Molly's Game is the true-life story of Molly Bloom, a former Olympic skier who dropped out of competition and started her own underground poker game for wealthy celebrities, business people, and politicians. Writer and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the movie features great performances by Jessica Chastain and Michael Cera, good video and audio presentations, but the only one bonus feature. Despite that aspect, this movie has a good replay factor and comes Recommended!
Aaron Sorkin has become a household name over the years. His writing is known for fast-talking characters that bring a ton of emotional and political heft to each film and TV show. After writing The West Wing, A Few Good Men, Moneyball, and The Social Network, Sorkin finally got his directorial debut with Molly's Game, which he also wrote based on the autobiography by Molly Bloom. Running a bit over two hours long, Sorkin's writing prowess never seems to slow the film down at any one moment.
The film tells the true-life story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic downhill skier who, after a big injury, dropped out of competition. She went on to become a cocktail waitress, which eventually led her to setting up underground poker tournaments for some of the wealthiest people in the world, including CEOs, politicians, and the Hollywood elite. After a while, she opened up her own business, running a big underground poker game that had mafia ties and shady business dealings.
Eventually, the government shut the business down, arrested Molly, and took her money and assets. In the film, Sorkin shows Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) looking for a lawyer (Idris Elba) hoping to avoid prison. Told through narration and flashbacks, we see Molly's competitive upbringing with her psychologist father (Kevin Costner) to her injury and successful poker tournaments.
Chastain plays Molly Bloom perfectly with grit, determination, confidence, and charm. Idris Elba is excellent as always, and Michael Cera, as Tobey Maguire, just owns the screen every time he's front and center. It's as if Sorkin took his stylistic cues from Ocean's 11 and made an entertaining movie where you can't help but figure out which real-life celebrities are being portrayed.
Sorkin is fully capable of directing future films with his unique writing style. However, with a 140-minute runtime, the fast-paced film drags at times. Ultimately, Molly's Game is a very good movie with excellent performances and a magnificent script. It's also such a crazy true story, that it's hard to believe it actually happened, but, in fact, it did.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Molly's Game comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures, along with a DVD copy of the film. There is an insert for a digital download as well here. The discs are housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard cover.
Molly’s Game comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The image is strikingly sharp and colorful at most times. Colors are deep and bright with dazzling lights in the hotel rooms that light up all of the fancy outfits on the poker players. The primary colors are well-saturated and ooze color in each scene. There is a good mix of warm and cooler colors in offices, dark apartment hallways, and nightclubs. The neon lighting is quite bright as well and always defines the foreground well.
Some of the quick flashbacks have a yellow/greenish tint to them, but they never hinder any detail and is a good stylistic choice. Black levels are always deep and inky and the skin tones are very natural. Detail here is extremely vivid; close-ups reveal individual facial pores, freckles, hairs, and stitching in the expensive dresses and suits the poker players wear. Background items never go soft either and there are no instances of any banding, aliasing, or video noise. This is a great looking video presentation.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix and sounds very good for not being a big action blockbuster film. This is an extremely heavy dialogue film, but the surrounds to pick up the packed poker tables and rooms very well that ooze out players talking, drinks being made, poker chips being stacked, and more.
The bigger scenes at nightclubs always bring the bass in a hefty way too, which provides a good low end. The dialogue is always clear and appropriate for the setting with some good directionality. There were also no pops, cracks, hiss, and shrills, leaving this audio presentation with good marks.
Building an Empire (HD, 3 Mins.) – A trailer for the film with some very quick interview snippets with the cast and crew. Nothing worth watching here.
Molly’s Game is a very good film, but it drags at times, which is odd for an Aaron Sorkin project. The video and audio presentations are both top notch, but bonus features are, effectively, non-existent. Despite that aspect, this Blu-ray is Recommended!