Hitch (2005)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Will Smith, Kevin James, Amber Valletta, Eva Mendes
Extras: Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, Music Video

Always likeable Will Smith stars as Alex ’Hitch’ Hitchens, a smooth and sophisticated ’date doctor’ who has gained an almost urban legend status in and around Manhattan in the romantic comedy ’Hitch.’ Accepting clients by reference only, Alex one day meets an awkward accountant named Albert, played by Kevin James, who is unrefined in the world of dating. Alex agrees to take on Albert as one of his biggest challenges as Albert attempts to romance seemingly inaccessible Allegra Cole, played by Amber Valletta. During his various coaching sessions with Albert, Alex begins to discover that his own relationship with a gossip columnist, played by Eva Mendes, has its own concerns. Now Alex must come to realize that he has more in common with the clients that he is trying to remedy then he would like to believe.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents ’Hitch’ in an anamorphic widescreen transfer (a separate full screen version is also available) on DVD. While the transfer displays a very clean image and color saturation is good, there are noticeable signs of compression in certain scenes. Blacks are solid, but some night scenes appeared to lack full detail and almost appear a little soft. It appears the transfer has excessive contrast, as whites tend to be overpowering, almost distracting at times, and could have been presented a little more evenly. This is evident in most indoor scenes where a window has sunlight coming through causing the whites to bleed into surrounding detail. If this was an intended look for the film, then one has to ask why? Overall, the transfer will be acceptable by the casual viewer but will hardly be recognized as reference quality.

The sound for ’Hitch’ is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and is nicely balanced throughout. There is decent use of all channels, but the sound is focused mostly in the front. Dialogue is reproduced well and sounds crisp and natural. Since this soundtrack is for a romantic comedy, there is little use of the lower frequency .1 channel.

Extras for ’Hitch’ include a gag reel, a few deleted scenes, featurettes and the music video ’1 Thing’ performed by Amerie.

I found ’Hitch’ to be an overall entertaining film containing the usual mix of romance and comedy that, in my opinion, will appeal to more than just the ’date movie’ crowd.