Oh, January. It’s been rough this year, especially since the token right-baiting paean to our troops was a Michael Bay movie about Benghazi (“13 Hours,” which at least had the decency to bomb). But February is right around the corner, and with it some thoughtful fare before the brain-drain of the summer movie season. Just kidding: You’re getting lots of big comic book movies and sequels and other big, dumb fare. On the plus side, there’s a new Coen brothers movie, and it has musical numbers.
‘Hail, Caesar!’ (Feb. 5)
If you’re a fan of Karina Longworth’s addictive podcast about Old Hollywood, “You Must Remember This,” you’re the target audience for the latest Coen brothers joint. Then again, so is anyone who loves when they go full-on funny. Another one of their movies about idiots, à la “Burn After Reading,” it follows a scarily effective Tinseltown “fixer” (Josh Brolin) based on — and actually named — Eddie Mannix, who has to track down a star (George Clooney) who’s gone AWOL on a shoot in the 1950s. There’s also ScarJo doing Busby Berkeley-style numbers.
'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' (Feb. 5)
At one point Seth Grahame-Smith's laborious-sounding reworking of Jane Austen was to be a David O. Russell movie starring Natalie Portman as Lizzy Bennet. Now it's by Burr Steers, of "Igby Goes Down," and stars "Cinderella"'s Lily James. Anyway, watching heartsick quip-monsters taking out the undead may be less of a one-joke affair than reading them carefully embedded in some of the most readable classic lit out there.