• Molly (Artsploitation Films) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Artsploitation Films
    Released on: October 2nd, 2018.
    Director: Colinda Bongers, Thijs Meuwese
    Cast: J
    ulia Batelaan, Emma de Paauw, Annelies AppelhofJ
    Year: 2017
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    Molly – Movie Review:

    Co-written and co-directed by the Dutch filmmaking team of Colinda Bongers and Thijs Meuwese, Molly tells the story of… Molly (Julia Batelaan), a freckled and bespectacled young woman who walks what is left of the post-apocalyptic Earth hoping only to survive. As tends to be the norm in post-apocalyptic movies, the terrain where this takes place is harsh and desolate and while Molly, armed with a bow and arrows, may look meek and mild the fact of the matter is that she’s tough, to the point of being superhuman. This comes in handy when she comes across the few survivors that are straggling along, most of them at this point reduced to zombies.

    Referred to as ‘supplicants,’ these poor bastards are frequently corralled and then forced to fight each other for the amusement of those still more or less control of their faculties. When the man in charge of these fights learns of Molly, he makes it his mission to capture her and infect her, hoping to groom her to become his star attraction in the fights he makes his money off of. Of course, Molly isn’t interested in that, and soon enough proves just how tough she really is.

    Briskly paced and plenty violent, Molly (the movie) is a decent slice of ultra-violent post-nuke style sci-fi in the Mad Max tradition. The film may wear its influences on its sleeve, feeling at times like a cross between the work of George Miller and Enzo G. Castellari, but it works quite well. The story isn’t super deep, but there’s enough meet on the bones of the script to keep us interesting and, maybe more importantly than anything else, we like Molly (the character). Julia Batelaan may be an atypical casting choice for an action hero, but she makes the part her own and handles herself really, really well in the film’s many brutal action sequences.

    Production values are a bit of a mixed bag but more of than not things shape up pretty nicely. Some of the costumes and props look a little less than perfect but the cinematography is nice for a film clearly made on a modest budget. The stunts are solid and the fight choreography quite solid – and at one point when our heroine goes into falconer mode they manage to get a live bird to land on her arm (which is, most will agree, pretty bad ass).

    Most of the film looks like it was shot on or around a beach with little in the surrounding area to give us any idea that civilization may have existed there in the past. Not all of the supporting players do as well as our lead, some of the acting is less than impressive in this department, but there’s a lot of admirable creativity on display here. A little more character development and backstory would have gone a long way, but on a superficial level this one offers up plenty of thrills, chills and spills and you have to admire just how ambitious this film is given what they had to work with.

    Molly – Blu-ray Review:

    Molly was shot digitally and has clearly undergone a lot of tweaking in post-production in order to obtain a specific look, so that needs to be kept in mind when evaluating the AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer on this 25GB disc. Detail is generally pretty good, though it does soften a bit under some of the harsh lighting employed in the film. Contrast has been boosted here in order to give the movie a ‘hot’ look, and this results in the colors looking a little harsh – but it works in the context of the story being told here. Obviously, there are no issues with print damage, dirt, debris or grain. Some minor compression artifacts do pop up in a few rare instances and some minor crush can be spotted in some darker scenes but most won’t notice this unless they’re looking for it. Otherwise, no complaints.

    English language audio options are offered up in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo with optional subtitles offered in English only. While it would have been nice to get a lossless option, the 5.1 mix sounds perfectly fine. There’s good channel separation and properly balanced levels throughout and no hiss or distortion ever creep into the mix.

    Co-director/co-writer Thijs Meuwese provides an audio commentary that covers quite a bit of ground. Here he talks about influences, why the film has the specific look that it does, some of the themes that the movie deals with, working with Colinda Bongers on the story and directing duties, locations, casting and more. This is one of those tracks that will make you appreciate the movie more after you listen to what went into making it.

    Artsploitation Films also provides a thirty-one-minute featurette called The Making Of Molly. This is essentially a fly on the wall style look at what it was like on set made up of various clips that, as the title suggests, take us behind the scenes of the movie while it was still in production.

    A trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection round out the extras.

    Molly – The Final Word:

    Molly isn’t deep but it is a solid action-heavy science fiction picture that benefits immensely from Julia Batelaan’s lead performance and some impressive creativity. Artsploitation Films’ Blu-ray release may have lossy audio (boo!) but it looks good (yay!) and contains some decent extras as well.

    Click on the images below for full sized Molly Blu-ray screen caps!