Blu-ray Review Drama

'mother!' 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review: Hell hath no fury like Darren Aronofsky's latest mind-bender

December 27, 2017Ben MK

From Requiem for a Dream to Noah, Darren Aronofsky isn't one to shy away from pushing moviegoers' buttons with taboo or controversial subject matter. His latest work, however, may be his most divisive film to date.

In mother!, the writer/director teams with Jennifer Lawrence for a tale of a woman (Lawrence), her older, poet husband (Javier Bardem) and the idyllic country house they call home. This is no ordinary house, though, and she's no ordinary woman. Yet, when strangers (including a couple played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) descend upon their home looking to destroy all that she's created, will she just stand idly by? Or will she strike back, unleashing her full wrath on those that have wronged her in the most horrific way possible?

To reveal any more details about the plot would be to spoil its surprises, but suffice to say, the film's climactic — and all-out insane — third act is sure to leave audiences' heads spinning. Highly allegorical but also highly unsettling, mother! isn't the type of movie that can be easily digested. This is Aronofsky at his most incendiary.

mother! arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray bolstered by a rich HDR color palette and a relatively grainy 2160p transfer befitting of the 16mm film on which it was shot. The tradeoff, however, is that fine detail isn't nearly as prevalent as one might expect. Nonetheless, this is a faithful recreation of the theatrical presentation. Paramount has also seen it fit to invest in a Dolby Atmos sound mix for this release, and although viewers might not hear the full benefit of it during the movie's relatively tranquil first act, it pays off in spades during the chaotic finale.

Paramount's two-disc Ultra HD Blu-ray release includes an iTunes/Ultraviolet digital copy and a Blu-ray copy of the film. There are no special features on the 4K disc, but the following extras can be found on the Blu-ray disc:

  • mother! The Downward Spiral (29:51) - A making-of documentary that looks at the 3-month rehearsal process, the production design, the visual language of the film, the tone of the movie, its themes and the filmmakers' attitudes and approach towards the violence depicted on-screen.
  • The Makeup FX of mother! (6:45) - Makeup effects designer Adrien Morot discusses his work on the movie, from the creation of a robotic baby, to an exploding head and more.

mother! is available from Paramount Home Entertainment as of December 19th, 2017. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 2 hrs. 1 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my TIFF review of the film, published on September 12th, 2017.

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