Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 4/13/00
1987 (2000) - Touchstone
review by Brad Pilcher of
The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras):
Specs and Features
102 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), single-sided,
single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, film-themed menu
screens, scene access (22 chapters), languages: English & French
(DD 2.0) subtitles: English, Closed Captioned
this place without singing the blues."
All young boys have a few things in common. For a while, you think
girls have cooties. Then, the moment comes. It usually involves an
embarrassing instant where you look at a girl and think she's, "actually
really nice," and then get made fun of for a few weeks before
the next boy in the pack begins to turn. It's like a contagious
plague, you see, and it happens to us all. There is something else
that all young boys share as well - the really hot babysitter. Enter
Adventures in Babysitting, in
which Elisabeth Shue is the requisite really hot babysitter.
When her big night out with the boyfriend gets canceled (by the
boyfriend), she ends up babysitting for a little girl and her
teenage older brother. But when an emergency draws the threesome,
plus one extra friend, along for a ride downtown, all sorts of
hilarity ensues. There is an almost Ferris
Bueller's Day Off quality to all of this, and it plays
out amusingly enough.
The movie itself isn't all that wonderful, but it's a nostalgia
classic for any eighties kid. The script is funny throughout, with
some whimsical dialogue that keeps the crazy adventures afloat.
Shue's performance is good in this leading role. I can't imagine
that playing a babysitter who has to get the kids home safely would
be the most challenging role, but Shue still pulls it off with
style. The rest of the cast are not quite Oscar-caliber, but they
all provide passable support. Aside from that, we've got your
typical family-film cinematography and directing (a sign of things
to come by a young Chris Columbus). This film is carried entirely by
the situations and wit of its dialogue. No complaints there, but the
film is still low fat.
The video on this DVD is average with some evident grain. The
transfer is, unfortunately, not anamorphic and it could have used
the extra lines of resolution. The colors are good, although a
little muted. All in all, however, the video isn't anything to
complain too much about aside from some print defects and the
aforementioned issues. On the audio end, we have a solid and
encompassing track, with robust dialogue and strong music. This
movie does not require much in the way of sound effects, but what we
do get is a solid 2.0 mix. What about extras, you ask? There are
none. There's not even any trailers. You literally get nothing, and
that's just unacceptable. Movie-only releases are fine, especially
for films of this nature, but you should get a trailer at the least.
The verdict on this disc is simple. You have a nostalgia classic
that is an average film. It's definitely worth a look for some light
afternoon viewing, but those who have this on their list of
childhood memories will remember the film more fondly than most. If
you're a parent, do take note that this is not the most family of
family films. An early scene has the helpful tow-truck driver going
home and shooting up his house when he finds his wife in bed with
another man. Other examples include everybody mistaking Shue for a
playmate centerfold and some copious foul language. For everybody
else, give this disc a look.