1. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Sony/Screen Gems, 2,931 Theaters,108 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for zombie violence and action, and brief suggestive material, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 43% Fresh [58 Reviews]): When the novel this film is adapted from hit, I thought it would have the life span of pretty much any other novelty book has. The ultra-jokey mashup between one of the world’s greatest pieces of literature and a popular aspect of pop culture would last 10 months, maybe a year, and then head for the remainder bins with books about the wit of George W. Bush and Twilight trivia books.
I was wrong. It lived long enough to spawn a small sub-genre and catch the interest of Hollywood. The result of said interest we see here.
The film, like books, looks at the social mores of 19th century England, if said time period was smack dab in a zombie apocalypse. Although, if the ads are any indication, its more undead killing, less parlor dances.
2. The Choice (Lionsgate, 2,631 Theaters, 111 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 10% Fresh [29 Reviews]): Hey, kids! It’s time for another “Nicholas Sparks Movie Checklist” where we run down the latest adaptation of Sparks’ work and see how many of his overused tropes the film has (using the lovely template Cracked.com came up with as a guideline)! Ready? Let’s go.
1. Does it have a romance between two pretty, white people? Yes,
Scott Eastwood Benjamin Walker and Britt Robertson Theresa Palmer are two pretty, white people.
2. Is there an obstacle that makes their love impossible? At least two. He’s a
bull rider notorious ladies man, and the danger potential for heartbreak is too much for girl. And she has a job in New York pre-existing boyfriend, which will keep them separated.
3. Is there a flashback to World War II?
Yes. Alan Alda’s character’s reminiscence of his wartime romance guides the young lovers. No, not that I know of.
4. Is one of the lovers holding back a deep dark secret?
5. Does somebody die?
Come on, it’s Nicholas Sparks! He’s killed more people than malaria! I don’t know who, but either Eastwood gets stomped on by a bull or Alda dies of a heart attack. If not both. No, but there’s a coma. That counts, right?
6. Is there schmatzy sentimentality? In droves!
7. Will people go see it? Sigh. Yes.
Just so you know, I copied the list from the write -up I did last April for The Longest Ride. If Sparks is okay with recycling content, so am I.
3. Hail, Caesar! (Universal, 2,232 Theaters,106 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 79% Fresh [96 Reviews]): It’s a film that has a cast to die for, written and directed by the multiple Oscar-winning Coen Brothers, it is by far the most well-reviewed film this week, and the ads look laugh out loud funny. In a perfect world, this should slay at the box office. However, we live in an imperfect world, and its likely a martial arts panda will kick this film’s butt.
The film is a fictional account of a day in the life of a real person–notorious Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin). This day is slightly more eventful because Mannix has to deal with the kidnapping of a major Hollywood star (George Clooney).
Anytime the Coens decide to examine Hollywood of years ago, it seems to turn out well. Try to get out and see it.