Winter is the most awkward time of the year for movies. The big Oscar-bait prestige fims have all been released, and the revenue-generating summer blockbuster season seems impossibly far away. But if Netflix-and-chill is losing its luster, and you're willing to brave El Niño, there are some good reasons to make your way to the theater.
The 5th Wave
On one hand, nothing says, "Fuck You, It's January" quite like a silly alien-invasion movie based on a young adult novel. On the other hand, this one has a solid supporting cast — including Maggie Siff and Maria Bello — and sometimes a silly alien-invasion movie is just what you need during the dregs of winter.
Ever since their 1940s-set masterpiece Barton Finkcame out in 1991, Joel and Ethan Coen have half-joked about waiting a few decades anddoing a follow-up set in the '60s called Old Fink. This is not that film, but it takes place at the movie studio called Capitol Pictures first seen in Barton, so it's nice to be back in that universe.
Feb. 11 – 25
In its 18thbig year, IndieFest expands from the Roxie and the Brava to include the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Theatre in its exhibition of "the best of independent, alternative, and subversive cinema from around the globe." There's also pure silliness like JamCon 2016, a 20th anniversary heckling ofSpace Jam.
Gothic Cinema: Darkness and Desire
Feb. 11 - April 10
This series at the Yerba Buena takes a wide view of what it means to be "gothic" — as does any given goth, lemme tell ya — which allows them to include 35mm presentations of some comparatively obscure films such as Don Siegel's 1971 The Beguiled, James Whales' 1932 The Old Dark House, and Ingmar Bergman's rare excursion into horror, 1968's Hour of the Wolf.
Studio Ghibli's fifth feature film was the top-grossing movie in Japan in 1991, but probably because it's about a woman looking back on her childhood and taking stock of her life — read: girly — it never received a proper theatrical release in the United States until now. Better late than never.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Written by her 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt partner Robert Carlock, Tina Fey plays a television reporter who finds herself out of her depth when she goes on assignment in Afghanistan, where she also encounters romance with Martin Freeman. And speaking of "better late than never," how have those two never been paired up before?
I Saw the Light
Tom Hiddleston was pure eye candy as Loki in the Marvel movies and as a guitar-shredding vampire in Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive, but it turns out he's also a talented actor who can play real human beings. In this case, the real human being is old-school country legend Hank Williams (Senior), and his dead-on channeling of the tragic singer may well add a new deposit to your Hiddleston spank-bank.