05/25/2015  
Inside the Court of Henry VIII on DVD Jun 16Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26HeForShe Campaign Features Star-Studded Cannes ConversationDespite The Gods on DVD May 19The Gunman on Digital HD Jun 16 & Blu-ray Combo Jun 30So Bright Is the View on DVD May 26

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Inside the Court of Henry VIII on DVD Jun 16...
Anne Meara Dies: Actress, Ben Stiller's Mother and Jerr...
'The Voice' Winner Tessanne Chin sings 'I Will Always L...
Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2...
See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26...
First look: Bill Murray in Netflix's "A Very Murray Chr...
'Late Show' Set Dismantled A Day After David Letterman ...
'Dancing With the Stars' Finale: Who Took Home the Gold...
Jane Fonda Admits She's 'Not Proud' of Plastic Surgery...
Everyone is missing the most important part of Louis C....



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Paramount Studios presents
Mother (1996)

"Oh, I just wish your father was still alive so he could take a little of this blame."
- Beatrice Henderson (Debbie Reynolds)

Review By: Justin Stephen   
Published: February 27, 2001

Stars: Albert Brooks, Debbie Reynolds
Other Stars: Rob Morrow, Lisa Kudrow, John C. McGinley, Peter White, Anne Haney, Isabel Glasser
Director: Albert Brooks

Manufacturer: PDSC
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for (some sexual references, profanity)
Run Time: 01h:43m:44s
Release Date: February 13, 2001
UPC: 097363324744
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B CAB- D

DVD Review

In addition to memorable roles in such prominent films as Taxi Driver, Private Benjamin, and his Oscar¨-nominated role in Broadcast News, Albert Brooks has written and directed six acting vehicles for himself. Mother marks the fifth such effort (1999's The Muse being the most recent). While none of these efforts have ever been a big hit, some, such as Lost in America and Defending Your Life have proven to be entertaining, memorable, and a suitable showcase for Brooks' brand of sardonic, intelligent humor. Alas, I don't believe that Mother will be looked back upon with the same level of regard as some of these other efforts.

John Henderson is a reasonably successful B-grade science fiction writer who suddenly finds himself in an uncomfortable point in his life. We meet him in a lawyer's office sitting next to a cold woman who is about to become his second ex-wife. What's worse, he is suffering from writer's block, making it impossible to submerge himself in his work to forget the disaster that is his romantic life. Convinced that his strained relationship with his mother is somehow the cause of all his difficulties, he decides to dedicate himself to solving this relationship and, so he reasons, to getting his life back in order, professionally and personally. The manner in which he determines to go about doing this is the film's gimmick. He decides, at age 40, to move back in with his mother.

The previous paragraph, which describes, more or less, the events of the film's first thirty minutes is the set-up for the remaining hour and fifteen minutes of sometimes humorous, sometimes not, and almost always sarcastic dialogue between John and his mother. Brooks, naturally, plays John. In a rather ingenious piece of casting, Debbie Reynolds plays Beatrice, his mother. I say ingenious because Reynolds is known to be, in real life, a difficult mother. The film Postcards from the Edge is based on a semi-autobiographical book and screenplay by her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher. The film's only remaining major character, John's maternally-dependent little brother Jeff, is played by Northern Exposure star Rob Morrow.

While Mother is consistent with Brooks' brand of "faux cinéma vérité", it ultimately sinks into mediocrity because of its script. I was entertained, but only once did I laugh out loud (the lingerie shop scene, you'll know it when you see it). Neither mother nor son display any real range in this film, relying on the same brand of repartee from start to near finish. The film's closing act comes across as rushed and rather dissatisfying because it doesn't seem to be in keeping with the characters we have become acquainted with. Diehard fans of Brooks' brand of comedy and the amalgam of wide-eyed insecurity and sarcastic wit he plays in almost all of his films will likely be somewhat pleased that Mother offers more of the same. However, having enjoyed much of his previous work and knowing what Brooks is capable of both in front of the camera and behind it, this film was a disappointment.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The image displays very good clarity with solid shadow detail and a very clean print. Colors tend slightly towards the mute but not enough to distract. Mild film grain is present but generally not visible at all from normal viewing distances. Overall, a very pleasing visual presentation.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: In the very first scene of the film, there is an outdoor transition rich with ambient city noise. Unfortunately, this marks about the last time that the surround channels are utilized for much more than bolstering the film's music. With few exceptions, Mother's audio presentation is very front channel-centric. This is a loquacious film with little in the way of action, but several good opportunities for ambient surround traffic are passed up. Marc Shaiman's original score comes across very rich from the fronts, offering deep lows to what is an otherwise sonically limited presentation.

Mother also features Dolby Digital surround tracks in both English and French.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English (both subtitles and captions) with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single
Layers Switch: n/a

Extras Review: Other than the theatrical trailer, presented in stereo, this is a movie-only DVD release.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Far from Albert Brooks' best work, Mother suffers from a weak screenplay and characters that are one-dimensional to a fault. A very tired effort.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

documentary, celebrity, comedian, anne meara, jerry stiller, ben stiller, sex in the city, law & order: special victims, television, music, memorial day concert, tessanne chin, nick fradiani, sci-fi, drama, a very murray christmas, bill murray, netflix, sophia coppola, george clooney, amy poehler, chris rock, paul shaffer, rashida jones, miley cyrus, the late show, david letterman, ed sullivan theater, taco bell, dancing with the stars, abc, rumer willis, riker lynch, noah galloway, val chmerkovskiy, jane fonda, mile high club, plastic surgery, grace and frankie, saturday night live, louis c.k., racism, israel-palestine, movies, cannes, movie, jackie, jackie kennedy, darren aronofsky, pablo larrain, pitch perfect 2, rebel wilson, super fun night, derek hough, nastia liukin, american idol, fox, jennifer lopez, harry connick jr., keith urban, ryan seacrest, gary newman, daytime soap, general hospital, anthony geary, genie francis, frank valenti, mad max: fury road, mel gibson, george miller, tom hardy, hugh keays-byrne, charlize theron, the cw, arrow, the vampire diaries, supernatural, the originals, jane the virgin, the flash, the 100, izombie, reign, beauty and the beast, action, afc football championship game, jim mcnally, john jastremski, tom brady, bill belichick, prince, baltimore, rally 4 peace, freddie gray, 3rdeyegirl, metropolitan museum of art gala, kim kardashian, chloe sevigny, john paul gaultier, georgia may jagger, sarah jessica parker, rihanna, comedy, scifi, joss whedon, the avengers, chris evans, cris hemsworth, samuel l. jackson, scarlett johansson, jerem renner, revenge, manhattan love story, selfie, the mccarthys, the millers, gracepoint, mulaney, red band society, utopia, bad judge, dallas, 10th birthday party, kelly monaco, maks chmerkovskiy, meryl davis

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store