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Mad Max (1979) Blu-ray Review

By   Nov 10, 2010 10:42 PM EST
You could suppose, if you so desired, that the grand construction of humanity's unique accomplishment, the abstract model of the universe, is nothing more than the same small set of ideas remixed and rearranged over and over.  Let us say there are seven original ideas, or perhaps 94, as it is with matter.  The number is really irrelevant insofar as it need only be much smaller than the number of movies that comes out each year, more so the number of movies we would like to think of as original.

When revisiting Mad Max by way of its new Blu ray release, we might be tempted to sigh and roll our eyes at the sheer cliché, as it seems that too much of what we see here we have seen so many times before.  Aside from the revenge pornography, I've encountered so many dystopias in sci-fi that I can't anymore shake the feeling of dissonance from the highly improbable worlds seeming always to be constructed for such purposes.

It's not enough to say, however, that we've seen it before.  All of these things came from somewhere.  And, it seems, for the purposes of our film culture, many of these things came from Mad Max, though perhaps not as elegantly constructed before as then.  This isn't to paint it entirely with the original label; revenge fantasies must first punish the hero, and we delight in this as we must to delight in what comes after; and surely this must come from some base instinct come long before the notion of film.  Goose must die, as must Max's family, and it must be painful, and horrible, or we should not like the result.

The trick is not to produce something wholly original; this could be no more appealing than the taste of an entirely alien food, its molecules tuned to taste buds we mere humans lack.  We can't ask for even a single new thing, and this is a test that Mad Max would fail.  What we must demand, however, is the synthesis of that which we already know in novel ways, so as to make us reconsider the ways in which the things we know contribute to our understanding of ourselves.  Here is where Mad Max shines.

Here also is where it falters.  Well synthesized the tropes here may be, but the metamorphosis of ideas is an evolutionary process, whose failings of the past the shine of a new Blu ray transfer cannot hide.  It's been done better.  But perhaps it's best to set Mad Max within its own time, and leave it there, revisiting it by our more modern means every once in a while.

Directed By:

MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 88 minutes
Distributed By: Kennedy-Miller Productions

For more information about Mad Max visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Stephen Compall please click here.

Mad Max images are © Kennedy-Miller Productions. All Rights Reserved.





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