‘Stoker’ shoots for excellence, but falls short of the target

Director Park Chan-wook enters new territory in his first English language film, “Stoker.” The concept behind “Stoker” (charming, elusive relative + deadly family secrets = mystery & intrigue) draws audience attention, and with the previous festival success of Chan-wook’s “Old Boy” (2003), we had high expectations. Unfortunately, the overall predictability and shoddy execution of the film…

Spoiler alert, ‘John Dies At the End’

So much for spoiler warnings. Based 0n the book by the same name, comedic horror movie “John Dies at the End” inevitably dissolves into the stoner/sci-fi medley the title implies. But somehow it’s peculiarly enjoyable. David Wong (Chase Williamson) is a sarcastic skeptic with a chronic case of stank face. His buddy John (Rob Mayes),…

Oscar-nom live-action shorts prove length is a non-issue

The short film is an underrated treasure.  Shoving the same amount of originality and visual aestheticism into films one-third the length (if not less) of the average, commercial movie requires a completely different level of story-telling ingenuity. And when it comes to the world of entertainment, there’s nothing better than an excellent story. Competing for…

‘Wreck-It Ralph’ wipes out the competition

Paying homage to the extensive world of video games past and present, “Wreck-It Ralph” is a true contender for most original animated film of the year. “Wreck-It Ralph” leads with an animated short appropriately named “Paperman,” an affectionately contrived boy-meets-girl tale that masterfully mixes CG with hand-drawn animation. Drawn in black-and-white, ‘Paperman’ evokes the magic…

‘Seven Psychopaths’ unhinged humor leaves audience hanging

Sporadically ridiculous and comically dark, “Seven Psychopaths” is a work of satirical ingenuity with surprising depth that aims for the jugular of the Hollywood movie machine. However, audiences may find that the bouts of absurdity in the film distract from its desire to give reflective commentary. Marty (Colin Farrell) is a screenwriter struggling with writer’s block…