That time again Hi-Def fans – new to Blu-ray time!  We have five more trendy titles courtesy of Buena Vista Home Entertainment that we’re gonna examine for their upgrade possibilities.  (Though out of courtesy I’m not mentioning the crappy lack of ANY features on these – including some in a shameful 25th Anniversary Edition!)  Watching tots, going back to school, examining past relationships and the hassles of being an angel – we’ve got "Adventures in Babysitting," "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," "Grosse Pointe Blank," "High Fidelity," and "The Preacher's Wife" all below!




   Title: "Adventures in Babysitting"

   Grade: 4

   Cast: Elisabeth Shue, Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp

   Director: Chris Columbus

   Rating: PG-13

   Runtime: 102 minutes

   Release Company: Buena Vista Home Entertainment





The Flick: Dated yes, but the comedy combo of Elisabeth Shue at her most earnest and hot and a pre-"Home Alone" Chris Columbus in his directing debut makes for a movie winner no matter what decade.  (That Jonah Hill kid watching vehicle has nothing on this babysitter!)  Plus there’s classic music, sexual teen angst, Thor worship and Albert Collins forcing folks to sing the blues – Shue can babysit me anytime!  

Best Hidden Gem: Seeing an early Vincent D’Onofrio as a garage guy mistaken for Thor – so cool!

Worth the Moola: Skip the babysitter and stay in with this one!  (But get that extras issue fixed guys!)




   Title: "Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion"

   Grade: 4

   Cast: Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow, Janeane Garofalo

   Director: David Mirkin

   Rating: R

   Runtime: 92 minutes

   Release Company: Buena Vista Home Entertainment





The Flick: This is a comedy not nearly given it’s clever writing due diligence, with a seriously fetching Mira Sorvino and pal Lisa Kudrow playing a couple of dim gals heading back to their reunion.  Director David Mirkin not only keeps the laughs fats and furious here, but also provides one of the most amazing co-star cast that includes the likes of a sullen Janeane Garofalo, a bubbly Camryn Manheim and geeky yet charming Alan Cumming.

Best Hidden Gem: As an angry, bitter and barb spewing feminist type, Garofalo almost steals the show here!

Worth the Moola: Funny comes at all levels of intelligence – this one wisely covers the entire spectrum.




   Title: "Grosse Pointe Blank"

   Grade: 3

   Cast: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd

   Director: George Armitage

   Rating: R

   Runtime: 107 minutes

   Release Company: Buena Vista Home Entertainment





The Flick: A so-so comedic story of sorts about a hitman who must face the high school relationship demons in his past is given memorable tone by highly underrated "Miami Blues" helmer George Armitage.  Mixing equal parts comedy and action is his specialty and here he takes frankly mediocre material and elevates it.  Plus the chemistry between Cusack and an early Minnie Driver, sis playing boss Joan Cusack and life pal Jeremy Piven make this one worth shooting for.   

Best Hidden Gem: Alan Arkin plays a thankless and wry role as Cusack’s forced therapist – fix or die!

Worth the Moola: Above average elements make this average story go bullet speed.




   Title: "High Fidelity"

   Grade: 2

   Cast: John Cusack, Jack Black, Todd Louiso

   Director: Stephen Frears

   Rating: R

   Runtime: 113 minutes

   Release Company: Buena Vista Home Entertainment





The Flick: What could have been a great re-teaming of Grifters guys John Cusack and Director Stephen Frears is instead a self-indulgent meal of male movie insecurity and all the boring side dishes that go with it.  (Meaning lots of scenes of relationship angst – great!)  The only time this one comes to life are in the scenes in the old school LP store with Cusack riffing with fellow disc jockey’s Jack Black and Todd Louiso – turntables provide truth.

Best Hidden Gem: Again, love when I see John and sis Joan go at it, but this one belongs to Tim Robbins playing a delightful douchebag boyfriend.

Worth the Moola: Some great scenes – but have the fast-forward button handy.  (The songs do kick ass on Blu-ray though!)




   Title: "The Preacher’s Wife"

   Grade: 1

   Cast: Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, Courtney B. Vance

   Director: Penny Marshall

   Rating: PG

   Runtime: 124 minutes

   Release Company: Buena Vista Home Entertainment





The Flick: What the frig were Penny Marshall and Denzel Washington doing attached to this turkey?  Horribly pretentious and predictable, this go-for-the-heartstrings cheese fest that has Washington playing an angel, the late Whitney Houston a preacher’s wife and the surly Courtney B. Vance as a disillusioned holy man is so safe, so gamey and so out of the by-the-numbers dim drama book that you can almost feel Marshall ticking off the cookie cutter checklist.  (Stop counting that money Marshall!)  

Best Hidden Gem: At least "Running Scared" lead man Gregory Hines gets a chance to shine playing a sleazy and slimy man of god out to make a profit.

Worth the Moola: Even Blu-ray can't upgrade this one – money makes Marshall and company do ugly things.