Mad Max [Blu-Ray] George Miller

Mad Max [Blu-Ray] George Miller
In the opening car chase sequence of George Miller's infamous Australian indie action film, Mad Max, leather-clad police officers pursue two crazed anarchists — we know they're crazy because they violently shake their heads, yell, "woo hoo" and laugh maniacally — in the souped-up cars of a dystopian future. Crashing into vans and flying off the road, they almost hit a toddler — since there are always stray children in the middle of the highway — while a calm, cool and collected Max (Mel Gibson) puts on some shades and a form fitting leather jacket. Because everyone has seen a Western, and gets the whole hero thing, we know that stoic Max is going to save the day, even if just through sheer awesome posturing. In the meantime, the stunts look dangerous and the cars travel at ridiculous speeds, smashing into shit and blowing up at the end of the sequence like a big, climactic orgasm. This is an action movie without pretence, aided by a renegade anti-establishment attitude and its cinematic context in a time when pretentious '70s art films were in decline for a generation of aging hippies giving in to the nine-to-five quotidian. It doesn't matter that it's pure cheese or that Max's eventual vengeful rampage supports the anarchic principals implicitly criticized, because this, for its time, was pure visceral entertainment and id catharsis. Sure, it's dated now, with its camp Genghis Khan villain and well-worn genre conventions, but it's easy to see why it fuelled such enthusiasm back in 1979. The Blu-Ray includes a commentary track with some of the filmmakers, who discuss the shortcuts taken during production, along with a "Mad Max: The Film Phenomenon" featurette, where critics and filmmakers discuss the movie in superficial terms ("it's like porn for people that like cars"). There's also a supplemental DVD disc included with the Blu-Ray package that has some trivia and a featurette on Mel Gibson's rising celebrity status in the '80s. (Fox)