Hitch (Blu-ray) (2005)

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Released 8-Nov-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Dance Steps Made Easy (8:17)
Featurette-The Dating Experts (11:21)
Outtakes
Trailer-RV; Sense & Sensibility
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 118:15
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Andy Tennant
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Will Smith
Eva Mendes
Kevin James
Amber Valletta
Julie Ann Emery
Robinne Lee
Nathan Lee Graham
Adam Arkin
Michael Rapaport
Jeffrey Donovan
Paula Patton
Philip Bosco
Kevin Sussman
Case ?
RPI ? Music George Fenton
Omarion Grandberry


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Linear PCM 48/16 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Dutch
Arabic
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Korean
Norwegian
Polish
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, cola and electronics brands.
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    "Any man has the chance to sweep a woman off her feet, he just needs the right broom."

    Alex "Hitch" Hitchenson (Will Smith) is in the business of coaching love-sick men, helping them grab the attention of the woman they're after. He's also known as the date doctor and sources his clients by word of mouth only. When he commits to help a clumsy, desperately lonely no-hoper, Albert (Kevin James) he get more than he bargained for. As if Albert's nervousness and poor conversational skills weren't enough of a challenge, Albert also lusts after Allegra (Amber Valletta), a recently single and vastly out-of-his-league wealthy celebrity. Hitch openly refuses to assist sleazy guys who are after nothing but a quickie, however he sees a sincerity in Albert that makes him jump at the challenge.

    As an aside, Hitch (amazingly, a single man himself) begins dating a difficult, highly cynical gossip columnist, Sara (Eva Mendes). He tries to impress, but his usual methods prove disastrous, several times over, but the challenge only makes him more determined. Unbeknownst to Hitch, Sarah is pursuing the rich socialite Allegra for her gossip column, soon discovering a link between Allegra and Hitch that could ruin both his reputation as 'the date doctor' and poor Albert's chances of snaring the woman of his dreams.

    Chick movies aren't even vaguely my thing, and when my very own authority on the genre refused to join me in viewing this film, alarm bells rang loudly. Thankfully, after a slow first half-hour, this film slowly picked up pace and I found myself mildly amused several times. I even laughed out loud once or twice! I don't really have many other positive things to say about the film. The 'dating' premise is tiresome and was executed with a lot more flair in series such as Sex in the City. Director Andy Tennant has captured the atmosphere of New York very well, via some very attractive photography. Kevin James steals every scene he is in, whereas Will Smith is just Will Smith, no surprises.

    If you're looking for a couples movie, something not-too-challenging for a night in front of the telly that might interest your lady friend, Hitch might be what you're looking for.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Disclaimer: Please note that this disc has a video resolution of 1080p. It has been reviewed on a display device with a maximum native resolution of 720p. More information can be found here.

    The film is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, in a native 16x9 frame. This is a 1080p transfer.

    If you're looking for a transfer that'll show off the sharpness of that swanky, new 1080p display in your living room, Hitch is definitely not the disc you're after. The film as a whole is very soft (romantic) in appearance, presumably an artistic decision on the part of the director. See the bar scene at 9:45, or the street scene at 14:58. Bright lights or bright areas of the image are very bloomy, soft and generally undefined. Shadow detail doesn't appear to suffer at all, and black levels are quite strong when need be.

    The colour scheme is realistic, with a nice, bold palette and particularly faithful skin tones. I didn't note any inconsistencies or irritating rendering issues.

    This MPEG2 encoded transfer is free of any compression issues, although I did notice a few tiny film artefacts that would be of no issue to the average viewer. I noted a strange, jagged edge to the image at 6:52, where you'll see the pile of newspapers is barely defined. The image also sports an above average level of grain, which may be an irritation to some. I didn't find it too problematic, in fact it seemed to fit the atmosphere of the film, but perhaps the image was excessively softened in an attempt to mask the grain?

    Two English subtitle streams are provided. I viewed a few scenes with the subtitles enabled and found them to be relatively accurate.

    The disc is a single layered, BD-25 format.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two soundtracks available in the film's original English language. The default soundtrack is a plain, old vanilla-flavoured Dolby Digital 5.1 effort. A much more desirable 5.1 PCM soundtrack may be selected on the fly or from the setup menu. I viewed the film with PCM audio and sampled the Dolby Digital alternative on a few occasions.

    The English dialogue is always distinct and easy to understand. I didn't notice any annoying ADR or sync issues.

    The surround channels add weight to the soundtrack score, but are otherwise dormant. There are a great many scenes that could use atmosphere of some kind, but they are not utilised. Voices are generally confined to the front centre channel.

    If you're capable, the PCM audio is undoubtedly the way to go. The soundtrack is very sharp, with plenty of depth, particularly in the music. The score is generally orchestral, with some contemporary jazz (George Fenton) and R&B thrown in here and there. The music suits the atmosphere and tone of the film perfectly.

    The subwoofer augments the bass and beat of the score. Being a dialogue-driven film, there isn't a lot of call for LFE activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The featurettes and outtakes are standard definition (480i), non-16x9, with optional English, Dutch or Korean subtitles.

Menu

    The menu page has a nice New York cityscape, with scenes from the film looped in the background.

Featurette- Dance Steps Made Easy (8:17)

    Will Smith, Kevin James and Director Andy Tennant discuss the film's comedic aspects and how they were developed for the screen. Features some amusing outtakes.

Featurette- The Dating Experts (11:21)

    We're introduced to the therapist/ psychologist Will Smith invited to participate in the film's production. A slew of dating agents and advisors also offer their expert opinions on the film.

Outtakes (3:48)

    You know what to expect, a reel of mistakes and general goofing about on set.

Trailers (2)

    RV and Sense & Sensibility. Both appear to be 1080p video.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The SD DVD includes an additional three featurettes, deleted scenes and a music video. If it's just the film you're keen on, the Blu-ray might be better than the SD version (I haven't seen the SD disc).

Summary

    Hitch is pretty average all-round, but may be just the thing for a couple wanting to spend a night at home. A rental, at best.

    The 1080p video transfer is very soft, in a romantic kind of way.

    The audio transfer includes a nice PCM option.

    The extras are thin.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DMP BD-10, using HDMI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR3806
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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