Culture » Film

Last Shop Standing, One Hour Photo, Pawn



Last Shop Standing (NR)

MVD Entertainment Group

Subtitled "The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Independent Record Shop," this Record Store Day release is an engrossing, loving and fetishistic British documentary about the decline of the record store. It's lovable, with one exception: At only 50 minutes long, it goes by too fast to let you absorb it. Musicians like Billy Bragg, Paul Weller, Norman Cook and Johnny Marr all pontificate beautifully about the importance of their shops, but the real heart of the film is with the shop owners, exploring their humility as they detail how once-profitable shops are done in by the new waves of technology that've made them obsolete. It's heartbreaking to know that these guys are hanging on by a thread, and the film really does a perfect job of guilting you into shopping at your local indie music store. But still, 50 minutes doesn't do the trick. Expand this, guys, before another store goes down. — Louis Fowler


One Hour Photo (R) (Blu-ray)

20th Century Fox

Director Mark Romanek's character study of a creepy fotomat technician was probably the last opportunity to exploit the harsh fluorescents and whirring machinery that was, once upon a time, the gatekeeper of your cherished memories. In 2002, the plight of Michael Vartan and Connie Nielsen, a young couple whose perfect family becomes a point of obsession for snooping photo technician Sy Parrish (Robin Williams), seemed extreme but relatable. Who hasn't squirmed a little at pickup? But in 2013, when we think nothing of sharing those photos with the world, Sy's craftsmanship and meticulous (if psychotic) care for a stranger's snapshots of happy times (the like of which Sy will never experience) is more poignant and terrifying. Ignored for too long, this minor masterpiece gets new extras within this Blu-ray treatment, including rehearsal footage and title credits tests. — Justin Strout


Pawn (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Forest Whitaker and Michael Chiklis, who were both apparently on The Shield, a show I've never seen, reunite for the turgid crime thriller Pawn, even though they both probably should have known better. Pawn isn't a bad film, mind you, just a routine one. It's filled with all the same old crime-flick tropes you've come to know and expect by now, with few surprises to justify them. At a very cinematic diner, a cop walks in amid a robbery. But there's more to it than we see, and the stories go back and forth to get to the "shocking" twist that, really, is kind of easy to anticipate. Filled with great actors like Ray Liotta and Common, who both deliver the goods where the story can't, Pawn is the type of movie that was probably a labor of love, with labor unwarranted and love unjustified. It's just not a very entertaining movie at all. — Louis Fowler

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