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Mad Max Anthology 4K UHD Review

Oh, what a set. What a lovely set!

When it comes to post-apocalyptic movies, the Mad Max series is the “Citizen Kane” of that genre. It’s been often imitated but never equaled. Luckily, you can get all 4 films in 4K now thanks to WB’s new Mad Max Anthology set.

1979’s cult favorite “Mad Max” deserves a lot of credit. Not only did it spark a franchise, but it was one of the most innovative and groundbreaking indie films (and Australian films for that matter). It’s raw, a bit unpolished, but you can see the talent from both Mel Gibson and filmmaker George Miller shining bright here. Together they created a dark, pulse pounding action movie about a Main Force Patrol officer (Max Rockatansky) going after a ruthless bike gang who go after his own family. Contrary to popular opinion, this is actually my least favorite in the series even though it’s still a fantastic movie. It’s just a more traditional revenge movie compared to the other.s

“The Road Warrior” (AKA “Mad Max 2”) is simply one of the great sequels of all time. The story, for those that don’t know, finds Max as a lone wolf helping out a community in a compound from the barbaric Marauders led by Lord Humungus. 

It’s hard to believe this came out a mere 2 years later. It’s more ambitious, more action packed, bigger in scope, and, more importantly, it expands on this post-apocalyptic world in a big way. This is where the series really comes into its own. Plus, both Gibson and Miller are truly at their best here. 

“Two men enter, one man leave!” 1985’s “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” is generally known as the weakest in the series, but I find it to be incredibly underrated. The third entry finds Max encountering the evil Aunty Entity who runs Bartertown. To make a long story short, Max is exiled from Bartertown but comes across a group of feral children and teens. They wind up saving each other, but it seems all roads lead back to Bartertown again.

What makes it such a refreshing sequel is that it’s stranger and far different from the rest of the movies. It’s bigger in scale, it’s got Bruce Spence, there are fights, the world is explored more, there’s a bit of a Peter Pan Lost Boys angle, there’s the unforgettable Master Blaster and then you’ve got Tina Turner as a villain. WHat more can you want?

No one could predict that 30 years later we’d get a great sequel with 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Even less predicted that we’d get a sequel that would be showered with Awards and praise, but that’s exactly what happened. The fourth entry finds Furiosa and 5 women fleeing the evil Immortan Joe and his War Boys. Max (who was held captive by the War Boys) escapes and joins forces with Furiosa and company.

Although the production was nothing short of challenging and troubled, George Miller delivered an action sci-fi movie for the ages. Gibson may be gone and replaced by a rather stiff Tom Hardy, but it doesn’t even matter as the movie contains Furiosa (perfectly played by Charlize Theron), Nicholas Hoult (as the endlessly quotable Nux), next level stunts, and car centric action for basically the entire movie. It’s a cinematic experience for the ages. I can’t wait to see what Miller does with the forthcoming “Furiosa” movie.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.34:1 2160p for “Mad Max,” 2.39 2160p for 2 and 3 and 2.40:1 2160p for “Fury Road.” How do they look? Honestly, I’m blown away by all the transfers. The level of clarity on the first 3 films is nothing short of stunning. Obviously, the newer “Fury Road” looks pristine and could easily be used as a demo disc for 4K’s capabilities. 

Audio Track: DTS-HD MA and Original Theatrical English for “Mad Max,” Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Original Theatrical English for 2 and 3, and Dolby Atmos for “Fury Road.” How do they sound? It should be noted that there have been reported audio issues with “The Road Warrior” and “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.” There will also allegedly be replacement discs. As for myself, I did not encounter any audio issues but I am not a Mad Max audio expert. What I can say is I was deeply impressed by the audio on all 4 films. I appreciated the variety of audio options for the first 3 films and especially loved the dynamic Atmos tracks for ‘Road,’ ‘Thunderdome,’ and ‘Fury.’

Extras:
* Digital copies for all 4 films
* An intro to “The Road Warrior” by film critic Leonard Maltin.
* Commentary by George Miller and Dean Semler on “The Road Warrior.”
* “Road War: The Making Of The Road Warrior”- An in-depth 48 minute making of documentary.

Note: If you are seeking more extras, you might want to check out the Blu-ray edition of the “Mad Max Anthology” instead. Also, all 4 films are available individually on 4K.

November 29, 2021 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , , ,

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