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The Movie:

There are some films that, no matter how good, bad or mediocre, seem to get stuck in heavy play on cable TV. This 1991 feature from "Mighty Ducks" director Stephen Herek falls firmly into the mediocre catagory. Building off the popularity of Christina Applegate during her "Married With Children" years, the movie has her leading a group of kids when their mother's out of town and the babysitter just happens to pass on. I suppose that's not exactly spoiling anything since the title gives that away already.

The money that the mother left her and the other kids accidentally gets buried along with the babysitter, so it's up to her, being the oldest, to get a job. She works for about a day at the local fast food joint before getting tired of it. The solution - she fakes a resume to get into a fashion company, where she's hired quickly.

It's one of those teen movies from the late 80's/early 90's where there's really never a doubt that the problems will all be worked out by the leads by the end. This entry is fairly energetic, but often very generic. Applegate's performance is nothing out of the ordinary, and the rest of the kids are one-dimensional and often a bit annoying. There is a hilariously bad early performance from David Duchovny of "X-Files" fame, though. It's all fairly harmless fluff. I think I remember finding this film entertaining years ago, but I don't think it's aged too well. A bit of a "cult" film for fans of teen movies, "Don't" finally recieves a DVD release from HBO.


VIDEO: HBO presents "Don't Tell" in it's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and it is anamorphic. The results though, are pretty mixed. The picture quality is noticably soft, and at times even a bit hazy. Detail is fair, and clarity is acceptable as well, although some dark scenes look rather murky.

Aside from the softness, other problems don't cause that much of a distraction. There is some slight shimmering at times, but I really didn't see any instances of pixelation. The print used is in good condition as well; I didn't see anything noticable in the way of print flaws such as marks or speckles. Colors are usually acceptable, looking bold with no flaws. Overall, a very average looking presentation.

SOUND: The Dolby Surround audio is fair, as well. The movie is mainly driven by dialogue and the cheesy, very 80's score. The score sounds clear and rather full, but not remarkable. Dialogue sounds flat, occasionally a bit soft and hard to hear, as well. Nothing too impressive, and just manages to get the job done.

MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with very basic film-themed images serving as backgrounds.

EXTRAS: The trailer, 2 TV ads, cast/crew bios.

Final Thoughts: Fans of the movie might enjoy being able to own it on DVD, but otherwise I'd recommend avoiding it.

Film Grade
The Film C-
DVD Grades
Video 78/C = (312/400 possible points)
Audio: 79/C+ = (316/400 possible points)
Extras: 71/C = (213/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 79/C+ = (237/300 possible points)

TOTAL POINTS:1218/1600



DVD Information

Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead
Dolby Surround(English)
Subtitles: English/French/Spanish
Dual Layer:No
105 minutes

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