DVD Shopping Bag: Mad Max Blu-ray Trilogy (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Source: Mania.com

I was on a podcast for about two years where we had this segment called “The Nerd Confession”. Usually, this was a deep rooted secret and it was mentioned to spark a conversation that would go on and on. Well, my Nerd Confession to you is that I have never seen George Miller’s 1979 classic, Mad Max. Have I seen its sequels? Yes. I know that “my life fades as my vision dims” and that “two men enter, one man leaves”. For whatever the reason, cable programming, video store absence, or maybe just that really bad dubbing, the origin of Mel Gibson’s Mad Max had escaped me. With the release of Mad Max Trilogy on Blu-ray, I decided it was time to pony up and give Mad Max a viewing. 

I approached my first time of watching Mad Max as if I was reading “Wolverine: Origin” (by Paul Jenkins, Joe Quesada, Bill Jemas and Andy Kubert). I knew where Max was going, but I had no idea how he got there. From my perspective, Max was wandering the wasteland of a post-apocalyptic world always looking for gas that would eventually bring him to a refuge. I knew his wife and child had died, but how and when?

Mad Max is a bit confusing. It is set in a time “A Few Years From Now...”. Road gangs seem to have control of the highways and only a brave few try and maintain order. Those few are known as the MFP (Main Force Patrol). Their headquarters is called the Halls of Justice and it is in need of repair. Max is one of about eight men who seem to be all that remains of law and order. This is not the wasteland we see in The Road Warrior. In fact, budgetary constraints aside, it looks like the great outdoors of Australia. It could be 1979 or 2013. The only thing indicating to me what time it is are the cars and motorcycles. There is food, supplies, gas stations, and communication. The bomb has not been dropped yet. 

Early on in the film, we see Max’s wife, Jessie (Joanne Samuel), playing a saxophone. This scene reminded me of one from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome when Max meets Aunty (Tina Turner) for the first time. A quick moment, but one that means more to Max later in the trilogy. In this story, Max is ready to quit MFP. He is afraid that he is becoming like the gangs he chases after. Any more time out there and he’ll become one of them. This progression is shown in Max’s waking nightmares. They are never shown visually, but still weigh heavily on the man. Despite the film being called Mad Max, it takes a departure and focuses on one of Max’s buddies for a while, Jim Goose (Steve Bisley). Obviously, we are meant to know the character so that when his eventual death arrives on screen we feel for him as Max does. Yet, that moment isn’t the breaking point for Max. He leaves the MFP and decides to get away from it all. His family road trip takes him on a path to become the Road Warrior. 

It’s an interesting film. I found it very odd that the apocalypse never happens in the film, yet that is when the second film takes place. The resetting of this cinematic universe likened it to the Evil Dead Trilogy. Why did Ash (Bruce Campbell) go back to that cabin in Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn? Certainly, not the smartest of moves, but one we went on the ride for. As an origin story goes, it was fun. Not all that telling of the man that would be the Road Warrior, but enough to spawn some sequels (with a fourth on the way in 2014). Funny though, if I would have seen this one first, I wouldn’t have given the second or third film a gander. Thankfully, I did and they are two of my favorite guilty pleasures. 

 

All three films have been on Blu-ray before. This is their first coupling on Blu-ray. There were, sadly, no new special features, but the transfer for the original film was amazing. Sweat, grime, and road dirt look completely fresh. At times, you see the reflection of light of the protective window over the camera. What you’ll marvel at are the breathtaking stunts and how CGI car chases today pale in comparison.

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

9 Miles Down Starring Adrian Paul and Kate Nauta

Dead Man's Burden Starring Barlow Jacobs, Clare Bowen and David Call

Driven [Blu-ray] Starring Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Kip Pardue

Enter the Dragon (40th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Ahna Capri and Bob Wall

Masquerade Starring Byung-hun Lee and Seung-Ryong Ryu

Ninja III: The Domination [Blu-ray/DVD Combo] Starring Sho Kosugi, Lucinda Dickey, Jordan Bennett and David Chung

Rendition [Blu-ray] Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Peter Sarsgaard

Ring of Fire [Blu-ray] Starring Michael Vartan, Terry O'Quinn and Lauren Lee Smith

Running Scared [Blu-ray] Starring Paul Walker, Chazz Palminteri, Vera Farmiga

Snitch [Blu-ray] Starring Dwayne Johnson, Barry Pepper, Jon Bernthal

Snitch Starring Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Benjamin Bratt

ANIME

Bleach: Uncut Set 17

Digimon Tamers Starring Brian Beacock, Dave Wittenberg, Bridget Hoffman

Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne, Set 1 [Blu-ray] Starring Kaori Ishihara, Kira Buckland, Ai Kayano

Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne, Set 1 Starring Kaori Ishihara, Ai Kayano, Asami Seto and Karen Strassman

Mysterious Girlfriend X: Complete Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Ayako Yoshitani and Miyu Irino

Mysterious Girlfriend X Complete Collection Starring Ayako Yoshitani and Miyu Irino

Sengoku Basara: Complete Series - Season 1 & 2 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Johnny Yong Bosch, John Swasey and Robert McCollum

CARTOONS

Atlantis: The Lost Empire / Atlantis: Milo's Return: Two-Movie Collection (Three Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo) Starring Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Cree Summer and Don Novello

The Emperor's New Groove / Kronk's New Groove: Two-Movie Collection (Three Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo)Starring David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt

Lego Legends of Chima: The Power of the Chi Starring Scott Shantz, David Attar, Bill Courage and Jeff Evans Todd

Lilo & Stitch / Lilo & Stitch: Stitch Has A Glitch Two-Movie Collection (Three Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo) Starring Chris Sanders, Daveigh Chase, Tia Carrere and Ving Rhames

Superman and Friends: 75th Anniversary Cartoon Collection

CLASSICS

Li'l Abner (1940)

COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style

Tales from the Three Stooges: 3-Disc Collector's Set Starring Curly Howard, Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Shemp Howard

Wrong (+ Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] Starring Jack Plotnick, Eric Judor, Alexis Dziena

Criterion Collection

Wild Strawberries (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Victor Sjostrom, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin

HORROR

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Starring Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Unrated Cut) (Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Unrated Cut (Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen

The Manson Family [Blu-ray] Starring Marcelo Games, Marc Pitman and Leslie Orr

The Manson Family (Blu-ray + DVD Combo) Starring Marcelo Games, Marc Pitman and Leslie Orr

The Unbroken Starring Daniel Baldwin, Warwick Davis and Tracy Wiu

MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY

Joe Kidd [Blu-ray] Starring Clint Eastwood

Sense & Sensibility [Blu-ray]

Sneakers [Blu-ray]

Rockshow [Blu-ray] Starring Paul McCartney

Two Mules for Sister Sara [Blu-ray] Starring Clint Eastwood

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray 3D + Digital Copy) Starring James Franco and Michelle Williams

Oz the Great and Powerful (Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy) Starring James Franco and Michelle Williams

Oz the Great and Powerful (DVD + Digital Copy) Starring James Franco and Michelle Williams

The Philadelphia Experiment [Blu-ray] Starring Malcolm McDowell, Emily Ullerup, Gina Holden

The Philadelphia Experiment Starring Malcolm McDowell, Emily Ullerup, Gina Holden

Space Warriors Starring Dermot Mulroney and Josh Lucas

TV LAND

Becker, Season 5 (2002-2003)

Burn Notice: Season Six

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 3 [Blu-ray] Starring Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie

Fairly Legal: Season Two Starring Sarah Shahi, Virginia Williams, Michael Trucco

The Lone Ranger: 80th Anniversary Collection Starring Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels

Major Crimes: The Complete First Season Starring Mary Mc Donnell, G.w. Bailey, Tony Denison

Necessary Roughness: Season Two Starring Callie Thorne, Marc Blucas, Mehcad Brooks and Scott Cohen

The Newsroom: The Complete First Season Starring Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer and Sam Waterston

Perry Mason: The Ninth & Final Season - Volume One

Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Third Season

BOX SETS

Wagon Train - The Eighth and Final Season - Embossed Collectible Tin Starring John McIntire, Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson

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