Review: New Film "OUTATIME" Documents Historic Restoration of Original DeLorean Time Machine

By Tom Silknitter
Posted Jul 16 2016

The 30th Anniversary of Back to the Future has now come and gone, however Back to the Future fans can still rejoice with a documentary visit back to the franchise.  July 19th is the public release of the film Outatime: Saving the DeLorean Time Machine.  This 63 minute documentary covers the spearheaded efforts of Back to the Future's producer, co-creator and writer Bob Gale's personal project to restore the original hero "A car" DeLorean time machine.

 

Created and directed by Steve Concotelli, the documentary documents the efforts of the Time Machine Restoration Team in restoring the original hero DeLorean time machine to its original screen-seen condition.   The documentary begins by presenting some of the history of the car along with footage of the vehicle in the films.  It continues to show how the vehicle's use as an outdoor tourist prop display led to it becoming quite poor in condition compared to how it appeared on the silver screen.  Once Bob Gale saw the condition of the "A" car at a Nike promotional event held at Universal Studios Hollywood in September 2011, he personally took to overseeing the vehicle be correctly restored.

A team of die-hard fans and local industry insiders was soon assembled, and a ground-up restoration of the DeLorean was undertaken.  The documentary with actual footage of the painstaking work being performed highlights the lengths the restoration team went to.   The cinematography is quite strong and very clear so the viewer actually feels like they are there.

The documentary is interwoven with footage of the restoration with interviews with various members of the restoration team and industry insiders.   The film keeps on pace for goal: documenting the restoration.    Several other recent documentaries have tried to cram so much into them, that they were bogged down and lost their direction.  OUTATIME never suffers from this.  There is also lots of eye candy for Back to the Future fans, including personal photographs fans sent in along with some rare archival photos which have never before been published.

The only minor draw back is the narrative tool utilized to make give it a "beat the clock" sensation with the restoration's deadline, which made it seem more like a reality TV show.   Had the deadline ended up being truly as intense as presented, it still felt a bit forced or manufactured.   Even at the original premiere release of this film last October at "We're Going Back", the use of this countdown creative tool might not have been necessary, since by that point, the restored car had already been on display for some time. That being said, it doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the film.

The quality of the whole production is very professional.  The cinematography, the graphics, the sound — all are top-notch.    A few times, the music adds to the reality TV show feel as well.  The music that had nods to the original soundtrack was more fulfilling than the action scenes soundtrack. On a whole, the documentary displays much better than many of the studio-produced documentaries from years past.  The film did have Kickstarter support, and once the film is viewed by its many supporters, they should all feel proud knowing that their support went towards helping the execution of a well-produced film.

There are actually lots of nice items in the bonus features for fans.  One of the highlights is the bonus feature where restoration team leader Joe Walser shows the flux capacitor housings from the "A" car and the "C" car, comparing the differences.  Another bonus is a nice slide show presentation of images showing the vehicle before and after its restoration.

The documentary's home video release might be a little bit later than the original intended release date, but the end product was well worth the wait.  A secondary reason for the delay might have been the fact that Universal Studios Hollywood closed down the exhibit where the restored "A" car was being displayed between the time filming ended and before the 30th Anniversary events were held last October.  It was announced earlier this year that the restored DeLorean would be placed on permanent display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.  There is a sort of "epilogue" for the film found in the bonus section with interviews with museum officials and video of the restored vehicle at the museum, including its unveiling in late April.

OUTATIME: Saving the DeLorean Time Machine is available on Blu-ray and DVD July 19, 2016, and is a must-have for any Back to the Future fan's video library. Visit the film's official site at OUTATIMEmovie.com for more information.

[The author was a financial supporter of the film on Kickstarter, however, had no influence on any editorial decisions in the film's creation.]


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