One Hour Photo

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of One Hour Photo
One Hour Photo

The sound and picture are good and although the colours may appear over-saturated in places, this is more to do with the deliberate feel the director was attempting to achieve than any fault of the print itself. The extras are both interesting and varied, although setting up the DVD to listen to the commentary track is annoyingly fiddly.

Mark Romanek more-or-less manages his aim to "avoid sounding like an egomaniacal asshole", offering insightful comments as to how he viewed the film and why he chose to make it in the first place. He may avoid the "asshole" tag, but is terribly earnest about his framing of shots and use of colour, making it just as well that Robin Williams agreed - for the first time on a DVD - to come along for the commentary ride.

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Williams provides enough comic relief to prevent Romanek getting too dry and also offers some interesting thoughts on playing the character of Sy Parish and why he chose a role that was such a departure from his normal parts. It's a shame that they didn't let him off the leash a bit more, as often, when making an interesting comment, he seems to hold himself back, deferring to Romanek rather more than one feels is strictly necessary. Still, as commentary tracks go, this is one of the more engaging I've listened to.

The cinematic featurette, which runs for 12 minutes, is better than some. However, as always seems to be the case with these things, it is best not to watch it before the film, as far too much is given away. The interviews with cast and crew offer an interesting perspective. There is some cross-over between what Williams says here and what he says on the commentary track, but with such a character-based drama you can't help but think that is somewhat inevitable.

Charlie Rose is an American chat show host. If you can tolerate his long-winded preamble about a heart operation, which is more to do with Robin Williams having a laugh than anything to do with the film, some of Williams and Romanek's later discussions prove interesting. Sadly, Charlie isn't a great interviewer, being easily side-tracked into overmilking Williams's gags, but is still worth a watch.

After the commentary track, the Sundance: Anatomy of A Scene is by far the most interesting extra here. This is a 26 minute exploration of one of the key scenes in the film, in which the production team and actors talk about why they feel it is pivotal and how they worked on it to get the right "feel". It is informative, without being bookish, and manages to neatly tread the line between entertainment and education.

The extras really do add to the viewers' overall understanding of the process behind the making of the film and show a surprising amount of variety compared to many other releases.

Reviewed on: 24 Apr 2003
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One Hour Photo packshot
Robin Williams assumes the stalker role in this offbeat thriller.
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Product Code: 22851DVD

Region: 2

Ratio: Anamorphic widescreen 1:85:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Commentary by Mark Romanek and Robin Williams; Cinematic featurette; Charlie Rose Show excerpts, featuring Mark Romanek and Robin Williams as guests; Sundance Anatomy Of A Scene feature.

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