The Sitter Blu-ray Review
As a huge fan of the 1987 Elisabeth Shue vehicle ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING, I was relatively surprised to see such huge similarities from THE SITTER. Granted this is definitely not as family friendly, deserving every bit of its R rating but I don’t remember any references in advertisement or word of mouth mentioned the two films in the same breath when they are clearly identical in their own ways. While THE SITTER is obviously not near as good, it does manage some laughs on its own merits mostly due to the likable and hilarious Jonah Hill.
In order to help out his single mom, usually selfish Noah (Jonah Hill) agrees to pick up her babysitting gig one evening. His assignment is to keep the three rambunctious children out of trouble, but that may be difficult considering their lack of respect and his BAD SANTA style of babysitting.
The oldest boy, Slater (Max Records from WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE) has social anxiety problems. The youngest Blithe (Landry Bender) wants to emulate reality stars like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian by wearing lots of makeup, little clothing and partying at dance clubs. Lastly, the adopted Hispanic son Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez), who is frustratingly disobedient, enjoys pyrotechnics, specifically blowing up toilets by flushing cherry bombs.
In an attempt to impress his “girlfriend” (Ari Graynor), Noah picks up some drugs on her request during his babysitting gig. After Rodrigo steals a dinosaur egg not realizing it was filled with drugs, hijinks ensues with the wacky drug dealers in hot pursuit and a HAROLD & KUMAR type of adventure with one absurd problem after another commencing. But hopefully Noah and the children will draw close and learn valuable lessons from one another that ultimately make Noah a good babysitter despite his antics that puts their lives in danger.
The three kids do a fine job, which can always be tricky with child actors. But all the cussing directed to and from the kids becomes quite unsettling. It can be funny at first for shock value, but as someone who was raised in a non-swearing household, the bombardment of curse words around the children made it difficult (or at least made me feel guilty) to laugh.
Sam Rockwell and J.B. Smoove play the drug dealers and their part is absurdly strange, taking up far too much screen time. The film comes to a complete halt, as their characters were nothing more than off-the-wall improvisation. I regularly love Rockwell and it’s not that he did a bad job, it’s just that the material was so irritatingly not clever nor humorous in any fashion. Although his obsession with ranking his friends did make me giggle.
What holds this film together is the amazingly funny Jonah Hill. This is pre-weight loss Hill and I’m guessing it’s at his heaviest, which is a little jarring after seeing him thinned out during the award circuit for MONEYBALL and his recent hilarious showing in 21 JUMP STREET. Without him THE SITTER is a crude, bland, unoriginal and unfunny attempt at comedy so it is with the highest praise to Hill who single handedly ups this film to possibly recommendable. For a film with so many negatives, I found myself laughing loudly throughout by Hill’s simple deliveries and demeanor. He found the exact careless and self-awareness tone to make it work.
Video: (Widescreen 1.85:1) The picture for THE SITTER is clear and neat.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) Sufficient sound for THE SITTER.
Deleted/Alternate/Extended Scenes (25:54): I appreciate that they combined all ten of these together. But the only one worthwhile is the first one.
Gag Reel (2:37): Absolutely atrocious.
Sits-N-Giggles (3:09): Some of the actors give different versions of their comedy lines.
For Your Consideration (1:01): The little girl sings robotically among other ways to warm herself up for a scene in THE SITTER
The Making of The Sitter (15:23): They talk about farting quite a bit in this making of featurette.
Jonah the Producer (4:59): An intentional comedic segment where Jonah Hill propositions the parents of the kid actor’s in THE SITTER and then bosses the kids around a bit in a “I’m better than you” sort of way.
Theatrical/Unrated Version/Digital Copy: All three versions of THE SITTER are available.