'One Hour Photo'

THIS FILM IS a Mork-free zone: You won't find a trace of zany lovability in Robin Williams' performance as Seymour Parrish, "Sy the Photo Guy," in Photo (on disc Feb. 18). Beneath his affable, unflappable carapace of normality, he's a chilling creep in the cinematic tradition of The Stepfather and Peeping Tom. Sy's office is the most bloodless, sterile zone in the bloodless, sterile SavMart store; he works mostly alone, collecting film of the most intimate moments of people's lives and developing them with the maniacal dedication Ansel Adams lavished on Half Dome. No wonder he bonds with his favorite customers, the sleek, upscale Yorkin family. He plasters his home with their photos and stalks them in real life. When Mr. Yorkin's mistress brings in steamy photos of him cheating with her, Sy does not take it well.

A friend of mine who worked at a photo lab tells me a high proportion of the images were of couples in flagrante, so the premise is plausible. Alas, the thriller payoff is less than thrilling, and Sy is the palest imaginable duplicate of Ralph Fiennes' crazy photo-developer killer in Red Dragon. Writer-director Mark Romanek, who made videos for Madonna and R.E.M., has a slick hand, and D.P. Jeff Cronenweth and production designer Tom Foden craft a clammy, evocative lookspare, gray, blue, drained of life. Unfortunately, Williams' performance, skilled as it is, is also a dead zone. The bonus features are worthy: a Sundance Channel bit called Anatomy of a Scene; a shared commentary track with Williams and Romanek; and the Charlie Rose interview with the pair.

Tim Appelo

CHARLIE ROSE does not appear, thankfully, among the extras on other recent discs. All or Nothing features nice performances by Timothy Spall and other Brits. Spy Kids 2 boasts lots of extras for kids. 1994's Stargate is out on a deluxe, bonus-laden two-disc set. De Niro disgraces himself in City by the Sea. Spielberg's The Color Purple returns as a special-edition package. The director's cut of Cinema Paradiso is worse than the '89 version. Milestone has uncovered a once-lost silent starring Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle, while Fox is releasing special editions of old Oscar winners like All About Eve and Sunrise.

B.R.M.

bmiller@seattleweekly.com

 
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