On the off-chance that meteorology turns out to be a junk science, you probably have a Tuesday off. Thanks, climate change! Alas, because of technology, you may not have the entire day off. You’re probably chained to your laptop, sitting in your jammies doing work you’d ordinarily do in the office. But there will probably be a few hours to kill at least, and ones you may rather spend couched in front of your TV (or tiny computer screen), nursing an Irish coffee while your steam heater makes a racket.
Depending on how many streaming services you subscribe to — because these days you can’t just have one — you have a wide world of films (and, if you must, TV) at your disposal. We’ve broken down your choices into five categories. Choose wisely.
Catching up with last year’s greats
The vast majority of Oscar fare is still MIA on streaming platforms; after all, there’s still theatrical money to be made. But some have already slipped through the cracks of the Internet. You can burn some eight hours watching the movie that won Best Documentary last month: “O.J.: Made in America” (Hulu) is not only superior to the campy “The People vs. O.J. Simpson,” but it’s hard to put down, let alone pause for a bathroom break. The same award could have gone to “13th” (Netflix), Ava DuVernay’s furious alternative history of racism in America, from emancipation up to today.
We’re so sick of talking about the Oscars, but we do wish someone in power had put in a strong word for John Goodman’s frightening turn in the stripped down “10 Cloverfield Lane” (Amazon Prime). Ditto the slow-burning South Korean shocker “The Wailing” (Netflix). Meanwhile, the indie “White Girl” (Netflix) is merely a good conversation starter, which will get you talking about whether its depiction of a privileged new Ridgewood gentrifier who gets in all manner of trouble.
Keep things light
You could also use the day for classics you know you’ll love, because you’ve seen them a hundred times. Netflix is very handy here: They have “Jurassic Park” (plus is underrated first two sequels), “The Princess Bride,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Memento” and Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom.” Head over to Amazon for the beloved ice skating romance “The Cutting Edge,” and if you’re feeling like more than hesitant glances and chaste kisses (or just want to watch the Material Girl bicker with Warren Beatty), then FilmStruck has got your naughty side with “Madonna: Truth or Dare.”
Or instead of escaping from the world’s considerable troubles, you could hit them head-on. You could ponder over Black Lives Matter with “Fruitvale Station” (Netflix). You could worry about trans rights with the hilarious “Tangerine” (ditto). You could ruminate on the coming apocalypse with either the arid Cormac McCarthy grinder “The Road” or Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” (both ditto again). FilmStruck has “The Lives of Others,” a look back at good ol’ East Germany and its oppressive Stasi police.
In less respectable news, “The Boys from Brazil,” the loony 1979 movie about Hitler’s clone that stars Laurence Olivier, Gregory Peck and Steve Guttenberg, now lives on FilmStruck and Netflix. If you want to laugh about the powers that may doom us to destruction, then good news: Netflix doesn’t appear to ever be deleting “In the Loop” — the peerlessly sweary British war comedy that was partially responsible for “Veep” — from its realm. Or you could alternate laughs with uncontrollable tears by watching a psychotic, lunatic demagogue ruin the world in Charles Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” (FilmStruck).
We tire so of bitching about the dearth of movies made before the Reagan administration on our streaming services. That being said, you don’t have to spring for FilmStruck to gorge on the classics. Netflix has “Blazing Saddles,” but also “The African Queen,” the movie that takes paired Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn and made the epic miscasting work in its weirdo favor. Netflix also boasts the 2 ½ semi-restored cut of “Metropolis,” which also lives on FilmStruck. And if you miss the New York subway system that’s presently buried under snow, then check out “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three,” a 1973 thriller in which the good guys are played by no less than Walter Matthau and Jerry Stiller (but whose title no longer makes sense).
Long, long, long movies
Be ambitious! Conquer those big, huge, gargantuan movies you never have time for! Both Netflix and FilmStruck have “Carlos,” from “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Personal Shopper” filmmaker Olivier Assayas — a three-part, five-hour beast starring Edgar Ramirez as infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal. Netflix has both the three-hour “Patton” and that 4 ½ hour beast “Cleopatra,” where you can watch stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton grow weary of the endless super-production by the minute. Whatever: “Jesus of Nazareth” (FilmStruck), a star-studded miniseries from 1977, runs 6 ½ hours.
Then there’s the mother of all movies — not the longest ever but, adjusted for inflation, likely the most expensive. That would be “War and Peace,” released between 1966 and 1967 and produced with the full force of the Soviet government. Almost as much of a monster as the Leo Tolstoy source, it runs some seven hours and reportedly cost $100 million back then, or about $700 million today. You’ve probably never even knew it existed. And yet there it is, all four parts sitting on FilmStruck, waiting for someone to tackle it like some madperson with too much time on their hands.
As for us, we may finally tackle one of the great white whales of cinema, which now lives (of course) on FilmStruck. We may earmark four hours for Edward Yang’s 1991 remembrance piece “A Brighter Summer Day.” After all, a blizzard sounds like the perfect time for it. Happy Snowpocalypse 2017!