Mad Max: Fury Road appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. From start to finish, the movie offered an excellent presentation.
Typical for modern action flicks, teal and orange dominated the film’s palette. While that trend was predictable and tedious, I can’t complain about the replication, as the hues looked strong within their stylistic constraints. Blacks came across as dark and tight, and shadows appeared smooth and easily discernible.
Sharpness worked well. Virtually no softness ever affected the shots, so the movie brought us terrific clarity and definition. No signs of jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to materialize. All in all, this offered a fine visual presentation.
I also felt consistently pleased with the excellent Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Fury Road. Because I don’t have an Atmos-equipped system, this played back as a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix, and it was a good one.
The soundfield presented an active and lively piece that constantly engaged the various speakers. The film showed distinctive imagery throughout the movie that placed different auditory elements accurately within the spectrum and meshed them together nicely.
Music provided strong stereo imaging, and effects popped up from the appropriate locations. Quieter scenes – which didn’t pop up often - displayed positive ambience, while the many action set pieces involved engrossing and vibrant imaging. With nearly non-stop movement and mayhem, this became one of the more active soundfields I’ve heard in a while.
Audio quality also seemed positive. Speech consistently appeared natural and crisp, and I noticed no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Music sounded bright and dynamic as the disc neatly replicated the score.
Effects packed a nice wallop when necessary, as these elements seemed clean and distinct at all times. Bass response came across as deep and tight, and the low-end added a good layer of depth and oomph to the package. This was a soundtrack to challenge your subwoofer, as it really administered a heavy punch. I thought this was a consistently impressive soundtrack.
This package includes both 2D and 3D versions of Fury. The picture quality comments above address the 2D edition, but I also want to talk about the 3D image.
While not quite as strong a presentation, I thought the 3D version looked very good. It only lost a little sharpness/brightness when compared to the 2D edition, and colors held up well. In terms of definition/clarity, this was one of the more appealing 3D Blu-rays I’ve seen.
As for the 3D effects, they worked pretty well. Fury Road lacked a ton of “in your face” elements, which was fine with me, as those get tedious; a few flashy 3D visuals materialized, but not many.
This meant most of Fury Road went with a sense of dimensionality, and it did so in a convincing manner. The 3D material added a feeling of depth to the proceedings and looked quite good. Between the accuracy of the visuals and the effectiveness of the imagery, I thought this turned into a strong 3D Blu-ray.
Most of the disc’s extras come from its six featurettes. We find “Maximum Fury: Filming Fury Road” (28:38), “Mad Max: Fury on Four Wheels” (22:37), “The Road Warriors: Max and Furiosa” (11:18), “The Tools of the Wasteland” (14:26), “The Five Wives: So Shiny, So Chrome” (11:11) and “Fury Road: Crash and Smash” (4:02). Across these, we hear from writer/producer/director George Miller, production designer Colin Gibson, principal vehicle designer/storyboard artist Peter Pound, producer Doug Mitchell, executive producer Iain Smith, co-special effects supervisors Dan Oliver and Andy Williams, stunt coordinator Keir Beck, 2nd unit director/supervising stunt coordinator Guy Norris, visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson, technical continuity Georgina Selby, fight coordinator Richard Norton, principal War Rig driver Lee Adamson, principal storyboard artist Mark Sexton, salvage artist Matt Boug, property master Andrew Orlando, costume designer Jenny Beaven, key armourer Lance Peters, and actors Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult, Josh Helman, Angus Sampson, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nathan Jones, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Abbey Lee, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Courtney Eaton, and iOta.
The programs cover the movie’s development and the use of storyboards, locations and shooting in the desert, vehicles, stunts and action, various effects, cast and performances, story/characters, production design, costumes and props. “Crash and Smash” includes no interviews, but it shows various forms of raw footage to accentuate the movie’s active use of practical material.
Taken together, the featurettes offer a pretty good picture of the production. Given the format, they don’t gel into a particularly coherent overall view, but they tell us plenty about the shoot. Expect to learn a fair amount about Fury Road here.
Three deleted scenes fill a total of three minutes, 21 seconds. We find “I Am a Milker” (0:32), “Turn Every Grain of Sand!” (1:49) and “Let’s Do It” (0:59). “Milker” shows a woman desperate to enter Joe’s inner circle, while “Sand” extends the launch of the hunt for Furiosa. Finally, “Do It” gives us a short intro to the movie’s climactic journey. None of these seem especially memorable, though “Milker” at least depicts the desperation of the downtrodden.
The disc opens with an ad for Black Mass. No trailer for Fury Road appears here.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Fury. It includes none of the Blu-ray’s extras.
Apparently many viewers find Mad Max: Fury Road to offer a thrilling, dynamic action experience. I do not. I think it comes with occasional excitement but it suffers from such thin story/characters that it never digs beneath the surface. The Blu-ray delivers excellent picture and audio as well as some informative bonus materials. I still don’t get all the praise lavished on Fury Road, but its fans should feel pleased with this terrific release.