AUGUSTA, GA – Benicio Del Toro is giving out love bites (and scratches) at the Valentine’s box office. The Oscar-winning star of “Traffic” steps into a role originated by Lon Chaney Jr. in 1941’s “The Wolf Man.” Del Toro produced this remake, similarly titled “The Wolfman,” and plays Lawrence Talbot, a man who returns home after a lengthy absence to search for his missing brother in a town where mysterious, gruesome murders occur under every full moon.
After being summoned by his brother’s fiancée, Golden Globe nominee Emily Blunt (“The Young Victoria”), Talbot develops feelings for her and vows to find and kill the werewolf behind the murders in their village.
Talbot also connects with his oddball father (Anthony Hopkins) who becomes somewhat of a menacing presence after Talbot is scratched by the werewolf, causing him to acquire the blood-hungry shape-shifting curse as well. Hugo Weaving (“The Lord of the Rings,” “The Matrix”) plays a Scotland Yard detective sent to help solve the werewolf mystery in this 19th century gothic thriller.
Pop culture has embraced werewolves almost as heartily as they have vampires, with recent lycanthrope sightings in the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” series. Director Joe Johnston’s résumé includes previous work with wild computer-animated creatures in “Jumanji” and “Jurassic Park III.”
“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” werewolf Taylor Lautner is opting for a romantic ensemble project this week, starring in “Valentine’s Day.” With credits that read like a roll call of Hollywood’s A-list, this film’s many stars include Julia Roberts, Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Shirley MacLaine, Queen Latifah, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx and Anne Hathaway. The movie has competing romantic storylines and a hard sell that all of the action occurs on Valentine’s Day.
Director Garry Marshall brings extensive romantic comedy experience to the table for this ensemble piece. Marshall’s past credits include the über-female-friendly flicks “Beaches,” “Pretty Woman,” “Runaway Bride” and “The Princess Diaries.”
A new group of teen superheroes comes to life with a big-screen adaptation of writer Rick Riordan’s best-selling novel “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.”
Logan Lerman (“3:10 to Yuma”) plays Percy, a disruptive student who learns he’s the son of the Greek god Poseidon and is gifted with water-related superpowers.
Percy and his friends have to figure out who stole Zeus’ lightning bolt in order to avoid a devastating war among the gods. Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman and Catherine Keener also star in this movie from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” director Chris Columbus. Like the Potter books, Riordan’s Percy Jackson story is a series, leaving producers with the possibility of numerous sequels.
Wednesday night, Feb. 10, marks the return of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers to the Imperial Theatre at 7 p.m. “Visual Acoustics” takes a look at the life and work of Julius Shulman, a renowned photographer of modernist architecture. Dustin Hoffman narrates this visually stunning architecture lesson.
Tickets are $5, or $3 for students and military with ID. Producer/director Eric Bricker will meet viewers and answer questions after the screening.