|Category||Action||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Year Released||1985||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||102:27 minutes||Other Extras||Cast & Crew Biographies
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The plot basically has no continuity from the previous two Mad Max films. We cut to a rather poorly executed shot of Jebediah the Pilot (Bruce Spence) swooping down on Max (Mel Gibson) and relieving him of his belongings. Naturally, Max is less than happy about this, and after wandering aimlessly in the desert for days, he comes to the crudely built city of Bartertown. Bartertown is basically a substitute for the fuel-refining compound in the previous instalment of the series in that it is a focal point for most of the mayhem. Unfortunately, the dialogue spoken by the denizens of this place is banal at the best of times, and it gets worse when Max encounters a tribe of nomadic children that apparently have grown up without civilization, led by the decidedly uncharismatic Savannah Nix (Helen Buday). Some sociological facts here: going by the vague chronology of the first two films, in combination with Max's appearance in this one, civilization could hardly have ended as much as twenty years ago. Human language could not possibly change enough in twenty years, or even two hundred years, to account for the retarded tone of the dialogue spoken by the nomad children in this film. It is also not nearly enough time to account for the people's sense of justice to turn into the format for a game show.
If you enjoyed the previous two Mad Max films, then this one is worth having for the climactic car-train chase. Otherwise, I'd seriously consider waiting for the original to come out, because plot-wise, this episode is just not up to scratch. The ending is anticlimactic, and the battles just don't have the some anarchic oomph that they had in the previous episodes. Using Bruce Spence, who appeared in Mad Max 2 as an extremely irritating character, to play a completely different person who sucks as a character even more, was not a wise move. Neither was casting Tina Turner as Aunty Entity, as she basically brings the same level of depth to her character as Keanu Reeves brings to any character he's ever played. In fact, the only vaguely interesting character besides Max in this whole film would have to be Ironbar (Angry Anderson), and his dialogue seemed to have been written by monkeys. This film was quite literally a lousy way to end the series.
The film is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and as I said earlier, it is 16x9 enhanced. This aspect ratio appears rather wasted on this film, because there is little going on in the backgrounds at any given moment. There are also no real wide-angle shots in this film, which is a shame because the previous films had some of the most beautiful photography I've ever seen. Essentially, the first and second Mad Max films are the best exhibitions of wide-angle photography ever shot in Australia. The backgrounds are variably sharp, but the foreground is consistently easy to make out. Shadow detail, however, is merely acceptable at the best of times. There are conversations that take place in the dark where it would take some effort to keep track of who's speaking if not for the fact that most exchanges in this film are limited to two people. The colours in this film were mainly dull and lifeless, which perfectly fitted the premise of the film. The rare occasions where vibrant colours were found seemed out of place in the film, but they were well-rendered in any case. Other than that, the film basically seemed to be an exhibition of how many different shades of brown and grey the human eye can distinguish between.
MPEG artefacts were happily absent from the film, although it is hard to tell if the loss of definition in backgrounds at two points of the film were actually caused by the MPEG compression, or the limitations in the photography. Film-to-video artefacts were limited to small amounts of aliasing, and some shimmer during the opening and closing credits. Film artefacts were the real giveaway to the age of the film, as well as the lack of care taken with it. They varied from being extremely heavy to non-existent. Overall, however, the film artefacts were quite heavy, even for a film of this age.
The dialogue seemed in sync throughout the movie, although a great deal of the dialogue consisted of incoherent grunting and screaming. In this sense, Angry Anderson seemed to get the best leftovers from the script once Mel Gibson got his ever-so-wonderful lines. While the dialogue in the other two films could be described as being ordinary at the best of times, at least it was evenly distributed across the characters. Seriously, this film's dialogue is so poorly written that it will make you groan, sigh, and barf all at once.
Why the directors chose to use Maurice Jarre in place of Brian May to compose the score music, I'll never know. His score for this part of the series is somewhat dull by comparison, but it does fit the general mood and setting of the story well enough. The music is really the only sound in this film that has any body to it at all. The surround channels were used for music and special effects, but generally, this is a frontal mix. The subwoofer got some use when it was called for, but this was rather occasional.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The video quality may be substandard by DVD standards, but it's still worth the purchase price.
The audio quality is very good, given the source material.
The extras are limited, but still of some interest.
|DVD||Grundig GDV 100 D, using composite output; Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Panasonic TC-29R20 (68 cm), 4:3 mode, using composite input; Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm), 16:9 mode/4:3 mode, using composite and S-video inputs|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Sharp CP-303A Back Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Subwoofer|