The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Touchstone - 1987
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 102 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Stereo
Subtitles:English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Elizabeth Shue, Keith Coogan, Anthony Raap, Maia Brewton, Penelope Ann Miller
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Music by: Michael Kamen
Written by: David Simkins
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 7, 2012
Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue) agrees to babysit after her dread date stands her up. Expecting a dull evening, Chris settles down with three kids for a night of TV...and boredom. But when her frantic friend Brenda calls and pleads to be rescued from the bus station in downtown Chicago, the evening soon explodes into an endless whirl of hair-raising adventures! Babysitter and kids leave their safe suburban surroundings and head for the heart of the big city, never imagining how terrifyingly funny their expedition will become!
Adventures in babysitting was probably my first real experience with a film that I would deem an unexpected pleasure. I first saw it on home video after my wife (then girlfriend) insisted we check it out. For me the only thing it had going for it was that it starred the chick from The Karate Kid. Fifteen minutes or so in and I was blissfully along for the ride. This is the film that made me a permanent Elizabeth Shue fan. I love the concept that comingles these innocent characters getting caught up well over their heads and working their way out of it using ingenuity, guile and pure dumb luck. There’s a little light action, suspense and a few thrills to go along with blend of comedy and family oriented theme.
I love David Simkins’ script which is chock full of witty banter, purposeful humor, and one or two (okay maybe more than that) forgivably corny moments. Elizabeth Shue is charmingly sassy and conveys just the right amount of innocence and cautious determination as she leads the younger members of the cast all of whom shine. My only complaint would be the rather annoying “Brenda” played by Penelope Ann Miller. I am not sure if it is how the character is drawn or Miller’s portrayal but either way she is painful to watch. Everyone else contributes to the fun. Here are a few of my favorite moments:
- Sarah meets “Thor”
- Mrs. Anderson mistaking Bleak(The mob boss) for the caterer at the party
- Singin’ the blues
- Daryl and the hooker
- Daryl and the chick at the Frat party
- Bleak and Graydon “Bring me the magazine”
- The long walk in the rafters
- Sarah in trouble
Adventures in babysitting may be a bit dated now but it is still lots of fun and hasn’t lost any of its charm which speaks volumes for director Chris Columbus, writer David Simkins and the delightful performances by the young members of the cast. I thoroughly enjoyed this revisit and am pleased to now own it on Blu-ray.
The rating is for thematic material, brief peril and mild language/violence.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Adventures in babysitting comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.1 Mbps.
This is a solid looking high definition Blu-ray catalog release from Disney. Boasting digitally restored imagery it features clean, well depicted colors that offer a good mix of secondary hues that mate well with the source material. Resolution is definable with varying degrees of refinement that can be scene dependent. Sharpness wavers, which results in some scenes offering lucid clarity while others are noticeably lacking well defined edges and finely rendered detail. Fidelity may be questionable here and there but I believe that in most instances these minor issues are innate and probably attributable to the use of lighting, hazy/smoke filled environs and the film stock used. Black and white levels are stable which gives a fair level of pop to colors and brighter exterior sequences while keeping darker or low lit segments looking noticeably punchy. Grain is present with a prominent texture and film like rendering that occasionally takes on heavier emphasis but it never bothered me. I haven’t seen it on home video in years but am confident this presentation offers fans the opportunity to see it looking better than ever.
The lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack clearly renders dialogue, music and atmospherics via a front loaded presentation. There is no low frequency detail mixed to the subwoofer but there really is little call for it. The dated elements in the recording never sounded thin or dynamically starved and sounded just fine.
There are no bonus features.
Adventures in babysitting has a timeless charm that makes it a perfect fit for family entertainment (note the rating for younger viewers). Twenty five years later I still find myself chuckling aloud and enjoying the same moments that originally made me a fan. It makes its debut on Blu-ray from Disney featuring digitally restored high definition video that easily surpasses any previous home video release making this offering worthy of consideration for fans. The lack of bonus material is disappointing however I am still pleased to addAdventures in babysitting to my Blu-ray collection.
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