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Picks and Pans Main: Movies

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Valentine’s Day

Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, Julia Roberts and Taylor Swift | PG-13 |



Have you ever bitten into a candy bar, expecting to taste milk chocolate only to discover you’ve mistakenly picked up the baker’s kind? That’s the problem with this star-studded flick filled with intertwining story lines: It’s missing some much-needed sweetness. Although Hathaway shines as an “adult phone entertainer,” and Roberts plays refreshingly against type as an Army captain flying 14 hours home for a special guy, most of the relationship plotlines—a broken engagement, a woman in love with a married man—leave a bitter aftertaste. And despite Swift’s spot-on screen debut as a teen in the gushy throes of first romance, there’s no mistaking the movie’s cynical center, as captured by a radio deejay signing off his broadcast with “the three words we all want to hear: Let’s get naked.” Sorry, but I like to be swept off my feet first.

The Wolfman

Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt | R |



You sit waiting for the full moon, wondering what dazzlingly scary new werewolf the special-effects team will unleash. Well, he looks like an angry bison stuffed into trousers. By day, when everyone is depilated, the acting in this Victorian-era version is quite good. Del Toro drags himself around in heavy-lidded sorrow as the cursed man-beast. Blunt, his beloved, is enticingly swoony even as things get moony. But I laughed at the monster. That’s deadlier than a silver bullet.