Adventures in Babysitting appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Only the movie’s inherent “80s-ness” held it back, as this offered an otherwise strong transfer.
Sharpness was pretty positive. The nature of the photography and the era’s film stock meant it never looked razor-sharp, but it showed more than adequate definition. The only notable softness popped up in a couple of wide, establishing shots; those were mushy but fleeting. No issues with softness arose, as the film remained accurate. No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and I saw no concerns with edge haloes or noise reduction; the film featured a natural but not overwhelming sense of grain. Source flaws failed to become an issue in this clean presentaiton.
Many films from this one’s period suffer from lackluster colors, and I can’t claim that Babysitting totally overcomes those challenges. Still, it showed reasonably natural hues; they weren’t especially peppy, but they demonstrated pretty good clarity. Blacks were fairly dark and deep, and shadows showed nice delineation. Honestly, any “problems” here came from the 80s film stock; I thought the Blu-ray provided a solid representation of the source.
Virtually the same can be said for the film's DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix: it offered a piece that demonstrated the restrictions of its era. The soundstage was acceptable for a picture from 1987. Dialogue clung closely to the center, as did most effects, though they also spread to the sides and occasionally to the rears when necessary; this occurred with decent but not great results. Music occupied the lion's share of the side and rear speakers and did so well enough to add a little oomph to the image.
Quality was generally fine, though the track was never particularly vivid. Dialogue seemed intelligible but could be a bit edgy and thin at times. Effects came across in a similar manner; they were acceptably realistic but tended to lack much power. Music was reasonably full and lively, though the score was never especially impressive. All in all, this was a “B-“ mix based on its age.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to make direct comparisons between this 2012 Blu-ray and the original DVD from 2000. That said, I’m sure the Blu-ray offers substantial improvements, especially in terms of picture quality. The DVD lacked 16X9 enhancement – and looked mediocre even on the 27-inch TV I used 12 years ago. I’d bet it’d look thoroughly awful on my current 50-inch widescreen set, so there’s no question that the Blu-ray provides a tremendous visual upgrade – and likely delivers improved audio as well.
Despite the “25th Anniversary Edition” moniker, the Blu-ray includes virtually no extras. It opens with promos for Frankenweenie and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Sneak Peeks also provides ads for Castle and other TV on DVD/BD products. No trailer for Babysitting shows up here.
I've had easier recommendations to make, but not many. Adventures In Babysitting offers a dull, witless film that might have some nostalgia value but that’s about it. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and perfectly competent audio but lacks supplements. This is a pretty awful movie, but at least the Blu-ray makes it look and sound better than ever.