Movie Review: “Hitchcock.”
Alan Zilberman | Nov 26, 2012 | 2:00PM |

When I first saw Psycho as a teenager, I remember being immediately jealous of the audiences who first saw it back in 1960. The movie and its twists are part of film history now, so there was no chance I could go into it fresh. But back in 1960, audiences must have freaked the fuck out when the lead actress dies before the halfway mark. Hitchcock, the new biopic directed by Sacha Gervasi, looks at the nervy choices the Master of Suspense made during the production of (arguably) his most famous work. It’s clever and fun story, although strangely absent of any insight into its subject.

>>>>>>>>>>>> Here is a Featured Event >>>>>>>>>>>>
Friday 04/21
Paul Rodriguez LIVE from Original Latin Kings of Comedy @ Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse
$25 / $25
Longtime comedian Paul Rodriguez has been making audiences laugh all over the world (in Spanish and English) for nearly three decades with his unique brand of humor that is a perfect blend of his Latin heritage, the American dream and his undeniable universal appeal. As an actor and comedian, Paul Rodriguez’s multi-faceted career includes starring roles and featured appearances in over 45 films and countless television series and comedy specials. Voted one of the most influential Hispanics in America and awarded the Ruben Salazar Award by The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, Rodriguez has remained a constant force in his community and the world of comedy throughout his career. Rodriguez's film credits include "Without Men" with Eva Longoria and Christian Slater; "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore;" "The Deported," "I’m Not Like That No More"with comedian Felipe Esparza (2010 "Last Comic Standing" winner), Disney’s blockbuster hit "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," "The World’s Fastest Indian," "A Cinderella Story," "How to Get the Man's Foot Outta Your Ass," "Ali," "Tortilla Soup," "Crocodile Dundee in LA," "Rat Race," "Bloodwork," "Chasing Papi"and "D.C. Cab," among others. The multifaceted entertainer recently wrote and performed his first-ever one-man show "Just for the Record," which is now available on DVD. In this tell-all theatrical piece, Rodriguez takes audiences on a journey through his remarkable life, including his childhood in Mexico, to his family's move to Compton, California (where he grew up), his illustrious career and the significant relationships and moments that helped shape his life along the way. Rodriguez has hosted several hit series, including the entertainment talk show "El Show de Paul Rodriguez," an entertainment talk show for Univision which reached over 50 markets throughout the United States and an international audience in over 17 countries in Central and South America. His additional hosting credits include the The NCLR ALMA Awards, The Tejano Music Awards, Showtime’s Latino Laugh Festival and his own television specials "Back to School" and "Behind Bars." He recently hosted "Mis Videos Locos with Paul Rodriguez” on Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más. As an accomplished writer, director and producer for television, motion pictures and feature shows, Rodriguez has several hit projects to his credit including the comedy concert film "The Original Latin Kings of Comedy," which he executive produced and starred in along with Cheech Marin, George Lopez and Carlos Mencia; the feature film "A Million to Juan,"which he also wrote, directed and starred in; six comedy specials for HBO including "Loco Slam, " "Live in San Quentin" and "Idiots and Armadillos." As executive producer, he recently struck comedy again with his Comedy Central stand-up concert DVD, “Comedy Rehab.” In addition to his many hit comedy specials in English, Rodriguez has the distinguished credit of performing the first-ever one-hour standup comedy special in Spanish, "Dime Con Quien Andas,"for Telemundo. Among his many credits, Rodriguez has also made guest appearances on several Late Night shows including "The Wanda Sykes Show,""The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Last Call with Carson Daly,"and "Politically Incorrect." Additionally, he has guest starred in several television series including "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," "Shaken Not Stirred," DIRECTV’s"S upreme Court of Comedy,"Showtime's original series "Resurrection Boulevard"and"American Family." He has also lent his voice to popular animated series including "King of the Hill,""Dora the Explorer" and "The Proud Family." Rodriguez’s first big break came while doing comedy warm-ups for Norman Lear's show "Gloria."Lear ultimately wrote and developed a weekly series for Rodriguez entitled "a.k.a. Pablo," which is enshrined at the Smithsonian and holds the distinct honor for being the first television show about a Mexican American family on mainstream American television.
>>>>>>>>>>>> Ok, back to the article! >>>>>>>>>>>>

The film industry thinks Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) is over the hill, incapable of showing audiences anything new. And after the stunning success of North by Northwest, Paramount wants him to make another big budget hit. The novel “Psycho” gives the lethargic Hitchcock a jolt of inspiration, and while his wife Alma (Helen Mirren) is skeptical at first, she collaborates with him as always. Her loyalty is never in question – Paramount agrees to distribute Psycho only after Hitchcock agrees to pay for it himself – at least until Alma starts working with Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston), a handsome screenwriter. Alma distances herself from her husband as filming gets underway, so serial killer Ed Gein’s (Michael Wincott) nasty ideas start to invade the director’s subconscious.

Hitchcock is at its best when it shows the details of filmmaking. The director’s early conversations with Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson) and Anthony Perkins (James D’Arcy) are an opportunity to showcase the director’s obsessions. He always dominated his leading ladies, for example, so Leigh gets a warning from Vera Miles (Jessica Biel) about how his approach to directing can be cruel. In a knowing joke, Perkins hints at his sexual orientation by mentioning which of Hitchcock’s films are his favorite. Even though the conclusion is foregone, Gervasi generates some suspense by showing how Hitchcock solves the problem of the peephole and the infamous shower scene. There is nothing new for longtime fans of the film – the drama works best for newcomers – so Hitchcock works as insider entertainment.

Strangely, screenwriter John J. McLaughlin gives the subplot of Alma and Whitfield Cook the same amount of attention as Psycho. Hitchcock and his wife may sleep in separate beds, yet his jealousy consumes him. Gervasi has a trick to make us care about this material: with menacing shots and controlled camera movement, he shoots the romantic subplot like a Hitchcockian suspense sequence. The appearance of Gein, the killer who inspired Psycho, suggests that Hitchcock’s dark imagination grows more pervasive when Alma grows more distant. Despite this technique, the romantic sub-plot is still a distraction. Bells and whistles cannot hide its bland predictability. Mirren may have a terrific scene where she finally explodes at her husband, one where she describes her unwavering support, but she never develops any chemistry with Hopkins. Their scenes together are like concurrent solos, not a duet.

When Hitchcock finally screens Psycho before an audience, he steps out of the theater before the shower scene. His behavior in the auditorium is an over-the-top metaphor for his relationship to his audience: it works in the moment, but leaves lingering questions. In fact, Hitchcock wanes after pausing to think about what actually happened. The film suggests that the director got over his strange relationship with women, but thanks to The Birds, we know that’s not true. It reinforces Hitchcock’s marriage too neatly since real life rarely follows a common three-act structure. Hitchcock replaces depth with charm, so instead of any greater appreciation for the man, I merely found myself wanting to watch Psycho again.