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The Sitter - Blu-ray Movie Review

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The Sitter - Movie Review

1 Star

David Gordon Green’s The Sitter is essentially an R-rated retooling of Chris Columbus’s Adventures in Babysitting from 1987.  The kids are edgier, situations are shamefully more homophobic, and, opening with a scene of oral sex, it’s completely unafraid to offend.  From American Pie concerns to Uncle Buck situations, The Sitter begs and borrows and steals its running time, but – when the punch line to every set-up, gag, or joke depends on Hill berating a kid – things get tired super fast.

Essentially, instead of Elizabeth Shue, you have Jonah Hill and his three sidekicks (or sittees) embarking on a wild night across Manhattan in search of said dino-drugs for his girlfriend so that he can, as promised, boink her.  It’s a movie that is crammed with cherry bombs, kickboxers, cocaine, exploding toilets, not one but two stolen cars, a bizarre love triangle, inappropriate urinating, and emotionally unavailable parents.  It also features Sam Rockwell selling drugs housed in dinosaur eggs.

Oh yes, it’s all very unoriginal and uninspired.  You get what you pay for, right?  The biggest problem is - and keep in mind that I like Green’s work - that The Sitter is completely unnecessary as far as remakes go.  It isn’t funnier than what came before (only weirder and tasteless) and - when it finally comes to landing its mawkish teenage themes - it doesn’t have the heart to give any sort of meaning to its misadventures.

Written by - because we have to have some one to blame for making 81 minutes feel like an eternity – newbies Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka, The Sitter follows a suspended college student, Noah (Hill), on one night of babysitting.  Charged with providing care for Slater (Max Records), Blithe (Landry Bender) and exchange student Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez), Noah finds himself in a bit of dilemma when his girlfriend, Marisa (Ali Graynor), yanks his chain with enticing talk of sexual opportunities…

...if only he wasn’t saddled with the kids for a night…

Noah decides to bring the kids.  Damn the consequences and, just like that, the wild chases through the streets and side alleys of Manhattan begin.  With appearances from Method Man, J. B. Smoove, and Rockwell, The Sitter promises a rocking time but can’t seem to find its footing with material that, while incredibly easy, never lands its flow or builds a rhythm.  It’s just a jaunt through Awkward City with Mr. McAwkward and the Awkwardettes.

No one’s laughing.

Because it lacks a purpose to exist, Green, Hill and company find themselves trapped in a movie that is more bizarre than it is ever entertaining.  The Sitter is a lame dog completely without identity, yet sadly tries to paw one out with 80s references, dumb facebook gags, pop culture quips, and a soundtrack ripped straight out of some sort of synthesized nirvana.  Yup, even the auditory irony isn’t good.

Green is so much better a director than this.  He’s done some great dramas, All the Real Girls, and he’s had a major hit with the highs of Pineapple Express.  While Your Highness didn’t get the box office numbers, it has gone on to be a sort of twisted cult hit and is nowhere near the low that is The Sitter.

Nope, in the race of good Green films, The Sitter arrives in last place.  Hell, it can’t even compete.  Crippled by horrible gags and lackluster performances, The Sitter can’t even run in place.  It’s lazy, ridiculous, and hinges on a series of unrealistic time constraints that will have your head spinning before the night is through.

The familiar fish-out-of-water routine that puts Hill as babysitter of three annoying kids isn’t enough to keep this torrid turd afloat.  Even if Rockwell’s bipolar shtick and warehouse full of scantily-clad bodybuilders is a good for a laugh or two, there’s no mistaking that this film is best avoided until drunk, stoned, or simply stupid.

The Sitter should be sat out.

{2jtab: Film Details}

The Sitter - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and some violence.
Director
: David Gordon Green
Writer
: Brian Gatewood, Alessandro Tanaka
Cast:
Jonah Hill; Max Records; Ari Graynor; Sam Rockwell; Kevin Hernandez
Genre: Comedy
Tagline:
Worst. Babysitter. Ever.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Babysitting sucks. Adult men don't babysit things."
Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Official Site:
Release Date:
December 9, 2011
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 20, 2012.

Synopsis: The Sitter is an upcoming American comedy film directed by David Gordon Green and produced by Michael De Luca. The film tells the story about a male student who, after being suspended from college, is lured into a babysitting gig for which he is woefully unprepared.

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    The Sitter - Blu-ray Review

    Blu-ray

    Blu-ray Details:

    Available on Blu-ray - March 20, 2012
    Screen Formats: 1.85:1
    Subtitles
    : English SDH, French, Spanish
    Audio:
    English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1
    Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); Digital copy (on disc); DVD copy; BD-Live
    Region Encoding: A

    The 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer for The Sitter isn’t the sharpest looking comedy to ever find its way onto blu-ray. 20th Century Fox seems to have slept through this process. There is a very heavy layer of grain and a slight crushing of colors as the black levels tend to sink the picture in darkness. Edges aren’t crisp either.  Close-ups are solid and reveal a great deal of texture, but some of the compositions run a little more on the fuzzy side of things. I don’t think this was a stylistic choice as the picture has a modern day setting and modern feel about it. Indoor scenes are level-headed, but outdoor scenes get a bit wonky with low light levels and a couple miss uses of contrast levels. Still, the picture passes for that HD sheen, but it probably could have been handled a bit better. The massively entertaining lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is five-speaker paradise.  Throbbing bass levels and atmospheric high levels dominate and more than make up for a lackluster picture.

    Supplements:

    Commentary:

    • You actually expected one?

    Special Features:

    The movie includes the better extended and unrated version of The Sitter, but that’s not really saying much.  The film still isn’t all that great.  Hill, obviously, will survive this, but director David Gordon Green, who was once touted as the future of filmmaking, now somewhat needs to prove himself with a solid hit.  The Sitter’s hit-and-miss comedic episodes doesn’t pass the muster and, even the unrated shenanigans, aren’t for everyone.  Knowing this, 20th Century Fox kicks the set off with previews for The Three Stooges, This Means War, Immortals, and TV’s Wilfred.  Also included are ten deleted/expanded scenes, including an alternative combat scene between Hill and Rockwell on a kid’s carousel and a couple of awesome quips between Hill and the kids.  The Gag Reel is very telling as it’s just not that funny, but there is a collection of improvised lines that sells the idea of the movie a little better.  Along with a traditional making of featurette with behind-the-scenes moments, the disc comes loaded with a spoof look at Jonah Hill as Producer.  It’s a decent selection, but nothing that makes up for the seriously low-hitting vibe of the movie.

    • Ten Deleted/Alternate/Extended Scenes (26 min)
    • Gag Reel (3 min)
    • Sits-N-Giggles (3 min)
    • For Your Consideration (1 min)
    • The Making of ‘The Sitter’ (15 min)
    • Jonah the Producer (5 min)
    • Theatrical Trailer

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