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The Road Warrior Blu-ray

United States
1953
14
39
Mad Max 2 Warner Bros. | 1981 | 95 min | Rated R | Jun 04, 2013

The Road Warrior (Blu-ray)
Temporary cover art
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (25.63 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
French: Dolby Digital 2.0
German: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
Italian: Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kbps)
(more)

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German SDH, Italian SDH, Arabic, Croatian… (more)

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $14.98, Price history

Amazon: $9.14 (Save 39%)
New from: $6.61 (Save 56%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.1
364
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.1 of 54.1
Audio 4.2 of 54.2
Extras 2.3 of 52.3
Based on 4 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Thriller100%
Action76%
Sci-Fi58%
Adventure-
66%
popularity
833
collections
117
fans




The Road Warrior

 (1981)

The Road Warrior Blu-ray delivers great video and audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

In the first sequel to Mad Max, Max lends his aid and protection to a small band of survivors who are losing their struggle to protect an oil refinery under siege by a band of savage, mohawked marauders.

For more about The Road Warrior and the The Road Warrior Blu-ray release, see the The Road Warrior Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Starring: Mel Gibson, Virginia Hey, Syd Heylen, Bruce Spence, Emil Minty, Michael Preston (I)
Director: George Miller

» See full cast & crew


The Road Warrior Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

Warner Home Video previously released The Road Warrior on Blu-ray in 2007. J.C. Ribera's review of that edition can be found here. The key point of discussion was a change in color timing from previous home video versions toward the cooler end of the spectrum. Initial speculation suggested that this new 2013 remaster might have reverted to the earlier color timing, but in direct comparison to the 2007 Blu-ray, it's evident that this is the same transfer with identical colors. (For an example, see screenshots 10 and 11; the shot from 2007 is labeled as such.)

What Warner has done for this Blu-ray edition is re-author the disc with the AVC codec, which has replaced VC-1 as its preferred compression scheme, include lossless audio and a larger selection of alternate language and subtitle tracks, and place the result on a BD-50 instead of a BD-25 (although it should be noted that only 23.7 Gb of the disc's capacity has been used). The average bitrate is now 25.63 Mbps, as compared to 21.94 on the previous disc. Both discs, of course, are 1080p.

The result of the remastering visually is a slight (very slight) improvement in fine detail, which was already quite good on the 2007 disc. Owners of large front-projection systems are those most likely to benefit from the improvement; anyone with a direct-view TV will have to look hard to spot the difference.

As Mr. Ribera noted in his review of the earlier disc, there are portions of Road Warrior that will never look spectacular. In the Blu-ray commentary, cinematographer Dean Semler comments on the limitations of the era's film stocks, describes "pushing" the film in the lab and notes his tendency to underlight for fear of overexposure. Some of the grainiest night scenes, especially when the blacks shade to gray, result from these issues, which today would have been fixed on a digital intermediate. But these are artifacts of the age in which Road Warrior was made, and as Semler and Miller laughingly note, filmmakers in that era had to work close and "get dirty". The very conditions that created these analog artifacts are inseparable from the working conditions that made Road Warrior what it is.

So, as far as image is concerned, this new edition of Road Warrior offers marginal improvements that will loom larger as the image is expanded for display. It's in the sonic arena that the real benefits lie.


The Road Warrior Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

The Road Warrior was the first Australian film mixed with a Dolby stereo soundtrack, and it was reportedly also released in a 70mm blow-up with a 6-track mix. Whatever source was used, the film has had a 5.1 soundtrack on home video since its first DVD release in 1997. The earlier Blu-ray offered that soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1, but this new edition has lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1, and it is impressive.

The roar of engines has a real bottom end to it now. So does Brian May's unforgettable score, which is essential to a soundtrack that goes for long stretches without dialogue. Lossless treatment cannot add more refinement to the orchestra's mid-section than is already there in the original recording, but the top end never sounds brittle or fatiguing. The rear channels are not used for major effects, because the sound design didn't envision discrete rear channel effects, but they help broaden the front sound stage, enlarging the sense of space.

The spare dialogue, which frequently has to compete with many other sounds, is clearer and more distinct than I have ever heard it before. This is the first version of Road Warrior in which I could understand the Gyro Captain's every word. I could also make out more of Pappagallo's speech off-camera when he is addressing the colonists, while Max is getting acquainted with the Feral Kid.

Although I have not done an A/B comparison, I suspect that Warner didn't just re-encode the mix, but they also may have "sweetened" it as well. Whatever they did, the result is the best-sounding version of Road Warrior I have ever heard.


Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior: Other Editions



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