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Blu-ray Review: The Sitter (2011)

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With all the terrible comedies that come out on a monthly basis from different “funnymen,” it’s hard to distinguish one from the other. Adam Sandler’s movies get progressively poorer in quality (which is saying something, when you consider he started out with Billy Madison), and the world simply shrugs its shoulders when a trailer for the new Seth Rogan flick pops up in theaters. As such, we have been trained to abhor and be wary of these movies. Likewise, America (and probably the rest of the world) has a tendency to shudder when they hear that portly Jonah Hill is starring in another comedy.

So, when they actually make a movie that is something halfway amusing, you have to stop and wonder what went wrong in the making of their film — or if you’ve become just as dulled-down in the wits department like the uncouth youngsters these moving pictures are aimed at. Maybe it was the Vicodin, the scotch, or a combination of the two, but I actually — for some unexplainable reason — enjoyed The Sitter. And that’s damn funny coming from me — especially since just about every other critic out there has hated the film.

Straight from the opening scene of the film, you get the feeling the movie hates you. We begin with Jonah Hill performing cunnilingus on a slender, mostly attractive young woman (yes, that’s really how it starts). As it turns out, however, Noah (Hill) is just being used by the girl: she’s in it for her and her alone. So, after being rejected for what is possibly the eighteenth-hundred time by a member of any sex, Noah retreats to his home, only to receive an offer from his loving mother to babysit her friend’s three unruly heathens — a proposal he accepts because he loves his mum (awww!) and wants her to be happy.

But his night with the Trio of the Damned — Blithe (Landry Bender), a 10-year-old with a make-up fetish and who has seen way too much Reality TV; Slater (Max Records), a nervous wreck of a young teen who hasn’t found his way out of the closet yet; and Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez), the immigrant foster terror with a knack for cherry bombs — is not going to make him happy. Aside from the fact that the kids are next-to-impossible to deal with (the result of proud parenting, no doubt), his “girlfriend” from the beginning of the movie is finally willing to “let him in” — providing he can score some cocaine, that is.

Oh, the things we do for love, eh? So, Noah packs the kids into a minivan and heads out for a night on the town, meeting up with quirky characters that make the folks from Martin Scorsese’s After Hours seem perfectly normal by comparison: a nutty drug dealer named Karl (Sam Rockwell), a group of hip urbanites (including Method Man), et al. And the movie just goes on and on, climbing into one bed of jokes after another as Pineapple Express director David Gordon Green tries to hone in on what he’s supposed to be doing here.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings The Sitter to home video via this “Totally Irresponsible Edition” Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo that is on par with other recent releases of new movies: crisp and clear. The set includes both the original R-rated theatrical cut of the film as well as an unrated extended version that runs about six-minutes longer. Special features include several deleted scenes, a gag reel, some unused improvisational lines, several featurettes about the making of the film, and trailers for other Fox titles.

The jokes are rocky and dumb. The moments of heartfelt drama as Noah bonds with the kids feel completely out of place, as are the portions of the movie wherein Sam Rockwell’s psychotic character come into play (they’re supposed to be weird, yes — but these come out as being too weird for the movie). The plot itself seems like a barely-tactful way of combining modern humor with ‘80s filmmaking. Frankly, I think it was this inattention to detail in general and the fact that the project is pretty unintelligent to begin with that made it so humorous to me.

And it’s for that reason alone that I actually recommend The Sitter: because it’s stupid.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.
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