Filmhash List: 10+ Heat Wave Busters

A list from the esoteric brains behind Filmhash. If you have a list topic, let us know, and we’ll…come up with something!

Rather than spending all weekend in this record heat wave wishing we could be outside, our antidote to the swelter is to put on a movie, crank the AC and try to feel as chilly as possible. Here is our 10+ film guide to doing so. Bonus points awarded for being cold enough to be under a blanket with hot chocolate!

1. Fargo (1996)

The quintessential Coen Brothers film, Fargo captures their knack for dark comedy and fascination with crime tales in their purest fusion. The Coens always manage to bring our the best in the top-notch character actors they so often work with, and Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, and Steve Buscemi are at the height of their game in this one.

2. The Thing (1992)

What could be colder than Antarctica? Especially when being stalked by a violent alien. Ebert called the special effects “among the most elaborate, nauseating, and horrifying sights yet achieved by Hollywood’s new generation of visual magicians”, and noted it as “a great barf-bag movie.”

3. Airport (1970)

This movie was one of the first films to make over $100 million at the box office, and in doing so launched the entire disaster movie genre (pun not intended!). The film revolves around an airport manager trying to keep his airport open during an intense snow storm, while a terrorist plans to blow up a plane mid-flight. The story is fleshed out by focusing on ordinary people and their reactions and relationships as these events unfold. It features stars Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, and a host of other Hollywood heavyweights you may not recognize if you’re under the age of 40.

4. Titanic (1997)

I included this film simply because it was the 1990s version of Airport, except that an iceberg is the terrorist. Just imagine yourself in the freezing cold North Atlantic, and you cool down in no time!

5. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Nature disaster movies became all the rage in the late 90s, and this latter entry into the genre by Roland Emmerich is pretty silly. But a frozen New York City is damn cool looking (pun intended, of course).

6. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The best installment in the Star Wars franchise is also the coolest, with the opening sequence on Hoth providing some of the best mix of action and character moments in any film. Here, we find Han Solo being a supreme badass:

Echo Base Officer: Your Tauntaun will freeze before you reach the first marker!

Han SoloThen I’ll see you in Hell!

And that’s why Harrison Ford is the best there is.

7. Alive (1993)

This hard-to-watch film is an adaptation of Piers Paul Read’s 1974 book Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, which is a narrative telling the true story of the Uruguayan rugby team who crashed into the Andes mountains on October 13, 1972. Perhaps the true achievement of this film is that it mostly manages to show what happened without over-sensationalizing it.

8. Frozen (2010)

A tense ‘horror’ film about a bunch of teens who get stuck on a ski lift after the park closes, and have to do everything they can to try and not die of exposure. The actors and script aren’t quite up to the premise, but director Adam Green imbues the film with an inherit watchability.

9. March of the Penguins (2005)

This film follows a year in the lives of Emperor Penguins as they journey into the heart of the frozen Antarctic continent. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and is one of the few documentaries to ever capture the imagination of American audiences.

10. Cool Runnings (1993)

A Jamaican bobsled team. What more do you need for relief on a hot summer’s day?

Bonus: My most likely impulse is just to watch clips of skiing scenes from James Bond films. Here is my favorite:

From The Spy Who Loved Me: