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Adventures in Babysitting: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), French & Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 102 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 7, 2012
  • List Price: $20.00

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Ah, the 1980s, when teen films could exist in abundance without heavy doses of irony, drug abuse and R-rated language. This zany family film marked the directorial of Chris Columbus who would later go on to write or direct such enduring classics as Gremlins, Mrs. Doubtfire, and perennial holiday classic Home Alone. Honing early glimpses of that family friendly and fun style, Adventures in Babysitting stars Elizabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) in her break-out role as teenaged babysitter Chris Parker. Stood up by her boyfriend for a special date night, Chris instead takes on the task of babysitting for pre-teen Sara (Maia Brewton) and her fifteen-year-old brother Brad (Keith Coogan), who also has a heavy crush on Chris. When Chris’ best friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miler) runs away from home and calls her for help, Chris has to pack up the kids and Brad’s best friend in the station wagon and head to downtown Chicago to rescue her. Thus starts a seemingly endless night of adventures, mishaps, and dangers that play like more like a series of vignettes. From the first flat tire on the freeway, we know we’re in for a wild ride, especially when the tow truck driver with the hook for a hand shows up. In one gag, the group are trapped in a Cadillac as it’s being stolen by a car thief. They continue to move from one crazy situation to the next.

The goofy dialogue and family friendly atmosphere unfolds with a charming ease that looks forward to the films to come from Columbus and is pure, 80s fluff. It’s a standout comic role for Shue that would catapult her into the kind of stardom that would allow her to achieve the Oscar-nominated success of Leaving Las Vegas, perhaps the high point of her acting career.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

This latest batch of titles from Disney/Touchstone, which include Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity, among others, have been disappointing so far, to say the least. Adventures in Babysitting is the worst so far. I might say that it is owing to its vintage, but given that I have seen far older films that have looked much better on Blu-ray, from Disney even, I won’t immediately jump to that conclusion. It looks more like very little effort has actually been put into restoring these films for Blu-ray. Adventures in Babysitting is soft, shows a high amount of grain, looks generally dull in most places, and definitely has some video noise in darker areas and in backgrounds like flat colored walls behind characters and so forth. One strength is flesh tones and primary colors that look strong and natural.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

There’s nothing much to talk about with this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack. In all honesty, it almost sounds reprocessed when the score and musical numbers kick in and the ambience picks up in the surround channels. Dialogue is a little on the dull side and some hints of crackle can be detected.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

Welcome to adventures in zippo, nada, zilch – nothing here on this barebones “anniversary edition.”

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Adventures in Babysitting is an exercise in pure 80s nonsense, but it is charming, fun, and easy to watch. Its absurdist comedy offers a few laughs while the straightforward style will sit well with all members of the family.

Additional Screen Capture

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Purchase Adventures in Babysitting on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Download Adventures In Babysitting on iTunes

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B0080BFWAE[/amazon-product]

Purchase Adventures in Babysitting on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Download Adventures In Babysitting on iTunes

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com


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