Steve Simels
April 01, 1994 AT 05:00 AM EST

”Mad Max” and ”The Mechanic” on laserdisc

Unsurprising fact: Letterboxing can make a good wide-screen film look better on laserdisc, but you can’t make filet mignon out of beef jerky. Case in point, one: the new version of Mad Max, with director George Miller’s astonishingly kinetic car chases finally viewable in all their wide-screen glory. Case in point, two: the new edition of Michael Winner’s The Mechanic, a laughably inept Charles Bronson epic (he’s a hit man having a crisis of the spirit) with a wide-screen transfer that only emphasizes its fundamental tackiness. Consumer alert: The Mad Max disc, while swell-looking, is from an American print, which means that Mel Gibson is overdubbed by some anonymous actor who sounds as if he’s doing a bad Paul Hogan imitation. Mad Max: A-; The Mechanic: C

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