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Review: Mad Max Special Edition

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Review: Mad Max Special Edition

Old 01-02-02, 05:59 PM
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Review: Mad Max Special Edition

Hello all. I am new to DVDTalk, but I've been into DVD ever since it's debut. So, Happy New Year and all that Jazz to all of you!

I picked up Mad Max SE yesterday at BB, and couldn't wait to bring it home to watch. Like many lovers of this movie, I had both the VHS and bare bones DVD of this movie and longed for a great makeover. Whoa boy, did I get my wish

The Movie: Although many people will consider this movie to be "dated" but I just can't help but express nothing but love for it. Classic revenge plot with an awesome performance by Mel Gibson. I'm not one to spoil a film for anyone, so I suggest atleast picking it up for a rental if you haven't seen it yet. Like I said, many people consider this movie to be out of date, and with good reason...many scenes come straight from the cliche images of post nuclear war anarchist wastelands....almost. The majority of the movie takes place on the roads of Australia, in between towns and small cities. Plenty of stunt action, and the film doesn't drag at all. I hope more of you have some input on the movie. I'd love to hear opinions on it.

The Video Quality: This is where the dvd really shines. I had never in my wildest dreams thought that the film could look so damn good with some TLC and restoration technology I was so used to looking at the dirty cut of the movie on VHS and the old dvd that I was blown away at the clarity of the anamorphic transfer. You can notice some dirty camera lenses throughout the movie(maybe they couldn't afford a Windex?)but other than that, the picture quality is top notch. Especially for such an old flick. Oh, and for you Pan and Scan lovers, the fullscreen version is included with a nifty little scene to show the difference between fullscreen and widescreen...nice touch MGM

Sound Quality: Ok, first the goods. Finally, we are blessed with the original Australian soundtrack. No dubbing here. It's really great to hear the real emotion behind what's being said. Some of those Australian accents sound really rotten, and add to the "I love to hate you" factor that the bad guys display so well throughout the movie. However, the Australian 5.1 mix isn't all that active with the rear channels, but it does the job. And for those who are fans of the "dub" voicetrack will be happy to know that the original mono track is included. Mostly good stuff, with very little bad.

The Extras: I still have yet to watch one of the documentaries(the one about the actual film). However, I did see the Mel Gibson documentary and I liked it alot. The short documentary features Mel in his earlier days with some candid photo shots, old movie footage from the movie "Tim" and lots of personal interviews with the people who knew him before his rocket ride to fame. The extras that I love the most are the trailers....I laughed so hard at them...not because they were bad....but because of the way movie studios would market the films!! With lines like "Don't make Max Mad! MAD MAX!! Maximum law enforcement of the future!!TUN TUN TUN!!! Looks like something straight out of The Kentucky Fried Movie!! Great stuff!!

Overall, I give this edition an 8.7 on a scale from 1-10. I am really impressed with the way MGM is releasing more and more of the newer DVD's, and hope they continue in this positive direction. Definitely worth the price of admission.

Bring on The Road Warrior SE!!

Old 01-03-02, 12:27 PM
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Thanks for your informative insight. I can't wait to watch this one myself.

BTW, welcome to the forum!
Old 01-03-02, 06:10 PM
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Thanks I think I'll like it here. Do I have to wear my flame retardant suit when I post here?? I read some of the threads here and OUCH, some people can be crude.

Thanks again,

Old 01-03-02, 11:33 PM
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Watched it Tuesday night.

Thanks for the nice review jessecrx.

Only minor quible I have is the aspect ratio which was undermatted at 2.10:1 instead of 2.35:1, still a gorgeous transfer though. here's more on the aspect ratio from DVDSavant and the rest of his review too!

"MGM Home Entertainment's DVD of Mad Max is going to be a satisfying package both for established fans and new recruits. The transfer is very good, looking far better than AIP's original fuzzy release prints. The aspect ratio is not as wide as on an earlier letterboxed laserdisc, perhaps 2.10 to 1 by my guess. The disc is two sided, with a choice of 16:9 and flat transfers on one side and the majority of the extras on the other."

cheers, Tony block

Old 01-05-02, 12:13 PM
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Nice review, jessecrx, and welcome to the forums. Flame retardent suits aren't necessary, but the attitude of, 'hey it's just an internet message forum' definitely helps sometimes

This is a great disc, and I love the features. I think mine is probably better than all of yours however, because when I bought it the sales girl said, "Hey you want a poster?" and handed me a print quality reproduction of the original US movie poster! Sweet.
Old 01-06-02, 02:13 AM
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This Special Edition DVD is worth getting just for the original Australian soundtrack. I have waited 22 years to actually hear Mel Gibson. I don't know why this film was dubbed. I had no difficulty with the Australian accents, and the slang is easily figured out through context. After hearing the original soundtrack, you will never want to see a dubbed version of this film again. This has to be one of the top DVD releases of 2002, and this is only January!
Old 01-09-02, 03:32 PM
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You are right, this DVD is simply amazing. I had forgotten how hot the action in this movie really is, especially for a movie made in the 70s. It was sooo far ahead of it's time.

And the Austrailian dialog is clutch, sooo much better than the dub they put over the voices on the American release.

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