Maggie (Blu-ray Review)

MaggieThey bill Arnold Schwarzenegger as being back, better than ever in the post-apocalyptic story, Maggie, arriving on Blu-ray July 7th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.  What do you think of that statement?  Do you believe there is any validity to that?  I don’t know about you, but that’s why I was most curious to tackle this one.  Sure it will be interesting to see Arnold outside his action/comedy comfort zone, but I was also curious as to whether or not this tale was any good or does it exist simply trying to capitalize off the recent popularity and craze of zombies, much like vampires were years ago.  However, the real Debbie Downer in all of this was I had to wait so long to find all this out.  Sure I could have easily taken the VOD approach several months ago, but I didn’t want to.  I wanted my first time to be special.  I wanted it to be on the Blu-ray format.  And that ladies and gentlemen is why we’re all here today.  I present to you Maggie on Blu-ray.



In addition to Schwarzenegger, Maggie also stars Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin (Best Supporting Actress, Little Miss Sunshine) and Joely Richardson (TV’s Nip/TuckThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).  The film is directed by first time director Henry Hobson off a script written by John Scott III.  Before we move onto the history of the project, here’s a little Arnold trivia for you.  If you’re counting, Maggie makes Arnold now a pseudo veteran in the horror genre with his first endeavor being 1999’s End of Days, which I honestly didn’t care for.

Maggie was originally set to have its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, but Lionsgate bought the American distribution rights and pulled the film from the festival.  It instead premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival on April 23rd this year, followed by a limited theatrical release and simultaneous VOD release, which I opted not to partake in, on May 8th.  Interestingly enough though, the screenplay for Maggie was on the Black List of “most liked scripts.”  Chloë Grace Moretz was initially attached to the project, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.  Now listen up people.  Do you know how incredibly awesome that would have been had Chloë been involved in this project?  Argh!  I digress.

Maggie pretty much opens after the fact as the nation does it best to heal from a lethal virus that turns its victims into zombies, for lack of a better word.  Crops everywhere are being destroyed.  Think Interstellar, but maybe a bit bleaker.  Wade’s (Schwarzenegger) daughter Maggie (Breslin) has been missing, but is also infected.  The story pretty much opens up like this with Wade finding Maggie in a hospital and being extended the courtesy to bring her back home for a few weeks until she needs to be quarantined.  Right!  Like Wade will let that happen!  It’s also here that the ground rules are kind of spelled out to Wade as what warning signs to look for before Maggie is past the point of no return.

So tell me, what’s a father supposed to do?  Does he take her behind the barn and shoot her like he would cattle?  As Maggie’s condition progressively worsens, including her non-flattering appetite, Wade will stop at nothing to protect her from the authorities seeking to kill her to eradicate the virus, and is even willing to risk dissatisfaction from his own family too. This dude is seriously conflicted and from that point of view Maggie is a great character study, but ultimately a depressing and boring watch.  Watching the internal struggle within Schwarzenegger makes this film worth it, but I got to be honest with you.  I’m not sure I have it in me for another watch.  It was quite the depressing flick.  I almost felt like they should have just slaughtered a dog or something because by the time I got done with this I felt wrecked and cheated a bit by the end.  I wish the ending would have went down a bit differently, but wish in one hand and crap in the other, either way it’s still a very depressing watch.

It’s because of all the bleakness in the story that I really have zero interest in revisiting Maggie again anytime soon.  Sure there are some very heartwarming moments, but you’re literally watching someone die the entire runtime and that gets a little too heavy for me, in other words not my proverbial cup of tea because there’s no redemption.  It was great to see Arnold flex and broaden his acting chops, but not at the expense of the dark material that made me so melancholy that after it was over all I wanted to do was sleep.  That’s why I am not bashing this film. It really is insightful, heart wrenching and endearing from a father-daughter relationship perspective, but also at the same time it’s something that probably won’t get many repeat customers either.  It’s not corny or fake, but make no mistake about it, I wanted something a bit more uplifting.  The best scene for me was near the very end with Arnold’s character pondering should I do it, is she going to attack me, etc.  Anyone here for the action beats in the trailer?  Haha!  Stay far away or else you’ll be severely disappointed by it all.  That’s it for now.



  • Encoding: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Because of the treatment of the source material (see down below), etc. Maggie is not the most detailed of all Blu-ray presentations to have come before.  However, in good lighting conditions, fine detail makes its way through so there’s the good with the bad here I guess you would say.
  • Depth: While I had no problems with the depth of field here, like the detail its not the best looking presentation to demo this category for.  Things can get a bit hazy and flat here in my opinion.
  • Black Levels: Because of the color treatment, mentioned down below, the black levels aren’t the deepest and inkiest you’ve ever seen, but they are plausible.
  • Color Reproduction: What colors?  Like Man of Steel, this picture is drained and voided of any color making the presentation as bleak looking as the subject matter.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not against this one bit.  I love how it visually invokes an unhappy and deadly post apocalyptic atmosphere.  After all, you don’t want zombies running around in a Rainbow Bright or Barney and Friends kind of color palette world, do you?
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones are all natural and authentic looking throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts: There’s nothing noticeable here to severely distract you, but with the addition of I guess you would call it color stripping (making the film devoid of any emphatic coloring) there’s also some digital grain interjected as well.



  • Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Dynamics: Because Maggie is set in a post-apocalyptic world, devoid of most life, this track is pretty quiet like you’re watching a late night movie you turned down so you can try and beat insomnia.  Things are separated nicely here, but it’s definitely not something you would want to show your HD setup to friends with.
  • Low Frequency Extension: LFE is mostly utilized here to bring balance and slight bit of tension into the presentation.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Music or the score is the ambience here that fills the surround channels as there’s not much action exploding around you.
  • Dialogue Reproduction:  Spoken words are clear and intelligible throughout here.  Dialog is mostly all you’ll find here.  It’s heavy material, folks!  The story wears on you, so do the words.



Bonus materials on the Maggie Blu-ray disc includes a standard “making of” featurette, an audio commentary with the first time director here, a deleted scene (yes you read that right) and cast and crew interviews, which are surprisingly pretty lengthy, especially the Arnold one.  And oh yeah!  There’s also a redeemable voucher for Maggie on Digital HD, good for the UltraViolet version of the film.  So what do you say we stop standing around dying each moment like Maggie does in this film and discuss all the extras here down below?  I thought so!

  • “Making Maggie” Featurette (HD, 18:14) – This one is your typical making of extra with interviews, behind the scenes footage, etc.
  • Deleted Scene (HD, 2:15) – There’s only one deleted scene to be found here, which is between Wade (Schwarzenegger) and the character of Carolyn (Richardson).
  • Cast/Crew Interviews (HD) – This is where things are surprisingly lengthy, in a good way.  Here we have the following interviews:
    • Henry Hobson – Director (HD, 8:16)
    • John Scott 3 – Writer (HD, 6:34)
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger – “Wade”/Producer (HD, 19:48)
    • Abigail Breslin – “Maggie” (HD, 7:19)
    • Joely Richardson – “Carolyn” (HD, 8:10)
  • Director’s Commentary – Here we have an audio Commentary with first time Director Henry Hobson, which is about as interesting and fast paced as the film itself.
  • Trailer (HD, 2:09)



So I will say the following about Maggie on Blu-ray.  It’s a mandatory purchase for the fans only.  Whether you like Arnold or not (I thought he was very good in here), there’s no denying the ambition he showed in taking on this role outside his usual action movie forte, but also there’s no getting past the fact that this one may not be the most re-watchable of films either.  It’s a downright sad movie.  However, right now Amazon has this for a pretty good price, so it maybe worthwhile for you to pick it up.  All others, I say wait or do the rental route if curiosity has the best of you like it dod in my case.  I’m also pretty sure that it won’t be long before this one shows up on Prime or Netflix either.  Enjoy!


Maggie Walks on Blu-ray Tomorrow!




Maggie Blu-ray


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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