The Perfect Nanny

The Perfect Nanny (2000)
York Entertainment
Cast: Tracy Nelson, Bruce Boxleinter, Dana Barron, Scott Terra
Extras: Filmographies, Trailer

’The Perfect Nanny’ is the story of a woman (Tracy Nelson) on her quest for the perfect life – which is that of her favorite novel heroine. Deluded, not even the mental institute can help her and when she’s released, she weasels her way into the household of a rich, widowed doctor (Bruce Boxleitner). When things don’t turn out the way she intended, the nanny turns into a psycho and with knife in hands decides to put an end to her adversaries.

Does this story sound familiar? Well, it should. It has been told millions of times and ’The Perfect Nanny’ offers very little surprises. It is a solidly made film that nicely glosses over its fairly low production values, but unspectacular and predicable at best.

York Entertainment is presenting ’The Perfect Nanny’ in a fullscreen transfer on this DVD. Since this is a direct-to-video release, it is most likely the film’s original aspect ratio. The transfer is mostly free of nicks, although occasional marks in the print are evident. Color reproduction is good with a very natural color palette. Skin tones are faithfully rendered and the picture generally shows vivid hues. Black level is good, creating deep blacks that add depth to the picture, but shadow definition is a bit weak, quickly losing detail in darker areas. While the transfer isn’t bad, the compression of the film has some issues. Compression artifacts in the form of pixelation and mosquitoing are evident throughout the film. Even in static shots, the compression artifacts remove detail from the picture, creating a bland image without a lot of definition. As movement is added to the images, these artifacts get worse, clearly indicating a limitation of the bitrate used.

’The Perfect Nanny’ features a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track. It is well produced but as expected not overly aggressive. The frequency response is good, creating a natural sounding presentation with a good dynamic range. Dialogue has been well integrated and is never drowned out by the music of the sound effects. Clean and free of distortion, the audio track is fulyl sufficient for the presentation.

What I found quite interesting is the cover of the release. Showing us a seductive temptress with a knife and sheer see-through nightgown, it is clearly misleading viewers to expectations the film cannot fulfill. Neither the model used on the cover, nor the thematics are identical to the actual movie, which has a strong resemblance to a TV production. I always find it distracting if publishers try to use packaging to mislead consumers, and here we have another prime example of the practice. Fortunately the low price of this release compensates for some of its downfalls.