MORE REVIEWS: X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE

Additional reviews are in today (Friday) for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and they're not much better than the first ones, which appeared Thursday following the movie's midnight opening. A.O. Scott in the New York Times dismisses it as "almost programmatically unmemorable, a hodgepodge of loose ends, wild inconsistencies and stale genre conventions." Tom Maurstad in the Dallas Morning News sums it up in the first sentence of his review: "So there's no easy way to say this. Oh wait, yes there is: Wolverine stinks." But even in negative reviews, star Hugh Jackman comes out OK. In the San Francisco Chronicle, critic Mick LaSalle comments: "Jackman has a peculiar film career. He seems determined to be the handsomest man in some of the worst movies of his era." Lisa Kennedy in the Denver Post observes that the film is "doggedly routine," then writes: "Too bad. Jackman really is game to make this vehicle vroom." And there are a handful of positive reviews. Claudia Puig in USA Today concludes, "Although it's a quintessential popcorn movie, Wolverine is not mindless. [Director Gavin] Hood and Jackman bring depth to a comic-book tale of anti-heroes with anger issues." And Rafer Guzmán sums up in Newsday that Wolverine is "a satisfyingly crunchy action flick."

MOVIE REVIEWS: GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, starring Matthew McConaughey,is being touted as an alternative to the latest X-Men movie. Maybe so, but the critics are not any more pleased with the romantic comedy than they are with the superhero one. Roger Ebert's take on it in the Chicago Sun-Times: "The potential is here for a comedy that could have been hilarious. But the screenplay spaces out some undeniably funny lines in too much plot business, and Matthew McConaughey, while admirably villainous as a lecher, is not convincing as a charmer." Claudia Puig in USA Today (who rather liked the X-Men flick), writes, "The formulaic story evaporates faster than cotton candy, and it's often as cloyingly sweet and tacky." Manohla Dargis in the New York Times calls it, "a junky-looking romantic comedy that's neither remotely romantic nor passably comic." But Peter Howell in the Toronto Star comes to the defense of the movie against his colleagues. "Take this stuff too seriously -- as a few cranky critics evidently are -- and you could work yourself up into a lather over the sexist implications of a good man turned bad by the wiles of women. But why do that?" he asks. "You've got to love a movie that so eagerly assassinates its leading man's cuddly image, and which also manages to blow a wicked kiss to Fatal Attraction," whose stars, Michael Douglas and Anne Archer have roles in this movie.

FORGET RECESSION: 7-ELEVEN BETTING ON APOCALYPSE

7-Eleven stores will make the most of their virtual destruction following a nuclear attack in the upcoming Terminator Salvation. The Dallas-based convenience retailer announced what it called its "biggest participation ever in a major motion picture," beginning today (Friday). That participation includes a wrecked store standing in the background as two "mega-machines" battle humans in a major fight scene, toys and video games, an online sweepstakes, and lots of Terminator Slurpee items, including an orange-lychee Slurpee drink called Apocalyptic Ice, produced especially for the 7-Eleven-Warner Bros. tie-in by the Coca-Cola company. The movie is set to open on May 21.

DRUGS AND SEX -- ON AND OFF SOUTH KOREA'S SCREENS

A drug and sex scandal has rocked the South Korean film industry, one of the largest in Asia, following the arrest of film star Ju Ji-hun and actress Yun Seol-hee and actor Ye Hak-young on drug-related charges. Ju was charged with drug possession and the two other actors were charged with smuggling the drugs ecstasy and ketamine into the country from Japan, the Korean Times reported. An officer of the Seoul Metropolitan Police told the newspaper, "Besides the suspects on the list we have secured, there are likely more, given the amount of drugs smuggled. Further investigations are unavoidable." The arrests come just days after release of a nine-page suicide note written by Korean film star Jang Ja-yeon before her death in March in which she accused Korean film executives of forcing her to have sex with them.

PATTINSON LIKELY TO BOOST ART-HOUSE FLICK

The sudden rise of Robert Pattinson to teen-idol status as a result of his starring role in the hit Twilight is likely to draw big audiences to Little Ashes, an independent film originally aimed at the relatively small art-house crowd that was filmed before Pattinson's career took off, the film's director, Paul Morrison, told today's (Friday) Los Angeles Times. "I love the fact that an audience is going to be drawn to the film, partly through Rob, that wouldn't otherwise get to this kind of movie," Morrison said. In the film, Pattinson plays Spanish painter Salvador Dali, who had a homosexual affair with the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. Morrison indicated that he was astounded when Pattinson became an overnight star. "It's just extraordinary, jaw dropping," he told the Times. "And great for us. For a little film like this you need a bit of luck."

Cinemark Movie Club