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Mad Max [1979] [DVD]
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2010
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.

MM1

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.

MM2

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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Mad Max is a great film. Camp, violent, exciting and groundbreaking. There's little more I can say about the movie itself. As for the disc it's a mixed bunch. The master it was taken from hasn't been given the restorative treatment many old catalogue titles receive and there is a fair amount of natural damage visible in the form of occasional scratches and discolouration. That said Mad Max has never, ever looked this good, warts and all. It never ceases to amaze me how much more there is to see in terms of fine detail when an old favourite gets the blu-ray upgrade and even without enhancement the anamorphic widescreen image looks fanatastic. There is currently no UK version of this available so the Australian version is the only easy option. It's a shame that the George Miller commentary from the US DVD is not present and be warned if you're a fan of cheese as the terrible US dub soundtrack from its first american cinematic release, though listed on the setup menu, is NOT present.
Nevertheless this is a highly recommended purchase.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It's not altogether surprising that Mad Max got such short shrift when it came out Stateside with an unfortunate dubbing job to eliminate the `Strine accents so American International could pretend it was an American film (Mel Gibson suffered perhaps a worse indignity with his screen credit moved to last position, just before the lab credit on the trailers). Much of what people remember and love about Max is delivered in the sequel rather than this first outing. Indeed, at times it feels more like a blueprint than a proper movie and Gibson barely registers in the surprisingly little screen time he has - the villains, who all seem to be doing either premature Danny Huston impersonations or somewhat more timely German New Romantic turns make much more of an impression. Not only do huge sections of the film keep him offscreen, but he makes little impact in his underwritten role when he is on. In many ways, this is just a first low-budget draft of Max's world - civilization hasn't entirely crumbled yet and the precious juice is still flowing even if parts are getting hard to find. Still, the car stunts are good, if somewhat thin on the ground, but this is one case where the sequels are definitely better.

Unlike MGM/UA's US Region 1 special edition NTSC DVD, Warners' European disc is pure vanilla with no extras. Thankfully at least the original Australian soundtrack to the feature is included on this disc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2007
Mad Max 2 is the better film, for sure: it's bigger, grislier, and more exciting. But the original is very good not just because it explains why Max is perturbed, but because it does so without compromising his character's silent and innate masculinity - which is some feat considering the amount of skin-tight leather on show.

Max himself - skilfully underplayed by Mel Gibson - is at the heart of all the main narrative turns. It's he who kills the Nightrider; his best friend who's murdered by the gang that wants to get to him; his family who are targeted for the final showdown. And yet Max is on screen quite rarely. Not that he needs to be seen: he is an archetype of sorts; the last spring of morality in an apocalyptic desert.

Thanks to a tight and sympathetic script, Max and Jessie's relationship is entirely convincing. The music, by Brian May (no, not that one), is superbly melodramatic; always complementary, never intrusive.

It's not complex. At one point Max tells his boss that if he spends any more time on the road he'll "be one of them" - we know what territory we're in, and it's not about blurring moral boundaries; it's about raw, red-blooded revenge.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2007
Watching George Miller's directorial breakthrough again confirms one thing among many others: that this is a filmmaker with not only an excellent spatial sense but also a nice appreciation of landscapes.

This should have been as exciting a cinematic decut for the watching film world as Spielberg's or Tarantino's - whether they actually did herald Miller's arrival in the way he deserved I am too young to tell.

But what a great movie. A Fantastic marriage of cop flick and low-budget exploitationer, Miller's movie is to this genre (whatever the hell that is) what The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is to American horror.

Taking Einstein's assertion that World War IV would be fought with bows and arrows as his cue, Miller sets his movie in (we assume) a future Australia inhabited by gangs

of barbaric bikers who wage high-speed war on the country roads.

When one of their clan, the Knightrider, is killed in a high-speed prison break, his peers, led by the psychotic Toecutter, vow revenge on Max Kotanski, the one they hold responsible.

What sets Mad Max Apart from similar films is its many pleasing quirks: the bikers - like the even more primitive barbarians in part 2 - are a shrewd mix of pre-civilisation warrior and punkish, androgynous psycho.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2001
What a joke that original US DVD release of Mad Max was, American english only and poor picture quality.
I've just recieved this recently released UK version and I'm very happy. You can select the original Australian sound track and the Picture and sound quality is very good ( I zoomed the picture 2x with my Toshiba DVD Player and the Picture Quality still stayed very good ). The Picture format on this DVD is Widescreen 2.35:1.
This UK release of Mad Max on DVD is worth buying...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Set somewhere in the future we are privy to a world where the roads are ruled by maniac gangs with souped up cars, and bikers that literally could come from hell. Trying to stop these marauding loons are the overstretched police force who themselves ride in exceptionally fast cars. At the front of this story is Max Rockatansky, a good honest cop trying to hold his own against the chaotic world that is forming around him. After his best friend is burned and left for dead he decides enough is enough and thinks about retiring from the service, but whilst on a vacation with his wife and child things go decidedly bad and Max becomes an avenging force of fury with devastating affect.

When evaluating this film I feel it really needs to be put into perspective just how brilliant a job director George Miller did with next to no cash to work with, in fact Miller edited the film in his own bedroom just to emphasise the low-fi nature of the beast. The costumes are excellent, the cast are terrific, with Mel Gibson as Max particularly impressive, and here we have villains to truly fit the word villainous, but it's the stunts and chase sequences that makes this film a rich rewarding experience. The opening ten minutes alone are pure adrenalin pumping genius, but the film as a whole delivers a crash bang wallop punch that has often been imitated since its release, but rarely bettered, and although the heart of the film is a simple revenge story, it grabs your attention and delivers right to the corking finale, 8/10.

Footnote: Region 2 Users should note that the bargain bucket Mad Max Trilogy flip pack set still contains the foolishly dubbed version of this film, incredibly stupid move from the American distributors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mad Max is a fantastic action film full of melodramatic drama and over the top stunts. Some of the car chases are better than you would see in many blockbusters now and the characters are delightfully grotesque.

Mel Gibson is great as the quietly ferocious Max and its great to see such a star making turn in its original form. Action packed from start to finish and a great beginning to a blazing series of films.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2014
THE MOVIE

Australia in the future: The Outback consists of low-populated communities and while on the surface everything seems peaceful, reality is quite different. Marauding motorcycle gangs terrorize the people. Force meets force when the gangs clash with the Main Force Patrol, which has been created to patrol the Outback and enforce law and order. Unfortunately they are outnumbered and easily outrun.
Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) is part of the MFP, and is pitted against a gang member, The "Nightrider", who has just escaped from jail, and when all other police vehicles are rendered useless, it's Max's turn. The high-speed chase ends deadly for the Nightrider as he is burned to a crisp in his casket on wheels.
Just when you think nobody's gonna miss him, The "Toecutter" and Bubba Zanetti show up, not very happy about their idol's demise. After they go vandalizing through town and attack a couple fleeing, leaving the man dead and the woman traumatized, Max and Jim "Goose" arrest one of the gang members who is left behind stoned. The case is thrown out by the court however, because the intimidated rape victim and the townsfolk did not show up to testify.
The suspect is released and Toecutter and his gang start to take the fight to Goose, Max and his family. Driven by vengeance, Max quits his job and goes on a personal vendetta against Toecutter's gang.

The first two MAD MAX movies are definitely on my all-time favorites list. Shot on a A$350,000 budget, MAD MAX looks fantastic with amazing car chases and crashes.
Great actors include Mel Gibson as Max, Steve Bisley (RED HILL) as "Goose", Hugh Keays-Byrne as the Toecutter, Roger Ward as Fifi and Joanne Samuel as Max's wife Jessie, all brilliant performances.
MAD MAX was written by James McCausland, Byron Kennedy and director George Miller.
The score was composed by Brian May, who also composed the score to MAD MAX 2 aka THE ROAD WARRIOR.
MAD MAX is a cult classic and rightfully so. I love the setting and the beautiful Outback scenery is captured well but it also gives you a false feeling of safety and being far out of harm's way: one moment you marvel at nature's beauty, the next the approaching sound of motorcycles are followed by death an violence.
The violence caused a bit of an uproar when MAD MAX came out. Although it received the R rating in the States without any cuts, it was banned in New Zealand and Sweden, and the BBFC imposed cuts. In Germany MAD MAX is BPjM Restricted until this day.
Not offering much in the gore section, the violence is raw and honest: Director George Miller was an ER doctor before he made MAD MAX and made the injuries as realistic as possible.

RATING: 10 / 10

THE BLU-RAY

Reviewed version: 2011 Roadshow Entertainment Australian Blu-Ray
Feature running time: 93 mins. (uncut)
Rating: R (MPAA) / 18 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 / 16x9
Audio: Australian English 5.1, Australian English 2.0 Mono
Subtitles: English
Extras: Behind the scenes, Photo and poster gallery, US Theatrical trailer
Region: B (locked)

Picture: C+
Audio: C+
Extras: D-

The menu says the 2.0 Audio track is the dubbed US audio track which proves to be incorrect: It is the Australian track in 2.0 mono.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2014
excellent service got this really quick, A classic movie got this on import because uk version has no extras,well worth it for the classic trailer&feature on mad max if got multiregion +dvd/bluray combi pack is the way to go uncut version very happy with order steveo england
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