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Molly (Blu-ray Review)

Mad Max meets Turbo Kid in this electrifying and imaginative tale of one young woman’s determined struggle to survive in an inhospitable world. In a barren landscape ravished by war, Molly, a super-powered young woman, roams the violent post-apocalyptic landscape, armed only with a bow and arrow, to confront the dangers around her. When a sadistic ringmaster who run an underground fight club hears of her supernatural abilities he sends his sociopathic marauders to capture her and make her a star attraction in his cage fights to the death.

 

Film 

Molly is the story of a young woman with supernatural abilities. In fact, one can call her a “mutant” if they wanted to get technical. She’s on her own in the post-apocalyptic future and under constant fear of being targeted for elimination. Out there in the wasteland it’s kill or be killed and since Molly (Julia Batelaan) has special abilities she’s on many people’s lists for capture or death. When Deacon (Joost Bolt), who runs a fighting ring and where some members of the surviving population pay tribute to him hears of Molly – he will do everything in his power to capture her and make her the new queen of his ring.

I remember getting Molly on Blu-ray and thinking it was Tank Girl for a new generation. It’s not necessarily that far off. The back-cover states that it’s in the vein of Turbo Kid, another film that I loved, but that may just be in terms of production design and not of tone. There is no comedy edge in Molly. Molly is a brutal film in terms of depicting the wasteland that is the near-future along with the violence that goes along with it.

As I mentioned before, Molly has super powers. She’s aware of them and knows what they can do but she doesn’t seem to have mastered them. Whenever they spurt out it’s almost as a reflex or defense mechanism. Sometimes someone will go in for a kill move and you’ll see an energy barrier materialize from her to block the hit. Other times if she goes in for the kill she’ll shoot giant projection blasts that turn people into red paint and meat bits. There always seems to be a surprised look on her face when she unleashes her power.

An interesting thing I noticed is that some of the fight choreography may look pedestrian but I think it was intentionally choreographed this way. There are no fluid fights. Most of the fights are sloppy and feel real. They’re not even UFC level fights in terms of speed and precision. I think this lends itself well to the material because it’s grounded. You literally see people run out of breath and the camera does not move away from the fight. In fact, the last 30-minutes of the film is one long and brutal fight. Sure, there are several cuts within that shot, but it was nicely done. Molly was a great surprise from the Netherlands. The film hints at a potential franchise, so we’ll what happens. I hope it continues on.

 

Video 

Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail: Molly was shot via a digital workflow and made to look washed out and oversaturated depending on the scenes in question. Contrast boosting was not a problem. Sharpness levels were normal, as well.

Depth: Depth was great – for such a low budget film, there are many shots captured on this Blu-ray that look very impressive and expensive. This HD presentation captures those scenes along with the exquisite aerial cinematography perfectly.

Black Levels: Black levels were fine – crush was kept to the bare minimum – it was not a problem.

Color Reproduction: The color palette can be bold and dreary. The opening match cut starts it of nicely in terms of the color wheel. I did not detect banding or unnecessary saturation that didn’t already belong there.

Flesh Tones: Most people are either sick, bloodied up, or mutilated. Outside of our lead and Kimmy, no one is looking cute in Molly.

Noise/Artifacts: There a few scenes that may look like they have hints of debris and blooming but they’re just aesthetic choices in terms of how they shot the film.

 

 

 

 

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Artsploitation Films presents Molly with a standard Dolby Digital 5.1. Some of us are spoiled and prefer HD lossless tracks when available, but as long as it rocks in terms of quality, we’ll take what we can get. Molly is above average in the audio department. It’s got a very expansive sound-field, being the wasteland and all, so fights, machine gun fire, action scenes, etc., all come through with great attention to detail. Molly sounds great in standard Dolby Digital 5.1.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE subwoofer channel captures the low-end psychic energy blasts that either blow people into meat chunks or plow them out of the way like rag dolls.

Surround Sound Presentation: There is a lot of ambient and sound-effects-driven scenes on in the background, especially when the camera rotates 360-degrees to pick up the action.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels were fine, accents and all.

Extras

The extras on this Molly Blu-ray disc are small in quantity but great in quality. There’s a full-length audio-commentary with writer and co-director Thijs Meuwese, it’s a solo affair even though it’s advertised that both directors are on it. Co-director Colinda Bongers was unavailable, because she had a screenplay deadline to attend to. It’s a rather informative affair with Thijs – and extremely comprehensive. The other special feature on this Blu-ray disc is that of a 30-minute featurette covering B-roll footage along with actual filming and training for the various fights throughout. One has to appreciate how far aerial cinematography has come in the last five years. They used lots of drone aerial shots in Molly, which enhance the scale of the film. It was appreciated.

  • Making of Molly – Featurette (HD)
  • Director’s commentary with Colinda Bongers (she’s absent) and Thijs Meuwese
  • Artsploitation Films trailers (HD)

 

 

Summary

Molly was a breath of fresh air. Outside of the cool cover-art I had no idea what I was getting myself into but glad I did. Even though the film is peppered with sloppy choreography, it works rather well, because it gives the whole project a certain sense of authenticity. The Blu-ray has great video and sound. Yes, the sound is standard Dolby Digital 5.1, so don’t lose your cool over it – it gets the job done. The special features are also a nice topping on the cherry pie. I hope Molly does well with audiences, because this has franchise potential written all over it. Molly is recommended!

 

Molly is available on Blu-ray & DVD!

ORDER NOW!

 

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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