Tony’s Movie Reviews: ‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies,’ ‘Hail, Caesar!” And ‘The Choice’ Debut In Theaters But Super Bowl May Stifle Ticket Sales

Photo Courtesy: Gephardt Daily

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 5, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Three films are aiming at three different demographics this weekend. The action/adventure film “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” the comedy “Hail, Caesar!” and the romantic tear-jerker “The Choice” all open in theaters.

Whether or not any of them will be strong enough to knock “Kung Fu Panda 3” out of the top slot is doubtful. Plus the weekend is going to be light due to the Super Bowl.

Here are the box office prediction for this weekend, according to Box Office Mojo for the top 10 films.

  • Kung Fu Panda 3 (3,987 theaters) ─ $24.77 Million
  • Hail, Caesar! (2,232 theaters) ─ $11.83 Million
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2,931 theaters) ─ $10.11 Million
  • The Revenant (3,018 theaters) ─ $7.92 Million
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2,262 theaters) ─ $6.84 Million
  • The Choice (2,650 theaters) ─ $6.76 Million
  • The Finest Hours (3,143 theaters) ─ $5.25 Million
  • Ride Along 2 (2,168 theaters) ─ $4.3 Million
  • Dirty Grandpa (2,567 theaters) ─ $4.25 Million
  • The 5th Wave (2,346 theaters) ─ $4.14 Million

Tony’s Reviews

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”
Starring: Lily James and Lena Headly
Rated: PG-13

Jane Austen’s classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge…an army of undead zombies.

After the initial plot set-up as the premise of the film is revealed, the movie just becomes a monotonous drone. There’s nothing here but a gimmick without heart or style.

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” never becomes fun or touching or anything, for that matter. The film is as lifeless as one of its zombies ─ all movement and no heart.

The film gets a D and is rated PG-13.

“Hail, Caesar!”
Starring: George Clooney, Josh Brolin and Scarlett Johansson
Rated: PG-13

This film follows a day in the life of Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer for Capital Pictures in the 1950s, who cleans up and solves problems for big names and stars in the industry. But when studio star Baird Whitlock disappears, Mannix has to deal with more than just the fix.

The film is a tossback to the screwball comedies of the ’40s and ’50s, with a large cast, lots of quick cuts and quick talking. But the film falls short of what I think the Coen Brothers have done in the past. “Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?,” “Fargo,” and “The Big Lebowski” are more than just films, they are iconic. I do not see “Hail, Caesar!” becoming one of those.

I suppose you’ll ask “Is the film funny?” And I will say, “In places. Yes. Some good laughs.” But that’s not enough for a Coen Brothers’ film.

We simply expect more from the team that brought us “True Grit,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Barton Fink” and “Burn After Reading.”

“Hail, Caesar!” gets a C and is rated PG-13.

“The Choice”
Starring: Teresa Palmer and Ben Walker
Rated: PG-13

Travis and Gabby first meet as neighbors in a small coastal town and wind up in a relationship tested by life’s most defining events.

I know what you’re thinking…Nicolas Sparks…chick flick. And you’d be right. But there’s something very compelling about this particular Sparks film which I think boils down to chemistry between the lead actors.

Both Teresa Palmer and Ben Walker do a great job in winning the audience over and telling the story of their relationship. Is it sappy? Is it manipulative? Of course it is. But that’s not always a bad thing.

For a Valentine’s release, this isn’t a bad one.

The film gets a B and is rated PG-13.


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