Sep/2018

Hi everyone, Bryan here…

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THE FILM

It’s a damn shame that every action movie can’t be as good as ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘. So many action films will try, but will ultimately fail for a variety of reasons. Pure action filmmaking and movies just don’t get better than this movie. ‘Fury Road‘ is a troubled story to say the least. Original creator George Miller who made the original three ‘Mad Max‘ films had the idea for this fourth installment back in 1998. That’s 17-years ago. This project wasn’t necessarily put on a hold shelf, but a few things had happened to delay the film from being made. From 9-11 to foreign policy, to Mel Gibson’s infamous arrest, there were a variety of things that prevented this movie from seeing the light of day.

Years went by and George Miller went on to make ‘Happy Feet‘, which is a far world away from the likes of these ‘Mad Max‘ films. However, the script showed up again and some rewrites happened, and Miller got all excited again, hence this new film. At first, Miller wanted Gibson back in the iconic role, but both he and Miller decided to revamp the series and go with a different cast and angle. That pretty much brings us to ‘Fury Road‘, starring Tom Hardy as Mad Max. Make no mistake about it, this film is epic in every way and I don’t say that lightly.

It’s a rare occasion where I get overly excited for a movie and have the highest form of expectations, when after viewing said film, it meets and exceeds all these expectations. That’s the case with ‘Fury Road‘. Not only did George Miller build on this post-apocalyptic universe, he also made one of the best action films I’ve literally ever seen, with mostly using practical effects and not CG. There is really zero down time in this film. From start to finish, something big is happening on screen, which doesn’t allow you necessarily to get one breath in, let alone blink your eyes.

What I like about this film, is while it’s a remake, it doesn’t need to spend any time with a backstory for Mad Max. Miller knew that almost all of us would know the general gist of the story going into it, hence we are thrown in straight to the action from scene one. Max (Tom Hardy) escapes the grasp of an evil monster of a leader named King Immortan Joe, who enslaves the poor people below him and keeps all the precious and rare water for himself. Max crosses paths with Furiosa (a badass Charlize Theron), who is taking five women who were impregnated by King Joe to a better place to live.

King Joe doesn’t like this one bit, so he takes his insane minions, and all of their weaponized vehicles, along with a few other war lord gangs, and chases after Max and these women. These car chase sequences and fight scenes are legendary. Each and every one of the 150 stunt men and women earn their pay check the more with the chaotic stunts that are shown here. Plus, Max more or less takes a back seat here, where Furiosa and the other women show that they can handle themselves in any situation, however, Mad Max for sure earns that name here.

This is the purest form of action, which each character and story told through very little dialogue, but somehow through the intense battle sequences and their facial expressions, you bond with them. Nicholas Hoult plays one of the minions named Nux, and he’s unreal in this role. I can’t believe the little kid from ‘About a Boy‘ turned into this amazing character. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘ really has it all in the form of action, explosions, gun battles, chainsaws, and vehicle chases.

There is so much happening on screen, that you’ll have to go back for a second time to catch it all. I just wish that other filmmakers who were making an action movie would take notes here and follow suit, because this is exactly how to make a movie. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is the ultimate action movie, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

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THE VIDEO/AUDIO

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Black and Chrome Edition comes with a brand new 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Previous editions of this film look incredible in all it’s colorful glory with bright oranges and blues throughout. Director George Miller had always wanted it to be in black and white, and in his introduction to his edition, he says this is his favorite way to view the film. In my opinion, this Black and White version or Black and Chrome edition looks damn good. There are pros and cons to this edition though. The color palette is extremely well-balanced with luscious whites and a wide gray scale.

The black levels are always deep and inky throughout too. With this black and chrome version, you’ll notice a ton of new tiny details on the trucks and vehicles, which was very cool to see. Closeups of the actor’s faces with all of their make up effects looked lifelike and amazing. However, the big sandstorm didn’t look as good in this black and white version, but looked rather soft. The rest of the wide shots looked incredible deep though. There was some banding here and there, but other compression issues did not show up. I’m super glad there is this black and chrome version here, and I will definitely be re-visiting this again, because you get more out of it with just black and white, but still, the color version is just so beautiful, that I can’t help but watch both back to back.

The Audio: If the above video presentation wasn’t good enough, then this audio mix will surely be. There are several different options here, one being a Dolby Atmos mix, however, I’m sure most of you won’t have the Atmos set up yet, but if you do, prepare yourself to have your mind and ears rocked. That being said, most of you will choose the lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 MA mix or the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.

Both sound amazing, but the TrueHD 7.1 option is the way to go. Talk about fully immersing yourself in this chaotic post-apocalyptic dessert with the sound.  Every single sound effect is done with precision and accuracy consistently. Each noise is loud, energetic, and robust, and packs an enormous gut punch every time someone is hit or a vehicle crashes. The gun blasts and explosions are knocked out of the park as well, as it will rattle the walls and your bones. The bass is consistently good and never becomes rocky at any moment.

Each sound is layered and well-balanced with some great directionality. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand, even with everyone’s masks covering their faces. The LFE is excellent and the dynamic range is extremely wide here, leaving this audio presentation with perfect marks. Also note there are also a few other audio options in other languages as well as the corresponding subtitles.

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THE EXTRAS

Introduction by George Miller (HD, 2 Mins.) – This is a new very short extra that is not on any other of the releases. George Miller talks about why this black and chrome edition is so awesome.

Maximum Fury: Filming ‘Fury Road’ (HD, 29 Mins.) – This is a fantastic behind the scenes look of how it all came together. With cast and crew interviews with virtually every key player involved, they deconstruct how they made this film with using very little CG. They talk about the storyboards, how they filmed the stunts, and the story. They go into detail of the big stunts in the film, all of which were done with real cars, real crashes, and real people. I wish this was even longer.

Mad Max: Fury on Four Wheels (HD, 23 Mins.) – Here we focus on each of the vehicles used in the movie, and how they were designed, built, and used in the film. Seeing the cars built and tested was awesome.

The Road Warriors: Max and Furiosa (HD, 12 Mins.) – This bonus feature is more or less interviews with Tom Hardy, George Miller, and Charlize Theron as they discuss how they got the roles and put their talent to use and immersed themselves in these iconic characters. Watching Hardy here is hilarious, because he is a huge fanboy of these movies.

The Tools of the Wasteland (HD, 15 Mins.) – Here we center on all of the weapons, driving wheels, costumes, and intricate details that went into all of the props, most of which were salvaged from junk yards and forged from metal. And yes the Doof’s guitar is featured here, which was real and shot fire and played music. This was awesome.

The Five Wives: So Shiny, So Chrome (HD, 12 Mins.) – This extras focuses on the five wives in the film, who are all dressed in white throughout the film. All of them give interviews and discuss their characters and how much fun they had filming on location in the desert.

Fury Road: Crash & Smash (HD, 4 Mins.) – This is more like a promo reel that shows raw footage of some of the bigger moments in the film, which shows us that all of it was pretty much practical and not CGI. Excellent.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 4 Mins.) – There are three deleted scenes in total here. They’re fun to watch, but nothing adds to the overall storyline, although there is a naked fake baby in one of the scenes.

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THE ULTIMATE WORD

Mad Max: Fury Road‘ is one of the best movies you’ll ever see. Everything about it is top notch quality filmmaking and it never gets old or tiresome to watch. It’s probably the best action film and road trip movie to ever be filmed. Not only that, most of the stunts and effects were practical and not CGI. This black and white edition, or shall I say black and chrome edition looks incredible and is a new way to watch the film. It looks incredible. Not only do you get that version in this set, but you also get the colorful version as well, along with all of the previous bonus features from the past editions. There is no 3D option though, which is fine with me.

MUST OWN!

-Bryan Kluger

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