I never saw Mad Max before and when I thought of the character and movie, I pictured a post-apocalyptic nightmare, with car chases and crazy looking gang leaders. If you’ve seen the original Mad Max, you will probably see why I was really surprised at how different the first movie was. Mel Gibson’s character Max is a cop, with a family and friends. There is normal folk about and not once did I see anyone in assless chaps (aka The Road Warrior.) I ended up really enjoying Mad Max and the Collector’s Edition from Scream Factory is a nice overall package, with only a few nitpicks in the special features area. Read on to see why this Max is worth checking out…
RUN-TIME: 93 min
ASPECT RATIO: 2.35:1
AUDIO: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
PRODUCTION DATE: 1979
RELEASE DATE: May 5th, 2015
“A riveting classic.” – The New York Times
Setting Mel Gibson on a sure path to superstardom, this highly acclaimed “crazy collide-o-scope” (Newsweek) of highway mayhem “cinematically defined the postapocalyptic landscape” (TV Guide). Featuring eye-popping stunts that are “electrifying and very convincing” (Variety) and “an authentically nihilistic spirit” (The Village Voice), this unforgettable actioner from director George Miller (The Road Warrior, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Mad Max: Fury Road) is “pure cinematic poetry” (Time).
In the ravaged near-future, a savage motorcycle gang rules the road. Terrorizing innocent civilians while tearing up the streets, the ruthless gang laughs in the face of a police force hell-bent on stopping them. But they underestimate one officer: Max (Gibson). And when the bikers brutalize Max’s best friend and family, they send him into a mad frenzy that leaves him with only one thing left in the world to live for – revenge! Also starring Joanne Samuel, Hugh Keays-Byrne (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Steve Bisley (The Great Gatsby, Red Hill), this rugged racecar of a film runs on “comic book volatility… exhilarating rowdiness and visual intensity” (The New York Times)!
The world of Mad Max is not the crazy desert filled world we are used to seeing when thinking of the Mad Max series. Instead, it’s a decayed society, but one that still is operating as normal as possible. There are restaurants, vacation spots and a police force, albeit one that is falling apart and full of people that are almost as crazy as the gangs that roam the highways. One said gang is the Acolytes, led by the nefarious Toecutter, played mentally unstable by Hugh Keays-Byrne. Max, his family and friends all have a run in with the gang and before you know it, Max and out for revenge.
The movie doesn’t just jump right into the revenge plot, however. Instead, Mad Max takes its time building on the character of Max, his life and his ideals. You find out that he doesn’t want to become as bad and insane as the others in the police force, so he actually ups and quits, but sadly, things aren’t going to end nicely for him no matter how far away from the job he gets. I really enjoyed this character building and it makes me appreciate the character of Max and the sequels all the more now that I know his backstory and how he came to be. Don’t worry, though, the movie has its fair share of car chases, crashes and insane characters. This is definitely a George Miller movie.
Mad Max stands the test of time and as a first-time viewer, I can’t say I have any issues with the movie, nothing that really stands out at least. The music can be a little over barring at times and some of the acting is a little sketchy, to say the least, but overall, it’s a classic action movie, with a little bit of heart and soul attached to it.
Mad Max is looking pretty damn good, but if you own the original Warner Brothers release, you might not notice a huge difference. The video is plenty clean, with grain intact. Nothing really negative jumped out at me. The disc also includes both the original Austrian language track and the hilariously dubbed American version in Mono only audio. The audio options are as such: the original Australian version in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 mono, American English dub in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono. I watched the movie in the 5.1 version and I was very pleased with the overall sound quality. I also threw on the American version for a bit and laughed plenty of times at the unnecessary dubbing.
Scream Factory has released Mad Max in their Collector’s Edition packaging, with slip cover and reverse artwork for the Blu-ray case. People looking for new special features might be a little disappointed as the only new feature is some interviews with star Mel Gibson, actress Joanne Samuel and Director of Photography David Eggby. It doesn’t sound like much, but having Mel Gibson interviewed is a big thing, as we all know how crazy he has gotten lately. The overall interview is informative, but if you’ve seen the other behind the scenes before, it’s probably information you’ve heard plenty of times. Rounding out the special features is a fluff piece about Mel Gibson, an old making of, a few trailers, TV spots and photo galleries. There is also an audio commentary by Art Director Jon Dowding, Director Of Photography David Eggby, Special Effects Artist Chris Murray and Tim Ridge. I am a little disappointed in the features, as none are overly long; the longest being roughly 26 minutes (Interviews) and the shortest being a little over a minute (TV spots) and I was hoping for some deleted scenes, as I hear a bunch of stuff was cut from the final movie.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- Contains Both the Original Australian English Audio and the US English Dubbed Audio
- NEW Interviews With Mel Gibson, Joanne Samuel And Director Of Photography David Eggby
- Audio Commentary By Art Director Jon Dowding, Director Of Photography David Eggby, Special Effects Artist Chris Murray And Tim Ridge
- Mel Gibson: The Birth Of A Superstar
- Mad Max: The Film Phenomenon
- Theatrical Trailers
- TV Spots
- Photo Galleries
My first time viewing of Mad Max was a rousing success. I loved the plot development on the character of Max and the action is intense and plentiful. Scream Factory has done a great job with the Blu-ray release and if you haven’t got the movie on Blu already, you’ll be very happy with this one. I do wish a few more special features were included, though, but that only brings the score down a slight bit. Overall, pick this up today to have an experience on Blu-ray that brings you to the max of excitement (okay, maybe not that excitable, but it’s still a damn good release.)