Hitch DVD Review
PictureHitch is presented in a very broad 2.40:1 aspect ratio anamorphically enhanced widescreen format - occasionally seeming a little too broad considering the content. That said, it never really takes away from your enjoyment of the movie. This is a really odd transfer because some scenes exhibit excellent detail - like the rain sequence - whilst others, mostly the bar scenes, seem overwhelmed by softness. I can only assume that this was done on purpose, and certainly the main characters are in focus in the foreground, but everything around them seems smudged and it can be a little annoying. Thankfully there is very little grain and this is generally a good transfer otherwise, with a broad colourful New York palette that is well depicted at all times, and solid blacks throughout.
SoundThere is one basic track, a solid Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that is heavily biased towards the score, maintaining music almost throughout and through all of the surrounds. But even with the decent representation of the frequent song tracks and score, it still subsides as necessary to allow the dialogue to take the centre stage and thus remain clear. There are very few special effects - as you would expect, but it is still quite a chirpy little track that does all the right things at all the right times even if it never really breaks any boundaries. There is also an English Audio Descriptive track.
ExtrasFirst up there are five full screen featurettes. Dance Steps Made Easy takes an eight minute look at the dancing scenes in the movie, with interviews from the cast - mainly Will Smith - and behind the scenes footage of some of the dance scenes being filmed. Director Andy Tennant talks about Will Smith's grace in letting another actor steal the movie - although I have no idea what he was talking about - this was Smith's movie! They look like they had a real laugh whilst filming the sequences - something emphasised by the gag reel. Kevin James takes us through his dance moves and this featurette is quite funny really. Love in New York spends seven minutes looking at the setting of New York and the romance in the movie. We get the crew talking about their experiences in New York, some behind the scenes footage and some on-screen statistics about the Big Apple. The director talks about being proud to film on Ellis Island and how a movie about thirty-somethings dating simply must be set in New York. Although not really as funny, it is a perfectly harmless little featurette with some more nice snippets and very little footage from the film - always a plus. We even get Amber Valetta briefly talking about the boat scene.
Hitch Style spends seven minutes looking at the wardrobe of the various characters - mainly focussing on Will Smith's character but also featuring interviews with the Costume Designers and some of the other cast talking about their looks. The Dating Experts is an eleven minute featurette about the 'basic dating principles', featuring interviews with Will Smith along with an on-set dating consultant / therapist who talks about the reality behind the interactions depicted. Starting off quite light-hearted it soon becomes sickly sweet and patronising as successive 'life coaches' dictate what you should or shouldn't do to be successful in a relationship. The final featurette is Will Smith's Red Carpet Race which spends a brief four minutes taking a semi-humorous look at Will Smith's attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most public appearances in twelve hours by a film star. Starting in Manchester, he jets around the UK to Birmingham (a trip which would have probably been shorter by car) and then on to London. We get a few snippets of dialogue from Smith as he rushes around - and when he receives his record certificate from Guinness - but this is largely just a lot of shots of Hitch gala premieres. Still, it's a novel take on regular footage from premieres.
The four-minute gag reel showcases a collection of outtakes from the movie, some of which are really quite funny. Starting with a montage of brief goofs, we progress into some longer mistakes that aren't very funny, but then there are some line fluffs and a series of bleeped swearing outtakes - mostly featuring Will Smith - and some really funny improvisations. Not the best gag reel I have seen - and possibly not as funny as the pseudo-gag reel at the end of the film, it is still worth a watch. There are three deleted scenes, with the option to play all and introduced by the Director - who explains why they were removed. Hitch sees Cressida is a three-minute scene giving him closure on the girl who broke his heart in high school. It's quite a poignant scene that is also quite funny, but I can see why they removed it. I Could Use A Bathroom is an unnecessary three-minute inclusion and Film Opening with George Fenton score, which is a poorer opening sequence that is also odd because it does not include vocals.
The music video for '1 Thing' by Amerie is quite a nice little video by an upcoming relatively new artist. Although I don't normally rate these kinds of songs, it's quite catchy and still unusual - and is a pretty sexy music video to boot. Finally we get five trailers for movies that would potentially appeal to the target audience for Hitch but oddly not including a theatrical trailer for the main feature itself. Bewitched is the new Will Ferrell movie, who was pretty damn funny in Anchorman, Are We There Yet? shows you what has become of Ice Cube, Man of the House shows you what has happened to Tommy Lee Jones, Little Black Book features the remarkably adaptable and gorgeous Brittany Murphy doing a pointless fluffy role and Spanglish is a sweet little romantic comedy drama with the increasingly broad-ranged Adam Sandler.
VerdictI don't think Will Smith has ever done a 'bad' movie, but this is certainly one of the less original efforts. Paired with Eva Mendes and given some wry lines and witticisms, it is easy to see how Hitch is designed to entertain a couple for a couple of hours but do little else. This release has reasonable presentation and a wealth of extras that are really not worth a great deal. Overall, it is a perfect date movie so it is well worth a rental on a night in and then at least you are in a better position to decide whether or not to buy it.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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