The Sitter

dvd_battle royale

Hey kids, it’s This Week In DVD time again! There’s a whopping six releases worth buying this week, and four of them are foreign language flicks. Make of that what you will. Look below for my recommendations on Gainsbourg, The Sitter, Hop, The Muppets, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and… Clown Hunt? As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Battle Royale It’s the near future, and Japan has grown so tired of their violently out of control youth that they’ve organized an annual event featuring a randomly chosen class forced to fight to the death on a distant island. This release has been a long time coming. The movie is over ten years old, but while it’s utterly fantastic this is the first US release for reasons of misguided political correctness. It’s wonderfully violent and bloody film that also happens to have some interesting things to say about society and the cycle of violence… but you can ignore all that if you choose and just focus on the stylishly violent encounters between kids, cliques and even friends. Anchor Bay has released the film in two versions. The single disc only includes the director’s cut, which adds some interesting character bits but is slightly inferior to the theatrical. The one listed to the right though is their beautiful four-disc set that includes the theatrical and director’s cuts plus the mediocre sequel plus multiple extras.


Drinking Games

We have another great week for movies out on DVD and Blu-ray. However, which one would be best for a drinking game? On one hand, a game for The Muppets would be great, but we already published one of those in November, so check that out if you want to knock a few back with Kermit, Fozzie and the old gang. We could have also done one for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but those could throw you into a depression or put you to sleep. So, let’s raise a glass to the current box office champ and Oscar nominee Jonah Hill with his December headliner, David Gordon Green’s The Sitter. After all, if you’re going to watch this new adventure in babysitting, you’ll want to have a few drinks in your belly.



There are two things you don’t want to watch getting made – sausage and the official Film School Rejects’s year-end worst-of list. Hideous, dirty, bloody, illegal stuff; many animals die in the process (disclaimer – no animals were harmed in the making of this list). It’s a fool’s errand, a losing battle, a terrible way to dig up the past pains of the year’s biggest flops – reverse therapy for cinephiles. But damn if the results aren’t hilarious. For this year’s Worst Films of 2011 list, our own Kevin Carr and myself teamed up to pick the most wretched of the wretched, the worst of the worst, the Adam Sandler films we’re all struggling to forget. There were many emails and even more tears. I doubt we’ll ever be able to look each other in the eye again. By the time Sir Carr and I were done volleying bad films back and forth at each other via the electronic mail system like a game of cinematic badminton that absolutely no one was capable of winning (and, really, how does one win badminton?), we were far too exhausted to even attempt to number the following twenty-two films in any kind of order. No matter, they’re all bad. We’ll leave it to you, dear readers, to take to the comments to call what you think is the worst (and what we’ve, quite unforgivably, left off).


Katherine Heigl and Jon Bon Jovi in New Year's Eve

See? It wasn’t us this time. No, instead the Garry Marshall/Katherine Fugate team went from the stunningly high $56.2m (Valentine’s Day opening weekend) to the surprisingly mediocre $13.7m for New Year’s Eve. Hey, maybe American audiences are starting to shape and choose the better films with their dollars. Or maybe it just didn’t appeal to the right demographic. There’s only so much Ashton Kutcher the chick flick crowd can even endure. Now that he’s on Two and a Half Men on a weekly basis, they don’t need to go to the cineplexes to get their Kutcher fix. So, there you have it. Blame Two and a Half Men for New Year’s Eve disappointing.



This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr hunkers down and braces for award season. He also prepares for an onslaught of celebrity guest stars in New Year’s Eve, which features a poster that looks like a “Friends available to chat” sidebar on Facebook. In order to watch all the movies for the week, Kevin hires the only babysitter available… Jonah Hill. What could possibly go wrong with that? Fortunately this frees him up to see some of the smaller releases, like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, W.E. and I Melt with You. And he wraps up the week wondering why everyone needs to talk about him.


The Reject Report

Like a mic. Drop the ball. Walk off the stage. Oh, I guess you have to say something witty or snarky before that, don’t you? Well how about some box office analysis? We’ve got two big hitters opening up this weekend, both of them reaching for different audiences, and both of them likely to have decent openings here. The star-studded girlie night is probably going to beat the R-rated Adventures in Babysitting remake, though. Okay, it’s not really a remake, but, I mean, come on. Just look at that trailer. That film, by the way, is The Sitter starring Jonah Hill. He’s found moderate success in his newly acquired leading man status. A $17.5m opening for Get Him to the Greek was impressive enough in the summer of 2010 despite the film not having much of a branding behind it. The Sitter is also the new film by David Gordon Green, who had good numbers with Pineapple Express ($23.2m opening weekend), not so much with Your Highness ($9.3m opening weekend). The Sitter has a good chance of coming in somewhere between those two, a little less than what Jonah Hill pulled for Get Him to the Greek. Expect The Sitter to make somewhere between $15-16m, a good showing but not enough to topple the other new release here.



Filmmaker David Gordon Green continues his strange journey through ’80s cinematic iterations with The Sitter, which resurrects the babysitting comedy form most famously portrayed in the minor classic Adventures in Babysitting. And if it’s still not entirely clear why the once-respected indie auteur has devoted such energy to painstakingly mainstream work, at least The Sitter is a tolerably mediocre trifle, not an abomination on par with Your Highness, Green’s other comedy from earlier this year. Jonah Hill, sporting his since-shed heft for the final time, stars as aimless college dropout Noah Griffith. Convoluted circumstances find him at the home of his mom’s friends the Pedullas, babysitting their three nightmare children. Eldest son Slater (Max Records) is a cauldron of anxieties, daughter Blithe (Landry Bender) is an aspiring celebutard, and the recently adopted Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez) loves destroying things. When Noah’s manipulative love interest Marisa (Ari Graynor) promises sex in exchange for a cocaine delivery, he packs the kids in the minivan and a surreal road trip through Brooklyn begins.



David Gordon Green is one of those rare filmmakers who has the comic power to make fairly despicable or unlikable characters oddly sympathetic, and oddly, likable . While Green believes everyone in the world is likable – and how he thinks that I have no idea – he certainly seems to love his antiheroes. Very few David Gordon Green characters one would want to hang out with in real life, but on the big screen, he makes oblivious, frustrating, and moronic fools highly watchable. Hopefully that’ll remain the case with his latest R-rated comedy, The Sitter. Thanks to David Gordon Green being able to say a 1,000 words a minute, similarly to Danny McBride, in my 15-minute conversation we were able to cover a lot of ground. From the greatness of breakfast tacos, a topic I didn’t foresee being discussed, to Soul Surfer topping Your Highness earlier this year, Green goes in every direction possible with any mentioned topic. Here’s what The Sitter director had to say about why one should live in Austin, going through hell with actors, dealing with ego, and when too much Sam Rockwell crying becomes self-indulgent.


Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This is it: the final month of the year, a.k.a. the month to shell out as much cash as you got at the theaters. December is always the best and worst movie-going time. There’s so many damn pictures hitting the screens, and it’s the time where everyone’s running around, trying to get things done before the New Year. It’s wonderful, annoying chaos. This December is different, though. In fact, it’s going to be about 100 times more chaotic. Folks, if you plan on seeing all of the good to the “this will be up for Oscars, kid!” movies this month, plan on forking out a lot of dough. This is unquestionably the strongest month for films this year. Without further ado, here are the ones to end the year on a great note with:



Here’s something you won’t hear me say very often – thank you, Hollywood. David Gordon Green has long been my go-to choice when naming my favorite contemporary filmmaker, what with his stunning works like George Washington, All the Real Girls, Snow Angels, even his crack at a thriller, Undertow. DGG’s first four features were all finely tuned dramas that, while all different, seemed to fit into one vision – one clear, dramatic, character-driven vision. And then came Pineapple Express. While I am a fan of DGG’s stoner comedy, there’s a part of me that hates it, because his success with that film led directly to his ability to make the dismal Your Highness, and a continued spiral into films that seem to rely on cheap comedic conceits for the giggles (marijuana! medieval thingies! James Franco!). Next up, The Sitter, a Jonah Hill-starring affair that, at worst, looks like a direct rip-off of Adventures in Babysitting. Are my expectations low? Yes. And that does not make me happy to type. But there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Columbia Pictures is reportedly in final negotiations to buy the rights to Evan Mandery‘s novel “Q,“ which was published just this last August. Should the deal go through, Green would write and direct the adaptation, which is blissfully described as “an unconventional love story.” Swoon.



What is Movie News After Dark? It’s not messing about. Just doin’ the news. We begin tonight with one of many new images from The Adventures of Tintin. For one of those motion capture, lost in the shadow of the uncanny valley movies, this looks pretty slick. Finally we get to see Andy Serkis act in a movie. Or not.



It may not take brass balls to introduce your film to the world with a woman reaching orgasm, but apparently it takes a tongue. After a brief bit featuring Jonah Hill and some youngin’s, the trailer for The Sitter heats up with a loser (who at least is being used for third base) taking a job as a babysitter despite his heavy use of curse worse and his uncontrollable staring at the feminine form. Does it echo every other R-Rated comedy that Hill has been a part of? Yes. Is that a bad thing?



The Hollywood Reporter article announcing the involvement of Jonah Hill in director David Gordon Green’s next comedy, an irreverent look at babysitting called The Sitter, says that the film will harken to 1987’s Adventures in Babysitting, which starred Elisabeth Shue who gets caught up in a whirlwind of trouble after taking a babysitting job on a whim…


Jonathan Levine to direct The Sitter

After channeling the 1990s for The Wackness, Jonathan Levine is heading back further in time to bring us The Sitter,

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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
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published: 01.28.2015

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