Archive for the ‘Maggie (2015)’ Category

Distributor: Lionsgate

 Release Date: July 07, 2015

 Region: Region A

Length: 95 mins

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4 AVC)

Main Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48kHz, 24-bit)

Alternate Audio: English 2.0 Dolby Digital (192kbps) 

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

Ratio: 2.40:1

Bitrate: 40.37 Mbps

Notes: This title is also available in a DVD edition.

Screenshot 1

“It features a turn on the zombie genre, and you can really see a human story in the zombie framework. I thought the story had a nice indie feel, and would allow us to feature a human story, instead of a bombastic, large-scale one.” –Henry Hobson (shockya.com)

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Academy Award® Nominee Abigail Breslin, and Joely Richardson star in this post-apocalyptic thriller set against the backdrop of a deadly epidemic. As the nation reels from a virus that turns its victims into zombies, Wade’s (Schwarzenegger) daughter Maggie (Breslin) has been infected. Now, as Maggie’s condition worsens, Wade will stop at nothing to protect her from the authorities seeking to put her in quarantine.

This particular synopsis might leave people with the impression that the film features an action packed battle with authorities as they try to take Maggie into quarantine. This is not the case. Maggie is a quiet character study. It certainly isn’t a horror film. This seems to have bothered many critics. Even some of the critics that pretend to appreciate such things seemed to feel that Maggie let them down in some way. Unfortunately, this is to be expected. Critics rarely give good reviews to leisurely paced mood pieces (unless the film is directed by an auteur darling).

Horror fans might be disappointed, but others will no doubt agree that Maggie is an intelligent film about real issues regarding a very human problem. Anyone that has dealt with mental illness, or terminal illness will relate to this material (as will those close to them). The somber tone of the film is appropriate, and the film is brave enough to pace itself. The film could have been about five or ten minutes shorter, and it is by no means a masterpiece. However, it is an engaging film when one watches it without any preconceived notions. Arnold Schwarzenegger actually has to act in this film, and he handles himself admirably. The film is worth watching for this reason alone.

Screenshot 2

The Presentation:

 4 of 5 Stars

 The Blu-ray disc is housed in a standard Blu-ray case with film related artwork, and the case is housed in a slipcover with the same cover art.

 The animated menus employ footage from the film supported by music from the film.

Screenshot 3 

Picture Quality:

 4.5 of 5 Stars

 The disc’s 1080p AVC transfer is near perfect, and seems to properly represent Hobson’s intentions. A fine layer of grain has been intentionally applied to make the film seem more organic. There are certainly scenes that betray the film’s low budget nature, but certainly not to a distracting degree (and these aren’t problems with the transfer). The transfers exhibits fine detail and textures, and colors accurately reflect the filmmaker’s intentions.

 Screenshot 3

Sound Quality:

 4.5 of 5 Stars

 Many critics have complained about Maggie’s sound design, but this transfer is properly handled whether one appreciates it or not. The soundtrack is intimate but subdued, while textures loom in the atmosphere to add a foreboding element. Dialogue is certainly clear (or as clear as Schwarzenegger’s delivery can hope to be), and all of the elements are well-mixed.

Screenshot 4

Special Features:

3.5 of 5 Stars

Audio Commentary with Henry Hobson (Director)

I am not completely in love with this sparse commentary by Henry Hobson. It relies on pointing out what we are watching instead of providing the viewer with any solid information (there are a few notable exceptions). Hobson mostly brags on the various cast and crew, while making surface observations about the story.

“Making Maggie – (1080p) – (18:14)

“Making Maggie” never really rises above the usual EPK fluff. Interviews with Henry Hobson, John Scott 3, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, and Joely Richardson are illustrated with a few moments of “behind the scenes” footage, but clips from the film are relied on much more often. This wouldn’t be an issue if the nature of the interviews didn’t rely on the usual surface questions: “Would you tell us about the story?” “Would you tell us about your character?” “What was it like working with so-and-so?” Nearly every statement is bent towards publicity.

Deleted Scene – (1080p) – (2:15)

Wade and Caroline Vogel discuss the situation with Maggie, as Wade confronts Caroline about her true feelings towards her stepdaughter. It is a subtle scene that is nicely acted, but doesn’t add much to the proceedings. The distance between the stepmother and daughter is felt without it.

Cast & Crew Interviews

These interviews are basically taken from those used to piece together the “making of” featurette. They are a bit more informative, because there is simply more material here than was used in the EPK. However, there aren’t any real revelations to be found.

Henry Hobson – Director – (1080p) – (8:16)

John Scott 3 – Writer – (1080p) – (6:34)

Arnold Schwarzenegger – “Wade”/Producer – (1080p) – (19:48)

Abigail Breslin – “Maggie” – (1080p) – (7:19)

Joely Richardson – “Carolyn” – (1080p) – (8:10)

Theatrical Trailer – (1080p) – (2:09)

It is nice to see the Theatrical Trailer included on the disc. It seems like fewer trailers are included on discs recently and it is a shame.

Screenshot 5

Final Words:

 Those that enjoy mood pieces and character studies will appreciate Maggie, but anyone hoping for a high-octane bloodbath should probably pick up one of the many more routine zombie flicks.

Review by: Devon Powell

Advertisements