Mad Max 2 (1981)
|Year Of Production||1981|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||George Miller|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Lead actor Mel Gibson describes the original Mad Max as "the classiest B-grade trash ever made", and Mad Max 2, or The Road Warrior as it was called in Region 1, is little different. Whereas the original was made on the same sort of budget as Robert Rodriguez's first feature, El Mariachi, this sequel is held together by the same sort of budget as The Blair Witch Project, and the results with this film are yet another nail in the coffin of BWP, I can tell you. This is the film on which many famous names in the Australasian film market cut their teeth, but cinematographer Dean Semler is sadly the only one besides Mel Gibson who made any real impact overseas. His photography in this film is what saves this film from being just another B-grade sequel to another B-grade film. All the actors, including Gibson in this case, range from one-dimensional to simply appalling, which is a sharp contrast to the character-driven story of the original. Whilst I am on the topic of comparing this sequel to the original, Mad Max 2 also brings over a few execution problems from its predecessor. These include a severe lack of camera stability during the climactic battle, and sound editing that can be described as haphazard at best.
The only letdown is that the shadow detail is appalling, but we can overlook this because a surprisingly small amount of the film takes place in darkness. When a night-time sequence does occur, however, the picture tends to lose quite a lot of detail, which can also necessitate the use of the Hard of Hearing subtitles to make the source of a sound clear. This is hardly surprising, however, given that the lighting setups necessary to counter this in a location like Broken Hill would cost more than the whole movie. So, once again, this deficiency can be blamed on the source material rather than the DVD mastering.
This brings me to one of the worst points about the first two films in this series. The sound mix is appalling on both Mad Max 2 and its predecessor, although this sequel is a definite improvement. The music is much louder than the sound effects, and the sound effects often drown out the dialogue. Even when there is no other sound hogging the mix, the dialogue occasionally becomes inaudible, and many interesting statements are lost without the use of subtitles. The kindest thing that can be said about the sound on this film is that at least there are no moments where it becomes practically silent during extreme close-ups of actor's faces that show their lips moving, as happened in the VCR version of the original.
The dialogue, and there is a surprising amount of it, is mostly easy to make out when the character doing the talking is in focus. Just. But the film really suffers for the off-screen speeches that aren't. Humungous' "nobody gets out of here alive" speech (Chapter 18, 53:58) sinks below the point of being inaudible in spite of the fact that he is in frame through most of it. It's sort of like watching one of those dreadful silent films from the early Hollywood years. Audio sync isn't a problem since most of the speech is short and rapid. The music is sometimes overly dominative, but this can be overlooked since the film would be quite dull without it. The speakers, however, seem to get a nice workout most of the time.
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NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The video quality is far better than we have any right to expect. Not wonderful, but far more so than the VCR version.
The audio quality defies the age and handling of the source material.
The extras are non-existent.
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-835|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Sharp CP-303A Back Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Subwoofer|