Some Hong Kong action movies go over the top, and others use over-the-top as a starting point. With the help of copious CGI effects and a thoroughly cartoonish mentality, Kung Fu Hustle (Sony) leaps into the latter category. The latest spoof from Shaolin Soccer director/star Stephen Chow centers on a war between a band of gangsters and a series of slumming kung-fu masters, and their clashes turn into an exercise in silly style that's too cool to even need substance…

An exceptionally daring black comedy about Korean's first serial killer, Memories Of Murder (Palm) volleys between broad humor and deep tragedy, epitomizing the wild tonal shifts that have come to define contemporary Korean cinema. The Keystone antics of a pair of backwater cops working well over their heads inspires plenty of big laughs, but the weight of their despair increases as time passes and the case grows hopeless…

Maybe because he looks like a chip off the ol' cinder block, James Caan's son Scott never got the respect he deserved for his directorial debut, Dallas 362 (ThinkFilm)—it sputtered out in one New York theater a full year after it was made. Sure, its story of a well-meaning kid (Shawn Hatosy) with a nose for trouble is packed with coming-of-age clichés, but Scott Caan's whipcrack editing and ability to get terrific performances from his actors makes his film (and his career) worth some attention…

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The beauty and brutality of solitary life are nicely captured in Campbell Scott's Off The Map (Sony), which could be viewed as a Southwestern variation on Nicolas Roeg's classic Australian-outback movie Walkabout, but Scott lacks Roeg's lyrical touch. The story of a reclusive family's interaction with an IRS flunky is handled almost with too much restraint: After a while, the characters become so absorbed in existential ennui that they're nearly catatonic…

Fun fact about Because Of Winn-Dixie (Fox): Though the dog who stars in the movie is supposed to be a mutt, it's actually a Berger de Picard (a.k.a. Picardy Shepherd), a rare French breed. But do all members of that breed share Winn-Dixie's ability to heal Jeff Daniels' broken heart and help his daughter forge new friendships?