Return to the Machine

I'll be with you as soon as I figure out how to make it fartThis weekend brings a whopping three major-studio releases to the megaplexes — the most since Christmas, I believe. And what a wide selection for Valentine’s Day!

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief“: Chris Columbus brings Rob Riordan’s young-adult adventure to the big screen in a naked attempt to launch another “Harry Potter” franchise … and it’s actually sort of okay. Uma Thurman is Medusa, Steve Coogan is Hades, Catherine Keener is the hero’s mom and Pierce Brosnan plays a helpful centaur. The man is up for anything, isn’t he?

“Valentine’s Day”: Garry Marshall casts his net, drags in everyone who’s hot right now — Bradley Cooper! The “Gray’s Anatomy” fellas! Two whole Taylors! — and throws ’em all in a multicharacter salute to the wonderfulness of love. As I’m contractually excused from watching Marshall’s movies after “Georgia Rule”, I will catch up to this some other time.

The Wolfman“: Universal remakes a beloved monster classic with too much money and too little sense. And really, why shorten the title from “Wolf Man” to “Wolfman”? A Wolf Man is a scary, hairy monster; a Wolfman is your periodontist. Actually, I’d pay to watch Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt in “Sheldon Wolfman, D.D.S.” Someone get on that!

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