DVD Review HTF Review: Hitch

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Aaron Silverman, Jun 18, 2005.

Tags:
  1. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 1999
    Messages:
    11,008
    Likes Received:
    681
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Aaron Silverman
    [​IMG]
    Hitch[​IMG]

    US Theatrical Release: February 11, 2005 (Columbia Pictures)
    US DVD Release: June 14, 2005
    Running Time: 1:58:08 (28 chapter stops)
    Rating: PG-13 (Language And Some Strong Sexual References)
    Video: 2.40:1 Anamorphic (Extra Features: 4:3 non-anamorphic)
    Audio: English DD5.1, French DD2.0 (Extra Features: English DD2.0)
    Subtitles: English, French (Extra Features: None)
    TV-Generated Closed Captions: English
    Menus: Background Animation
    Packaging: Standard keepcase with cardboard slipcover; single-sheet insert has cover images for other titles on both sides.
    MSRP: $28.95

    THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT IT: 3/5

    In Hitch, a stellar cast does its best with a script that saddles some moderately clever romantic comedy with dialogue that’s pedestrian at best. The concept is a good one, but most of the lines feel like they belong in a TV sitcom, not a big-budget film. Fortunately, the overwhelming charisma of the players carries what could have been a train wreck in the hands of a less capable ensemble.

    Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith, charming as ever) is the urban-legendary Date Doctor of New York, a consultant who offers his services to single guys who don’t have much luck with the ladies. Working on a referral basis only, he finds no shortage of clients in the big city. An opening montage reveals a procession of schlubs who hook up with the women of their dreams thanks to Hitch’s sage advice. Despite his track record, however, he’s in for the toughest mission of his career.

    Albert Brennaman (Kevin James of “King Of Queens” fame) is a lovable klutz who works on the financial accounts of a beautiful heiress with the unfortunately pharmaceutical name of Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta, who resembles an all-grown-up Olsen Twin). Albert is, of course, madly in love with the stylish socialite, whose every move graces the gossip pages of the city’s newspapers. Terribly awkward, he doesn’t even know how to begin to approach her.

    Enter Hitch. Turning Albert into a stud will be no mean feat, but Hitch isn’t one to back down from a challenge. After a few lessons in cool, even Albert should be able to approach the lovely and heretofore unattainable Allegra. However, the plot is not about to leave Hitch to focus on only one storyline!

    Around the same time, Hitch also meets sexy man-hater extraordinaire Sara Melas (Eva Mendes), who writes one of the aforementioned gossip columns. Being the expert, of course, he manages to charm his way through her tough exterior and score a date. Little does she know that he’s the mythical Date Doctor, but it’ll be no surprise to anyone who’s seen more than two romantic comedies that when the third act kicks off, she’s going to find out!

    And, naturally, when she does find out, there’s big trouble in River City, friends. And this script sets up the eventual blowup in an absurdly contrived way. Suffice it to say that character A is introduced to character B, who knows character C, who randomly bumps into character D, who is the best friend of character E, who met character A separately and completely by chance. Also vital to the story is a relationship between character E and character F – who is also (in a completely unrelated way) tied to character B! (Did I mention that with the exception of D and E, all of these folks run in completely different circles?) Four casual words about A from C to D, who immediately misinterprets and reports them to E, and everything goes up in smoke. Right.

    Thankfully, this somewhat mean-spirited portion of the program is wrapped up not too long after it begins, and the story gets right back into the cutesy romantic stuff. The film is at its best when it’s not trying to be too heavy, and it wisely doesn’t linger too long on the stock breakup/ get-back-together climax.

    Hitch is, for the most part, a likeable and harmless (really, it’s a single F-bomb away from a PG rating) date movie that, although it features dialogue that gives new meaning to the word “unsubtle,” is redeemed by a cast that's right on its ‘A’ game. Ironically, it’s sitcom star Kevin James who steals the show as Albert, with a winning combination of physical comedy and endearing nerdiness. There are a few clever ideas here, and the story is nice enough, but one can’t help but think that, had someone handed the treatment for Hitch to Woody Allen in 1980 and set him loose to write and direct it, we would have had a classic on our hands.


    THE WAY I SEE IT: 2.5/5

    The image isn’t awful, but it is a little disappointing for such a recent release. Colors are often a bit washed out, and there is more visible edge enhancement than has been usual for recent Sony discs. Detail is only OK. On the plus side, digital artifacts are not much of an issue, and black levels are respectable.


    THE WAY I HEAR IT: 4/5

    The soundtrack is clear and does what it’s supposed to do. As the film is mainly dialogue-driven, the audio lives mostly up front, but there’s plenty of music and ambience in the surround channels where appropriate.


    THE SWAG: 2.5/5 (rating combines quality and quantity)

    Gag Reel (3:49)

    The usual clowning around, in non-anamorphic widescreen.

    Deleted Scenes

    Two deleted scenes and an alternate opening score are included. One scene is of Hitch running into his lost love Cressida, running about 3 minutes, with an introduction by director Andy Tennant that runs 1:48. It’s moderately amusing. The other is a funny 2.5-minute gag involving nature’s call that was cut from the Ellis Island sequence. The third selection plays the first 6.5 minutes of the film with a score written by composer George Fenton instead of the classic soul tunes used in the release version. The director provides a brief explanation. At the end of the opening sequence, it branches directly into the main feature.

    Featurettes

    The five included featurettes, which consist mainly of interviews with the cast and crew, are a step above the usual EPK material. They aren’t super-meaty, but they are entertaining. In a refreshing change of pace, they include lots of behind-the-scenes footage instead of the standard (and worthless) film clip padding.
    • Dance Steps Made Easy (8:17) A look at the wacky dances that Kevin James came up with, including several that didn’t make the final cut.
    • Love In New York (6:49) The cast and crew talk about filming in New York City. It’s great to see a movie that takes place in New York that was actually shot there (many real landmarks are clearly visible throughout the film, and most of the exteriors have an authentic feel). They’re too few and far between these days.
    • Hitch Style (6:33) Costume Designer Marlene Stewart talks about how she came up with the looks for the main characters.
    • The Dating Experts (11:21) A psychiatrist who acted as an on-set behavioral consultant and a number of representatives of dating services give their takes on Hitch’s dating techniques.
    • Will Smith’s Red Carpet Race (3:52) A chronicle of Will Smith’s attempt to set the world record for most premiere appearances in separate cities in a 12-hour period.
    Music Video: “1 Thing” by Amerie (3:54)

    Previews:

    Thirteen(!) trailers are included. They can be selected from the main menu or the Special Features menu. Upon inserting the disc, the trailers for Bewitched, Zathura, and Stealth play automatically.
    • Bewitched (new movie) (2:32) (DD5.1; 1.78:1 anamorphic)
    • Zathura (2:32) (DD5.1; 1.78:1 anamorphic)
    • Stealth (2:33) (DD2.0; 1.78:1 anamorphic)
    • Man Of The House (2:31) (DD2.0; 1.78:1 anamorphic)
    • Guess Who (2:13) (DD2.0; 1.78:1 anamorphic)
    • XXX: State Of The Union (2:32) (DD2.0; 1.78:1 anamorphic)
    • Boogeyman (2:22) (DD5.1; 1.78:1 anamorphic)
    • D. E. B. S. (0:32) (DD2.0; 4:3 with letterboxed 2.35:1 non-anamorphic clips)
    • Rescue Me (1:16) (DD2.0; 4:3 with letterboxed 1.78:1 non-anamorphic clips)
    • Seinfeld (2:20) (DD2.0; 1.33:1 non-anamorphic)
    • Creature Comforts: The Complete Series (1:41) (DD2.0; 1.33:1 non-anamorphic)
    • Are We There Yet? (0:32) (DD2.0; 2.35:1 non-anamorphic)
    • Stripes (2:15) (DD2.0; 1.33:1 non-anamorphic)
    SUMMING IT ALL UP

    The Way I Feel About It: 3/5
    The Way I See It: 2.5/5
    The Way I Hear It: 4/5
    The Swag: 2.5/5


    It’s not going to win any awards, but Hitch makes for a pleasant enough diversion. As a basic, generally by-the-numbers date movie, it works well. The rather witless dialogue is unfortunate, but the highly charismatic cast, led by Will Smith and Kevin James, makes the film very watchable. Even model-turned-actress Amber Valletta holds her own with the other leads, and the supporting roles are capably filled, most notably by Julie Ann Emery as Sara’s best friend Casey and by Alan Arkin as her boss. The A/V quality is generally in line with most current Sony titles, although the image has room for improvement. The extra features are worth checking out. Finally, bonus props go to this rare beast – a New York movie that was actually filmed in the city and that makes use of a number of well-known landmarks in the story.
     
  2. Daniel-M

    Daniel-M Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    0
    since it's a Sony-title we WILL see a new edition in 2 to 5 months. Either as a full-fleged Special Edition or Superbit, either way with better picture-quality. This is why i am boyxotting Sonys first DVD of a movie from now on
     
  3. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2001
    Messages:
    2,695
    Likes Received:
    5

    I agree.....Sony seems to be releasing special and extended editions of its' films left and right these days(witness 'The Grudge' and 'Tears Of The Sun'). As Hitch was a successful film for Will Smith, I can see the writing on the wall. I'll wait for the next edition.
     
  4. Mitch Stevens

    Mitch Stevens Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    0


    I have the disc, but have not watched it yet. I knew this would happen though, since Sony loves to use excessive edge-enhancement on 2.35:1 or wider transfers. Even their Superbits that have that aspect ratio have excessive edge-enhancement. It's less than on the previous release, but it's still there and still very visible.

    Sony is a terrible company! They need to stop putting edge-enhancement entirely! Uggh!
     
  5. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 1999
    Messages:
    11,008
    Likes Received:
    681
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Aaron Silverman

    You'll probably have to wait longer than that. Sony usually doesn't do re-releases until at least a year or two later. You're thinking of Fox, I think. [​IMG]
     
  6. Daniel-M

    Daniel-M Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    0


    Both The Grudge and Underworld Unrated attived within 5 months of it's first DVD-release
     
  7. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    13,063
    Likes Received:
    2
    Well Sony's current philosophy seems to be to release pan & scan only versions of movies originally available in OAR. So, you'd better hope that any re-release of Hitch isn't p&s only.
     
  8. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 1999
    Messages:
    11,008
    Likes Received:
    681
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Aaron Silverman


    I stand corrected! (I didn't pay much attention to Underworld, but I should have noticed The Grudge.) Still, didn't they announce that there would be an SE up front?
     
  9. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Messages:
    2,186
    Likes Received:
    3
    I didn't see this movie in the theaters at all, only on DVD.

    Anyone know if the soundtrack on the DVD is the same as in theaters?
     
  10. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    Messages:
    1,376
    Likes Received:
    6
    Real Name:
    Christian Preischl
    Yes, the soundtrack is the same. I remember the talk about the George Fenton score being restored on the DVD, but in actuality you only get to see the opening of the film (approx. 7 min) with the Fenton score as part of the deleted scenes. The film itself is unaltered.

    Chris
     
  11. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 1999
    Messages:
    8,050
    Likes Received:
    326
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    Real Name:
    Tim Glover
    Finally got around to seeing this last night. Pretty good. Really funny and charming at times. Thought that the final 30 minutes was just average though.

    And the dvd image was a bit washed out. Should've looked more alive if you will for a new film like this.

    I know I sound negative but I did like it, just kind of lost it's way near the end.
     
  12. RogerH

    RogerH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    877
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll be renting this at some point. Seems like to me not very many comedies are worth buying (only watch them once).
     
  13. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 1999
    Messages:
    11,061
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    John Williamson
    I liked the film, it's just a harmless and often funny couple of hours. I love Kevin James, not just in this film but his whole career, he's just very funny in everything he does.

    Will Smith, as expected, was very suave and cool, and Eva Mendes, oh boy, Eva Mendes. [​IMG] She was so quirky in this that just supplemented her hotness very well.

    I agree about the image quality, it's very washed out and just generally not pleasant to look at at times and the EE was pretty severe. This was the first dvd I watched on my new dvd player that I picked up and installed that same day, and after spending an hour tweaking the image on my projector using AVIA, I got it dialed in.

    But this film made me think I didn't calibrate enough, but I soon realized that it was the dvd transfer, not my calibration skills.
     
  14. Harold Wazzu

    Harold Wazzu Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2003
    Messages:
    885
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought this was going to be just plain dumb, but I rented it and gave it a shot. It actually was a pretty decent chick-flick.
     
  15. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 1999
    Messages:
    11,008
    Likes Received:
    681
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Aaron Silverman
    I think this movie is told too much from the male characters' POV to be called a chick flick. [​IMG]
     
  16. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    13,063
    Likes Received:
    2
    This definitely isn't a chick flick, it's a very funny romantic comedy.
     
  17. RogerH

    RogerH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    877
    Likes Received:
    0
    I rented it today and just finished watching it. I must say it was alot better than I thought it was going to be.
     
  18. Jeff Whitford

    Jeff Whitford Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1998
    Messages:
    1,254
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ditto.
     
  19. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1998
    Messages:
    5,851
    Likes Received:
    351
    Real Name:
    Lou Sytsma
    The missus and I enjoyed this quite a bit as well. If left totally on the shoulders of Will Smith this would have been another pedestrian effort but Kevin James elevates this one.
     

Share This Page