Warner Bros. Home Entertainment celebrates the high-definition upgrade of “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” with the release of all three movies in a special set. The trilogy is presented in a tin box with exclusive art developed for the collection. The Blu-rays are housed inside a single case within its collectible cradle.
If you haven’t seen the “Mad Max” movies by now, what are you waiting for? Any fan of action, sci-fi, or post-apocalyptic films will love all the entries in this franchise. You better get educated now before the upcoming video game and new movie, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” hits theaters and you’re left in the dust wondering what all the fuss is about.
The movies can be summed up quite easily. Max is an ex-police officer that gets caught up in other people’s problems in a post-apocalyptic world where gas and other everyday commodities have become extremely scarce. In order to get these people out of trouble, he somehow always ends up in a fast-paced battle between futuristic weaponized cars built out of junkyard scraps. Just watching these vehicular skirmishes will provide therapy for anyone’s road rage.
One of the coolest things about the “Mad Max” trilogy is that every film is co-directed and co-written by the same person. Besides partially giving up the director’s chair during production of “Beyond Thunderdome,” George Miller spearheaded each one. They all have a consistency many franchises lose between films because of changes in directors, writers, and the likes. Miller will continue to helm the next films in the series, “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Mad Max: Furiosa.”
“Mad Max” and “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior” both contain some unnecessary scenes of brief nudity. Who can forget the buttless chaps the one guy in “The Road Warrior” wears? Obviously, there’s graphic sequences of violence and some bad language as well.
I wish there was more to report as far as special features are concerned. Audio commentary by DP David Eggby, art director Jon Dowding, special effects supervisor Chris Murray, and film historian Tim Ridge is included on the “Mad Max” disc. It also contains a featurette entitled “‘Mad Max:’ The Film Phenomenon” and two theatrical trailers.
“Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior” features an introduction by Leonard Maltin and audio commentary with Director / Writer George Miller and Cinematographer Dean Semler. A theatrical trailer is included as well.
“Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” only has a theatrical trailer. I wonder why they didn’t feature the two Tina Turner videos she made for the songs featured in the movie. Both “We Don’t Need Another Hero” and “One of the Living” were top 20 hits.
All three movies look and sound fabulous thanks to a great high-definition transfer. They have a clean picture while maintaining the grit and grime that made the movies so great when they first came out. Each one features a bombastic 5.1 surround sound mix that intensifies the roaring engines of the post-apocalyptic vehicles and highlights the excellent musical scores.
Whether you’re watching the “Mad Max” movies for the first or fiftieth time, these new high-definition transfers are the way to go. They’ve never looked and sounded better without losing the visual intensity and edge of their original theatrical releases. These Blu-ray versions are another perfect example of films being preserved without sacrificing their cinematic character.
The “Mad Max Trilogy” is available now on Blu-ray.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Movie Review: “The Purge”
Blu-ray Review: “The Last Stand”
Exploring What Could Have Been the Official “Star Wars” Sequel: “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye”