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LIONSGATE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Henry Hobson
Cast:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson
Writing Credits:
John Scott 3

Synopsis:
A teenage girl in the Midwest becomes infected by an outbreak of a disease that slowly turns the infected into cannibalistic zombies. During her transformation, her loving father stays by her side. MPAA:
Rated R

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 7/7/2015

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Henry Hobson
• “Making Maggie” Featurette
• Interviews with Cast and Crew
• Deleted Scene
• Trailer and Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Maggie (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 28, 2015)

Arnold Schwarzenegger digs into the zombie genre via 2015’s Maggie. An outbreak spreads worldwide and leaves its victims in a cannibalistic, mutated state. This affects a young woman named Maggie Vogel (Abigail Breslin), as she shows early stages of the infection.

Maggie disappears so her father Wade (Schwarzenegger) searches for her. He eventually locates her in the quarantine ward of a hospital and gains her release through help from family doctor Vern Kaplan (Jodie Moore).

Given the mortality rate of the disease, Wade is allowed to take Maggie home to spend her final weeks with family. We follow their time together and crucial decisions made along the way,

In the recent past, a Schwarzenegger-led zombie movie would’ve cast him as a superhero who saves the world. Now pushing 70, Schwarzenegger finds himself in a different position, and that means Maggie offers a much more introspective effort than one would’ve gotten from the actor in earlier times.

Not that Maggie comes totally devoid of action and horror, as it does toss out the occasional thrill moment. However, it prefers to focus on the relationship between Wade and Maggie, and that gives it an unusual flavor.

In theory, this seems like a good approach, but in reality, Maggie tends to be less than enthralling. One issue stems from the depiction of the characters, as it seems oddly scattered. Wade brings Maggie home so the family can enjoy each other as she nears the end, but they hardly spend any time together. We see the family members away from each other most of the time, and that doesn’t make much sense.

If the movie developed the roles better, maybe this wouldn’t become an issue, but we don’t really feel like we know the characters. Maggie throws out dribs and drabs about the participants, but we don’t receive much depth. We learn superficial details and that’s about it, so we remain detached from the Vogel family and don’t care about them like we should.

That seems like a big concern given the movie’s attempt to push emotional buttons. If well-executed, we should find ourselves distraught at Maggie’s apparent impending doom, but instead, we don’t much care. We follow the characters’ paths toward the finale and feel detached much of the way.

The pace also becomes a substantial problem, as the movie progresses at a slow rate. Large amounts of film pass without much to show for it. The movie fails to use its running time in an efficient manner; it seems to mistake “slow and dull” for “deep and insightful”.

The actors seem to try their best, and though I don’t think this kind of pensive drama suits him, Schwarzenegger does fine. Granted, the story doesn’t ask much of him other than to mope and look sad, but he still pulls off the part in an appropriate manner.

It’s too bad Maggie can’t do more to reward the viewer. I like the notion behind the movie and think it could’ve become a good slant on the zombie genre. Unfortunately, it plods too much and lacks the substance to become worthwhile.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Maggie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a bland presentation, though I suspect it replicated the source.

Sharpness looked good most of the time. Some softness hit wider shots and the many low-light scenes. Still, the majority of the flick showed fairly good clarity and accuracy. Jaggies and shimmering failed to distract, and edge haloes remained absent. The movie also lacked any source flaws and was consistently clean.

In terms of colors, Maggie went with subdued tones. Parts of the movie featured an orange flavor, but much of it was simply grayish or desaturated. The hues never stood out as memorable, but they weren’t supposed to be impressive, so they were fine for this story’s stripped palette.

Blacks could seem somewhat mushy and shadows tended to be a bit opaque. Given the darkness of the movie, this became a concern, as it left a lot of the tale tough to discern. As I noted at the start, though, I suspect the visuals reproduced the original photography. I thought the image wasn’t good enough for a high grade, but given the manner in which it replicates the filmmakers’ intentions, I also didn’t feel it deserved anything below a “B-“.

With the low-key storytelling on display, I thought the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack proved to be fine. Much of the material focused on moody atmosphere, so outside of some thunder, the mix didn’t do a lot with the five channels. Still, it opened up the setting in an acceptable manner and suited the story.

In addition, audio quality satisfied. Dialogue was natural and distinctive, without edginess or other issues. Music sounded lively and full, while effects provided good clarity. Those elements seemed accurate and boasted nice vivacity. This became a decent but unexceptional mix..

As we head to the disc’s extras, we locate an audio commentary from director Henry Hobson. He delivers a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, music and audio, various effects, cast and performances, editing and cinematography, sets, locations and production design, and related domains.

While Hobson covers a good array of topics, he can’t make this a better than average commentary. He tends to narrate the movie at times, and the general pace of the chat seems a bit sluggish. Though we learn a reasonable amount about the movie, the track remains less than enthralling.

During the 18-minute, 14-second Making Maggie, we hear from Hobson, producers Joey Tufaro, Trevor Kaufman and Colin Bates, writer John Scott 3, and actors Arnold Schwartzenegger, Abigail Breslin and Joely Richardson. The show looks at story/characters, cast and performances, and Hobson’s impact on the production. Most of the featurette lacks much substance, as it does little more than tell us how great everything/everyone was.

Under Interviews with Cast and Crew, we get segments with Hobson (8:16), Scott (6:34), Schwarzenegger (19:48), Breslin (7:19) and Richardson (8:10). The interviews come from the same sessions used in “Making” but they manage to dig into their topics with greater depth. Skip “Making” and watch these interviews instead, as they prove to be much more informative and satisfying.

One Deleted Scene lasts two minutes, 15 seconds. It shows Wade and Caroline as they discuss the decision to send away their other kids. It gives Caroline a little more dimensionality but doesn’t do much.

The disc opens with ads for Beyond the Reach, The Forger, Dying of the Light and Reclaim. We also find the trailer for Maggie.

With its character emphasis and general lack of action, Maggie offers an unusual kind of zombie genre. However, it doesn’t seem like a satisfying effort, as it lacks the depth and meaning to make it engaging. The Blu-ray presents acceptable picture and audio along with a decent set of supplements. Maggie gets credit for its ambition but it doesn’t become an enjoyable ride.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 4
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