Kindergarten Cop

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Details At A Glance

Category Action/Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - 1.33:1, not 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0
Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1990 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 106:37 minutes Other Extras Biographies-Cast & Crew
Production Notes
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (45:37)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 2,4 Director Ivan Reitman

Columbia TriStar
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger 
Penelope Ann Miller 
Pamela Reed 
Linda Hunt
Richard Tyson
Carroll Baker
Case Transparent Amaray
RRP $34.95 Music Randy Edelman

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None Dolby Digital 2.0
16x9 Enhancement No Soundtrack Languages
Region 4
English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Soundtrack Languages
Region 2
English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s) 
German (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384 Kb/s) 
Italian (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384 Kb/s) 
Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384 Kb/s) 
Czech (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
Polish (Dolby Digital 1.0, 96 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking Yes
Region 4
English Annoying Product Placement No
Region 2

Plot Synopsis

    After the marginal success of Twins, Arnold Schwarzenegger was given another bash at a comedy role, only this time with a little more action. In my view, this one came a little closer to the mark and bears up to repeated viewing far more than the earlier film.

    John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is an undercover cop chasing down a big time drug dealer in Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson). Kimble manages to arrest Crisp on a murder charge, but since the only witness is a junkie, he and his new partner Phoebe O'Hara (Pamela Reed) try to track down Crisp's ex-wife Rachel Crisp and son Cullen Crisp, Jr, who have gone to ground in Astoria, Oregon, for help in putting Crisp away for a long time. In order to do this, O'Hara is to pose as a substitute kindergarten teacher - but she goes down sick on the way to Astoria. So big John Kimble has to step in as the substitute, with some funny results. He discovers that Rachel Crisp is actually Joyce Paulmarie (Penelope Ann Miller), a teacher at the school who he happens to be attracted to, and the son is Dominic (Joseph and Christian Cousins) who is in his class. Suffice to say that Cullen Crisp and his mother Eleanor (Carroll Baker) connive to get Crisp released from jail and they promptly head to Astoria to get son Dominic back.

    Whilst the story lacks a little in depth, it suits the comedy talents of Arnold Schwarzenegger well indeed and forms the basis of one of his more unusual performances. Penelope Ann Miller does a good job as the hunt victim, come love interest, and diminutive Linda Hunt is very good as Principal Schlowski in a limited role. Richard Tyson is not quite as believable as the villain of the piece although Carroll Baker pegs the neurotic grandmother pretty well. Of course they are all upstaged by the kids, but that is usually the case. Overall, Ivan Reitman has put together a decent enough effort that at least broadens Arnie's roles a little more than say Jean-Claude Van Damme has.

Transfer Quality


    Well their widescreen transfers have in general been to a high standard, but their non-widescreen releases have been less than stellar - and unfortunately this is another poorer effort from Universal.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1; just why we have not got a widescreen transfer is what I want to know.

    Whilst this is a lot sharper than the VHS tape, this is by no means a particularly sharp nor well defined transfer, and at times this is a quite murky transfer. Overall shadow detail is quite poor, with some especially poor detail in some of the evening scenes. Low level noise appears to be a problem throughout the transfer, which compounds what appears to be a quite grainy picture.

    If you are familiar with the VHS tape, the colours will be quite familiar to you - as there is no much difference at all, the DVD being a little less washed out. The colours are quite rich in tone and a little dark, and they are not especially vibrant. To me it looks as if the colours are a little oversaturated throughout, although colour bleed does not appear to be a problem at all. I had the VHS tape and DVD running at the same time and switched between the two to check the colours in a second view, and at times it was amazing how consistent the two were apart from the better sharpness of the DVD.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, but video artefacts were quite prevalent throughout - mainly in the form of aliasing, although there was one section with minor telecine wobble between 78:00 and 78:15. There were significant film artefacts throughout the film, but in general these were not especially distracting to the film.

    Subtitles can be selected via the remote control, and all subtitles are available via the remote, no matter what Region the DVD player is set to. The subtitle menu, however, is dependent on which Region the DVD player is set to.

    This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change at 45:37. The layer change is not especially noticeable and is not especially disruptive to the flow of the film.


    The audio tracks available on this DVD are dependent on the Region that the DVD player is set to in the same way as for subtitles. They are selectable via the audio menu, and via the remote control. All audio tracks are selectable via the remote control at all times.

    There are seven audio tracks on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, German Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 2.0, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0, Czech Dolby Digital 2.0, and a Polish Dolby Digital 1.0 track. The latter track seems to be a disinterested reading of the script in Polish, played over the top of the English audio track. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

    Dialogue was always clear and easy to understand.

    There were no audio sync problems with this disc.

    The score by Randy Edelman is not especially memorable, although it does support the film reasonably well.

    This is not an especially detailed soundtrack, with minimal use made of the surround channels. The film is of course very much dialogue driven so the lack of surround presence is not especially missed. The resultant overall sound picture is quite believable however.

    No use at all is made of the bass channel.


    Well this is definitely not a Collector's Edition and it shows - although of course significantly better than most releases from certain others (can you say Buena Vista? Good!).


    Not especially wonderful, but at least themed to the film although lacking any enhancement.

Theatrical Trailer

Production Notes

Biographies - Cast & Crew

R4 vs R1

    It would appear that the Region 1 and Region 4 releases are identical, therefore there is no reason to prefer one over the other.


    To be honest, a very disappointing effort for one of Arnie's better efforts away from the pure action genre. No widescreen option (for pity's sake, why no widescreen transfer Universal?), a poor video transfer, Dolby Digital 2.0 sound and hardly an inspiring extras package. It really is a shame, as this is a film that I enjoy and would have recommended with ease if the video transfer had been better.

    The video quality is very average indeed.

    The audio quality is also average.

    The extras add nothing to a poorish package.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris
25th October 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL