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Seth Grahame-Smith’s Jane Austen-zombie mash-up makes it to the screen

When Seth Grahame-Smith came up with the idea for a mash-up of Jane Austen’s most popular book and a tale of today’s probably equally popular armies of the undead — resulting in the 2009 novel “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” — he had no idea that it would be such a huge success. He went on to have another hit with another genre novel, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” and though that book’s film adaptation fizzled at the box office, the new film of “PPZ” has some very strong buzz going. Grahame-Smith spoke about the book recently in West Hollywood.

Comic talent saves goofy ‘Zoolander No. 2’

Fifteen years later, Ben Stiller and his teeny-weeny flip phone are back on the runway for a continuation of his fashion-industry farce in “Zoolander No. 2.” And Stiller, who also co-wrote and directs, accessorizes his movie with the same fun and goofy energy as the first, even if the story is thinner than Kate Moss.

Is juice as bad as soda?

Many studies show that a high soft drink intake is associated with an increased caloric intake and an increase in body weight. Soda consumption is also correlated to a decreased intake in calcium and other nutrients and an increased risk of many diseases (such as diabetes). This is all due to their high sugar content.

Happy marriage recipe: communicate about big issues, let smaller ones slide

Q. I am getting married for the second time. My first marriage was a disaster because we had none of the same interests, lost the ability to communicate and stopped doing anything together. I’m certain that my “boyfriend” has bought a ring and plans to ask me to marry him. I love him, but I am scared to commit to another potential disaster. Can you give me some tips to avoid repeating the same mistakes?

Economic growth is missing ingredient

This year’s Republican presidential race has generated an unusual number of unusually bad ideas — Donald Trump on Muslims, Ted Cruz on carpet bombing, Marco Rubio on male footwear. It has also has produced one of the best: Jeb Bush’s 4 percent plan.

Flimsy, shallow and a bother just to watch

If you’ve seen one movie based on a Nicholas Sparks romance, you’ve seen them all. Like the others, “The Choice” bleeds sap and treacle. And the story, even by Sparks’ standards, is so lame I wanted to punch the movie in the face, so to speak.

Making plan for mom with Alzheimer’s should start with conversation

Q. I think my mother, who is in her late 70s, is showing signs of Alzheimer’s. She is increasingly forgetful, and has become negative and nasty. She was never like this. My two brothers think that there is nothing wrong with her because they only visit once or twice a month and then stay for an hour or two. I’m with her on an almost daily basis. How can I convince them that she has a problem that we need to address?

End-of-life talks tough, but necessary

Q. I am in my late 70s. Although I have no life-threatening illnesses, I want to talk to my children about my end-of-life wishes. When they were here over the holidays, they absolutely refused to talk about it. They will be back in February, and I am determined to have the conversation. Please give me some advice on how to approach 40-year-olds who won’t have a discussion.

Listen, lead or both?

“Look, I imagine that there’s theoretically a chance that (we) all went from being radical extremist crazies to Washington sellouts in 12 hours. But maybe a more likely narrative is that we really think that this is a good step for the conservative movement.”

Hillary Clinton and gun buybacks

Barack Obama promised he wouldn’t take away anyone’s guns, but gun rights alarmists have spent seven years incessantly predicting he will. From his experience, Hillary Clinton seems to have decided to skip the part of the campaign that involves placating the National Rifle Association.

Something to think about

T he past couple of weeks I’ve been on the road a lot. I’ve eaten enough stratospherically priced airport food to contemplate a second mortgage. I’ve also enjoyed cramped seating, howling babies and weather delays. Even so, I managed to get back home safely, sound and exhausted.

Workplace bullying big issue, to be handled with care

Q. I think I’m being bullied at work for a problem I can’t control. I have to drop off my daughter at daycare and I sometimes run five or 10 minutes late. I’ve offered to work through lunch or stay extra time after work. There is no one else who can take my daughter. My boss is making comments about me behind my back, and other people in the office are ignoring me. I dread going to work. What can I do? Do I complain to management that I’m being bullied?

Trading one carnival for another

The State Fair, blessed by wonderful weather, set an attendance record this year. The Indian summer may have had less to do with the turnout than the yearnings of 473,000 Arkansans for respite from the real world. So they traded one carnival for another, and willingly paid to do so.

The surprising disappearance of inflation

In a world in which the Cold War is a fading memory, North Korea and Cuba endure as museums of communism, so no one will forget how criminally insane it always was. In a world haunted by the specter of persistently falling prices, some countries are creating severe inflation, so we can be grateful for its virtual disappearance.