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Ma (2019) - Blu-ray Review

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Ma (2019) - Blu-ray

Octavia Spencer has been a staple in movies for years. She’s a talented, larger than life actor that almost always stands out in an ensemble, or kills it in a cameo. Quite rightly, she has been campaigning for a lead role in something that steps out of what she’s usually offered and Blumhouse Productions have acquiesced.

"Its most grievous and all too common flaw of inception is mistaking convolution with complexity"


What was chosen for her first lead was a story choked with equal parts possibility or the chance to crash and burn. In Ma she plays the titular character, Sue Ann, a homely damaged goods type that aids a group of teens to buy some alcohol, and even lets them use her basement to party in. Her generosity, of course, comes with agenda, and as the film unfolds, her true motivations become (I hesitate to use this word, but) clearer. The teens grow tired of a middle aged tragic cramping their style with her off kilter attempts to bond and her clinginess, and Sue Ann goes full blown monster on them.

On the surface of that summation, this sounds like a pretty straight forward obsessed nut movie, which are a lot of fun usually. But this film is anything but fun. Its most grievous and all too common flaw of inception is mistaking convolution with complexity. Starting with the fact that this movie is called Ma, and yet the film begins with two other characters, spends an inordinate amount of time setting up their lives and then quickly reduces them to reactionary characters. It never stays with one central character’s P.O.V, flitting between the young teen, her mom, and Sue Ann, dozens of secondary characters and sub plots, flashbacks, and nothing scenes that are too numerous and too hackneyed in execution to work.

A lot of the dialogue is so laughably bad that not even the likes of Juliette Lewis, Luke Evans or Octavia Spencer can make it sing. The characters’ motivations are all clichéd, and more often than not just plain retarded. There are clichés and horror tropes in fact starting from the opening shot. There are complete subplots in this movie that no make NO sense in what these people decide to do.Ma (2019) - Blu-ray

Spencer has some serious range, and, had she be written a pitiable woman to play, would have nailed it. She amazingly holds it together throughout the film, but only just. Nobody could disguise the lack of depth any one of the dozens of mental inflictions Sue Ann apparently possesses. She has PTSD from childhood bullying, obsessive tendencies, psychopathic rage, homicidal tendencies, narcissism and a wee penchant for Munchausen syndrome. Due to the sheer number of characters in this train wreck, none of those are given anything but lip service, and don’t ring true or consistent in the stupidity of this meandering plot.

With all those potentially interesting aspects of Sue Ann to explore and to deepen, she is reduced to B-Movie boogeyman that pulls off ludicrous levels of carnage by the end reel.
The production design is suitable; its’ dour and eclectic locations make it look like an every town and is probably the most relatable part of the film.

I wish the incredible talents of Spencer had been given something truly meaty for this lead role. Unfortunately she was fed a wafer thin let down not worthy of her capabilities.

2/5 beers

Ma (2019) - Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD

Home Video Distributor: Universal Studios
Available on Blu-ray
- September 3, 2019
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: DTS 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; two disc set; DVD; digital copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The 1080p MPEG4 AVC transfer is a suitably impressive transfer for this modern digitally shot film, as is the DTS-HD 5.1 Lossless soundtrack that will swim around your speakers to great effect. The special features remind me of that old saying ‘you cannot polish a turd’. They consist of an alternate ending that shows there was no editing that could make this film better and couple of very brief featurettes with as much depth as the movie. The excellent trailer is also in there.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Creating Sue Ann
  • Party At Ma's
  • Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 2/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 1/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3/5 stars

Ma (2019) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: R for violent/disturbing material, language throughout, sexual content, and for teen drug and alcohol use.
Runtime:
99 mins
Director
: Tate Taylor
Writer:
Scotty Landes
Cast:
Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers, Juliette Lewis
Genre
: Horror | Thriller
Tagline:
Get Home Safe.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I'm not weak. I'm not my mother."
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site: https://www.uphe.com/movies/ma
Release Date:
May 31, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 3, 2019
Synopsis: A lonely woman befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. Just when the kids think their luck couldn't get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host.

Ma (2019) - Blu-ray

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