Can you change a tire? Sing the blues? Deal with a very gruff Thor? Elizabeth Shue can do such things, and did such in 1987's Adventures in Babysitting, which is headed to Blu-ray. Come see if she survived the HD transition.
When Chris Parker (Shue) agrees to babysit, she expects a night of TV... and boredom. But when her frantic friend calls and pleads to be rescued from a downtown Chicago bus station, Chris and the kids pack up and leave their safe suburban surroundings for the heart of the big city.
Ahhhh… the 80s. Only in that decade could you present a simple situation in a movie, such as going to pick up a scared friend from a downtown bus station, and turn it into a complete adventure (no pun intended). Adventures in Babysitting is an outrageous trip (pun intended) that goes through several comedic facets before coming full circle and resolving all problems. You can consider this a classic because you don't see this anymore with an 'R' rating attached to it.
Elizabeth Shue, before she welcomed Marty McFly back from the past (and future), got her first lead role with Adventures in Babysitting, and she certainly took advantage of it. She brings a believable flavor to what could be anyone's babysitter. It wouldn't surprise me if she was babysitting in-between gigs. She is fun to watch, strong with a parental type presence, and she gets through the adventure without a doubt. She is the reason this film works and no other reason.
As for the other memorable personalities, if you look closely you'll find people like Penelope Ann Miller (Saving Lincoln, Raging Bull II, The Artist) as the large glasses Brenda. You'll also run into a well-known typecast jerk in Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, Parks and Recreation, The Cabin in the Woods) as (GASP) a-hole boyfriend Mike. You will also find a very different, young Vincent D'Onofrio as Dawson. Not bad for a smalltime 80s flick.
Despite how this review might read, this movie isn't perfect. The situations in the film are a little over the top, the dialogue is a bit goofy, and it all belongs squarely (and only) in the 80s. This type of film would never work nowadays without an 'R' rating and possibly a trip to Vegas to celebrate a bachelor party. As long as you go into this film knowing what the heck it's about, where it's from and what to expect then you will probably enjoy it. It's going to be a tough sell (sadly) for the newer generation of moviegoers.
Overall, it's a classic. Adventures in Babysitting deserves to be brought out again and remind us just how much fun a film can be. It might be lost on the young ones, but it will be fun nostalgia for the folks who lived this decade.
Shifting gears just a bit, let's discuss the Blu-ray.
The Blu-ray is decent, but not beautiful. There is quite a bit of graininess and artifacts left over from the transfer to HD. It is possible that the film wasn't exactly the best quality when it was transferred, as clearly something simply isn't right. There are moments, especially when shot inside, where you get less grain and you get some pretty clean and crisp colors coming through (very strong reds, yellows and blues). For the most part, there's just too many artifacts to completely love this transfer. Thankfully, there is no color banding at all.
As for the audio, you get 5.1 DTS-HD, which sounds great.
Regretfully, there are no features.