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DVD Reviews: One Hour Photo (Retail)

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Peter Parmec
Distributed by:
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Running Time: 92 Minutes

Those of us old enough remember Robin Williams as the affable alien Mork from Ork from Happy Days and the Mork and Mindy show.  Here he shows a considerably darker side in a rich psychological thriller directed by Mark Romanek.

Sy Parrish (Williams) is a photo developer with a universal human affliction; he is just downright lonely.  His mundane existence is seemingly made more bearable by his interaction with his customers whose lives he explores through their photos.  One family in particular fuels his obsession to the point he actively inserts himself into their private lives in the desire to ‘help’ them.  This leads to Sy’s breakdown in determining fantasy from reality, which leaves him jobless, and on the brink of potential destruction of himself and of those around him.

DVD visual transfer is crisp and pleasing throughout, to be expected with such a new release, with anamorphic transfer for the lucky widescreen owners out there.  Audio is in Dolby Digital 5.1 format and I found a good use of the entire surround spectrum with high quality dialogue and audio sync.  Music is used well to emphasise the tension in the storyline.

Extras include an audio commentary from Robin Williams and director Mark Romanek, a short making of featurette, a talk show interview and a detailed breakdown of a pivotal scene in the movie.  The menu was nicely animated with a distinct photo-processing theme.       

The success of the movie lies with Williams’s portrayal of a creepy and unpredictable loner.  He is a tragic figure who by the end of the movie endears sympathy rather than loathing.  These themes have been explored before in classics such as Taxi Driver and are as poignant now as they were back then.  An interesting if not somewhat disturbing DVD that comes recommended to those wanting to explore the darker side of human nature.

One Hour Photo (Retail) Features

  • Audio Commentary
  • Making of Featurette
  • Interview
  • Scene Analysis


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