Plot: What’s it about?
Baby Bink has loving parents, a lush home to reside in, and pretty much all the things a baby could want, but he doesn’t have a picture of himself. Of course, every baby needs to have baby photos and for Baby Bink, only the very best photographer will suffice. So his mother Laraine (Lara Flynn Boyle) brings in the finest baby photographer in the business, since Baby Bink’s first picture has to be perfect, no doubt about it. As it turns out however, the real photographer has been replaced and in his place are three crooks, determined to kidnap Baby Bink, demand a massive ransom, and become instant millionaires. So once they’ve entered the mansion led by Eddie (Joe Mantegna), the trio of con artists push Laraine and the others into another room, then make off with Baby Bink in a flash. The plan seems to be working well enough, as the ransom note for five million dollars is discovered, but little to the crooks know awaits them. You see, Baby Bink is no normal toddler and unless they can keep up, Bink will leave the robbers in the dust. Can even hardened criminals survive the tribulations Bink is going to put them through?
If you’ve wanted to combine Home Alone, Looking Who’s Talking, and The Incredible Journey, then Baby’s Day Out is like a dream come true. Of course, I’m not sure how many people wanted to watch a baby make a trek across a city with a trio of bumbling crooks on his trail, but if you’re one of them, prepare to rejoice. This movie was bashed by most critics & audiences and I can see why, but if you’re looking for mindless, family oriented cinema, you could do a lot worse than Baby Day’s Out, if you ask me. Yes, it is totally preposterous from start to finish, but the filmmakers know this and as such, the movie never pretends to be more than it is. The characters never seem smarter than the baby and that’s kind of the point here, as the little toddler outwits all those around him and survives some outlandish sequences. I admit that the content runs thin at times, but it is brisk in pace and keeps moving ahead, so it doesn’t slow it down much. Lara Flynn Boyle (Happiness) is memorable in her turn, while Joe Mantegna (Airheads) leads the three crooks, all of whom provide ample slapstick performances. In the end, a decent family aimed picture and with a nice treatment from Fox here, it gets a solid recommendation.
Video: How does it look?
Baby’s Day Out is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame edition included on the disc’s flip side. As usual, Fox supplies a more than solid visual effort and even with some small flaws, fans should be pleased here. The print looks clean, but does show some minor blemishes, though they never lessen the visuals much. I found colors to be clear and bright throughout, while contrast was sharp and focused as well. In short, this is a nice looking visual effort in all respects, more great work from Fox.
Audio: How does it sound?
As expected, the included Dolby Digital 5.1 track is no audio masterpiece, but it more than handles the material, so no worries. The surround channels won’t be used much, but the basic elements remain well presented, thanks to good front channel presence. All the screams, clangs, yells of pain, and other sound effects come through just fine, so every punch, flame, bonk, and such are easy to hear. The music has some nice moments of movement and dynamic presence, but don’t expect the world from this mix. The main focus is on dialogue and it sounds terrific here, no complaints to lodge in the least. This disc also includes 2.0 surround options in English & French, as well as English & Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains a brief behind the scenes featurette, the film’s theatrical trailer, and an audio commentary track from director Patrick Read Johnson. He offers a lot of information and seems very well prepared, as his comments are well organized at all times. You’ll still hear some silent spaces, but not many, as this is a terrific session indeed.