[c]Hitch (UMD) Region 1 • PG-13 • Atrac +3 Audio • Available Now [/c] Hitch was a huge success in the theater, but this UMD represents Sony’s low quality control until they finally started to really make UMDs worth owning. Thoughts on the Movie I caught Hitch in theaters, so it was fun to revisit the movie on the small screen and see how it held up on a second viewing. It actually did quite well, but left me feeling like it could have been so much more. Basically, Hitch is a “date doctor” that helps men get their foot in the door with the women they secretly love. Kevin James is one of his biggest challenges as he goes after Allegra, a famous star who is wealthy and way out of his league. When James goes after her, the movie is at its best. I really loved the goofy attitude that Albert (James) had, and the way Hitch tried to coach him before the big dates. Ah, but that is not what the movie is really about. Instead it focuses on Eva Mendes (Sara) as a gossip columnist who slowly discovers her new boyfriend is indeed the rumored “date doctor,” and things hit the fan from there. While the dating situations between Hitch and Sara are funny, it’s nowhere near the charm and hilarity Albert and Allegra get (although their screen time is sadly not very long). Why focus on Sara when the movie had Albert? That’s enough for a whole movie right there, but instead we get the misunderstandings, heartbreak, stories about how Sara’s relative nearly died, what love can do to a man, blah blah blah. The whole time these things came up, all I could think about was, more Albert! The entire movie almost falls into a cliché of the usual romantic comedy dealings, such as the bad guy, in this case Vance. This guy is all about power suits, power tie, and power steering; no matter how much people whine, cry, or beg, he always gets what he wants. That’s not my own synopsis, but those are the EXACT words that Vance uses to describe himself. So much for subtleness. In fact, guys like Vance exist in a romantic comedy for two reasons: one is to act like an asshole so the main characters can slam him against a table or knee him in the groin (to the delight of the audience), and two is to give just enough information to one of the characters so that there is a huge misunderstanding between the couple, which separates them until the end of the movie. In fact, what Sara does to Hitch is so cruel that I never really forgave her. I have no idea how Hitch does (oops, big spoiler warning there), because it was simply, well, a freaking stupid thing to do. I want to derail from the movie a bit and talk about something that was in the back of my head through the movie. I remember reading on how the cast was assembled, and how a test audience, while disapproving of a black male/white female couple leading in a movie, had no problem with a black/Latino combination. That’s why we get Eva Mendes instead of basically any white actress you can think of. Not that it’s a bad thing; Eva is one beautiful lady, but I just found it odd that the casting would go out of their way to find a perfect racial matchup. It reminds me of that SNL sketch way back, when the company executives sit down with the advertising directors to watch the latest company commercial. At the end of the commercial, Molly Shannon and Tim Meadows (white/black actors) make out for a couple seconds, with the logo fading on top of them. “So, what did you think of the commercial?” “Well, uh… I mean, its… well, I guess…” “What he’s trying to say is… um… I think… that… wait, can we see it again?” *Watches commercial* “Yeah, I think… I … um, good work, uh yeah. Nice work. It’s just that… well… um…” And it goes on like that for five minutes. At the end of the skit, the two advertising execs get in their car, which explodes when they start it. I have no idea why a Latino and black couple works better than a white and black couple, but apparently it seems more “appropriate” according to the casting directors. I would love for someone to explain that to me sometime. It just gets weirder the more I think about it, but the whole thing really made me laugh. PC at its finest. Video Quality Cropped from its original 2.35 ratio (ouch!), Hitch looks fine. The colors and whites especially look a bit overblown, but I remember it looked this way in the theater, so it’s not a transfer problem. It looks perfectly fine, nothing amazing. I wonder if Sony will ever release UMDs with the original aspect ratio intact. Buena Vista seems to have dropped cropping movies, and hopefully Sony will do the same. 3/5 Audio Quality After watching back to back Fox movies with stereo sound, it was a real treat going back to Atrac3+ audio. The crispness and separation is unmatched, and sounds great. This movie didn’t really have much going on, but it sounds perfectly fine. The music really sounds nice, which is great for the dance montage at the end. (Who doesn’t love dance montages?) 3.5/5 Extras We get three trailers, which thankfully are not forced, but other than that there is nothing here. Not even a chapter selection. Now, keep in mind this UMD was released a while back before Sony got its act together and boosted the quality of UMDs. It didn’t surprise me that this movie was lacking in extras, and I’m really happy Sony won’t (hopefully) be making these mistakes on future UMDs. 1/5 Overall… Pretty good movie, pretty below average UMD. I would be much angrier had it not been for the fact that Sony doesn’t produce these low quality UMDs anymore. It’s a bit appalling that this movie would retail for $30 (find it as low as $20 in some places), but Sony’s pricing structure is old movies at $20, new ones at $30. I guess that kinda makes sense, in a weird kind of way. 2/5 NOTE: UMDs do not have PCM tracks, but Atrac3+ tracks. I have corrected this review. Big thanks to SCEE's Tony Godar!