Most of the focus this weekend will be on the little football game taking place Sunday evening, but Hollywood never rests, even in the face of the Super Bowl. The three films opening today aren’t exactly world-beaters, but it’s not like these are total unknowns either. They should offer a nice reprieve for anyone who wants to get out of the house before being inundated with beer, snacks and commercials on Sunday.
I knew nothing about The Choice until I saw the poster. My first thought was, “I bet you anything that’s a Nicholas Sparks movie.” Hey, look at that; it’s a Nicholas Sparks movie. And boy does it seem like a crowd-pleaser: the titular choice is whether our hero should take the love of his life off of life support. Not that a good love story can’t have some tragedy in it — hello, Romeo and Juliet — but will people really want to pay to see two people fall in love, then one fall in a coma? I’m kinda thinking no to that one.
I thought the whole zombie thing had pretty much peaked when the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out back in 2009. If that’s true, then the release of the movie version must mean we’re plummeting down the hill with no bottom in sight. This seems like the kind of concept that would be amusing as a single-page magazine article. Dragging it out to novel and now feature film length just seems like belaboring the point. Ha ha, we get it, zombies in Jane Austen, you clever bastard; what else have you got? But so far, Hollywood has rarely gone wrong judging the popularity of zombies, so who am I to judge?
Besides, I’ll be over here watching the new Coen Brothers movie. Even though I like their dramas, I find I much prefer them in their screwball mode; Raising Arizona, The Hudsucker Proxy and O Brother, Where Art Thou? are probably my favorites, and they still manage to insert their off-beat humor into their more serious fare. But nothing about Hail, Caesar! looks remotely serious, and I am totally on board. My favorite thing about this is how dead-on the Coens seem to have gotten the old Hollywood look and feel. And George Clooney seems born for the pace and pattern of their dialog. This is a must-see for me.
Unless I’m in a coma. In which case I probably saw The Choice and deserve whatever it is you decide to do with me.