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Colinda Bongers, Thijs Meuwese
Julia Batelaan, Emma de Paauw, Joost Bolt
Writing Credits:
Thijs Meuwese

A girl living alone in a post apocalyptic wasteland finds herself hunted down by marauders who want her to fight in their fighting pit for their entertainment.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English Dolby 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 10/2/2018

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Co-Director Thijs Meuwese
• “Making Of” Featurette
• Trailer


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Molly [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 25, 2018)

A Dutch production, 2018’s Molly adopts a Mad Max sensibility. Into a post-apocalyptic landscape laid waste by war, Molly (Julia Batelaan) roams the country armed with bow and arrow as well as her own special powers.

Those abilities make Molly a target for a variety of unscrupulous sorts, and the ringmaster of a “fight club” (Joost Bolt) wants her as a star attraction. Molly attempts to evade his goons’ clutches and stay free.

Frankly, the “post-apocalyptic wasteland” conceit got old years ago, so I went into Molly with skepticism. What could its creators bring to the table that the Romeros, Millers and Boyles hadn’t already achieved?

Nothing, unfortunately. Essentially a collection of leftovers from its genre predecessors, Molly fails to get off the ground.

Our title character feels like little more than a mix of Katniss Everdeen and an X-Man, and not much else about the film displays creativity. The supporting roles bring the usual assortment of campy weirdos who populate the Mad Max movies, and none of them display intriguing personalities.

Acting seems amateurish across the board, as all the actors sound like they’re working in a second language. Which may be true – given the film’s Dutch roots, English may not be native to most or all of the performers.

If that’s the case, Molly should’ve been shot in Dutch and used English subtitles. I know many people hate to have to read while they watch, but if the alternative is the stiff, unconvincing line readings on display here, give me subtitles every time.

Even without the potential language concerns, the actors simply lack any form of ability to play their roles in a convincing manner. All give exaggerated performances without any real charm or zest.

Molly tends to move at a snail’s pace, and it sticks us with unnecessarily long scenes in which Molly performs banal actions. I guess this intends to convey the reality of her existence, but it comes across like an attempt to fill time.

When Molly throws action our way, these sequences lack power. They tend to play out so slowly that it feels like the directors used rehearsals done at half-speed. It always looks as though the actors move carefully to make sure they don’t hurt each other, a factor that doesn’t exactly convey excitement or danger.

Molly seems to enjoy a decent reputation among viewers, but I can’t figure out why – fondness for Amsterdam, perhaps? I hoped the movie would offer a lively action tale but instead, I got an amateurish, sluggish film that felt cobbled together from pieces of superior efforts.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio C+/ Bonus B-

Molly appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image worked well.

Sharpness seemed satisfying. A few wider shots showed a smidgen of softness, but the majority of the film came across as accurate and precise.

The image lacked any moiré effects or jaggies, and edge haloes also remained absent. Print flaws failed to mar the proceedings.

Molly went for a highly stylized palette that often favored heavy yellows or greens. It also threw in plenty of prominent blues, red and other tones, all of which seemed vivid and well-depicted.

Blacks came across as deep and dark, while shadows appeared smooth and concise. The movie looked very good across the board.

I didn’t find much about the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that stood out as memorable. The soundscape heavily focused on the front channels, and music became the dominant element.

This meant effects didn’t get much to do. They usually offered general atmospheric information, with only a handful of more involving scenes. None of these used the spectrum in an especially memorable manner.

Audio quality remained fine, though the track lost points for its compressed nature. In 2018, a Blu-ray should always offer a lossless option.

Speech appeared concise and natural, and the synthesizer score showed fairly good range. Effects lacked a lot to make them stand out, but they seemed fairly accurate and tight. This became a strangely subdued, restricted mix for an action film.

In terms of extras, we get an audio commentary from writer/co-director Thijs Meuwese. He presents a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, stunts and action, effects, editing, cinematography, music and connected domains.

Overall, Meuwese delivers a very good commentary. He touches on a nice array of subjects and avoids a lot of happy talk.

Indeed, Meuwese conveys the challenges of low-budget filmmaking, and he also discusses parts of the film he doesn’t think work as well as he’d like. Meuwese brings us an enjoyable, informative chat.

Note that the Blu-ray claims co-director Colinda Bongers also participates in the commentary. She doesn’t – as explained by Meuwese at the track’s start, she couldn’t attend due to a scheduling conflict.

Along with the film’s trailer, Making of Molly goes for 31 minutes, 22 seconds. It consists entirely of footage from the set, with no interviews or commentary along the way.

As much as I enjoy this kind of “fly on the wall” material, I’d prefer a program with some form of narration or verbal information, if just to give the footage context. Still, “Making” offers a mostly engaging look behind the scenes.

If you want to get a fresh take on the “post-apocalyptic wasteland” genre from Molly, don’t raise your hopes too high. Unoriginal and amateurish, the movie seems bland and forgettable. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture along with mediocre audio and some informative supplements. Molly fails to ignite.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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