Park Chan-Wook, of "Oldboy" fame, has spent the last decade slowly carving out a name for himself as perhaps the most elegant of this generation’s collective of ’explicit’ genre filmmakers. "Stoker," his first English-language film, may not be his most extreme, or his most elegant, or even his best. But the cultural disconnect - and the fact that Park, apparently, can hardly speak English - imbues this dark yarn, which plays as equal parts Tennessee Williams and bildungsroman and serial killer thriller, with a hallucinatory edge. He can’t even understand what they’re saying, so the entire film is defined solely by what we see; dialogue just getting in the way. At its best, it achieves a profound, lyrical rhythm. At it’s worst, it’s just plain silly.
The special features get deep into the meticulous nature of Park’s process - and how it allowed him to direct a movie that, in a sense, he didn’t understand. Fox includes a 30-minute behind-the-scenes documentary (Park is subtitled,) a large collection of on-set photography, 10 more minutes of random behind-the-scenes featurettes, and then a number of promotional materials (trailers, red carpet footage, a music video.) There’s also about 10 minutes of relatively worthless extended (not really deleted) scenes.
The movie, shot lusciously on 35mm film, does look incredible on the Blu-ray. Park shot it with a creepy, all-enveloping texture; one that almost excuses the crass, pedestrian thrills of the shoehorned-in murder sequences. Park doesn’t hit all his marks, for once. But it’s so loud, expressive, go-for-broke. It’s not his most well directed film, but it’s his most directed.
Blu-ray/Digital Copy Combo Pack