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Mr. Mom - blu-ray Review

5 beersBased on the true story John Hughes - who turned down the job of directing because he didn't want to he be anywhere near Hollywood - outlined in National Lampoon, Mr. Mom is a true comedy classic.  It outgrossed Hughes' own Vacation when it was originally released in theaters and, shockingly enough, features a young Jeffrey Tambor as the bad guy.  And that's only the beginning of understanding all the reasons why this comedy reigns supreme on an almost cult-like level.

There’s an edge to Michael Keaton.  Throughout his career, that edge – whether it is in comedy or in drama – has served him well.  He has created many unforgettable characters and breathed new life into classic ones already established in the popular culture.  And due to that rawness, he was successful in Ron Howard’s Night Shift which, as successes tend to do, led to his casting in the John Hughes (Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles) penned Mr. Mom and that was the breakout his career needed. 

Based on Hughes’ own experience of watching his wife go back to work and he being clueless on what to do in the caring of the kids, Mr. Mom is a situational reversal of fortunes as the former breadwinner becomes the harvester of the home.  Jack Burton (Keaton) finds out soon enough that he is in over his head when he gets laid off from the automobile plant he works at and must stay at home as the caretaker after his wife. Caroline (Teri Garr), gets snatched up for work.

He thinks it will be easy.  After all these are his kids.  He helped make them.  Schedules and order must be maintained and so, too, must the chores and Burton is about to learn the hard way on the proper procedure when dropping the kids off at school.  From wrestling the vacuum cleaner to changing the baby’s diapers after feeding her chili, the comedy inherent in the script is the stuff of legend.  And the cast?  You just can’t beat the inclusion of Ann Jillian as the neighborhood temptress, Christopher Lloyd, Jeffrey Tambor, and Martin Mull as Caroline’s new (and very frisky) boss.

There are so many great moments that, courtesy of Shout! Select’s new 1080p handling of Mr. Mom’s Collector’s Edition, the film FINALLY comes across like the champion that it is.  Ebert might have dismissed the movie upon its initial release but, in my opinion, there’s nothing but comedic gold as a Detroit car manufacturer finds himself having real conversations with his kids about their “woobies” and then, when all the chores are done, he finds himself drinking a few too many and addicted to soap operas.  He gains weight and grows out his beard as the new life at home becomes routine.  He even starts fantasizing about soap opera situations between he and his wife.  Cue the drama and organ music.

And, when he’s not shuffling decks of cards with the rest of the neighborhood wives, he’s discovering the proper way to shop at the grocery store.  With every struggle at home, his wife gains a success at her job in advertising.  Soon enough, she’s being flown to other cities, leaving Burton and the kids all alone on Halloween night.  Director Stan Dragoti (Love at First Bite) keeps things moving at a great clip, dipping only lightly into the heaviness of a maybe or maybe not affair as each adult finds themselves in curious situations. 

Mr. Mom is a classic comedy of the 1980s.  It’s certainly hilarious in its portrait of what was happening to many men during the recession when they found their work had sold them out.  I am happy to report that Keaton and company FINALLY get the respect they deserve with this solid release from Shout Select, which cements the film’s comedy classic status with a NEW retrospective featuring interviews from the cast and crew. 

The kids and their bed sheet addictions ARE alright.  Thank you, Mr. Mom.


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Mr. Mom - blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG
91 mins
: Stan Dragoti
John Hughes
Cast: Michael Keaton, Teri Garr, Frederick Koehler
: Comedy
Caroline's a rising executive. Jack just lost his job. Jack's going to have to start from the bottom up.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Honey if you call and I'm not home I'll be at the gym or the gun club."
Theatrical Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 19, 1983
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 5, 2017
Synopsis: While Caroline Butler (Teri Garr, Tootsie) re-enters the workforce and becomes the rising star of her advertising agency, her newly unemployed husband Jack (Michael Keaton, Night Shift) finds himself a new job ... as a stay-at-home dad! But if Jack thinks his old career in the automotive industry was tough, he has no idea what's waiting for him at home: the ins and outs of dropping the kids off at school, soap operas, woobies, babies with chili, a clean-up on aisle seven and a vacuum cleaner named "Jaws." Not to mention the seedy neighborhood drama!


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

Mr. Mom - blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- September 5, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Shout Select presents Mr. Mom on HD with a fine 1080p transfer that is detailed and fleshy.  It definitely has a new life on blu-ray.  The Burton Household is speckled with new details and shadows are detailed.  With an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and Dolby Digital Stereo track, the film is treated nicely by Shout Select’s efforts.  Nicely saturated, there are no dents in its shiny armor.  Colors are strong throughout and are particularly memorable with their inclusion of details and strong edges.  Black levels are clearly defined, too.



  • None

Special Features:

The release from Shout Select has a slipcover, a reversible cover with the original film posters, and features a NEW retrospective about the making of the movie.  The kids, Frederick Koehler and Taliesin Jaffe, are featured the most.  They – all grown up now – do a lot of the talking.  So, too, does Producer Lauren Shuler Donner and co-star Ann Jillian.

  • A Look Back at Mr. Mom
  • Trailer


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Mr. Mom - blu-ray Review