Dec 132017

mother! might’ve had some things going for it and there’s no doubt Aronofsky doesn’t fit into a box like other directors, but this allegorical movie was a complete misfire, particularly in the second half.




Genre(s): Drama
Paramount | R – 121 min. – $34.99 | December 19, 2017

Date Published: 12/13/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Writer(s): Darren Aronofsky (written by)
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brian Gleeson, Domhnall
Gleeson, Kristen Wiig
Features: Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio (4K/BD): English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C


THE MOVIE — 1.25/5

mother! is the latest from visionary filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and although I thoroughly enjoyed Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler and Black Swan, this was a whole other… something.

The film is indeed thought-provoking but not in the ways Aronofsky wanted. My personal thoughts, once you got the symbolism/allegory thrown in your face in the second half, moved more towards wondering if Jennifer Lawrence’s character owned a pair of shoes or even socks. Yes, I know why she was barefoot throughout but I couldn’t help it as the rest was just a pretentious mess.

The story, as best I can describe, centers on a married couple (JAVIER BARDEM, JENNIFER LAWRENCE) living in an older home she’s fixing up while he struggles with writer’s block. When a stranger (ED HARRIS) arrives, and later, along with his wife (MICHELLE PFEIFFER), things spiral out of control as Mother (that’s how Lawrence is credited) becomes agitated. But after the strangers’ son (DOMHNALL GLEESON) is killed by their other son (BRIAN GLEESON) (*cough* Cain and Abel *cough*), and when Javier (I’ll just call him that as he’s credited as “Him”) invites the strangers’ friends and family over for a wake.

And things only go downhill from here, not only in terms of Mother but the movie as a whole. Yes, I completely got the (some of the) allegory of Mother Nature and society’s impact on her, as blatantly shown with riots, people coming in and tearing the home apart to a disgusting and revolting scene in which Mother’s newborn child (Jesus allegory I guess?) being taken by the crowd when his neck is broken and they in turn decide to eat him (fuck that). Sure, that probably what Aronofsky was after, but it really completely turned me off to a movie that already lost me some scenes prior (though at least before I found it darkly humorous until that scene).

Not sure I can explain how much I disliked this movie, it’s a symbolic movie criticizing the impact mankind has had on the Earth (I think) as well, likely some sort of commentary on how society treats one another (I think). But it’s not all horrible. The performance from Javier Bardem wasn’t too bad and the film at least looked well shot courtesy of Aronofsky and his longtime director of photographer Matthew Libatique. Jennifer Lawrence was, well, Jennifer Lawrence, not really giving all that convincing in the lead.

In the end while I’m all for trippy, wild and insane movies, as Black Swan was, mother! is a complete misfire from a director I normally respected but after this and his biblical epic Noah, kind of losing faith in the guy.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Unfortunately, or fortunately, there’s not much in the way of bonus material except for mother!: The Downward Spiral (29:51; HD) and The Makeup FX of mother! (6:45; HD) featurettes taking viewers behind-the-scenes to hear from the cast and crew. It was nice to see the first wasn’t just some EPK featurette…


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 4.75/5

Paramount’s mother! comes to 4K Blu-ray UHD presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p high-definition transfer (HEVC/H.265). Although I was a bit surprised this even got a 4K release considering its lackluster box office (compared to the $30M budget), this looks great on the format. Detail levels are incredibly sharp throughout and even the dark scenes, which are very dark in the second half, are stark without losing the objects in those shots. Skin tones are on the warmer side as no doubt how it was shot. The 1080p Blu-ray is more or less the same, but perhaps not quite as sharp by my eyes, still looks fantastic.

AUDIO – 4.75/5

When I first saw the movie came with an Atmos track, I thought this must be overkill. And while probably 95% of the film is strictly dialogue driven, with some creaks and sounds off-screen, when the action (for the lack of a better word) picks up, oh boy does the Atmos show itself off with incredible depth with all speakers working on overdrive and the subwoofer kicking on for that extra bass that I love feeling in my home theater. Nice thing is, owners of both 4K and Blu-ray can enjoy the Atmos mix…


OVERALL – 1.5/5

Overall, mother! might’ve had some things going for it and there’s no doubt Aronofsky doesn’t fit into a box like other directors, but this allegorical movie was a complete misfire, particularly in the second half. Between this and Noah, not sure what to make of him following the darkly brilliant Black Swan. This surprising 4K UHD release offers up excellent video/audio transfers although the features are a bit light.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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