Monday, August 15, 2016

indulging Mad Max


i would be the first to confess that my magpie eyes get hungry for the prize. when the mood takes i can, look you see, be quite the impulsive shopper, in particular as and when something of a passion of mine has items for sale which seem to be a most splendid price. this accounts for today, when a very financially viable set of things was thrown my way related to my long-standing love of all things Mad Max.

oh, yes. the original, or if you like "classic", Mad Max trilogy, starring the shall we say fallen from grace Mel Gibson in the titular role. these are the versions of film, in their DVD form, that were re-released, or if you like re-re-re-re-released last year, as in 2015, ahead of the release of Mad Max Fury Road, which of course featured the as yet not to have fallen from grace Tom Hardy in the lead.

but surely, you say, i have these films already? why yes, several times over. whilst i no longer have the video tapes (and i wish i had held onto the pre-certification version of the UK VHS of Mad Max 2, but there you go), i do have the films on DVD from when they were issued in them card and plastic clip boxes, one of the main reasons we moved to Blu Ray was because you could only get Mad Max 2 uncut on that format and so I bought it, and I have two blu ray box sets of the film; one version with these three and one version with what to do date is now all four.

why, then, the re-investment, or if you like re-re-re-re-investment, in yet another set? to be honest, they nearly got bought last year at £5 a go purely for the new artwork. as they were presented to me today for £1 each, well, it was a no-brainer, in particular as my (considerably) better half bought them.

whilst those covers are amazing, in my opinion etc, i figured it was worth seeing if these DVDs were any better than the dreadful quality first issue versions of them. the answer is yes, no, maybe.

yeah, i was not so confident when i opened up the boxes. as you can see above, or at least you can if you are a fellow Mad Max obsessive, the disc faces say that these are the original issue discs which have just been slammed into fancy new boxes.

why my love for Mad Max? lots of reasons. being in Australia when Mad Max 2 came out would be a big one. everyone spoke of it like it was the best thing ever, as it was i suppose. it elevated action films - in particular ones involving cars - to a whole new level, not one that America had yet to reach. examples, for instance, of the ostensible hero of a film being beaten senseless during the course of the story were far and few between.

with me having next to no interest in cars other than a frequently necessary means to an end i suppose my adulation is all the stranger. perhaps it's because i have scant interest for cars that these films are what they are to me. i mean, the car work is so audacious that people with no interest had to pay attention to just what was achieved across the films.

placing the DVDs into my computer, for i insist on keeping machines what have optical drives as part of them, revealed that all discs were indeed single layer ones. each disc clocks in at about 4GB. i thought this was somewhat strange, as i could recall the original issue ones being well south of this; closer to 3.39GB in size which for some reason was the default for first gen Warner discs.

as you can see, the very welcome feature off of the original release Mad Max DVD is here and accounted for, which is to say you can watch the film and hear the original Australian soundtrack. home video versions prior to the first DVD meant you were subjected to the horrid dubbed version, the pure Australian considered "a bit much" for most (i.e. American) audiences in the rest of the world.

what happened when i put Mad Max 2 in to press play? well, rather predictably but all the same sadly, this horrendous version of the credits cropped up.....

yeah, it says The Road Warrior is the name, whereas it should say Mad Max 2. i am sure you know the story, but if not - marketing people were convinced that no one in America saw Mad Max and thus releasing a film called Mad Max 2 would confuse them, so they changed it to Road Warrior. it is, alas, only on the Blu Ray version of the film does the proper name come up.

what's in a name? well, up until now, when you saw a copy which started with the title given as The Road Warrior it meant that you were about to watch the cut to ribbons version. other than changing the name, the violence was considered too barbaric and brutal for audiences in America, and so it was heavy handedly censored. somehow Warner managed to end up reissuing this version of the film at random, around the world, until the Blu Ray release.

this DVD, however, despite having the "censored version" name, has the running length of the uncut version. i flicked through, and to my eyes it would seem that it is indeed, at last, an uncut version of this cinematic classic on DVD, albeit with the wrong title.

yeah, that's the spines of the three re-re-re-re-re-issued DVDs, spelling out Mad Max in a most smart way, made all the smarter by my use of Commodore 64 mode. you have that instead of a still or video off of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

anything of consequence on the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome re-issue DVD? nothing that you wouldn't be aware of - some text based info on some actors, and the trailer for the film which features footage not used in the final movie. no sign, then, of a release for the boss two music videos what Tina Turner did for the film; videos which also feature unreleased footage.

the lack of extras are the problem with all releases of the original Mad Max films. at least with the four film Blu Ray box set there was a DVD documentary about the first film, but still. there are loads of known (and probably unknown) documentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes and alternate scenes for all three films which have yet to get an official release.

yes, i do indeed understand that the name Mel Gibson has become probably irrevocably tarnished by his antics. this is more so in America (and you'd think Israel) than anywhere else in the world, but that's where the money is, and that means his career is over. oh sure, there are people who have said and actually done worse than Mel, but that's how it goes - his disgrace is very much in the public forum where others have been perhaps more careful about what they say where.

over here, in terms of the English way of doing things, there's some shock and horror at all the things he said. it would be fair to say, though, that for many of us we found it interesting that he was praised and awarded for making anti-English films, yet it was only when he started getting abusive towards blacks, Jews and women that it was a problem. perhaps if everyone hadn't rushed to say how great it was for him to express his hate for the English then he wouldn't have assumed all of his prejudice would be embraced and rewarded, but there you go.

earlier on i didn't mention that i only really gravitated towards Frankie Goes To Hollywood when i clocked that Two Tribes had nothing to do with the nuclear war it got beautified with for a video and a remix and had everything to do with being a cheeky rewrite of the opening monologue of Mad Max 2. now that i have written that, i guess this post is done.

well, there you go - if anyone's been wondering if these versions of the DVDs are worth getting for reasons beyond the ace artwork, hopefully this has helped!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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