Opening in Orlando: The Choice, Hail, Caesar! and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies 

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The Choice Nicholas Sparks keeps telling us stories about relationships that stand the test of time, in movies that seem to go on even longer. But The Choice has the potential to verge on the truly eternal, since the actors playing its committed lovers were previously front and center in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Warm Bodies. In a week that's also giving us Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, is it too much to hope that this one ends up as a little Notebook of fresh brains as well? (PG-13)

Hail, Caesar! Ever wonder how mediocre actors like Scarlett Johansson get parts in prestige projects by the likes of Woody Allen and the Coen brothers? Sometimes, it has to do with financing: The guys with the deep pockets will only make a picture happen if it includes a role for at least one star who is proven box office. Occasionally, said star even gets an award nomination or two out of the whole affair, because voters and critics are so impressed that she sort of held her own with people who actually know what they're doing. And voila – instant pedigreed performer! Anyway, Hail, Caesar! is about a Hollywood damage-control specialist who has to solve a mystery that's engulfed all of Tinseltown. And no, it's not who Scarlett Johansson had to blow to get an agent. (PG-13)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies OK, so Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter wasn't nearly the hit that some folks – by which I mean me – had foreseen. But that hasn't stopped Hollywood from going back to the monster mashup well with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, in which Elizabeth is a kick-ass action heroine and Mr. Darcy is a fearless zombie hunter. (As opposed to the Keira Knightley version, in which he was just a zombie.) Star Bella Heathcote was in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, which I also thought was going to turn out well. Something else you should know about me: I predicted that The Lion King would flop, since "kids only care about dinosaurs." Jesus, I should be setting odds in Vegas. (PG-13)


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