New Line Home Cinema presents
Mr. Nanny (1992)
"I hope your Blue Cross is paid up..."- Corinne (Mother Love)
Stars: Hulk Hogan
Other Stars: Sherman Hemsley, Austin Pendleton, Robert Gorman, Madeline Zima, Raymond O'Conner, Mother Love, David Johansen
Director: Michael Gottleib
MPAA Rating: PG for comic action and mild language
Run Time: 01h:23m:52s
Release Date: 2002-09-03
DVD ReviewI curse Chris Columbus for directing Home Alone, and I curse John Hughes for writing it (Columbus should consider himself lucky I'm not cursing him for Bicentennial Man too). Why? Because ever since that movie made about a billion dollars worldwide, nearly every quickie kids comedy has had the same basic plot—inventive kids set traps to physically harm authority figures, and laughter ensues. In theory. I admit, when done well, these gags can be pretty funny, the live-action equivalent of a Tom and Jerry cartoon. When done poorly, you spend less time laughing at the jokes and more time worrying about the abused adult's spinal cord.
Mr. Nanny is certainly a lesser entry in the genre, despite the starring role for master thespian Hulk Hogan (you think I'm being facetious, but that wrestling stuff is at least equivalent to any soap opera). He plays Sean, an out-of-work former wrestler haunted by his tragic last match. To earn some extra cash, he takes a job as a bodyguard for the children of a rich software inventor (Austin Pendleton), despite the fact that he "hates kids" (don't worry, I'm sure we'll be surprised to discover he has a heat of gold. Well, the dumbest among us will be surprised, anyway). Taking more than a few pages from one of the more depressing chapters of the Big Book of Children's Film Clichés, the kids have been abusing their former nannies as a way of getting attention from their distracted father (mom is dead). It's up to Hogan to turn the little ones into Hulkamaniacs, though he'll have to endure a lot of abuse first.
Like many misguided kid pics, Mr. Nanny is extremely violent, but escapes any charges of extremism by making every torturous scene out to be extra comical and downplaying the consequences. Thus, when the kids basically drop a toaster in Hogan's bathtub, it's funny, because omigod, his HAIR is sticking UP! Towards the end, when the kids are kidnapped by the requisite lunatic, the devilish Mr. Thanatos (David Johansen) who wants to steal an important computer chip from their father, the film graduates to fistfights, attempted drownings, and choking with a chain. Heartwarming!
If your progeny are amused by rather intense violence, then they probably will find the rest of the movie diverting as well. The kids are cute (even if the boy is a little funny looking), and I suppose in some universe the scenes of Hogan in a tutu, or Hogan with pink bows in his hair, or playing at tea party, might be funny to the wee ones. After all, my inner child is dead, so what do I know? A few of the surreal touches that seem to pop up in obscure children's films are present here as well, like the villain whose entire skull is a steel plate that he greatly enjoys having buffed and polished, but these moments of offbeat humor are few and far between (though we do get "where are they now?" cameos from Sherman Hemsley and talk show host Mother Love). Mr. Nanny is 84 minutes of 100 percent derivative, Macaulay Culkin-style humor, and that's about it.
Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: C-
|Aspect Ratio||1.85:1 - Widescreen||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes||no|
Image Transfer Review: Video is offered in both 1.85:1 widescreen and full screen on the same side of a DVD-9. Both look pretty good. Colors are bright enough, showing no bleeding or oversaturation. Blacks are inconsistent, sometimes nice and solid, and at other times, a bit muddled. Otherwise, though, the image is nice and crisp, particularly in brighter scenes, and I noticed no aliasing or artifacting of any kind. The 1.33:1 transfer is of comparable quality, and kudos to New Line for including both formats for a family-friendly film.
Image Transfer Grade: B+
Audio Transfer Review: Mr. Nanny was produced prior to the introduction of Dolby Digital 5.1, but the remix on this disc sounds pretty good considering the material. Dialogue is anchored in the center and sounds crisp and natural, despite bleedthrough into the front mains. Speaking of, the mains handle most of the action across the front soundstage, and employing decent directionality throughout. The surrounds are active intermittently, offering occasional support to the action scenes, or simply to add a bit of atmosphere.
Audio Transfer Grade: B
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
- Pick that Flick game
Extras Grade: D-
Final CommentsI'll say one thing about Mr. Nanny, the cover promises a scene wherein Hulk Hogan dresses up in a tutu, and the film delivers. As a member of the ever-growing crowd of violent Home Alone knock-offs aimed at sociopathic rug rats, the Hulkster's film does little to distinguish itself, but the DVD at least provides a crisp transfer and decent audio.
Joel Cunningham 2002-11-12