FABLife’s DVD Picks Of The Week

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Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy

The second outing of Sex and the City has been described as “thin,” “borderline racist” and “women-hating,” so far be it from us to pour on more scorn. Instead, this week we’re prepping a pair of ’80s marathons, courtesy of two new box sets. The Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy, with Michael J. Fox zapped back in time thanks to Doc Brown’s souped-up Delorean, began as a nostalgic ode to 1950s and somehow by its sequel became The Twilight Zone in a blender. All is made well in a third installment that allows director Robert Zemeckis to tip his Stetson to the TV horse operas like Gunsmoke that he was weaned on as a youth. The comic gusto of the leads is as endearing as ever. Not so Huey Lewis’s theme tune—currently playing somewhere in Guantanamo Bay—or the rampant product placement, which manages to make even far-off 2015 look dated.

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Alien Anthology

Leaving aside those awful Vs. Predator movies, the Blu-Ray Alien Anthology collects the quartet, which provided a muscular playground for directors as diverse as Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Avatar), David Fincher (The Social Network) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie). Scott’s 1979 original is still the game-changer, with its H.R. Giger-designed psycho killer loose amid a spaceship that looks more like a junkyard than the starship Enterprise. But we’ve always had a soft-spot for Alien: Resurrection, whose Sigourney Weaver-Winona Ryder grrl power oomph isn’t a million light years away from Fox trying to fight off his nubile mother’s advances in 1955. Weaver’s heroics are a long way from sipping Cosmopolitans in Dubai. Too bad our movie future has gone in the wrong direction.

Extras: Trilogy includes “making of” featurettes, interviews and music videos. Blu-Ray features allow storyboard comparison and trivia tracks. Alien Anthology includes director’s cuts, commentary tracks, deleted scenes, a disc of “making of” docs, and comprehensive galleries and test footage from all stages of the productions.

- By C. Bottomley