The story revolves around a trio who grew up in a boarding school with no contact or knowledge of the outside world until they discover they are clones grown for the sole purpose of organ donation.
Reviewed by Mike Ferraro
There was a lot of excitement over Mark Romanek’s feature-length directorial debut. First, it was a milestone for Robin Williams’ career. Instead of playing his typical comedic or traditionally dramatic role, he steered more towards a creepy villain-esque character work. Despite also playing a villain in another film of the same year (Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia remake), it is in One Hour Photo where Williams’ performance finds greater success.
Secondly, Romanek might be responsible for directing the greatest music video ever put to screen (Johnny Cash’s Hurt cover plays as almost a perfect eulogy by the man himself). So who wouldn’t be excited to see what this guy could create in theatrical setting?
Seymour Parrish (Robin Williams) is a lonesome photo lab technician working out of a rather large department store. He isn’t the sort of character you would imagine as having a big set of friends in the outside world. It’s clear that his life is rather dull and empty. His apartment contains no real decoration, outside of some rather plain furniture pieces clearly picked out of necessity instead of creativity.
He has worked in the photo lab for over a decade and in that time became overly dedicated to printing the perfect photo, even if his customers don’t really notice the difference. One of the more notable things in Seymour’s life are his customers who he has watched grow over time by studying the pictures they bring in to develop.
His favorite customer is Nina Yorkin (Connie Nielsen), wife of Will Yorkin and mother of Jakob. Nina is a regular and Seymour lights up every time she walks into the store (especially when Jakob is with her). Through his work, he has watched this family bloom from couple-hood to parenthood. Sy the Photo Guy, a nickname given to him by Jakob, has even had the glory of watching this boy grow up over time.
One Hour Photo begins with such an intriguing premise but ultimately hinders on problematic pacing and writing issues. Romanek’s script can’t seem to decide whom or what it’s more interested in – the Yorkin’s transition from perfection to broken, or Sy himself. By the latter half of the film, when the Yorkin’s perfect family image is shattered by infidelity, Parrish’s mental state swings for the fences. It all happens so sudden but without any real surprise. The film rarely provides clues as to who Parrish really is and when it decides to finally reveal his true past, it’s a tad too late.
And that is the true dilemma. There is plenty to compliment about One Hour Photo and it certainly does more right than wrong. Romanek’s direction and Williams’ restrained performance walk hand-in-hand with each other, complimented further by Jeff Cronenweth’s (Fight Club, The Social Network) cinematography.
This recently released blu-ray contains a ton of special features that are more geared towards film students than anything. There is a section dedicated to the rehearsal process, where you can see how Williams really started to shape his performance as Sy. There is a commentary track with Romanek and Williams, of which the latter is more reserved and thoughtful than you’d expect. They both discuss many of the film’s themes (some of which simply get lost in the writing’s shortcomings). Regardless, it is a pretty solid track, which again, aims more towards students or scholars more so than the casual audience.
The disc also includes a storyboard gallery of almost the entire film, a Cinemax promo, a feature on Sy’s nightmare sequence, and a location featurette. It also contains a Charlie Rose Show episode with the director and star, a Sundance: Anatomy of a Scene segment that breaks down the scene in which Sy meets Mr. Yorkin in an aisle of the store.
Overall, this is a pretty solid disc packed with enough special features to keep you busy for a while. However, the worst part of the disc comes from the transfer itself. The look of the film is almost ruined with grain and jitters, that at times, feels like you’re watching a DVD. You have to wonder if Fox even consulted Romanek himself about the transfer or if the film has an audience or following strong enough to warrant another release to fix the picture issues.
For those of you who want to feel really old, it’s been 19 years since the release of the classic Nine Inch Nails album The Downward Spiral. Yeah, 19 years. A baby born that year is now either in college or getting ready to go there. Let that sink in for a moment and then come over to my place where I have box upon box of tissues so that we may weep together.
In celebration of this milestone, we want to point you to a fantastic mini-documentary that focuses on Mark Romanek’s now infamous “Closer” music video. Romanek says about the song that, “…it’s probably the most amazing piece of music I’ve ever been given to make a video for…“. The documentary was compiled and edited by How To Destroy Angels member/visual editor Rob Sheridan. Give it a watch below.
We’re now entering the crème de la crème of our Top 10 Nine Inch Nails Music Videos. From here on out, these videos are the very best that the band has to offer, the ones that stand out head and shoulders above the rest. Head on below to see our pick for #3.
After an exhaustive search, actor-singer Jesse McCartney just landed the final role on Fox’s drama pilot Locke & Key. He will play Ty, the eldest of the Locke children. It is a key role in the project as it is considered the male lead on the show, reports Deadline.
“Locke & Key,” from 20th TV, Kurtzman/Orci and DreamWorks TV, is based on Joe Hill’s comic. It tells the story of Nina Locke (Miranda Otto) and her three children, Tyler (McCartney), Kinsey (Sarah Bolger), and Bode (Skylar Gaertner) who, after the brutal murder of Nina’s husband Rendell Locke, return to Keyhouse, his old family home in Massachusetts. There, they are pestered by an evil entity that’s determined to hold the family hostage one way or another until it gets what it wants.
As Ty, McCartney will be able to show off his music talents. According to the character description, Ty was the closest with his dad and carries a special guilt for his father’s death. He isolates himself a bit by retreating into his music.
Genius Mark Romanek will be directing the pilot.
Now that “The Walking Dead” is rolling like a freight truck through AMC, my eyes are set on Fox’s Locke & Key, which next to “The Walking Dead” and “Preacher”, is one of my all-time favorite ongoing comics. Penned by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son), Mark Romanek will be directing the pilot presentation that has cast Miranda Otto as the mother and now Sarah Bolger (The Moth Diaries) will play her daughter Kinsey. The series will tell the story of Nina Locke (Otto) and her three children, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode, who survive an unspeakable horror and attempt to rebuild their lives at Keyhouse, their family home in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. It is a mysterious New England mansion, with fantastic and transformative keys hidden inside its walls that are also being sought by a hate-filled and relentless creature with ties to the Locke family’s past who will stop at nothing to accomplish his sinister goals. I highly recommend reading. The art is beautiful.
I apparently missed a pretty damn important piece of news during the initial announcement that the great Mark Romanek would be directing the pilot episode of Fox’s Locke & Key TV series. It has been revealed that Miranda Otto (War of the Worlds, Lord of the Rings) will be starring as Nina Locke, the drunk mother of Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode, who all survive an unspeakable horror and attempt to rebuild their lives at Keyhouse, their family home in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. It is a mysterious New England mansion, with fantastic and transformative keys hidden inside its walls that are also being sought by a hate-filled and relentless creature with ties to the Locke family’s past who will stop at nothing to accomplish his sinister goals. Josh Friedman penned the pilot. Casting is currently underway.
I was heartbroken when Mark Romanek left Universal’s The Wolfman. There’s nothing more spectacular when a unprecedented genius takes on the horror genre, and that was a stake in my heart. Once again I’ve got my hopes up as Deadline is reporting that Romanek will direct the pilot for Fox’s Locke & Key. Based on Joe Hill’s (Stephen King’s son) absolutely riveting comic, the story revolves around a trio of children who become the caretakers of Keyhouse, a mansion in New England that is full of secrets and magic. The kids discover doors that take them to different places, give them powers and even alter gender and skin color. Behind one door is a dangerously violent creature. Josh Friedman penned the pilot.
An employee of a one-hour photo lab becomes obsessed with a young suburban family.