THE WOLFMAN: Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) is recruited by Gwen (Emily Blunt) to search for her missing fiance. This remake languishes with Shakespearian thoughtfulness while nudging the action along with state of the art CGI doo-dadery, creating unlikely transformations and gory mayhem. The result is an unfortunate seen-that, been-there reaction from experienced moviegoers who require their cinematic blood to spill with more imagination. The costuming and sets are the film's best assets, transporting viewers into rural English country houses of 1891, where the likes of Lawrence's father, Sir John Talbot (Anthony Hopkins) can strut comfortably in its gothic surroundings. This is a perfect period piece tipped askew by modern visual aids. One wonders how old Hitchcock would have played the shot. Comments included: "Not a bad remake" ... "I was expecting a more sophisticated film. The special effects only made it seem cheap"
PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF: Percy Jackson (Logan Leman) has all the normal teenage problems but none as troublesome as being the son of Greek god Poseidon. So he's off to child-of-deities camp and then, as if his plate isn't full already, he has to save his mother from Hades while preventing a war among the gods. It apparently doesn't measure up to novelist Rick Riordan's popular adolescent series but it does feature plenty of energy and excitement. Viewers reacted: "Great movie, although it didn't follow the book" (many) ... "Wow. Great fantasy" ... and "Good action, lots of fun."
VALENTINE'S DAY: "Valentine's Day has so many charming and adorable ingredients that the good romantic simplicity gets lost in the mixing. You never really know who the focus is. Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Patrick Dempsey, Jennifer Garner, Jamie Foxx, Eric Dane, Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Hector Elizondo, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, Carter Jenkins and Emma Roberts. Catch my drift? There is enough cute here to stop Godzilla in his tracks, and that made for an entertaining dash for many viewers, but not enough of the good old romantic simplicity for others. All the classic lovebird roadblocks are thrown down, but nothing works at a high level here. Viewers said: "Sweet film for Valentine's Day but definitely not as good as 'Love Actually'" ... "So many stories and characters that after the movie you hardly remember any, but still entertaining" ... "Very funny" ... Boring" ... and "Delightful, makes you feel better."
NEW ON DVD
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN: Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler) experiences the horror of having his wife and child murdered while only one of the murderers gets punished and the other is set free. Defense attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) has a track record of swapping testimony for freedom to get convictions. Ten years later, Clyde butchers the unpunished killer and cordially goes to jail promising further retribution unless Rice changes his methods. Critics called it preposterous, yet moviegoers loved the cat-and-mouse thrills, awarding it a super must-see 91 percent approval. No disappointments guaranteed. Viewers commented: "Good action movie. Gives people what they want" ... "I was drawn in from start to finish. Very entertaining" ... and "I'm sure the critics saw a different movie."
COCO BEFORE CHANEL: Audrey Tautou plays the famed French fashion designer and entrepreneur Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel going from her beginnings as nightclub singer and advancing with the help of wealthy patron Etienne Balsan (Benoit Poelvoorde) to become the fashion icon of the century. Perfect for fans of French-subtitled atmosphere films (75 percent approval). Viewers concluded: "Fabulous story, but the pacing is too slow" ... "The movie itself is quiet but has nice music."
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