The Criterion Collection’s Hilarious ‘Kindergarten Cop’ April Fools’ Prank
Each year, the Internet fills up with April Fools’ Day pranks as website after website tries to outdo the others with something that gels in the discerning eyes of a critical Gen Y. They miss the mark most of the time, but sometimes they hit a bullseye–like the Criterion Collection did today with its fake release of Kindergarten Cop.
Everything on the page set up for the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger cult action classic is perfect. It’s the best kind of prank–one that is just too ridiculous to possibly be true, yet executed in a way that makes it just believable enough to make you doubt yourself as to whether it’s actually a prank.
SYNOPSIS: Historically, the policier and the family comedy were two distinct categories. Then, in 1990, Kindergarten Cop gave us all a lesson in genre revisionism. With muscular sensitivity, Hollywood’s last action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger embodies detective John Kimble, who is compelled to go undercover as a teacher of five-year-olds in order to catch a ponytailed drug dealer. Though it’s distinguished by pulse-pounding suspense, a Crayola-bright palette by cinematographer Michael Chapman (Taxi Driver), and trenchant observations about education in the Bush I era, the film’s emotional center is Schwarzenegger’s gruff yet good-tempered interaction with a class full of precocious scamps, including a tumor-forewarning death-obsessive and a genitalia expert. By leavening a children’s film with enough violence to please even the most cold-hearted bastard, director Ivan Reitman shows that he refuses to color inside the lines.
And the disc features:
CONTINUITY-ASSISTANT-APPROVED THREE-DISC SPECIAL EDITION:
— New high-definition digital restoration of the 1990 director’s cut, presented in 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
— New audio commentary featuring Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, author of It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Can Teach Us
— Excerpts from the French television program Cinéastes de notre temps: “Ivan Reitman”
— Kindergarten Cops Today, a new hour-long documentary featuring former New York City police detectives Frank Serpico and Robert Leuci, former San Francisco police inspector Dave Toschi, and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg
— From “Fingers” to Finger-Painting, an interview with cinematographer Michael Chapman
— Archival video of Schwarzenegger’s acceptance speeches for the Favorite Movie Actor award at the 1989 and 1991 Kids’ Choice Awards
— The Kids Aren’t All Right, an analysis of all the cuts made to ensure a PG-13 rating
— More than six hundred minutes of rare behind-the-scenes and archival footage
— Seven theatrical trailers
— PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by former police reporter and creator of The Wire David Simon and a reprint of James Agee’s original review of the film
It’s still not a toomah.
(Thanks to Michelle Collins for making me aware of this!)