Widescreen: 'Back to the Future' 4K remaster comes home

  • "Marty, can you believe it?! We're in 4K Ultra HD now!" -- not actual dialogue from "Back to the Future Part II," starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.

    "Marty, can you believe it?! We're in 4K Ultra HD now!" -- not actual dialogue from "Back to the Future Part II," starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Courtesy of Universal Studios

 
 
Posted10/21/2020 6:00 AM

"Back to the Future" hasn't strayed far from our collective pop culture consciousness in the past 35 years, but it's suddenly everywhere again -- and not just because it was a popular drive-in feature this summer.

This week brings the first 4K Ultra HD release of Robert Zemeckis' time-traveling trilogy on Blu-ray. The newly remastered boxed set loaded with the expected special features will run you $55.98, but you can probably find it for about 10 bucks cheaper online. It comes with standard Blu-ray Discs and digital HD versions of the movies, too, and is available now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The lovably long-winded movie podcast called "Blank Check," hosted by actor Griffin Newman ("The Tick") and film critic David Sims of The Atlantic, is in the midst of a series tackling Zemeckis' filmography, and all three episodes covering the "Back to the Future" movies are available now. "Blank Check" is an adults-only yakker given to eyebrow-raising tangents, but Newman and Sims have comedic chops and encyclopedic film knowledge that have kept listeners coming back for five years. Find it online at audioboom.com or your podcast app of choice.

And finally, Alan Silvestri's memorable music from "Back to the Future" was the subject of last week's installment of "Settling the Score," a film soundtrack podcast hosted by a composer and pianist who can tell you why so many iconic themes are composed in the Lydian mode. (Oh, they'll tell you what the Lydian mode actually is, too.) Find it online at settlingthescorepodcast.com.

A lion's head rules atop a three-tiered pinball table in "Demon's Tilt."
A lion's head rules atop a three-tiered pinball table in "Demon's Tilt." - Courtesy of FLARB, LLC
'Occult Pinball Action''

The 1990s were the golden age of pinball video games (if there was such a thing) thanks to NEC's TurboGrafx-16 console and the games "Alien Crush" and "Devil's Crush." Both had you flipping through living playfields full of grotesque creatures, scored with creepy music.

I've been reliving that era the last few weeks with a new(ish) game called "Demon's Tilt," an indie title from designer Adam Ferrando that bills itself as "Occult Pinball Action." Like "Devil's Crush," it has a haunting face in the middle of its three-tiered pinball table; unlike that game, this dark priestess calls the action as you bash spiders, a giant snake and Lovecraftian nasties with your silver ball.

It's a casual, addictive game perfect for spooky season, and it's available for PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

• Sean Stangland is an assistant news editor whose favorite TurboGrafx game was "The Legendary Axe."

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