Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.
Jonah Hill is currently setting the box office on fire with his ’80s retread 21 Jump Street. His previous attempt at ’80s comedy, The Sitter, which is, let’s be honest, a foul-mouthed rip-off of Adventures in Babysitting, didn’t have the same type of success. That’s not to say it’s a bad movie, however; merely an innocuous and mediocre one that has a few good laughs here and there. Hill is an early 20-something slacker who still lives at home and has dropped out of school. As a favor to his mother, he watches three rambunctious rapscallions, including a pretty demeaning Latino stereotype. As they make their way into the city, they encounter drug dealers, gang members, Bar Mitzvahs, carjackers, parental angst, possible romance and gunshots to the testicles. Loaded with copious amounts of swears and sex gags, The Sitter is a fun attempt at pseudo-nostalgia, but in the end, you just kind of want to watch Adventures in Babysitting instead.
I feel like a victim of abuse. Once, long ago, National Lampoon and I were the bestest of friends and lovers you’d ever see, bonding over movies like Animal House and Vacation. But then something happened. National Lampoon started coming home with booze on his breath, looking for a fight, releasing garbage like Last Resort and Repli-Kate, before just straight-up traumatizing me with Dorm Daze and Gold Diggers. With the newest Lampoon feature, the 300-parody Awesomest Maximus, I came back, believing the promises that he changed and wanted to start over, that he loved me and wanted a life with me. But within two minutes, the gay jokes started. The racial jokes started. The fat jokes started. And even worse, none of them were funny. They were desperate. They were pathetic. And as I bravely headed for the remote control, Maximus actually made me smile — not the movie itself, but the fact that I was finally courageous enough to hit the eject button.
From the producers of Prison Break comes Breakout Kings, a show about, um, people who catch criminals who break out of prison. OK, producers of Breakout Kings, I have a question: Did one of you guys break out of prison, or have a loved one who did? Because you dudes seem awfully fascinated by this concept, which admittedly is very fun and entertaining, and a wholly original take on the formula. Take a group of quirky law-breakers, each with a secret past and a not-so-secret talent for dissecting the next moves of runaway convicts, hire them as a makeshift investigative unit with U.S. Marshals harboring a few secrets of their own, put them in volatile situations that could eff up their parole, and let the sparks fly. It is great television, and a just a really great take on the crime series. Just like the first season of Prison Break was, for the most part.