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Mad Max Trilogy Blu-ray Review

mad-max-trilogy-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Mad Max: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English, French, & Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; The Road Warrior: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), German, Russian, & Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, Polish Dolby Digital 1.0; Beyond Thunderdome: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit); French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish (Castilian) Dolby Digital 2.0; Spanish (Latin American,) Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian Dolby Digital 1.0
  • Subtitles: Mad Max: English SDH, French, Spanish; The Road Warrior: English SDH, French, German, Italian, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American), Dutch, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Thai, Turkish; Beyond Thunderdome: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin American), Dutch, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek (Moder), Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region- Locked) (Mad Max); ABC (Region-Free) (The Road Warrior & Beyond Thunderdome)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 3 (3 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 93 Mins. (Mad Max); 95 Mins. (The Road Warrior); 107 Mins. (Beyond Thunderdome)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 4, 2013
  • List Price: $49.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Films
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Disc and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

The Films

[Rating:3.5/5]

Mad-Max-BD_01

George Miller’s (Happy Feet) Australian sci-fi icon Mad Max started with the under the radar, small budget film by the same name that introduced its American-born star Mel Gibson to the world. A gritty, near-future, dystopian action flick set in the Australian outback about a law enforcer withfrenzied car chases, and practical visual effects, the film not only changed the perception of the Australian film industry, it changed Hollywood. When Max Rockatansky (Gibson), kills an escaped prisoner called Nightrider, he comes up against a gang of ruthless bikers who terrorize his friends and his family. It sets him off on a violent path of revenge – and Mad Max is born. Miller brilliantly uses the barren and bleak landscape of the outback to portray a post-apocalyptic dystopian future and the car chases are a must for gearheads. The film was a big hit in Australia, but a dumbed-down, North American English dub that even replaced the voice of American-born Gibson crippled it in the the American market.

Mad-Max-2-The-Road-Warrior-BD_01

Mad Max 2 AKA The Road Warrior is the film that cemented the Mad Max franchise as a worldwide phenomenon. Originally named Mad Max 2, but renamed The Road Warrior for the U.S. market, since virtually no one outside of Australia was familiar with the original, George Miller tackled the film almost as if it weren’t even a sequel. More vast in its scope, with audacious costumes, even faster action sequences, and more outrageous villains, this one finds Max in the vast post-nuclear wasteland helping a gasoline-rich way station fend off a band of violent bandits out for blood. One need not have seen the original film to get lost in this world of strange, over-the-top characters, and Gibson as Max Rockatansky is just as cool, cynical, and detached as ever.

Finally, we get to 1985, and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. By this time, the franchise was an established box office smash, guaranteed to fill cinemas, and it was on a steady clip of outdoing the previous film in scale. Beyond Thunderdome includes Tina Turner (who was on top of the world in the 80s, at the height of her comeback) as a massive post-apocalyptic city’s tyrannical leader. After a fight to the death in the town’s coliseum-like Thunderdome doesn’t go as he arranged with the Queen, he is banished to the desert wasteland, where he is rescued by a tribe of feral children. The least effective and the most commercial of the three films, Beyond Thunderdome still has the signature look of the previous films in the series, but lacks a lot of the intensity, and many of the characters are too much like comic book sketches, rather than really iconic villains. Turner does her best, but lacks the acting chops to pull off her role.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Mad-Max-Beyond-Thunderdome-BD_01

All three films, the first being from 20th Century Fox, and the remaining two from Warner Home Video, are given AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodements. Neither of them is an A+, reference level film, but, surprisingly, the best looking film here happens to be the original Mad Max, that, besides some slight film softness, looks clean, shows strong contrast, and little noise. The Mad Max 2 or Road Warrior, and Beyond Thunderdome transfers both have instances of overwhelming graininess and show a little bit of noise and smearing.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Mad-Max-BD_02

Mad Max is given a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) mix of its original Australian dialogue, alongside the original Aussie English Dolby Digital 2.0 and a North American English Dolby Digital 2.0 dub. There are also French and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 dubs. If you want the truly authentic presentation, then the lossy Dolby 2.0 with the original Aussie soundtrack is the way to go. The North American dub sound ridiculous, so steer clear. Although the 2.0 is a bit boxy, it is a fair presentation. The 5.1 lossless is dynamic and spacious with mild discrete use of the surrounds and worth a listen if you want to make full use of your surround system.

The remaining two films are both offered with English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) and dubs in various languages as well. Neither one is a particularly spectacular showcase 5.1 mix, and Thunderdome, in particular, sounds quite harsh in the higher frequencies. Listen to the opening Tina Turner number during the opening sequence, and it isn’t very smooth or subtle at all. Both do, however, offer good dialogue and a pretty good amount of low end oomph.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

Mad-Max-2-The-Road-Warrior-BD_02

The quality and quantity of the supplements on each disc varies, but by far Beyond Thunderdome is lacking the most with nothing but the original theatrical trailer in standard definition. The first two films each come with an audio commentary and trailers, and The Road Warrior has an introduction by the affable and informative Leonard Maltin. The set also comes with its case packaged in a collectible steel case.

The supplements:

Mad Max:

  • Commentary by Jon Dowding, David Eggby, Chris Murray & Tim Ridge
  • Mad Max: The Film Phenomenon (1.33:1; SD; 00:25:35)
  • Theatrical Trailer #1 (1.85:1; 1080p/24)
  • Theatrical Trailer #2 (1.85:1; 1080p/24)

Max Max 2: The Road Warrior:

  • Introduction by Leonard Maltin (1.33:1; SD; 00:03:37)
  • Commentary by George Miller and Dean Semler
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.78:1; SD)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome:

  • Theatrical Trailer (1.78:1; SD)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Mad-Max-Beyond-Thunderdome-BD_02

The action-packed iconic Mel Gibson franchise Mad Max is gathered together by Warner on set with the bare minimum of supplements in a nice collectible tin case. Fans of the trilogy should love having all three films in HD and the cool packaging.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Mad Max Trilogy on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Films
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

 

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