The Sitter may be the last movie featuring the “heavy” version of Jonah Hill. With the many pounds he’s since lost, many movie-industry minds are wondering if the Jonah Hill-ness of his screen persona, flaunted so prodigiously in the likes of Knocked Up, Get Him to the Greek, and Superbad, has disappeared from the scales too. But until Jonah 2.0 gets his chance, The Sitter couldn’t capture his trash-talking, man-child, king-of-comeback essence more boldly, more lovingly, or with such blatant vulgarity. Hill plays Noah, a jobless twentysomething layabout still living with his divorced mom along with the delusion that he has a hot girlfriend (she only keeps him around for oral talents that are unrelated to speech). As a favor that might help Mom with her own sad love life, he agrees to a one-night babysitting stand for the neighbors and their three wildly dissimilar but equally messed-up children. The night progresses through slapstick, farce, adventure, romance, danger, pathos, and eventual catharsis for everyone. (Unfortunately there’s a touch of maudlin, sentimental corn in the mix too.) The children are as important to the escapades as Noah and are the primary source of his stupid/smooth shtick that mixes clever put-downs, terrified jabbering, and hilariously relentless patter of urban slang vernacular.

Studio: 20th Century Fox
Year: 2012
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Run time: 102 minutes
Rating: R

Audio: DTS HD MA lossless 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD/ 1 DVD
Region: A

The biggest criticism one could levy on the film is its premise, which may seem unoriginal and typical of a Hollywood production. Its humor sometimes is lost in its eccentricity and surreal quality. Other times, the film’s comedy seems malicious and hammer-headed. Hill who has always lacked charm (but made up for it in mean-spirited humor) does very little to elevate the premise or shine with what’s given to him. The film certainly doesn’t match the inventive comedy of Superbad and has a very rudimentary treatment to it. For David Gordon Green, the reception of The Sitter is slightly better than the terrible Your Highness with Danny McBride but doesn’t score a major hit for him in any department. Among Amazon reviewers, the film has been almost unanimously labeled “unfunny,” “predictable,” “forced” and “disappointing” while at least one person has commented on the irreverent humor involving young children, which of course comes a socially uptight point of view considering how kids truly act these days. Nevertheless, their criticisms are relevant and not totally harsh.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the film for its irreverent comedy but mostly for its positive messages whether it be being who you are, being with people who like you for you rather than what you can do for them, promoting fathers to stand up to actually be fathers, fitting in to the family structure, admonishing marital infidelity as well as its effect on the family, standing up for yourself and being yourself. I also enjoyed the performances of all of the younger actors particularly Max Records who I originally found annoying when playing the spoiled brat in Where the Wild Things Are. I think the film does a reasonably good job with presenting young characters who I could in some way relate to or see myself as when I was younger.

I recognize the film isn’t the greatest as it is rife with flaws and has a number of aspects that may offend certain viewers (the pro-gay sentiment may truly upset conservative views but that’s a different, complex and heated tangent subject to go on). Yet, despite its crude, sometimes surreal and weird humor, it made a positive impression on me, which I can’t help but feel. I agree with those who criticize the film. It’s not great in any way but while it may be embarrassing to admit in the virtual sea of people who hate the film, I enjoyed the film enough to see it twice in the theaters. For whatever reason or qualities the film displayed, I’d have to say that I came away from the experience feeling a little better than I did coming into it, which was the little “great experience” I got from it despite its flaws.
Movie Quality: 8/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 1:85:1 aspect ratio. Colors are deep and well saturated throughout the entire presentation. Blacks are strong and almost inky at times. Nowhere did the image ever appear soft with such strong colors and black levels. Flesh tones were also natural. The film carries a very clean look throughout which some might enjoy, while others might not be too happy with.
Print Quality: 9.5/10

The audio is presented in a DTS-HD MA l0ssless 5.1 mix. This film is a dialogue driven film with the occasional soundtrack mix peering into the soundfield. Dialogue was clean through the center channel with a nice degree of depth. I never had to raise or lower the volume to make out what was being said. The soundfield does get a few effects into play, but nothing major. The soundtrack takes advantage of the soundfield with audio also lightly pouring through the rears. I found this to be more of a front heavy experience due to the type of film.
Print Quality: 9.5/10

Special Features

  • Deleted/Alternate/Extended Scenes [HD]
  • Gag Reel [HD]
  • Sits-N-Giggles [HD]
  • For Your Consideration [HD]
  • The Making of The Sitter [HD]
  • Jonah the Producer [HD]
  • Theatrical Trailer [HD]
  • Sneak Peeks [HD]

Special Features: 8/10

Final Thoughts

However, I think everybody’s experience is different and it’s all in the eye of the beholder. With whatever eye that might it be, I believe everyone’s opinion is entitled to them and that if based on a rational merit, it is also relevant and valuable.
Overall Rating: 9/10