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The Sitter Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Archived Reviews' started by Matt Hough, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director

    Apr 24, 2006
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Matt Hough
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    David Gordon Green’s The Sitter wears its raunchiness like a badge of honor. And that’s fine: there is nothing wrong with a gross-out farce provided there are laughs to be had. But The Sitter doesn’t have any laughs. Not a one. And the writers provide us with a constant parade of the weird, the grotesque, and the absurd that doesn’t stop, but it isn’t funny. For all of the trouble rounding up a slew of bodybuilders for background effects, for exploding a number of bathroom fixtures for no good reason, and for wrecking a number of cars without any meaningful payoff, The Sitter is a prime, grade-A dud.

    The Sitter (Blu-ray Combo Pack)
    Directed by David Gordon Green

    Studio: 20th Century Fox
    Year: 2011
    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1   1080p   AVC codec  
    Running Time: 81/87 minutes
    Rating: R/NR
    Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish, French
    Subtitles: SDH, Spanish

    Region: A
    MSRP: $ 39.99

    Release Date: March 20, 2012

    Review Date: March 21, 2012

    The Film


    Slacker Noah Griffith (Jonah Hill) is bushwhacked into being the baby sitter for three rich New York kids for what appears to be a long, dull evening. But the kids turn out to be anything but typical: nine-year old Blithe (Landry Bender) wants to be a “glamazon” so much that she’s already wearing heavy makeup and designer duds. Thirteen-year old Slater (Max Records) is so awash in anxiety that he’s heavily medicated and fighting hard to deny his latent feelings of homosexuality. Adopted Latino Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez) buries his abandonment issues with a destructive streak, an addiction to fire and explosives, and weak bladder syndrome. On top of their shenanigans, Noah’s friend-with-benefits Marisa (Ari Graynor) invites him to a party but assigns him to pick up some coke from her dealer Karl (Sam Rockwell) on the way. When Rodrigo steals a large display egg filled with cocaine and breaks it, Noah is expected to fork over $10,000 for the lost drugs which he spends the rest of the evening trying to score with the kids in tow.

    Yes, the Brian Gatewood-Alessandro Tanaka screenplay doesn’t pass up any moment to slip in a fart joke, various displays of bodily functions, and enough profanity for ten Tarantino movies, all to no effect. Worse, the writers have the audacity to pummel the viewer with all of the inappropriate behavior and language from the children and then attempt to redeem them as simply misunderstood kids who just need another kid (Jonah Hill’s character) to understand and appreciate them and set them off on the right course, all after a single evening of wacky adventures. Of course, we know what to expect when the movie opens with Noah performing cunnilingus on Marisa, bringing her to climax, and then getting blown off (not in the good way) by her marking him as a loser to be used and cast aside. Of course, by the end of the evening, he’s found a girl who really loves him making the entire sordid evening dealing with drug lords, pimps and prostitutes and gangstas more than worthwhile. Director David Gordon Green keeps things going even while playing to the most egregious stereotypes as Noah brushes coattails with every strata of society during his night on the town. The bodybuilder emporium where Karl runs his drug empire from is bizarre enough to have generated some laughs if the filmmakers had bothered to use it for more than just visual slapstick, but that’s the slapdash approach that’s present throughout the entirety of the movie, and it lays a gigantic dodo egg.

    No use talking much about performances since most of the actors don’t seem to be trying to do more than hit one-note repeatedly in establishing a characterization. Of the principals, Sam Rockwell does the most to dig into the marrow of his peculiar character, likely simultaneously bipolar and bisexual, but the script seems lacking, and one suspects it’s mostly his own inventiveness that's coming up with the quirky persona he exhibits. Sean Patrick Doyle as Karl’s best friend Garth, a tweaky queen on roller skates, matches the eccentricity of Rockwell’s characterization with one of his own, but he disappears early in the movie. The children all are required to curse and behave abominably (and bonus features on the disc show that in some cases it comes naturally). It’s not much fun thinking about children doing and saying these things for the entertainment of adults.

    Video Quality


    The transfer has been framed at its theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. Color is richly saturated and flesh tones are natural throughout. Sharpness, however, doesn’t always remain consistent. There are occasional moments where the shots seem somewhat softer for no reason. Black levels are excellent, and shadow detail is also outstanding. The film in both its theatrical and extended editions has been divided into 24 chapters.

    Audio Quality


    The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix turns up the volume a bit too loud on occasion with the background rap music which is often too heavy with bass to the detriment of the viewing experience. Otherwise, dialogue has been well recorded and has been locked in the center channel. Ambient sounds are present but haven’t been given much play in the rear channels. The multiple explosions and wrecks in the movie certainly give the LFE channel something to do when it isn’t being overtaxed by the bass-ridden rap music on the soundtrack.

    Special Features


    All of the bonus features are presented in 1080p.

    The disc offers both the theatrical cut (81 minutes) and the extended unrated edition (87 minutes). As there are no additional scenes from one cut to the other, the extended scene moments in the bonus features were likely added back to several sequences in the movie. This review is based on the extended unrated edition of the film.

    There are ten deleted/extended scenes (including an alternate ending addendum to the final confrontation between Noah and Karl). They can be watched individually or in one 26-minute grouping.

    The film’s gag reel runs 2 ¾ minutes.

    “Sits-N-Giggles” is a 3 ¼-minute series of outtakes showing various actors improvising comments during filming, none of which were used in the final picture.

    “For Your Consideration” is a 1-minute vignette with young Landry Bender making any noises that pop into her head.

    “The Making of The Sitter is actually a behind-the-scenes look at the principal actors during breaks between scenes focusing primarily on Jonah Hill’s camaraderie with the three children in the cast.

    “Jonah the Producer” is a ridiculous 5-minute featurette where Jonah talks to (and basically propositions) the parents of Landry Bender (mom) and Max Records (dad) who are serving as on-set guardians for their kids.

    The film’s theatrical trailer runs 2 ¼ minutes.

    The disc is BD-Live ready, but there was no internet content for The Sitter at the website.

    There are promo trailers for The Three Stooges, This Means War, and Immortals.

    The second disc in the set is the combination DVD/digital copy of the movie.

    In Conclusion

    2/5 (not an average)

    The Sitter will be an acquired taste for many moviegoers. Fans of Jonah Hill or the director (who helmed the popular farce Pineapple Express which has a similar tone to this movie) of raunchy comedy involving gross-out nocturnal adventures with a man-child and his charges will likely lap it up. All others beware.

    Matt Hough

    Charlotte, NC


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