Category Archives: one hour photo

The Only Films the Academy Ever Sees

Time warp time again, folks. This one was written shortly after the Oscar nominations for this year’s awards…

“THE ONLY FILMS THE ACADEMY EVER SEES”
Observations about the 2002 Oscar nominations

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is supposed to see all the movies released the current year so as to judge what should be nominated as the best in each given category. Well, at least in a perfect world. We all know that’s not the way it works.

The real rules are different. They only see films released in December. Only films by major directors. Only featuring tried (or should that be tired) and true actors like Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. If it’s got Tom Hanks it’s got a pretty good chance too. Plusses for films with Nazis or the handicapped also have a good shot as well. Don’t ask me, I don’t make the rules.

Speaking of Jack Nicholson, I also have to assume I’m the only one sick of Jack Nicholson being nominated for playing Jack Nicholson. Oh. Boy. I just can’t wait to see him act with genius Adam Sandler later this year in Anger Management. What a joy that will be. Does Jack have some serious gambling debts we don’t know about? He can’t need the money that bad.

Nominations can not include horror movies or comedies, Nothing with teenage casts or rock music scores. Nothing animated, no superheroes, no action heroes and nothing based on TV show or toy. These aren’t real films. Which is a shame, one of the better performances I’ve ever seen from Lou Gossett is in a wretched piece of crap called The Punisher, based on a Marvel comic book. A performance no doubt never seen by the Academy.

The Hours? Interesting idea but the movie is aptly named – it seems like hours. My Big Fat Greek Wedding? It deserved much much more than just a nomination for screenplay. Adaptation? I can’t understand this one, yeah, it was clever but much too long. Meryl Streep was capable of better than this and Nicholas Cage… get real, he had a double role so he was twice as bad as usual.

Where was One Hour Photo and Insomnia? How often do you get (and I don’t believe I’m saying this) two movies in one year where Robin Williams actually deserves praise? Where was Igby Goes Down? Where was the screenplay nom for Spider-Man or the musical score for Harry Potter? What about Dennis Quaid and The Rookie? Sam Rockwell and Drew Barrymore in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind as well as George Clooney? Where is the major omission this year (notably based on a comic book) Road to Perdition featuring wonderful performances by Jude Law, Tom Hanks and Paul Newman along with director Sam Mendes.

Oh, well, I guess this is another year I’ll watch the Oscars on tape with my finger on the fast forward button. There’s always next year. Yeah, right.

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Death to Smoochy

DEATH TO DEATH TO SMOOCHY

A Video Review of Death To Smoochy

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

I didn’t hate this movie completely but I did hate it a lot.

As the story goes, kiddie show host Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams) gets busted for notorious and decidedly un-kiddie–show-host-like activities and the network seeks out a more innocent uncorruptible replacement in Smoochy, a big purple rhino (Edward Norton). It deteriorates from there as bad acting, worse writing and supposed hilarity ensues.

Edward Norton escapes with his reputation intact. He demonstrates his usual talent and skill despite being surrounded by ineptitude. It must be said that his quaint and lovable ‘Smoochy’ is cotton candy compared to the work he’s done in hard-hitting dramas like Primal Fear and American History X but his ability still shines through.

Co-star Robin Williams is the reason I stayed away from this mess when it was in the theatres, you know, it had that warning label “starring Robin Williams.” I never tire of that joke. This role was obviously practice for Williams’ later and progressively superior sociopaths in Insomnia and One Hour Photo. It’s a damn shame he had to practice on screen. What begins as legitimate evil turns to frightening and finally to Williams’ usual hyperactive nonsense. Sad.

Lead actress and Ed Norton’s producer and romantic interest Catherine Keener is perfectly fine as a bitchy ice queen but once her emotions come out we get to see her limited range. She is terrible, the less said the better.

There are bright spots. I can’t wait to see Pam Ferris who played the Irish mob mistress and Michael Rispoli as her punch drunk ex-prize fighter cousin in action again. Their performances are gems amongst coal. Also don’t miss the wonderfully twisted “Stepfather Song.”

Writer Adam Resnick has proven himself an unsure bet. He was excellent with 2000’s Lucky Numbers but then you have Cabin Boy and this mess… odds are for his next script to be good. If you have to see this one at all, see it with your finger on the fast forward button and a friend who’s seen it before to warn you for the good parts.

Agree with me? Want to fight about it? Reach me here.

One Hour Photo

A Film Review of “One Hour Photo”

Copyright 2002 Glenn Walker

Robin Williams is not a favorite. But here, in his second sociopathic role (the first being Insomnia from earlier this year), his understated subtle performance may win him another Oscar nomination. Usually Williams strikes me as waaay over the top in an annoying Jim Carrey (like in “Jack” or “The Survivors”) but that probably is due to suffering through his stand up act or early “Mork and Mindy” brainwashing. Otherwise he is this annoying sympathetic character just this side of Tom Hanks (a la “Bicentennial Man” or “Dead Poet Society”).

In “One Hour Photo” Williams is Sy Parrish, a middle-aged photo developer at K-Mart wannabe Sav-Mart who becomes waaay too attached to a family whose pictures he’s done for over a decade. As obsession turns to stalkingthe line between reality and fantasy blurs and Sy becomes downright dangerous. Robin Williams is pricelessly creepy and deeply disturbing, almost as if he were channeling Anthony Perkins or Anthony Hopkins.

No one in the audience can help but squirm as Sy visits the family’s nine year old son at a soccer practice and just gets too close. You want to yell for the boy to run. It’s positively chilling. Must see.