to get made than ever before, but it feels like we're stuck in this area where everything is a huge branded property that has to make near a billion or a smaller indie that would never make that much. I don't really know where I was going with this, but I hope we haven't lost this type of film permanently. If studios are always looking for existing IP, they might well be passing over something brilliant, like Back to the Future was, just because it isn't a known thing. That's kind of scary and kind of sad.
 
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TravisR

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So, as much as I love many of the big franchise films that we get today, I wonder if there is some great original script sitting in the slush pile in studio offices, struggling to get made, that in another lifetime would have been as significant as Back to the Future. We have more avenues for movies to get made than ever before, but it feels like we're stuck in this area where everything is a huge branded property that has to make near a billion or a smaller indie that would never make that much. I don't really know where I was going with this, but I hope we haven't lost this type of film permanently. If studios are always looking for existing IP, they might well be passing over something brilliant, like Back to the Future was, just because it isn't a known thing. That's kind of scary and kind of sad.
The one thing that keeps me from being totally depressed about that is that time will be the real test. There's a few of last year's franchise movies that won't be remembered in 2 years let alone 20 years but I think movies like Knives Out, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and Us will eventually be seen as classics. Admittedly, it's ridiculously early to say that (as I said, time is the real test) but those movies are already very well regarded by critics and fans that I see on Twitter while I don't see anyone mention some movies that made vastly more money.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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There’s a very real chance that an original, high concept, midbudget film with popular actors at the recognizable but not “biggest star in the world” level would be developed in today’s market as a premium limited series. I absolutely think if the concept was presented as an original idea today that it would be viable, but that it very well might turn out to be three 8 or 10 episode seasons rather than three 2 hour movies.

To my mind, that’s not automatically a bad thing. It’s a great story with characters we want to spend more time with; why should it be arbitrarily limited to two hours?
 

Jake Lipson

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To my mind, that’s not automatically a bad thing. It’s a great story with characters we want to spend more time with; why should it be arbitrarily limited to two hours?
It's not a bad thing necessarily, and I love a lot of the prestige TV being made these days. There is great value in being able to explore characters for several hours, for sure. But there's also a great economy to the two-hour-ish movie format. Back to the Future is two hours because it doesn't need to be more than two hours to tell its story as effectively as possible.

And, of course, there's something to be said for gathering in a big dark room with a bunch of strangers and having a communal experience in the movie theater, especially with comedies. (This last part applies as a general statement, and not to present circumstances with a pandemic going on, but you see my point.)

So I hope that there is a way for these kinds of movies to survive as movies. The world of filmed entertainment, whether in a movie or long-form television series, thrives when there are lots of options for how to tell stories. Ideally speaking, the creators should be able to find whichever way is most effective for the story they are trying to tell. I know that's not always how it actually works, but that's how it should be.
 
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TravisR

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There’s a very real chance that an original, high concept, midbudget film with popular actors at the recognizable but not “biggest star in the world” level would be developed in today’s market as a premium limited series.
Some of those stories still might be told on TV but the problem is that the artform of movies basically risks turning into a ghetto of franchise movies. And if theater chains start to die off in the coming years due to VOD, that means more focus on mega budget movies because they'll help keep the lights on at theaters.
 

Jake Lipson

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But I definitely favor the medium of a really good 2-hour movie.
I don't think I would say I favor one or the other. It depends on what the story is and which way will be the most effective to tell it. In the case of Back to the Future, the most effective way to tell it is obviously the movie in the way that it exists now. There's something that's incredible about the fact that you get to know these characters so well in a two-hour format that it doesn't feel lacking. It doesn't feel like it needs to be a limited series because they got a complete arc into the first movie, and then expanded on that with the two sequels which have a complete arc between them. It was the right idea at the right time in the right way. Lots of other things work better in a long form way. It just depends on what the creators are trying to do and what the needs of the specific thing are.
 
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Carlo Medina

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I agree with you Doug. But it looks like future generations are moving towards smaller time investments. Maybe it's the shorter attention span due to being overloaded with media. While yes an 8-10 episode series does require an overall longer time commitment, because it's got more natural breaks not just between episodes, but within episodes, it actually is less of a time investment each sitting, because you can put it down at shorter intervals much easier than you can movies.

I work at a college, and it's been amazing over the last ten years seeing the students change and morph. Nowadays you can't really get them to sit for a 2 hour movie (unless it's an MCU movie, apparently) but they will absolutely watch episodic TV until the cows come home.
 

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