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Bad Moms (Blu-ray Review)

BadMoms_BD_3D_Ocard (1)Bad Moms turned out to be quite the hit this past summer, scoring $180 million worldwide on a $20 million budget. It is enough for STX Entertainment to be figuring out not only a sequel, but a spin-off titled Bad Dads. The success should not be too much of a surprise, as the film should clearly play to an audience that doesn’t get enough movies directly for them – overworked mothers, let alone older female audiences in general. This film features a likable cast and a relatable concept. It’s just a shame the writers of The Hangover don’t quite manage to realize this film’s potential.

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Film:

BAD MOMS

The premise of Bad Moms should be pretty obvious. This is a film that allows several mothers to play in the same sandpit as the men often get to do in various raunchy comedies. Mila Kunis leads the film as Amy, an overworked mother of two, who recently caught her husband (David Walton) cheating on her (online). Following some scenarios that setup Christina Applegate as the villainous mom to watch out for (with sidekicks played by Jada Pinkett Smith and Annie Mumolo), Amy finds herself rejecting the motherly duties expected of her. Doing her own thing, Amy befriends stressed-out Kiki (Kristen Bell) and the lively single mom Carla (Kathryn Hahn). This leads to the trio running wild, before getting into a war over the status of the PTA.

There is a clear issue that I’m sure many were happy to look past and that is the amount of broad humor that takes precedent over making the film darker. Rather than stick with stronger satirical material or allow the characters to really go over the edge, the film plays as an unrealistic depiction of reality that still strives to be insightful. That’s a shame, as the film could use some edge. I’m not talking about making this film go all out and make these moms murderers or something, but when it comes to really digging into what mothers could enjoy as far as dissecting mom culture, the film opts for bland sitcom plotting instead.

BAD MOMS

These gripes would be less of an issue were the film to be funnier. Sadly, writers/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore don’t have all that much hilarity to offer. The film is not devoid of humor, as Kathryn Hahn can be a hilarious force of nature and there are some one-liners that work quite well, but too much of the film goes for obvious gags and a plentiful amount of slow motion to sub in for a better set up for visual gags. While all the key actresses are in fact moms in real life and surely added some of their own ideas to the film, it doesn’t get around the fact that these guys are not really the go to comedy vets needed to make a really entertaining film about motherhood taken to the extreme.

Much like Bridesmaids (easily superior), Bad Moms does benefit from keeping the focus on the moms. There are maybe three notable male characters at most, which helps allow the movie to continually represent its target audience well. That is all well and good, but it’s a shame the cast is not better used overall. There are some nice scenes involving Amy and her daughter (Oona Laurence), but their highlights sadly play much better than the final stretch of this film, which falls right into cliché territory, wrapping everything up with a neat bow.

Perhaps the eventual sequel can give this film the edge it needed to be something much more worthwhile. As this film stands, however, it feels like a missed opportunity. Obviously this applies to me specifically, as the film was clearly liked by enough people to become a success, but I know what makes me laugh. Bad Moms had its share, but not nearly enough to make it a better comedy, let alone one that shows better writing and filmmaking ability to really nail the subject they were going after.

Video:

BAD MOMS

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Bad Moms comes to Blu-ray with a solid transfer overall. There is plenty of clarity to be found in this brightly lit feature, which has an intended generic feel to emphasize the banality of some of the lives we see. The detail work can be best seen in many of the slo-mo sequences, which generally show off the environment, characters and clothing in a smooth enough way to really get an eye on what is being presented.

Depth: Good depth work here, as scenes featuring multiple characters feel well-balanced, with no blurring.

Black Levels: Black levels are deep enough, quite rich and feature no sign of crushing.

Color Reproduction: This is a very colorful film, thanks to the various outfits all the moms wear, along with sights of the school, soccer practices, minivans, food and more. It all pops, as you have a strong handling on this aspect of the film.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones come across quite well, as facial textures allow for an impressive sight of the details found in the characters.

Noise/Artifacts: Nothing of note.

 

Audio:

BAD MOMS

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics: With a 7.1 mix, you no doubt get a big blast of sound, given the film’s choice to really play up its soundtrack. When the moms aren’t firing off one-liners, we get a lot of loud scenes that almost feel overdone by comparison. Still, this is a very active film, which the audio track does more than enough to get across.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel gets some fun moments to really shine, as the soundtrack can be pretty aggressive, as mentioned.

Surround Sound Presentation: It is here where the audio track feels a bit flawed, as the balancing of the music and dialogue seems to have a large enough difference to feel quite noticeable. There is a heavy presence with the front speakers and center channel, which can be a little jarring when scaling back to dialogue scenes.

Dialogue Reproduction: That said, everyone does sound clean and clear.

 

Extras:

Given the film’s success and a real chance to have the actors and filmmakers shed light on the film’s concept and construction, it is a shame the Blu-ray features hardly anything of note in the way of extra features.

Features Include:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 16:36) – Deleted, extended and alternate takes.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 6:02)
  • Interviews with the Cast & Their Moms (HD, 23:52) – The most interesting feature by far and how great it could have been to put these moms on a commentary track.
  • Trailers (HD)
  • DVD Copy of the Film
  • Digital HD Copy of the Film

 

Summary:

BAD MOMS

Ideally spending time with Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn could have made for a much better time. The premise certainly allows for a great “turn the tables” type of film, that could also be an exciting look at an underrepresented group, when it comes to playing fair. Sadly, the film is not as successful as one could hope. The audio/video presentation on the Blu-ray is good enough, but there is also a lack of extras, which further disappoints. However, there are some laughs and perhaps the intended audience will get more out of the film, even though it holds back.

Order Your Copy Here:

BadMoms_BD_3D_Ocard (1)

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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