Follow us on:






MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME ($25) is the third entry in the MAD MAX series, and proof positive that a sequel isn’t necessarily a bad thing. MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME is a fresh and invigorating entry in the series, which gave Mel Gibson’s Mad Max character more depth. The story also added real supporting characters with real motivations and agendas. The most interesting of these has to be Tina Turner’s Aunty Entity. Tuner delivers a standout performance, which makes one wish she would add more acting roles to her resume. Aunty Entity is the leader of a Bartertown; the only thing that even comes close to resembling civilization in the post-apocalyptic wastelands.

Mad Max comes to Bartertown searching for his stolen possessions and Aunty Entity makes him a proposition he can’t refuse. Soon Max finds himself in a battle to the death, inside of Thunderdome, for the control of Bartertown. Things don’t go as planned and Mad Max is exiled to the desert where he encounters a tribe of lost children looking for a better life. Circumstances then force Mad Max to return to Bartertown, for a final showdown with Aunty Entity. Directors George Miller and George Ogilvie keep the action sequences moving with a rollicking good humor. The final chase through the desert is a standout. Supporting cast members Bruce Spence, Frank Thing and Angelo Rossitto add their own indelible mark to the MAD MAX mythos.

Warner Home Video has made MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME available in both Letterboxed and pan and scan versions on opposite sides of the DVD. The pan and scan transfer has good color and acceptable detail, but the nature of this anamorphic wide screen movie makes the action sequences virtually impossible to enjoy with half the image cropped away. Blowing up the image to fill the television screen dimensions also magnifies little defects in the film element, rendering them quite noticeable. The Letterboxed transfer is very satisfying and restores most of the film’s 2.35:1 theatrical framing. The action sequences are glorious in wide screen, and cannot really be appreciated any other way. Colors are quite vivid on the Letterboxed transfer, and the image is nicely detailed throughout. Digital artifacts were noticeable on a couple of the darker sequences of the Letterboxed version; they were more apparent on the pan and scan edition.

The soundtrack has been given a new Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for this release. The remix is quite pleasing with good channel separation in the front, although the rear channels lack the discrete (left-right) information contained in today’s Dolby Digital mixes. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround soundtrack as well as a French language track. Subtitles are available English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus include production notes, cast and director biographies / filmographies and access to the theatrical trailer.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



Add to My Yahoo!  Add to Google  RSS Feed & Share Links