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The Mother 2023 Movie Review
Netflix pumps out these cheapo action films with 90s stars on a weekly basis now. The trailer for this one looked okay, so against my better judgement I thought I’d give it a chance. The red logo of shame rarely fails, but every now and then there’s a watchable film. This isn’t one of those.
The failings here are evident even on a production level. The entire movie is color graded badly, like whoever did the editing didn’t know how to grade log footage. Also the director of photography apparently thinks he’s Zack Snyder and shot several scenes with a very short focal length, so that much of the shot is out of focus. Even wide shots.
What’s worse is the use of digital edge blur and even vignettes in shots where it makes zero sense. For example there. For example 14 mins into the movie there is a shot of a hawk circling in the sky. Not only are the highlights crushed to hell, there is a giant vignette around the shot. A shot of a blue sky. Several of th enature shots have this effect. It’s absolutely idiotic and ruins what could have been some really nice scenic on location shots.
There’s another scene with Jennifer Lopez and an agent in a car. They overlayed various reflections on the car window, but none of them make any sense. As the camera angles change mid conversation, you get entirely different reflections. They start at an airport, then there’s woods on one side and a truck depot on the other, suddenly highrises, then the shot ends with them driving away from the airport again. It’s like the digital effects artists were trolling the studio.
There are some good scenes and nice edits here, and Jennifer Lopez gives it her all. She’s never had much of a range as an actress, but she tries her best with the bad material she’s given.
The violence here is pretty brutal. Lots of headshots, a pregnant woman is stabbed in the belly with a hunting knife. Kudos to Lopez for going along with all that, but the violence never feels earned, since at no point does the script take the time to actually make us care about the characters.
Once again, it’s frustrating how netflix gives so little about their productions. This could have been good, with better photography and a more refined script. Netflix doesn’t suffer from lack of budget. A producer like Roger Corman or the Cannon people would have made cinematic gold with these budgets.