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Hitchcock
BLU-RAY disk
Apr 10, 2013 By: Mathew Plale
Hitchcock order
Director:
Sacha Gervasi

Actors:
Anthony Hopkins
Helen Mirren
Scarlett Johansson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Despite clashes with the studios and censors, Alfred Hitchcock (Hopkins) sets out to silence his critics with a horror film titled Psycho.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
By the time he made North by Northwest in 1959, Alfred Hitchcock had 46 films under his belt and 60 years to his age. He was one of the most acclaimed filmmakers on the scene. But he wasnt without his detractors, who suggested he should get out while he could.

With an eager need to disprove any naysayers, Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins, who has the voice down pat but is given too many pounds and too large of a beak to nail the look) picked up a copy of Robert Bochs Psycho. What if someone really good made a horror picture? And so, despite pleas of studio execs and against cinematic norms, he did.

Sacha Gervasis (Anvil! The Story of Anvil) narrative debut, Hitchcock, is based on Stephen Rebellos Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho and dramatizes, well, Hitchcock and the making of Psycho. With little support except from the always sturdy guidance of wife/muse Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), Hitch bankrolled the film himself, cast Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson) and Anthony Perkins (James DArcy) and shot the film in three months.

Any informed moviegoer who knows anything about Psychos production (from the battle with censors and the shower scene/toilet controversy to Hitchs obsessive secrecy and the world premiere) will be terribly bored. Its not that Hitchcock is a bad movie, but there isnt a whole lot to chew on. It clocks in at 98 minutes and moves so briskly that it never allows for any proper drama or suspense. (Of course Psycho will be met with raves; of course Hitch will make another half-dozen films.)

Hitchcock is at its best in its scenes between Hitch and Alma. These scenes are the most intriguing in the film, but since the focus is clearly on Psycho, the screenplay (by John J. McLaughlin) can only hint at what their relationship must have really been like. Theyre all inadvertent teases of a much better story.

As it is, theres really not much in Hitchcock to differentiate it between any made-for-TV movie. By coincidence (or, rather, clever planning), HBO aired The Girl (with Toby Jones as Hitch and Sienna Miller as Tippi Hedren) just one month before Hitchcock hit theaters. Neither is definitive.

THE EXTRAS
Audio commentary with director Sacha Gervasi and author Stephen Rebello: Gervasi and Rebello divide their time between discussing the Master of Suspense, their respective Hitch-centered works and the films production. The pair has a strong rapport, which makes this an easy listen.

Deleted Scene (1:42): This cut scene (with an introduction by Rebello) finds Hitch being analyzed by Ed Gein.

Becoming the Master: From Hopkins to Hitchcock (12:28) looks at the work that went into turning Anthony Hopkins into Alfred Hitchcock, with special emphasis put on the Oscar-nominated makeup and hairstyling.

Obsessed with Hitchcock (29:09): This making-of featurette uses interviews, clips and on-set footage to give a great overview into Hitchcocks production.

Sacha Gervasis Behind the Scenes Cell Phone Footage (13:31) offers just that, with footage capturing the cast, sets and props.

Hitchcock Cell Phone PSA (0:41)

The Story (3:54) looks at the basic plot of Hitchcock.

The Cast (4:24) serves up interviews with Hopkins, Helen Mirren and more.

Danny Elfman Maestro (2:16) shows the famed composer in the studio.

Hitch and Alma (3:15) briefly looks at the relationship between Hitchcock and his wife/mentor Alma Reville.

Remembering Hitchcock (4:44): A selection of cast and crew who knew Hitchcock reflect on their memories and comment on the films approach.

Theatrical Trailer

DVD/Digital Copy

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Sacha Gervasi's narrative debut, Hitchcock, offers a safe, broad overview of the making of the Master of Suspense's Psycho that will amuse those unfamiliar with the production but leave those who know of the behind-the-scenes troubles bored and wanting more from the Hitch/Alma storyline. Supplements include a commentary, several featurettes and more.
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7:52AM on 04/10/2013
Just one minor point. It was Sienna Miller and not Naomi Watts that was in The Girl.
Just one minor point. It was Sienna Miller and not Naomi Watts that was in The Girl.
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