mother! appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Most of the film looked good, but some issues arose.
Actually, only one surprising concern popped up here: print flaws. Every once in a while, I saw a small speck interfere with the image. These stayed infrequent and minor, but I expect zero source defects from a 2017 film, so their arrival caught me off-guard.
The rest of the picture seemed positive. Sharpness worked well, as the movie mustered good clarity and delineation. I wouldn’t call it razor-sharp, but the image seemed concise within 16mm cinematographical choices.
mother! opted for a mainly orange and teal palette. It broadened at times, but those hues dominated. They appeared well-rendered related to stylistic choices.
Blacks appeared dark and dense, while shadows were well-rendered. We got a lot of dimly-lit sequences, and these largely offered positive clarity. Though much of the picture satisfied, I admit the print flaws – however minor – prompted me to lower my grade to a “B”.
Given the movie’s focus on characters and a single location, one might anticipate a low-key Dolby Atmos soundtrack. However, one would anticipate incorrectly, as mother! came with a simply outstanding mix.
Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the audio used all the speakers in a dynamic manner. Much of this focused on speech, movement and environmental information – that may not seem exciting, but theway the track spread and localized all the elements created an outstanding sense of place and action. The material combined in a convincing manner that added a lot to the film’s impact.
Audio quality also appeared positive, with natural, concise speech. The film lacked music, and effects came across as lively, accurate and full, with tight, warm low-end. The soundtrack sizzled.
How did the 4K compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio appeared identical, as both discs included the same Dolby Atmos soundtrack.
Though I gave both the Blu-ray and the 4K “B” ratings for picture, they got there in different ways. The 4K offered stronger delineation and colors along with better-depicted low-light scenes.
However, those print flaws I mentioned only popped up in the 4K edition. This surprised me – I would assume the Blu-ray and the 4K would come from the same transfer, so it seems odd only the 4K included the specks.
How this happened befuddles me, but it did, and that became one difference that favored the Blu-ray. Nonetheless, the 4K worked better in other ways – the specks bothered me, but the 4K turned into the more satisfying viewing experience overall.
No extras appear on the 4K disc itself, but the bonus Blu-ray provides two featurettes. The Downward Spiral runs 29 minutes, 51 seconds and provides notes from writer/director Darren Aronofsky, producers Scott Franklin and Ari Handel, production designer Phil Messina, cinematographer Matty Libatique, editor Andy Weisblum, and actors Jennifer Lawrence, Ed Harris, and Javier Bardem.
“Spiral” looks at story/character and the film’s development, cast and performances, sets and locations, photography, and production elements. “Spiral” mixes some good observations with useful footage from the set to become a winning glimpse of the shoot.
The Makeup FX of mother! lasts six minutes, 41 seconds and features makeup effects designer Adrien Morot. He discusses some of his creations in this fairly informative piece.
A challenging film, mother! works well for its first two acts and goes a little bonkers after that. Despite this inconsistency, the movie offers enough substance and provocative material to make it worth a look. The 4K UHD offers generally good picture along with excellent audio and some engaging bonus materials. mother! will polarize but I think it’s an intriguing effort.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of MOTHER!