Apparently February is as much for genre mash-ups as it is for lovers. Taking a glance at the trailers we have The Coen brothers use the pompous epics of golden age 1950’s cinema as the back-drop for a mystery farce, and Jane Austen and the living dead come together for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Nicholas Sparks attempts to mash-up a love story with completely asinine piffle in The Choice, which I guess is nothing new.
For Video On Demand, we have two horror movies. One feels like a cross between Twin Peaks and The Shining, and the other gives off vibes of Cujo and Night of the Living Dead. Excellent stock to breed, but how does the offspring fare? Take a peak at the trailers and decide for yourself.
When charming but witless Hollywood mega-star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) goes missing, it is up to the studio’s best fixer (Josh Brolin) to quietly find the actor. Complicating his search is a ransom note from a communist collective, a secretly pregnant starlet (Scarlett Johansson,) a disaffected director (Ralph Fiennes,) and a dogged gossip columnist (Tilda Swinton.)
When to See It: In theaters. Sure, there’s a lot vying for your dollar at the cinema, but the Coen’s always deliver big comedy, big stars, and big productions that are best appreciated on the big screen.
A pair of star-crossed canine lovers bring together Gabby and Travis, two new neighbors. While Gabby is straight laced and on track, Travis is a rogue and dilettante, looking only for the next excitement. Despite early misgivings, they begin to form a mutual attraction.
When to See It: Never. Sappy love stories are a bit shit, and Nicholas Spark mines every cliche in the book for most of his material. Usually his work is just saccharine, but this is downright asinine: hey ladies, did you know you can only find fulfillment by throwing away all of your hard work and dedication and shacking up with a complete scoundrel? It’s true…if you live in movie-land where none of these things have the horrendous, life-fucking consequences of real life. Ah, love!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
In merry old England, zombies have put a damper on the usual happenings of polite society. Mr. Bennet wants his girls to know as much about zombie slaying as tea service, but Mrs. Bennet is determined to marry of her five daughters off to respectable house holds. Unfortunately, the walking dead tend to upset every aspect of a traditional courtship. Despite initial antipathy, the eldest Bennet daughter teams up with Mr. Darcy , a professional monster slayer, and their fates are destined for more than just hacking up walking cadavers.
When to See It: Unless you are a die-hard (he he) fan of the “original” book, wait for this one on rental. The quirk and charm of the novel doesn’t seem to translate as well to the screen, and the studio really let the fervor over this mash-up cool by waiting 7 years to adapt it. Since then, we’ve gotten more than enough shambling horrors and this doesn’t scream must-see.
Video on Demand
Monday at 11:01 AM
A young couple stops in a charmingly isolated town to shop and dine. While Jenny is taken by the quaint shops and rustic charm, Michael is seduced by a dangerous beauty at the local bar. With very different motives, they agree to stay overnight…and everything goes to hell. Quirky residents become creepy oracles as the sun sets, warning of a very dark secret hidden by the idyllic setting.
See It?: There are some very interesting elements here, but the dialogue seems over-heated, and the trailer seems to give way too much away. Should have kept more of the plot hidden, because I was initially very intrigued.
Isolated on the Australian Outback, a veterinarian and his family become the target of a nasty pack of wolves who seem just a tad too calculated in their terrorizing of the poor family.
See It?: The opposite of above, this one felt predictable by reading the synopsis, but the trailer provided enough good scenes and subtle references to pique my interest. If the price is right or you love survival horror, this looks like a fine way to pass a spooky night.