Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Kino Lorber | NR – 93 min. – $39.95 | November 24, 2020
Date Published: 11/29/2020 | Author: The Movieman
Kino Lorber provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.
THE MOVIE — 3¾/5
Plot Synopsis: In the ravaged near-future, a savage motorcycle gang rules the road. Terrorizing innocent civilians while tearing up the streets, the ruthless gang laughs in the face of a police force hell-bent on stopping them. But they underestimate one officer: Max (MEL GIBSON). And when the bikers brutalize Max’s best friend and family, they send him into a mad frenzy that leaves him with only one thing left in the world to live for: revenge!
Quick Hit Review: Although I’ve certainly heard of Mad Max, even seeing Mad Max: Fury Road in theaters and subsequently on home video, never sat down to watch the 1979 iconic original and while in comparison its micro budget does sometimes show, I appreciated that this dystopian future thriller doesn’t cram down that element and instead does have a more realistic feel, one where you can imagine that sort of landscape.
The film does feature some fairly well done action sequences and car chases, especially in consideration for the budget, plus has the star making performance from Mel Gibson, who today is criticized (rightfully in many cases) but showed off the on-screen charisma that carried him through the 80s and 90s with the Lethal Weapon franchise and other box office blockbusters. It’s easy to see why director George Miller chose the once unknown and, from interviews, starving actor who would take any role that came to him.
Mad Max was directed and co-scripted by George Miller who did a pretty damn good job with what he had to work with, utilizing any locales he could and stretching that budget as far as possible while still producing a quality and entertaining product that launched two well regards sequels with a possible third depending on the legalities and our own dystopian-like, post-COVID landscape…
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover and nice to see the interior cover is different.
Audio Commentary – Art Director Jon Dowding, Cinematographer David Eggby, Special Effects Artist Chris Murray, Moderated by Filmmaker Tim Ridge
Road Rage (30:06) is a new interview with Director George Miller. Recorded online due to COVID, this still was interesting to hear from Miller looking back on his iconic film.
Interviews (26:28) with stars Mel Gibson & Joanne Samuel and Cinematographer David Eggby recorded for the Shout Factory back in 2011.
Mel Gibson: Birth of a Superstar (16:43) is a profile featurette on the actor and his breakout role in Mad Max.
Mad Max: Film Phenomenon (25:35) – Archival featurette with interviews by the cast, crew and film historians on how the film changed the Australian film industry.
Also included is Trailers from Hell (2:12) with Josh Olson, 3 Radio Spots (2:05), 5 TV Spots (1:27) and 2 Theatrical Trailers (1:56/2:10).
4K VIDEO – 4.75/5, BD – 4/5
|Mad Max makes its way on the 4K Ultra HD format through Kino Lorber Studio Classics where the film is shown in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p high-definition transfer. There’s no mention on the back about this being a new 4K scan so presumably it came from another source, but as it is, the film looks pretty brilliant. The movie of course is gritty and the low budget does show in this resolution, however the vast Australian outback shows pretty well with colors being more on the natural side, though there are splashes here and there such as on the cars. I did a quick scan of the included Blu-ray which, even doing a random frame, there are some specs and dust marks which I really didn’t notice on the 4K.
AUDIO – 4/5
|The disc comes equipped with three options, listed in order as on the disc: the first is a 5.1 Australian English DTS-HD Master Audio, followed by 2.0 Australian English DTS-HD MA and the third a 2.0 English Dubbed DTS-HD MA. I watched the film with the first one (default) and while it is 5 channels, the vast majority of the action was centrally located. Even so, this a strong track, dialogue coming across with great clarity and the action scenes offer a slight amount of depth, but again, majority from the central speaker.
OVERALL – 4¼/5
It’s easy to see why Mad Max has reached cult status, even with the low budget, director George Miller, along with star Mel Gibson’s on-screen charisma, is still very well regarded 40 years later. The 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack released by Kino Lorber offers up great video and above average audio alongside bonus material ported over from Shout Factory and includes a new interview with Miller.
The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.