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M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review


Studio:  Universal Studios
Release Date:  3/21/2023
Rating:  PG-13/Not Rated
Film Grade:  B

The Story:  In the world of toy companies, there’s heated competition to ramp up the innovation of AI and robotics to provide the next must-have kids’ companion.  This leads to the creation of M3GAN (Model 3 Generative Android), a remarkably life-like doll that pairs with its primary user.  That pairing, along with a constant connection to the cloud, allows M3GAN to learn and adapt on her own.  Hmm, maybe that’s not such a good idea. . .

My Take:  One might be tempted to dismiss this as a simple remake or rip-off of the Chucky movies, but the story is rich enough to stand completely on its own.  Aided by a smart script with better-than-average dialog, this is a fun movie with some dark humor and a few wry toy commercials thrown in to balance out the inevitable moments of tension.

Allison Williams plays the part of Jenna, M3GAN’s primary developer, and she does a fine job of alternating between robotics scientist and caregiver.  She’s paired with Violet McGraw who turns in a solid performance as the child that bonds with M3GAN.  The rest of the cast fit well with the story, each adding a quirk to their character’s personality.  It’s also worth mentioning the robotics team and the work of Amie Donald, who provides much of M3GAN’s body movements.  They did a remarkable job of creating a robot that comes to life in front of the audience.

The movie throws out a number of different themes for the viewers to chew on, including the role of technology in modern life, the ethics of data collection, AI and machine learning, and what are the ramifications of all this tech on today’s children.  Considering the advances in AI and robotics, there are parts of this movie that are not that far-fetched, and the movie plays off those fears and concerns.

The only real negative to this film is the ending, which feels rote compared to the rest of the movie.  It’s not bad, just a little disappointing compared to the setup and development of the earlier parts of the story.

Video:  This is a beautifully shot movie, with dark scenes that remain clear yet moody, interior shots that feel authentic, with appropriate splashes of color befitting a modern toy company.  At times the color palette effectively evokes feelings of some of the popular horror movies of the 1980s, with perfect nighttime shades of blue.

Audio:  The 7.1 DTS mix features crisp, clear dialog, and scenes are generally presented with a good sense of space. There isn’t much that really stands out, but there are a couple of effective jump scares that are punched up by the soundtrack.  There is an Atmos version, but once again it’s only available on the digital version, so I can’t advise how it might compare.

Special Features: 

A New Vision of Horror
Bringing Life to M3GAN
Getting Hacked

Final Verdict:  My wife is not a fan of horror movies, but this is more of a thriller, and we both enjoyed this one a lot; it will be making its way into our collection. 

While there are plenty of other movies featuring bad dolls, M3GAN is one of the best. Unlike the unremarkable and uninspired 2019 Child’s Play remake, this movie features a fresh take on the genre with a witty script featuring moments of wicked humor that elevate it above the standard fare.

This is a highly recommended watch for anyone that that has ever enjoyed watching a Chucky-type flick.  And the extras are worth a look if you want a peek behind the scenes.

Fun Quote:  “Sorry, shouldn’t laugh.”

My Review System:
JVC DLA-RS420 Reference Series D-Ila Projector with 4K eShift4
Elite Screens Sable Frame B2 117” Width with Infinitely Variable Height
Monolith by Monoprice HTP-1 16 Channel Processor with Dirac Live
Monolith by Monoprice 7x200 Watts Amp
Monolith by Monoprice 3x200 Watts + 6x100 Watts Amp
JBL Studio 590 for Left, Center, Right, Wides, and Rears
JBL Studio 580 for Side Surrounds
JBL Studio SCS 8 for Tops
JTR Captivator 1400 Subwoofer X 4
Panasonic DP-UB420 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
NVIDIA Shield Android TV - 4K
HTPC Running madVR (work in progress)
Remote: URC MX-780
Mini DSP 2X4 HD controlling all subwoofers
APC S15 Power Conditioner with Battery Backup

My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2023, 01:22:01 PM »
Thanks for the review - I may just go ahead and check this out.

I generally prefer 4k/HDR UHD Discs, but there isn't one at this point for this movie.

Ironically, streaming does have a 4k/HDR option, making it harder to choose which way to go!

Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2023, 02:03:18 PM »
Thanks for the review - I may just go ahead and check this out.

I generally prefer 4k/HDR UHD Discs, but there isn't one at this point for this movie.

Ironically, streaming does have a 4k/HDR option, making it harder to choose which way to go!
Yes, it's getting to be a bit maddening that disc collectors are getting shut out of the highest quality option.

Hope you enjoy the movie!

Scott
My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2023, 10:21:32 PM »
Yes, it's getting to be a bit maddening that disc collectors are getting shut out of the highest quality option.

Hope you enjoy the movie!

Scott
Scott,

When these types of films come up, I'll see if I can get the studio to send them directly to you so you can review them. I thought this was supposed to be a pure horror film and didn't request it. 

Thanks for doing the review!

David
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2023, 10:40:32 AM »
Scott,

When these types of films come up, I'll see if I can get the studio to send them directly to you so you can review them. I thought this was supposed to be a pure horror film and didn't request it.

Thanks for doing the review!

David
Thank you, David; that would be fantastic.  It would also allow me to post reviews near their release date, since I wouldn't be at the mercy of Netflix or another rental outfit's availability.

The movie itself was definitely marketed as a horror movie, and there's often a fine line that separates them from thrillers.  This one falls closer to the thriller side, and I'll usually consider my wife's opinion in addition to mine when trying to classify them for readers.

Scott
My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

AVSCraig

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  • Home Theater Lover / Sales / Advice
    • AV Science, Inc
Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2023, 01:07:03 PM »
Yes, it's getting to be a bit maddening that disc collectors are getting shut out of the highest quality option.

Hope you enjoy the movie!

Scott
I don't totally agree. I got " Chernobyl " on 4K disc, but it honestly doesn't look that much better ( if at all better ) than the Blu-ray. I have been watching " The Expanse " on Blu-ray, and I can't imagine it looking much better on 4K. I wouldn't bother upgrading if it ever came out on 4K. It totally depends on the movie / show and how it was shot. And if it's a brand new Blu-ray ( recently shot ) vs a new 4K transfer of an older movie compared to a very old Blu-ray release. 
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
www.avscience.com  craig@avscience.com
We carry projectors, screens, speakers, receivers etc. !!
Twitter - @AVS_Craig Sacramento CA area

Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2023, 02:26:22 PM »
I don't totally agree. I got " Chernobyl " on 4K disc, but it honestly doesn't look that much better ( if at all better ) than the Blu-ray. I have been watching " The Expanse " on Blu-ray, and I can't imagine it looking much better on 4K. I wouldn't bother upgrading if it ever came out on 4K. It totally depends on the movie / show and how it was shot. And if it's a brand new Blu-ray ( recently shot ) vs a new 4K transfer of an older movie compared to a very old Blu-ray release.
I think we mostly agree.  My point is that there is a UHD version with Dolby Atmos available for download and streaming, but disc collectors only have the option of HD and 7.1.  

The question as to whether or not the UHD and Atmos versions are markedly better than the BD, is another matter.  I just find it odd those of us that want to buy a physical copy are shut out of the highest quality version.  And there is zero reason not to include the Atmos soundtrack on the BD.

You are right about Blu-ray quality.  There are plenty of titles that look absolutely fantastic in just plain old HD these days, and some might wonder whether the more-expensive UHD version is worth it or not.

I just wish consumers had the choice for more of these titles.

Scott
My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

AVSCraig

  • *****
  • 4745
  • Home Theater Lover / Sales / Advice
    • AV Science, Inc
Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2023, 06:24:57 PM »
I think we mostly agree.  My point is that there is a UHD version with Dolby Atmos available for download and streaming, but disc collectors only have the option of HD and 7.1. 

The question as to whether or not the UHD and Atmos versions are markedly better than the BD, is another matter.  I just find it odd those of us that want to buy a physical copy are shut out of the highest quality version.  And there is zero reason not to include the Atmos soundtrack on the BD.

You are right about Blu-ray quality.  There are plenty of titles that look absolutely fantastic in just plain old HD these days, and some might wonder whether the more-expensive UHD version is worth it or not.

I just wish consumers had the choice for more of these titles.

Scott
This could be a case of " good things come to those that wait ". I think sometimes the studios wait to see how popular the Blu-ray is before bringing out the 4K disc. I have a theory that if I want a movie to come out on 4K Blu-ray, I just need to buy the regular Blu-ray. I can't tell you how many times that's happened to me!
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
www.avscience.com  craig@avscience.com
We carry projectors, screens, speakers, receivers etc. !!
Twitter - @AVS_Craig Sacramento CA area

Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2023, 10:22:23 PM »
Craig, your reply reminds me of the saying "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get ya!". ;D

Dadgum double dipping studio releases... 

AVSCraig

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  • 4745
  • Home Theater Lover / Sales / Advice
    • AV Science, Inc
Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2023, 01:11:39 AM »
Craig, your reply reminds me of the saying "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get ya!". ;D

Dadgum double dipping studio releases...
Whatever it is that you want on 4K on disc, just let me know so I can buy the Blu-ray and make it happen for you. :-[
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
www.avscience.com  craig@avscience.com
We carry projectors, screens, speakers, receivers etc. !!
Twitter - @AVS_Craig Sacramento CA area

Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2023, 11:33:08 AM »
Whatever it is that you want on 4K on disc, just let me know so I can buy the Blu-ray and make it happen for you. :-[
It's like me and stock purchases...if you want to get rich, short whatever stock I buy because it will surely drop once I have it in my portfolio :D
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2023, 07:13:18 PM »
For anyone that was thinking about buying this movie, I just got a notice from Gruv that a 4K disc will be coming out on 10/10/23 and it will include that Atmos soundtrack.

Glad I held off purchasing the Blu-ray.
My Room:  26’-1” X 17’-4” X 10’
Equipment:  Monolith HTP-1 feeding X7 and X9 amps, JVC RS3100, Elite Screens 135"", JBL Studio 590 for L, C, R, W, R, 580s for sides and four SCS8 for tops, JTR Captivator 1400 x 4, Panny DP-UB420K, Toshiba HD-A35. Nvidia Shield, Sonos Connect, MX-780 remote

See Youthman's actual tour of my room here: https://youtu.be/PHEaG2xKVhg

bmoney

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Re: M3GAN (2023, Blu-ray, Netflix Rental, Unrated Version) Review
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2023, 07:34:17 PM »
For anyone that was thinking about buying this movie, I just got a notice from Gruv that a 4K disc will be coming out on 10/10/23 and it will include that Atmos soundtrack.

Glad I held off purchasing the Blu-ray.
Nice. I enjoyed this movie 
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