MAD MAX / MAD MAX 2 Blu-ray reviews
Distributors: MGM Video (US) / Warner Home Video (US)
Originally set to be two individual reviews, it seemed an interesting notion to link the two together as presumably most buyers interested in one of these movies, may well be interested in the other.
Mad Max is released on Blu-ray in a US region A locked disc courtesy of MGM Video.
Rather annoyingly it has been released in one of those Blu-ray/DVD sets which has most of the extras on the DVD, however as far as the overall quality of the release goes, Mad Max on Blu-ray is impressive.
The 1080p 2.35:1 wide-screen transfer is reasonably strong, although due to original filming elements, it will not compete against modern day movie transfers. An amount of film grain is clearly evident in certain outdoor scenes and it was nice to see that this release has not suffered with issues of DNR. Colours and black levels are particularly impressive throughout, with much improved detail over the DVD releases.
Audio tracks for this release were always going to be of great concern. Thankfully MGM have made the right decision in releasing this Blu-ray with the original Australian soundtrack intact, which is presented in both 5.1 DTS or the the added option of the original Australian mono. In addition, there are also other audio options available, including Spanish and French stereo tracks and the cringe worthy original American dubbed mono for completists. Ultimately it is the original Australian audio track which is the ultimate find here, presented clearly in DTS-HD which is clean and free from distortion.
Extra features are also impressive, including a group commentary track with the films cinematographer, special effects technician, art director and Mad Max "super fan" and a lengthy movie featurette all present on the Blu-ray disc. There is also a Mel Gibson documentary, trivia facts track, trailers, TV spots and photo gallery which are all to be found on the DVD disc.
All things considered, MGM have produced a very neat package here which fans of the film will no doubt appreciate.
The original 1980's classic which spawned a trend of post apocalyptic sci-fi /action movies.
Max Max 2 or The Road Warrior depending on your preferred title, is released on Blu-ray by Warner Home Video on a region free disc.
Having seen the film across many different video and DVD releases over the years, the Blu-ray transfer can only be described as stunning. It is no exaggeration to say that the print looks almost brand new and will simply blow away your expectations, especially if you are accustomed to seeing regular standard definition prints of the movie.
The colours and detail in this 1080p 16x9 wide-screen transfer are excellent, showing no print damage to speak of and a very sharp clean image throughout. It is also worth noting for purists of the film that this release contains an uncut print of the movie, restoring a couple of extra gore shots including arrow and boomerang sequences which were cut from all previous R rated prints. The only other release to feature this footage was the original Japanese DVD release which has been out of print for many years.
The soundtrack on this Blu-ray release is presented in 5.1 audio which sounds clear and free from distortion. Dialogue is strong throughout, with a huge improvement over the DVD audio tracks. The improved audio is especially evident during the many scenes of carnage involving the iconic vehicle chases and subsequent crashes, which made the movie so popular to begin with.
Extra features comprise of an informative commentary track with director George Miller and cinematographer Dean Semler, an introduction to the film by critic Leonard Maltin and the theatrical trailer. Although it would have been a huge boost to see the now infamous deleted scenes or some modern day interviews or documentaries, the upgrade of the HD transfer alone is more than enough to justify a purchase of this release.
Mad Max 2 is one of the all time great 80's classic movies and it is fully deserving of the HD treatment. It is safe to say that this Blu-ray release is easily the best that this movie has or probably ever will look.
So, overall, two impressive Blu-ray releases for two classic iconic movies, but bear in mind that outside of the US, you will need multi region capabilities to enable to playback of both titles.
Hopefully, a Thunderdome Blu-ray release will not be too far away to complete the series.
"In the future, cities will become deserts, roads will become battlefields and the hope of mankind will appear as a stranger."
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