Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to February

february

2016 got off to a pretty dire start last month, but thankfully, Hollywood has put together one hell of an apology with what is quickly shaping up to be the most promising February in a very long time – if ever. Though there are still a few duds littered throughout the month (here’s looking at you, “Gods of Egypt”), there are also some really exciting new releases, including the long-awaited Deadpool movie and the latest from directors Joel and Ethan Coen and John Hillcoat.

“Hail, Caesar!”

Who: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes and Scarlett Johansson
What: A Hollywood fixer in the 1950s works to keep the studio’s stars in line.
When: February 5th
Why: It’s been awhile since the Coen brothers made a straight-up comedy, instead focusing on more dramatic fare like “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “True Grit,” but the writing/directing duo appears to be back to their screwball best with this period piece set during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Though the Coens’ goofier films have always been hit-and-miss (for every “Raising Arizona,” there’s an “Intolerable Cruelty”), the footage released thus far has been pretty encouraging, particularly an extended clip with Ralph Fiennes and Alden Ehrenreich squabbling over a line of dialogue that perfectly encapsulates the farcical tone of the movie.

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”

Who: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Lena Headey and Charles Dance
What: Jane Austen’s classic tale of tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge: an army of undead.
When: February 5th
Why: How do you make “Pride and Prejudice” exciting? Add zombies. That was the secret sauce in Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling mashup novel, which transformed the literary classic into a blood-stained horror comedy. But that was seven years ago, so it’ll be interesting to see whether anyone still cares now that it’s finally being adapted for the big screen. After all, the last Grahame-Smith novel to receive the Hollywood treatment, 2012’s “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” was a massive flop, and although “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” has a cleverer concept, it’s just as one-note, which doesn’t bode well for its audience, whoever that’s supposed to be.

“Deadpool”

Who: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller and Gina Carano
What: A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers.
When: January 12th
Why: A Deadpool movie had been bandied about for several years, but it wasn’t until the test footage shot by director Tim Miller was leaked in 2014 that it received a green light. Though Deadpool is not your typical superhero, that’s what makes him such an interesting character, and Ryan Reynolds is perfectly suited for the role. The actor has been dying for another shot at playing the R-rated mercenary after his bastardized cameo in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” and if the screenplay by “Zombieland” writers Rhett Reece and Paul Wernick is as good as reported, comic book fans are in for a real treat.

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