Plot: What’s it about?
What kind of movie do you follow up an Academy Award nominated performance with? Well, if you’re Jonah Hill you do another raunchy teen comedy. And why not? Those movies are what made him a name in Hollywood. Can we picture Superbad, Get Him to the Greek or Knocked Up without him? I don’t think so. But alas, it’s time to bid a fond farewell to the “old” Jonah Hill. It’s the end of an era, so to speak and the days of our chubby, curly-haired comedian are about to be a thing of the past. Grab your tissues, folks – it’ll be ok. The movie in front of us is The Sitter, essentially an updated, more raunchy version of 1987’s Adventures in Babysitting albeit with more profanity, sex and cell phones. Still, it’s hard not to laugh as Hill is a gifted comedian. What are we really expecting here? Another Academy Award nomination? Doubtful. This one’s all about the laughs.
Noah (Jonah Hill) has a girlfriend…kind of. But she’s got plans and Noah’s at home watching television. When a babysitting gig falls though, Noah reluctantly offers to help out so that his mother (Jessica Hecht) can go out and have a good time. Of course, he’s babysitting three kids and each is “special” in their own way. There’s Slater (Max Records), a popular kid struggling with his sexuality. Blithe (Landry Bender), someone who can’t wait to grow up to be a “celebrity” and has seen one too many music videos and Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez), the adopted son who has a fascination for cherry bombs. Everything will go smoothly, right? Uh huh. Noah’s girlfriend calls and lets him know that she’s ready for anything. Taking the kids in hand, they head to New York City, but not before blowing up a few toilets, stealing from a drug dealer (Sam Rockwell) and getting chased by the cops. As is the case with every babysitter, there’s always a curfew (when the parents get home) and in Noah’s case – possible Hell to pay.
There are some movies in which you intentionally lower your standards when you put the disc in. This is one of them – or it was for me anyway. The Sitter plays on stereotypes, physical humor and everything in between. I have to admit that it kind of worked on me. I laughed. Hey, that’s the point, right? While I’ll admit that he did a good job on Moneyball, I wonder what the future will hold for Mr. Hill? He’s got the acting skills and the writing as well. He served as producer on this film and who knows if he’ll step behind the camera at some point? I think anyone looking at the cover for this movie will know what to expect and though it was a bit predictable, I enjoyed it. Hill is certainly getting a bit long in the tooth for these kinds of films, so I suppose we can take what we have and go with that. I don’t ever remember having any adventures like this when I had a baby sitter, though!
Video: How does it look?
For a day and date release, I have to admit that I was expecting a bit more from The Sitter. There are some scenes of utmost clarity in that you can see each individual curl in Jonah Hill’s mop, but I was a bit let down by the fine amount of grain through the majority of the film. The 1.78:1 AVC HD image isn’t “bad” by any means, but I suppose that I’ve become a bit spoiled by some of the more recent releases that we’re bombarded with. The movie takes place in a close approximation of real time and the majority of that is at night (with only the opening sequences being during daylight hours). While contrast was solid, a few of the interior shots seemed a bit soft. Maybe I’m being overly critical, but while this looks good – I was expecting a bit more.
Audio: How does it sound?
Contrary to the video quality, the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is rather robust. Comedies, by and large, aren’t really that well-known for their sound mixes but The Sitter did impress me on a few occasions. Dialogue is rich and deep with vocals never being compromised. Surrounds are surprisingly active and there’s a pretty decent car chase scene that makes use of the dynamic audio. LFE aren’t too involved, but there’s a decent scene at a party that makes fair use of the bass. The remainder of the soundtrack is a bit expected but I have to say that I liked what I heard.
Supplements: What are the extras?
There aren’t too many features of note on this two-disc Blu-ray set, the main draw here is the Unrated version that runs 6 minutes longer than the 81 minute theatrical cut. Yes, that’s right, you can watch the entire film (credits and all) in under 90 minutes. The one supplement of note is the “Making Of…” featurette which showcases Jonah Hill’s role as producer of the film in addition acting. We get some interviews with the kids and the other cast members and running at nearly 15 minutes it’s fun, but not important. We get the original theatrical trailer, some gag reels, outtakes and deleted and extended scenes. There’s a standard DVD and a digital copy as well.