Blu-ray Review: Jonah Hill Continues His Plans For Movie Domination with ‘The Sitter’

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CHICAGO – Jonah Hill is EVERYWHERE. He was just on the Oscars for his nominated work in “Moneyball,” his work in “21 Jump Street” still stands high on the box office chart, and previews for “Neighborhood Watch” with Ben Stiller & Vince Vaughn have been lighting up theaters. And then there’s “The Sitter,” probably the least of these four films but a reasonable rental if you’re looking for a new comedy and a Blu-ray release that comes with some pretty funny deleted scenes and other bonus material.

While David Gordon Green’s “Your Highness” was a complete failure, his second 2011 comedy was more of a near-miss (and the 25 minutes of deleted footage on the Blu-ray reveal that it was even closer to working than I suspected after my theatrical screening). It’s more of a disappointment than pure torture. And Hill’s stellar comic timing is actually the best thing about it, either in is theatrical or unrated form, both available on the same Blu-ray.

“The Sitter” is not unlike “Pineapple Express” in that it’s about a journey of a hapless character that leads him to some pretty dangerous situations. It’s also probably better if you’re stoned. (For the record, I think “Pineapple” is one of the best comedies of the last ten years, so don’t take this comparison as one of quality in any way.) The problem is that “The Sitter” never gets the right rhythm. Brian Gatewood & Alessandro Tanaka’s debut script lurches instead of flows and the cut scenes make it clear that a lot of the movie was improvised and restructured in the editing room. Every time the movie works – and there definitely are a few laughs – you can be sure it’s going to be followed by a scene that does not click. It’s a decent comedy that’s sometimes funny and sometimes pretty bad. Lower your expectations and it could make a decent rental, but considering Jonah Hill’s hot streak lately, that’s faint praise indeed.

As for the Blu-ray, some of the deleted scenes are quite funny (especially those involving the fearless Sam Rockwell) but I’m not sure any should have definitely been left in the film. The gag reel is pretty funny and the featurettes are decent although most follow that stupid Fox formula or mini-featurette length instead of just bundling them into one longer piece.

The Sitter
The Sitter
Photo credit: Fox

Jonah Hill rides out one outrageously wild night in this hilarious comedy from the director of Pineapple Express. Suburban slacker Noah (Hill) is watching a neighbor’s kids when he gets a booty call from his horny girlfriend in the city. To hook up with her, Noah takes to the streets, but his urban adventure spins out of control as he finds himself on the run from a maniacal druglord. Raunchy laughs and insane action - it’s all in a night’s work for The Sitter.

Special Features:
o Deleted Scenes
o Alternate Ending
o Sits-N-Giggles
o The Making of The Sitter
o Extended Scenes
o Gag Reel
o For Your Consideration
o Jonah The Producer

“The Sitter” stars Jonah Hill, Ari Graynor, Sam Rockwell, J.B. Smoove, Max Records, Landry Bender, and Kevin Hernandez. It was written by Brian Gatewood & Alessandro Tanaka and directed by David Gordon Green. It is rated R and was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 20th, 2012. content director Brian Tallerico

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