Hitchcock appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. No notable concerns cropped up here.
Overall definition seemed positive. Although some wide shots could be a bit soft, those instances remained modest. The majority of the flick was detailed and concise. Issues with jaggies and shimmering didn’t occur, and I saw no signs of edge haloes or artifacts. Print flaws also failed to appear here.
In terms of colors, Hitchcock stayed with a subdued palette typical of a period film. It featured a light amber tone, though that didn’t overwhelm; the movie still came with some fairly rich hues when appropriate. Blacks appeared dark and dense, and we found smooth shadows. This became a satisfying presentation.
As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it seemed low-key. That’s what I expected for a character drama like this, so the mix suited the story’s needs. Music showed good stereo involvement, and the soundscape delivered decent information. Most of the audio went with general ambience; though shots on the Psycho set or at the beach added some zest, the scope remained modest.
Audio quality was fine. Music sounded peppy and full, while speech appeared crisp and distinctive. Effects didn’t have a lot to do, but they remained natural and accurate. This was a component soundtrack.
The package’s extras launch with an audio commentary from director Sacha Gervasi and author Stephen Rebello. Both sit together for their running, screen-specific look at the source book and its adaptation for the screen, cast and performances, music and editing, sets and locations, period details, and a few other areas.
Overall, we get a fairly good chat here. Rebello throws out additional notes about historical elements and Gervasi focuses on filmmaking components. Despite a bit too much happy talk, the track moves pretty well and covers the movie in a satisfying manner.
One Deleted Scene goes for one minute, eight seconds. A 34-second intro from Gervasi sets up the clip, and we then see Hitch in fantasy therapy session with Ed Gein that explores the filmmaker’s relationship with his mother. It’s mildly interesting at best.
Becoming the Master: From Hopkins to Hitchcock gives us a 12-minute, 28-second piece with Gervasi, prosthetics makeup department head Howard Berger, hair department head Martin Samuel, costume designer Julie Weiss, production designer Judy Becker, and actors Anthony Hopkins, James D’Arcy, Helen Mirren, Richard Portnow, and Kurtwood Smith. The featurette looks at Hopkins’ performance as well as all the components required to make him resemble Hitchcock. It offers a breezy and concise view of the subject.
For the 29-minute, nine-second Obsessed with Hitchcock, we hear from Gervasi, Rebello, Hopkins, Mirren, D’Arcy, Portnow, Smith, Weiss, Becker, producers Alan Barnette, Tom Pollock, Tom Thayer, Ivan Reitman and Joe Medjuck, executive producers Richard Middleton and Ali Bell, director of photography Jeff Cronenweth, editor Pamela Martin, and actors Michael Wincott, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Danny Huston, Toni Collette, and Michael Stuhlbarg. We get some notes about the production of Psycho and how it got adapted into Hitchcock, story and characters, cast and performances, costumes, cinematography and production design, editing, and some other areas. After the commentary, we get some repetition, but the program delivers a decent overview of the appropriate topics.
Under Sacha Gervasi’s Behind the Scenes Cell Phone Footage, we locate a 13-minute, 31-second collection. This offers exactly what it implies: shots from the set that the director recorded on his smartphone. We find a nice collection of moments and even get to check out the enormous platform shoes Stuhlbarg wore for his character.
Five short promotional featurettes follow. These include The Story (3:54), The Cast (4:25), Danny Elfman: Maestro (2:16), Hitch and Alma (3:15), and Remembering Hitchcock (4:44). Across these, we find comments from Gervasi, Hopkins, Mirren, Johansson, Biel, Collette, D’Arcy, Stuhlbarg, Smith, Portnow, Huston, Rebello,
Psycho script supervisor Marshall Schlom, Trouble With Harry actor Jerry Mathers, Birds actor Veronica Cartwright, Psycho assistant director Hilton A. Green, and Vera Miles’ grandson Jordan Essoe. We get notes about characters and story, cast and performances, and the real-life Hitchcock. These clips exist as promotional efforts and feel that way. They’re not bad, but they’re not memorable – and occasionally repeat snippets seen elsewhere.
Next comes a Hitchcock Cell Phone PSA. The 41-second clip ran in theaters to warn people to turn off their phones pre-film. It’s a fun bonus.
The disc opens with an ad for Stoker, The Sessions and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. These show up under Sneak Peek with clips for Twixt, Life of Pi and Atlas Shrugged: Part 2. We also find the trailer for Hitchcock.
A second disc offers a DVD copy of Hitchcock. Other than some “sneak peeks”, it lacks any extras.
Though it had potential to offer an interesting glimpse behind the curtain, instead Hitchcock usually provided a thin character drama. It offers no real insights into its leads and seems like a misguided effort. The Blu-ray brings us solid picture, audio and bonus materials. While this is a good disc, the movie itself becomes a misfire.