Generally speaking, online April Fool's gags are pretty bad. Someone posts a goofy, unbelievable story; we read the goofy, unbelievable story; then we either say, "Oh, right, that is fake because it's that day," or we say, "Well, I guess putting Eddie Murphy in a Twins sequel must just be the only idea anyone on Earth has." So let's give some credits to the folks at Criterion Collection for yesterday coming up with an amazingly-executed, legitimately funny goof.
The Criterion Collection--the self-described "continuing series of important classic and contemporary films ... dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements"--yesterday announced a massive, feature-loaded release of Kindergarten Cop, Ivan Reitman's 1990 action-comedy about Arnold Schwarzenegger being a cop and also a kindergarten teacher who does not have a brain tumor. This is funny, because Kindergarten Cop was not so great of a movie! But also funny because look at all the shockingly authentic suplemental stuff Criterion put together:
Firstly, above: official cover art and an on-set photo of director Akira Kurosawa that suddenly makes Seven Samurai seem lacking in the Terminator department.
And then there's this photo of Stanley Kubrick on set, clearly telling a classic Kubrick joke.
And there's this dramatic Italian poster:
And here's a hand-painted poster from Ghana:
And the official synopsis (this is best):
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.
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
And, finally, a video showcasing the three reasons Kindergarten Cop is such an enduring classic:
So good! What a bizarrely celebratory weekend for late-'80s/early-'90s Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy. If only it could last forever, and not include Eddie Murphy.