Your time is valuable and at the end of a long week the discretionary time must be spent to maximum value. In order to help narrow choices down on the film and television front, every Friday we’ll give you the rundown of your options and an educated guess as to which ones make the most sense. There is a very complex formula involved. Usually that formula includes us watching the things and then telling you if they’re good. OK, we admit it’s not exactly the recipe for Coke, but we’re trying to help.
I predicted the box office returns for these films last Sunday, but I must admit that my track record hasn’t been too accurate thus far.
On the Screen
Director: Ross Katz
Stars: Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace, Alexandra Daddario, Tom Welling, Tom Wilkinson
Nicholas Sparks is an institution. His The Notebook is the modern template for tearjerkers and the films based on his novels tend to perennially garner a sizable audience. The Choice is being eviscerated by critics but there’s no other date movie in theaters so there’s a chance this could be the salve for many a young person’s heart.
The Verdict: The real choice is below.
Director: Joel and Ethan Coen
Stars: George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Josh Brolin
The Coen Bros do a Hollywood satire. It’s a no brainer. A screwball comedy by the most enigmatic and constantly rewarding filmmaking duo is as close to a must see proposition as anything in the cinematic diet.
The Verdict: When the Coens do a comedy it sometimes takes a few viewings to really fall in love with it. A good example would be Burn After Reading, a movie that gets better and better with each viewing. This one seems a little more broad in its comedy so it should be more approachable.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Director: Burr Steers
Stars: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcoate, Lean Headley, Matt Smith, Charles Dance
Jane Austen has been given the zombie treatment. The long-gestating film project comes out with pretty high production values but minimal buzz, so it could be the kind of project that needs a really big weekend and word of mouth to have a fighting chance. If anything, 2016 has so far proven to be really harsh to newcomers so it’s an uphill battle.
The Verdict: It’s a zombie movie. Probably not as safe a bet in 2016 as it was in 2013.
On the Tube
Stars: Phil Matarese, Mike Luciano
Crude animation and animals discussing their human problems makes for an interesting proposition but in the hands of HBO and the presence of indie filmmakers the Duplass Brothers it could be a quirky find. Tons of guest stars will make the tales of rats and pigeons appealing to audiences not into cartoons, but it’ll all depend on the execution.
The Verdict: It may fail but it’s interesting and unique. Television truly has become the place for dreams to come true.
Stars: Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham, Candace King, Zach Roerig
After a brief hiatus, Sleepy Hollow returns midseason (our recap here) and with it many questions to be answered. The show has been given somewhat middling reviews but should it stick the landing there could be more adventures to follow.
The Verdict: Proceed with caution.
Happy hunting! We’ll catch up with you on the other side and see how it went.
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