"MGM jumped on the DVD bandwagon rather late in the game, and the studio has been struggling to keep up ever since. Traditionally, MGM has released bare-bones, movie-only DVDs with bad transfers and horrid sound - but, thankfully, tradition seems to be losing out to what consumers want. Mad Max: Special Edition is the latest offering from MGM's film vaults to make its way onto DVD in a restored, high-performance disc, and it's about time, too.Mad Max will probably go down in history as the film that made Mel Gibson a star, but that would gloss over the film's many other virtues. A post-apocalyptic tale of good vs. evil, Mad Max features the title character, Max Rockatansky, in his job as an "Interceptor," a kind of cop struggling to maintain order in a world where the government has all but collapsed and ruthless biker thugs and warlords have made normal life impossible. When Max kills a member of the gang, their leader, the Toecutter, turns around and butcher's Max's family. As a result, Max gets very mad and goes straight to kick-ass mode. The story is slick and well-told, with enough fast cars, gun battles, and extreme chases to keep you tied to your chair. It's basically a Western set in a decaying Australia, and it's a welcome change of pace for action fans, too.MGM presented us with a two-sided, dual-layer DVD that has two versions of the film: a gorgeous 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer, and a full-screen copy on the same side for those who don't like to see the whole movie. For the first time, American audiences get to watch the film with the original Australian dialogue (it was dubbed with American actors for the US and never released with the original accents before now), either in the old-school mono mix or a completely redone, deep and dynamic DD 5.1 remix. On the other side you get two mini-documentaries, one about the Mad Max series and how the crews made the films (informative), and one about Mel Gibson's rise to stardom (blah). Round that out with a pop-up video style "trivia track" (really just a subtitle option), and you've got a great disc.The pop-up video track is one of the best and most innovative new features in a long time; I hope other DVD companies take note, because it's fun, informative, and you can watch it again and again, unlike most commentary tracks and other "extras." Overall, Mad Max is an excellent disc, and at its current price, it's worth adding to your shelves. If you're an action fan or a post-apocalyptic-film fan, then this disc is a must."
Needs To Be Re-released With The Aussie Soundtrack
Mr. | USA | 06/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before I wrote a review for this film I had to get my hands on a version with the original Aussie dialogue to see if it truly mattered. Well the answer is, yes it does. Other reviewers are correct when saying the dubbed version (in American English) makes the actors come off campy and it hurts the film a great deal. And yes, dialogue is even changed slightly, some more than others, like when the one kid and his girlfriend leave town in his hotrod with the biker gang hot on their trail. In the American version he says "Don't worry" to his girlfriend, but in the Aussie version he says "No worries". I don't really think a dubbed English version was necessary. I could understand what they were saying even with the Australian accents. I mean imagine network TV dubbing Crocodile Hunter every week with an American accent...BAD IDEA! Now that the DVD is out of print (because ORION Pictures is out of business) let's hope Warner Brothers obtains the rights to this masterpiece, digitally remasters it (Dolby Digital 5.1 or better) and gives us the Aussie Soundtrack. Japan released this film on DVD with both Audio tracks (But in Region Code 2 only), so it's about time we got the same thing. In fact, Warner should re-release all three films in a nice box set and make them all special editions. The latest VHS version of The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2) included a retrospective documentary that was never included on the DVD. To me, this is a great film that deserves the S.E. treatment. It's hard to believe it was only Mel Gibson's 3rd film (After Summer City & Tim). This movie is set during the decline of civilization and Mad Max 2 is set shortly after that when civilization is all but destroyed and scattered. Mad Max sets the standard for the sequals and truly gives us a man gone mad by the loss of loved ones at the hands of not just the bikers, but the decay of life as we know it. I love the trilogy...rare that each one is uniquely special in it's own right, yet still propells the character forward. Mad Max is a Classic, so Warner Brothers needs to get a move on with that remastered version (you know they won the rights to it) so people can see the original Mad Max in all its glory!....G'day!"
DONT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AS I DID - DONT BY "DUBBED"!!!!!!
Benjamin Pascall | Manchester, Lancashire, England | 02/10/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"As I say, don't make the mistake of buying this overpriced dvd. I unfortunately did buy it, and what I found was abysmal. Instead of the original Australian actor's voices, there are nowpoorly dubbed American voices. I also noticed this version has been cut in certain scenes. I remember one scene in particular, near the biginning. The couple who are later attacked by the biker gang are having sex in a field - one of the good guys appears watching them from a distance and shouts over to them. This scene appeared before the first chase scene, and is missing from this version.The transfer appears to be a transplant from a poor quality laserdisc version, and the sound is in mono.What appalled me was the American dubbing - this seems typically arrogant and ignorant to me. In any other country in the world you would not find this, and its unfair and condescending to the portion of Americans who wanted to see the "unbutchered" Australian version. I have seen this dubbing in the States with English programmes as well (leaving the evil characters with the English accents of course) and its frankly offensive to watch.DON'T BUY THIS DVD - WAIT FOR SOMETHING BETTER TO BE RELEASED!"
Criminally stupid mistake to not provide the orginal sound
Scott Holm | Lake Zurich, Illinois USA | 10/21/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Don't buy this Video. With DVD technology it would have been a no-brainer to provide both sound tracks, the original Aussie version and the rotten American dubbed version. These dopes chose to give us the one that nobody wants. Perhaps if nobody buys it they'll get a clue."
Warning - badly dubbed dvd
Benjamin Pascall | 08/08/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Prospective purchasers should note that this dvd is the dubbed version where American actors replace the Australian actors on the soundtrack. I understand that the decision to overdub the part was done when the movie was first released in the US (an Australian friend recalled his shock at the dubbing when he saw it in a US cinema at the time) but I would have thought that the studio could have dug up the original Australian version and released that instead. Because of this irritating and pointless feature of an otherwise fine movie (the best of the Mad Max series), I can only rate the dvd 2 stars."