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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Bad Moms (Blu-ray)
Bad Moms (Blu-ray)
Universal // R // November 1, 2016 // Region A
List Price: $34.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ryan Keefer | posted November 11, 2016 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

I watched Bad Moms with a newly minted mom, my wife. And upon further reflection while I think one could take a variety of things from a "Bad Mom" connotation, especially with this change in our lives, the importance of what type of bad mom one strives to be means a lot, whether it's in life, or in the case of what's in front of me, a goofy-intended comedy.

The film is written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who were the writers of the first Hangover film. It focuses on three moms; Amy (Mila Kunis, Max Payne) splits time between working three days a week and raising two kids, and separates from her husband early in the film. Kiki (Kristen Bell, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is a full-time, softer spoken mom, and Carla (Kathryn Hahn, Captain Fantastic) is a single mom but wholly rambunctious. Together they rebel against the PTA President (Christina Applegate, Vacation) for control of the association and an easier life for their kids who attend the school.

The promotional material for Bad Moms seemed to put it in a straightforward manner; fairly traditional women living the material role to a pretty close tee, or making due with what they had. And now more than ever, I get that. Though I feel that's not what the film wants to accomplish. It tries to make its cake and eat it too, serving moments of pseudo-intended rebellion and humor in the vein of Bridesmaids, but not fully committing to it, because it wants to tell the story. And it tries to tell a couple of stories in the process! It wants to show Amy trying to balance mom-dom with a work life and school activities for her kids, plus it also wants her to get the guy that all the moms in school are ogling over, in this case played by Jay Hernandez (Hostel). And it doesn't work at all, it just sleepwalks through the story.

Even worse, there are at least two funny people in this movie who go woefully underused for some reason; Bell and to a lesser degree Applegate. The latter plays the villain about as much as can be expected, but the former is the biggest sin. I get the overall gist of Kiki being someone who has so many things and people containing her that when she explodes, she explodes, but this puts a comedic twist to Bell's talents that does not exist, thus she serves as more superficial use than anything else. At least Kunis moves things along in the movie nicely in a better than expected performance for her, but if I'm going to be a Monday Morning Quarterback, the film should have stuck to one secondary storyline or the other and had been more effective.

I wanted to enjoy Bad Moms particularly because it could serve as either a diversion or a humorous eerie foreboding to the life my wife and I have given ourselves for the forseeable future. But the film simply wants to do more than it is capable of delivering, and disappoints as a result.

The Blu-ray:
The Video:

Universal gives Bad Moms an AVC-encoded transfer to go with the 2.40:1 widescreen presentation, and the results disappoint to a degree. It reproduces the material as well as it can, but image detail is lacking, colors are fine though not entirely vivid, and the black levels in the film fluctuate in the slightest moments. You can point out things like the rear projection landscapes easily which is nice, and there are even moments of image noise. It felt like I was watching 105 minutes of airbrushed film, yuck.

The Sound:

I was surprised to see this comedy and its DTS HD-MA 7.1 soundtrack, but you get into things early on sonically with Bad Moms. It's got a lot of pop songs, and those pop songs sure do love their bass, so the low-end is robust as dynamic. There are occasional moments of action like Kunis driving her mom-mobile onto the curb that include some effective channel panning. Heck, even a PTA power point presentation has some subwoofer engagement. The mover here is the dialogue and it sounds as clean as can be, and Universal appears to have a lot of soundtrack care for this one.

Extras:

Well the gag reel (6:02) is a little funnier than expected, with Kunis' movie husband (played by David Walton) serving as the star of it. Deleted scenes (16:36) follow, but serve as a mix of a line-o-rama type feature plus actual deleted scenes. Interviews with the cast and their mothers, some of which appears in the end credits, wraps things up (23:52), and for me, may have been the most endearing part of the disc/feature, with laughs, a little tears, and general enjoyment.

Final Thoughts:

So Bad Moms, on a $20 million budget per Box Office Mojo, wound up making almost 9 times that in total box office receipts worldwide. So I have little doubt there is going to be a sequel. But for the love of pete, at least make things a little more coherent so more people can enjoy it, OK? Technically, the transfer was a disappointment despite the quality soundtrack, and the interviews with moms and their actress daughters was charming. Otherwise, there was not a lot here that was enjoyable.

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