I'm afraid calling this post "Previews Before Reviews" is a bit of a misnomer. Even though we have three high-profile movies coming out Friday, I can't confess to an interest in any of them. So I may nor review any of them.
(Remember: Titles link to Metacritic pages if you want to see what other critics besides me are saying.)
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief: This is a pretty blatant attempt to create a new fantasy franchise now that Mr. Potter and friends (said in best Alan Rickman voice) are winding down. I wouldn't mind that so much if the movie looked appealing, but it really doesn't. Director Chris Columbus deserves more credit than he gets for shaping the Potter franchise, but his track record since then has been uneven, to put it kindly. (I Love You Beth Cooper, anyone?) I don't see this as any kind of salvation for him. The corners of my mouth didn't turn down while watching the trailer, but they didn't turn up either. Total flatline.
Valentine's Day: Yes, I like many of the cast members. Heck, this movie probably could have used the tagline "More stars than there are in the heavens had MGM not used it eons ago. But if we critics are to be believed, this movie is all-star, but little quality. Ebert offers this lovely closer: "Valentine's Day is being marketed as a Date Movie. I think it's more of a
First-Date Movie. If your date likes it, do NOT date that person again.
And if you like it, there may not be a second date."
The Wolfman: I wish I could be more interested in this. I really do. I think Joe Johnston is underrated as a director (he outdid Spielberg's The Lost World when Johnston made Jurassic Park III), and casting Benicio Del Toro as the Wolfman seems like a great idea. Even so, the advance buzz bears all the stink of "Troubled Produciton." Sadly, the reviews bear that out.
Oh well. I'm make up for it next week by seeing Shutter Island more than once.