Last month one of the most popular and ground-breaking movie trilogies of all time was released on blu-ray. The MAD MAX TRILOGY would put a young New York-born, Australian actor by the name of Mel Gibson on the map; inspire a trend in post-apocalyptic, punk rock fashion; and provide the name for one of the greatest wrestling tag-teams of all time.
Within the collection you have MAD MAX, MAD MAX 2 (originally titled THE ROAD WARRIOR in it‘s US release), and MAD MAX: BEYOND THUNDERDOME. Each film has it’s own disc and is contained in a nice steel-book case. (See gallery above).
Here’s my review of the 3 discs:
MAD MAX: This disc contains the original version that was released in Australia, sans the American voice dubbing. Yes, the American studio that distributed Mad Max back in the 70’s thought that we wouldn’t be able to understand Aussie accents. The disc also includes all the extras that were on the MAD MAX SPECIAL EDITION DVD release. There are a couple behind-the-scenes featurettes that really shed light on what production was like on what was essentially an indie film. And when you consider the number of names that worked on the film (Gibson and director George Miller to name a couple) and went on to bigger things in Hollywood, this is truly a special flick. The energy, the earnestness, and yes even the fashion, still hold up today. Okay…maybe not the fashion.
MAD MAX 2 (AKA THE ROAD WARRIOR): This blu-ray disc has fewer features, mainly a director’s commentary track by George Miller and an introduction by movie critic Leonard Maltin. Throw in the movie trailer to go with the pristine digital master and you’ve summed up the disc. Still, it was pretty cool to see the original title card reading MAD MAX 2 flash up on the screen at the start, and the film does look gorgeous on blu-ray.
MAD MAX: BEYOND THUNDERDOME: Available for the first time on blu-ray, this film is probably the most impressive of the trilogy as far as production values go. Set years after the second film, the world that Max lives in has returned to a feudal state where gas is a rarity, so Miller had to wring thrills out of action sequences that didn’t involve so many car chases as in the previous installments. BEYOND THUNDERDOME is also the most humorous film in the trilogy, with Gibson playing Max as a tortured loner but not without a wry sense of comedy. There are parallels between this movie and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM that the most ardent movie geeks will catch. Unfortunately, this disc is a bare-bones affair, with no notable extras or featurettes. And while the movie is set in the future, the theme song by co-star Tina Turner has it trapped in the 80’s. Still, the digital transfer is beautiful and looks glorious on big-screen televisions.
THE MAD MAX TRILOGY COLLECTION on BLU-RAY gets a Geek Factor Rating of 3 Razor-Edged Boomerangs (Out of 4).
THE MAD MAX TRILOGY ON BLU-RAY
From Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Catalog/UPC #: 1000334058 / 883929266661
Pricing: $49.99 SRP
Mad Max Run Time: 94 minutes; Rated R
The Road Warrior Run Time: 91 minutes; Rated R
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Run Time: 107 minutes; Rated PG-13