The new year has arrived, and with it the promise of long-awaited sequels to The Hangover, Kung Fu Panda and Pixar's Cars, the distressing inevitability of Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and the mind-numbing realization that Little Fockers sits lazily atop the box-office charts. The good news: Bay Area moviegoers have plenty of worthwhile alternatives, including:
1. Blue Valentine
Where: Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post St., 415-929-4650
Just as the Grateful Dead have been fairly and unfairly blamed for inspiring the aimless noodling and whimsical indulgences of jam-band progeny like Phish and Blues Traveler, so too has M. Night Shyamalan born the brunt of criticism for the blindsiding, 11th-hour twists popularized by his 1999 thriller The Sixth Sense.