By Maureen Buccellato
Sep 02, 2019 07:55 PM EST

Ma Blu-ray Review

Octavia Spencer's character portrayal is something we haven't really seen from her before. Sure, she's played some strong roles but this takes the cake.
Ma Blu-ray Review
Purchase  Blu-ray | Digital HD
High school can be tough. For some, it can be an absolute nightmare. There will always be "that crowd" of kids who deem themselves superior, pulling pranks often on vulnerable victims. These victims can go either way in life - they can rise above their torment and become stronger for it or they can be left permanently scarred in ways that can cause them to want to harm themselves or others. In Ma we see the latter happen - the "revenge" scenario that some bullied kids probably dream about in some way or another. Released in theaters on May 31, 2019, you can now grab this thriller on Blu-ray.

In high school, Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer, The Help) had a crush on Ben (Luke Evans, Beauty and the Beast). Ben gets Sue Ann to perform fellatio on him in a closet only to find out the boy in the closet wasn't really him. Her humiliation was witnessed by the entire school, including two girls named Erica and Mercedes (Ben's current girlfriend).

Fast forward to the present day, Erica (Juliette Lewis, August: Osage County) and her daughter, Maggie (Diana Silvers, Booksmart), are moving back to Erica's hometown. Once there, Maggie meets some kids who become a group of friends. One day they decide that they want to have a party but they need an adult to buy alcohol for them. While waiting outside of a liquor store, they meet Sue Ann who was nice enough to buy them their alcohol. After being busted by the cops, however, the kids needed a new place to party. Once again, Sue Ann agrees to buy the kids alcohol but this time she offers them a safe place to party - her basement. Sue Ann appears to be gaining popularity with the kids but things quickly go dangerously south when, after a series of events that upset the kids, they decide that they won't be partying at Ma's anymore. 

Spencer's character portrayal is something we haven't really seen from her before. Sure, she's played some strong roles but this takes the cake. Her portrayal of this character is downright disturbing and reminds us all just how talented she is. Silvers is also quite good in her role as Maggie, and Lewis plays the role of her parent well. The rest of the cast rounds out the story with solid performances as well. 

Ma is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. As with most films released in the last few years, the transfer to 1080p is a very well oiled machine by now. While there is a bit of noise to be found here and there the blacks are true, the colors are natural, and no artificating can be found. The lossless 5.1 Master Audio provides the right mixture of dialog (relegated to the center channel) and ambient sound effects. They have Ma's party's come to life in your home theater beautifully.   Special Features included in this title are:
  • Alternate Ending: A very small extra scene added at the very end.
  • Deleted Scenes: Moving In, Brain Food, First Days, Late Bloomer, Mom's Earrings, Hobo Attack, Sex-Ed Interrupted, Dinner for Louie, Liquor Store Staredown, Fornicating Hooligans, Campus Creeping, and Long Distance Girlfriend.
  • Creating Sue Ann: A look at Spencer's character with some crew members and Spencer herself.
  • Party At Ma's: A look at the direction of the film by Tate Taylor, performances and behind the scenes relationships of cast and crew members.
  • Theatrical Trailer
Even though the "revenge" aspect of the film is a time-worn plot, this was a refreshing twist - getting even through the children of those you hate. However, while I did enjoy the film, it did feel it was a bit anti-climactic at the end. Even with that, it's still worth the watch.

Grade: C
 

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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 99 minutes
Distributed By: Universal Pictures

For more information about Ma visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.


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