If Muggles and the fresh-faced wizards and witches of Hogwarts aren't magical enough to pique your interest, here's a list of the most satisfying alternatives currently in rotation at an indie theater near you.
1. Dead Snow
Where: Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., 415-863-1087
When: All Week
Why: Blood spills early and often in director Tommy Wirkola’s amusingly campy tale of eight medical students on vacation in Norway, where the snow-swept hills boast a terrifying secret: A battalion of Nazi zombies whose sadism seems to have been dulled by neither time nor death.
Despite the movie’s early mixed reviews, the NFL is rolling out the red carpet for Denzel Washington’s latest thriller, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.
Here in the Bay Area, San Francisco 49ers stars Alex Smith and All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis will be joined by Nnamdi Asomugha, Darrius Hayward-Bey and Michael Huff of the Oakland Raiders to host a special Wednesday night screening of the film at the Great Mall in Milpitas. The players will arrive to walk the carpet at 6:30 p.m., with the movie, a remake of Joseph Sargent’s 1974 subway heist, to follow.
If the idea of a Da Vinci Code sequel fails to move you – join the club – here's a list of some of the finest films currently in rotation at a San Francisco indie theater near you.
1. Rudo y Cursi
Where: Bridge Theatre, 3010 Geary Blvd., 415-751-3213
When: All Week
Why: Eight years after Y Tu Mamá También effectively launched their international careers, Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna reteam for Carlos Cuarón’s slyly amusing tale of two ultra-competitive brothers whose primary interests are limited to playing soccer and drinking beer, though not necessarily in that order.
Back in 1984, it might have seemed perfectly reasonable to assume that Anvil would achieve the same level of fame and fortune as their headbanging peers.
Touring with the likes of Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and the Scorpions behind albums crafted by Chris Tsangarides, the Grammy-nominated producer best known for his work with Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy, Toronto’s premier purveyors of thrash metal were on the rise, or so they thought. But while Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and the like parlayed boyish good looks and bubblegum hooks into arena-sized success on MTV, Anvil found themselves left out in the Canadian cold.
Not wanting to boldly go where millions are already planning to be this weekend? (Hint: We're not talking about Ben Vereen's Saturday night gig at Hotel Nikko.) If so, there are plenty of alternatives to space-based fantasy awaiting you at the city's indie theaters.
1. Sita Sings the Blues
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: May 8-12
With the San Francisco International Film Festival entering its final week, one could be forgiven for rushing to the Sundance Kabuki for last-chance screenings of Tyson, (500) Days of Summer or Paul Solet’s terrifying Grace. If rushing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of attractive alternatives awaiting you at the city’s indie theaters.
It’s easy to laugh at the members of Spinal Tap, whose bumbling misadventures, pompous observations and hackneyed sexual metaphors are so deliberately exaggerated, because they’re fictional. They were invented to lampoon the all-but-identical architects of an ’80s hair-metal subculture that had already ventured far into the realm of self-parody by the time the Christopher Guest-led trio arrived in 1984.