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August 2, 2011
Mad Max Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
12/4/19793/3/2011Village RoadshowGeorge Miller
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1R18+Mel Gibson

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Mel Gibson's breakout role in Mad Max.

Back in 1979 the Australian film Mad Max helped to put Mel Gibson on the map (before he helped to take himself off the map) and is the first in what has since become a trilogy of films. The movie is set in a dystopian future Australia where law and order has begun to break down.

Berserk motorcycle gang member Crawford “Nightrider” Montizano has escaped police custody and is attempting to outrun the Main Force Patrol (MFP) in a stolen Holden Monaro. Nightrider manages to escape police custody but is eventually killed in a high speed chase.

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Mad Max is out now on Blu-Ray.
Nightrider motorcycle gang then runs around town vandalising property and stealing fuel, the gang continues to commit more and more crimes and escape conviction (as witnesses are too scared to appear) and law and order continues to descend into chaos.

The Nightrider gang brutalise Max's best friend and family and this sends Max mad into a frenzy of revenge. Anyone who considers themselves a film buff will have seen Mad Max and the film stands up remarkably well today, the original revenge film.

Mad Max is an old film and considering the age of the film Mad Max actually looks rather impressive. Obviously there are a few blemishes, there are some examples of print damage, but the close ups look good and the Australian outback actually looks very impressive in this transfer which retains the films original theatrical 2.35:1 aspect ratio. My PlayStation 3 hovered around 30-35 Mbps throughout the entire film.

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While detail on this Blu-Ray is variable, it's certainly improved over the DVD release.
The audio in the film mainly utilises the front speakers and occasionally the voices do become a bit muffled but overall the audio still packs quite a punch. The surround sound is barely utilised as it wouldn’t have been utilised when the film was originally released but we do appreciate getting a lossless audio track.

The special features included on the Mad Max Blu-Ray are, sadly, a bit light on. There is a photo gallery and a poster gallery, as well as the US theatrical trailer and a behind the scenes feature. Unfortunately it seems we miss out on the audio commentary which appears on the American Blu-Ray release although neither George Miller nor Mel Gibson participate.

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A younger, sober, Mel Gibson.
US Theatrical Trailer (1:54): This is the US theatrical trailer, which showcases the age of the film nicely.

To The Max: To the Max is a text-based feature containing eight categories, Genesis, The Director, The Producer, The Star, Cast & Crew, The Awards, Max Fax and The Words About Max. Basically using your remote you select a category and get some text facts, which is not entirely interesting.

Mad Max is a classic film and one that still stands the test of time. Anyone who is a fan of the movie should pick up Mad Max and add it to their Blu-Ray collection.

Review By: Luke Van Leuveren


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.