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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘The Wolfman,’ ‘Mother,’ ‘Frozen,’ ‘Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,’ ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ ‘Valentine’s Day’

It’s starting too look like a more typical movie week: Five, maybe six flicks? That’s what I’m talkin’ about…

Where was it that I was reading (or maybe it was in a video somewhere?) that the FX guys had a particular challenge on their hands with The Wolfman (opens in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. on February 12)? Apparently Benicio Del Toro is so hairy that it took some extra special effort to make his werewolf flip side distinguishable from his non-werewolf side. I find that rather amusing.

Bong Joon-ho made the awesome monster movie The Host a few years ago, and now he’s back with Mother (opens in the U.S on March 12; no Canadian or U.K. release dates have been announced). This one sounds more grounded, though probably equally horrifying, in its own way: it’s the story of a childlike man who relies totally on his mother who is accused of murder. And Mom goes a bit crazy trying to prove his innocence.

If Frozen was screened for critics in NYC, I never heard about it. But now that it’s playing here (it’s in limited release in the U.S. and Canada; no U.K. release date has been announced), I’m gonna try to pop in on it this week. It looks like it could be fun and/or creepy…

You know what’s really weird about the poster for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief? It sorta proudly announces that movie will be arriving on “Presidents Day,” as if most people know what that means, which, I suspect they don’t. It’s not like this is a major holiday, except maybe for buying cars. But it doesn’t actually open on Presidents Day, which is Monday, February 15. In fact, it opens in the U.S. (as well as in Canada and the U.K.) on Friday, February 12. Which is, indeed, the beginning of Presidents Day weekend, which for most people just means — woo hoo! — Monday off. But who the heck thought to say “Presidents Day” the way movie posters say “Christmas”? It’s not like there’s a Presidents Day season. I hope the movie isn’t this off-kilter…

It sounds like some sort of Asian martial arts action flick, maybe, but The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (opens in the U.K. on March 10, in the U.S. on March 19; it played theatrically last spring in Canada, but is not yet available on DVD) is in fact a Swedish thriller based on the novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon Canada] [Amazon U.K.]. (Larsson is his own mysterious story: he died immediately after turning in the manuscripts for a trilogy of thrillers, of which this was the first. Weird.)

I do expect Valentine’s Day (opens in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. on February 12) to be mostly creepy and/or annoying, since it’s from director Garry Marshall, who hates women, as far as I can tell, from his Georgia Rule, his Princess Diaries flicks, and his Runaway Bride.



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