Mother (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 17 Old 07-27-2010, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 8,927
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
Liked: 392
attachment.php?attachmentid=181527&d=1280240080
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

84






Studio and Year: Magnolia - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 129 minutes
Genre: Thriller/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): Korean DTS-HD 5.1 Maser Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin
Directed by: Bong Joon-Ho
Music by: Lee Byeong-Woo
Written by: Park Eun-Kyo & Bong Joon-Ho
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 20, 2010







"She'll stop at nothing"



Film Synopsis:

Mother is a devoted single parent to her simple-minded twenty-seven-year-old son, Do-joon. Often a source of anxiety to his mother, Do-joon behaves in foolish or simply dangerous ways. One night, while walking home drunk, he encounters a school girl who he follows for a while before she disappears into a dark alley. The next morning, she is found dead in an abandoned building and Do-joon is accused of her murder. An inefficient lawyer and an apathetic police force result in a speedy conviction. His mother refuses to believe her beloved son is guilty and immediately undertakes her own investigation to find the girl's killer. In her obsessive quest to clear her son's name, Mother steps into a world of unimaginable chaos and shocking revelations.



My Take:

Mother is a well enacted character study that examines the will and determination of a woman in order to prove the innocence of her mentally challenged son after he is arrested for the murder of a local teenage girl. Mother is over protective of her twenty something year old son Do-joon although in her defense it is probably for good reason. He has an affinity for associating with the wrong people and that along with his quick temper often lands him in trouble. A promiscuous local teen girl is found dead and Do-joon is the last person seen in the vicinity of the murder scene. When the police discover circumstantial evidence linking him to the murder he is arrested and charged. Mother contends he is incapable of such a crime and Do-joon's inability to recollect what happened that night (because he was intoxicated) leaves nothing for her to go on in his defense. Frustrated and with no one willing to help her she begins to look for clues that might lead to the identity of the killer. When she discovers more about the victim she learns that her storied past may hold the clues she seeks to prove Do-joon's innocence. What Mother doesn't realize is that those answers and what she has to do to obtain them will ultimately cost her much more.

Director/co-writer Bong Joon-Ho does a terrific job connecting the audience with Mother, the films main character. She remains sympathetic throughout and the correlation between the plot's development and Mother's transformation from a typical over protector to a cunning, monomaniacal bloodhound is expertly integrated. This is a sort of a mystery/thriller that draws us in by slowly peeling back its layers. The story has lots of depth and speaks to issues related to social acceptance and the painful remorse that can be associated with guilt over past deeds. Korean TV veteran Kim Hye-ja plays against type and gives a strong performance. The film is beautifully shot and staged which entices with visually stimulating imagery that pulls us further into the story. I found Mother to be a compelling and well executed film that capably maintained its composure through to the revealing ending which made for a rewarding genre entry that turned out to be better than expected.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for language, some sexual content, violence, and drug use.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 84



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692




Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Mother comes to Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.4 Mbps.

This video presentation offers little in the way of high Gloss, razor sharp imagery but it seems to represent the film's elements well. Primary colors appear satisfying while the film intentionally maintains a cooler overall palette that works well against the drab settings featured in the story. Complexions are texturally descriptive with lifelike tonality that varies only slightly among the cast. Resolution is very good although the film's inherently softer elements leave some wide angle shots with smoother lines and average delineation. Close ups and mid level shots are more revealing of the resolvable detail that draws out subtle textures in the people and objects within the frame. Contrast is on the money and blacks are stable but not overly dynamic in appearance. This wasn't really a problem as there were few scenes that utilized low level material where this was consistently apparent. I saw no overt signs of video anomalies or compression related artifacts and thought this appeared to be a pristine quality encoding.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack had no trouble rendering clear and well articulated dialogue. Sound effects had notable dynamic energy so that they sounded full bodied and aurally satisfying. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound to deliver its message but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere and low frequency detail from time to time. The mix excels at creating the right sounds at the right levels and placing them appropriately in the sound field's acoustic environment. Low frequency effects are used to deliver deep impact when called for and to add solidity to the film music. I thought it sounded great.

* CIH users should note that the subtitles are contained within the picture area.*



Bonus Features:


  • Making of Mother - 90 minutes

  • A look at actress Kim Hye-ja - 9 minutes

  • Behind the scenes - 6 minutes

  • Production design featurette - 11 minutes

  • Supporting actors featurette - 14 minutes

  • Cinematography featurette - 9 minutes

  • Music score featurette - 15 minutes




Final Thoughts:

Mother is a compelling mystery/thriller with a multi-faceted story built around a wonderfully portrayed character by Korean TV veteran Kim Hye-ja. It's a well executed film that handily maintains its composure through to its revealing finale. I found it to be a rewarding genre entry that turned out to be better than expected. Magnolia HE brings it to Blu-ray Disc in typically good fashion with strong audio/video quality that compliments the film's original elements. Included are a decent offering of bonus supplements that provide a comprehensive look at the production and cast. Mother is a film worthy of your time especially if you have an appreciation for its interesting perspective and well crafted story.






attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 07-27-2010, 11:02 AM
AVS Special Member
 
spivonious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lancaster, PA, USA
Posts: 1,941
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for the review, Mr. Potts. I'll keep an eye out for this one.
spivonious is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 07-27-2010, 11:28 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
rboster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 17,532
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 53
I have bid my time on purchasing this title. I've read so many positive reviews (certainly one of the highest rated films of the last year), that I almost broke down and bought the Korean Blu Ray...

This just came in the mail yesterday, so I am hoping I can wait till Friday to watch it with my wife. Thanks Ralph for the review...certainly wet my appetite.

Ron

PS: Looking forward to your review on Ghost Writer...next on my must see Blu Ray list. The previews give me the impression it will be a stunner in both picture and story.

"Retired" AVS Moderator
rboster is offline  
post #4 of 17 Old 07-27-2010, 12:00 PM
Member
 
apexdown's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 76
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Seems like an interesting movie but I have to say they did an especially good job with the cover. It really demonstrates the characters grit and determination. I may have to watch this one just because of that.

Thanks for the review Ralph!
apexdown is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 07-27-2010, 02:12 PM
AVS Special Member
 
JamE55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Didn't get to see this when it first came out in the theatres.

Based on this review, seeing the trailer and score looks like a great movie to collect.

Cheers
JamE55 is offline  
post #6 of 17 Old 07-27-2010, 02:26 PM
 
film113's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 679
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
"... interesting perspective and well crafted story. "

Gee, just like every other movie being made today! Guess I shouldn't bother! :-)
film113 is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 07-27-2010, 06:41 PM
Senior Member
 
EAGLEFAN67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 352
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 31
Thanks King Potts .... great review and as always.

I may give this a purchase...sounds like a keeper.
EAGLEFAN67 is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 07-27-2010, 07:09 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Djoel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 7,475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 156
So how long until we see this Eastern film Hollywoodized and ruined..Thanks for the great review, I'm intrigued..

DJoel
Djoel is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 07-28-2010, 05:02 AM
Senior Member
 
Picasso Moon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 241
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
This BD should be in the mail from Netflix when I get home tonight. I'm looking forward to watching it.
Picasso Moon is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 07-28-2010, 06:27 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Chewbacco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 18
I watched Mother last weekend on BR and really enjoyed it..What some parents will do for their kids! .
Spot on review Ralph, many thanks for tellin' it like it is.
Chewbacco is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 07-28-2010, 08:03 AM
AVS Special Member
 
bluesky636's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I read the reviews on this film when it was in the theaters and it was described as a very creepy film. Not in a good way either. I'll pass.
bluesky636 is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 07-28-2010, 08:25 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Chewbacco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 1,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

I read the reviews on this film when it was in the theaters and it was described as a very creepy film. Not in a good way either. I'll pass.

Strange, it wasn't "creepy" at all..Just a very determined Mother out to free her child..It's worth a look.
Chewbacco is offline  
post #13 of 17 Old 08-02-2010, 09:40 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
rboster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 17,532
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 53
I wouldn't describe this film as creepy at all. That use of the word creepy seems over-the-top and not representitive of this film.

As far as my experience with the Blu Ray....I came in with too high of expectations both on the story front and the expected image. Though I think Ralph did a great job of describing the overall image of the BR disc, I was disappointed in the "grayish black levels". Murky is the best way for me to define the black level on the disc. Though after hearing more about the production of "Mother", it was the intention of the film-makers to present the black level and overall color pallet as Ralph described it in his review.

As for the story-line....really loved the quirky characters and the way the story peeled back the layers of the relationship between the mother and son...as well as the who-dunit aspect of the story. Though I had it in my head that the murder mystery would be more compelling and suspensful ...since some had use Hitchcock as a reference for this film.....I can't agree there.

Overall, I'd give it a solid "B"...but wish I had rented it, instead of a blind buy. It maybe one of those films that my appreciation grows over repeat viewings?

Ron

"Retired" AVS Moderator
rboster is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 08-02-2010, 10:55 AM
AVS Special Member
 
bluesky636's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacco View Post

Strange, it wasn't "creepy" at all..Just a very determined Mother out to free her child..It's worth a look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rboster View Post

I wouldn't describe this film as creepy at all. That use of the word creepy seems over-the-top and not representitive of this film. Ron

I can't find the review on-line from the Washington Post, but I recall reading it in the paper and that the movie was rated "X" due to a scene where "Mother" was bathing her adult son and a couple of other scenes. I see the BD is rated "R". Were these scenes cut from the BD release?
bluesky636 is offline  
post #15 of 17 Old 08-02-2010, 11:15 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
rboster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 17,532
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

I can't find the review on-line from the Washington Post, but I recall reading it in the paper and that the movie was rated "X" due to a scene where "Mother" was bathing her adult son and a couple of other scenes. I see the BD is rated "R". Were these scenes cut from the BD release?

Here's the review:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...032500541.html


The part of the review you are referencing is when Mother is watching him urinate on the street. I would describe the scene as quirky and unusual. Is there references/clues given that Mother and Son may have an incestuous relationship...certainly one can assume they do. But that taken out of context of the film might be described as creepy, but any of the scandalous nature of the story is certainly never truly overt ...let's say compared to "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".

It's not everybody's cup of tea, but certainly not overt in depicting visually what takes place in the story (incest, sex, murder).

"Retired" AVS Moderator
rboster is offline  
post #16 of 17 Old 08-02-2010, 02:23 PM
AVS Special Member
 
bluesky636's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
From the Post review:

"With no father in the picture, the two, somewhat unnaturally, share a bed. That would be creepy enough, but Mother, who is never referred to by any other name, also manifests a disturbing fascination with her 27-year-old son's private parts. One bizarre scene shows her watching Do-joon urinate, with an unnatural curiosity. Later in the movie, there are hints of an even more dysfunctional family history."

Definitely not my cup of tea. Enjoy.
bluesky636 is offline  
post #17 of 17 Old 07-14-2013, 09:22 AM
Advanced Member
 
ozar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Mother is a film worthy of your time especially if you have an appreciation for its interesting perspective and well crafted story.

Finally got around to watching "Mother" for the first time ever. During the first half of the film, I wasn't sure that my appreciation for it would equal yours, Ralph, but from that point on, I was fully into it.

Thanks for the review and the recommendation, Ralph! cool.gif

oz
ozar is offline  
Reply Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews

Tags
Mother Blu Ray
Gear in this thread

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off