Chill out with these 10 cool flicks - East Valley Tribune: Movies

Chill out with these 10 cool flicks

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Posted: Friday, July 22, 2011 12:40 pm | Updated: 12:35 am, Mon Aug 22, 2011.

Too hot and muggy to venture to the cineplex? Then curl up in front of the TV with these 10 frosty gems -- all readily available on DVD or via download from iTunes, Amazon or Netflix:

"Ice Station Zebra" (1968): Brits, Yanks and Russkies battle the elements, one another and some truly mysterious forces at a forlorn and foreboding Arctic outpost. This one gets bonus points for (wait for it) being about the Cold War. Rock Hudson and Ernest Borgnine star.

"Doctor Zhivago" (1965): Brrrrr. The title character (Omar Sharif) deals with heaping mounds of snow in his pursuit of the ultimate Ice Princess (Julie Christie). You might even be able to turn down the air conditioning while watching this one.

"The Shining" (1980): Jack Nicholson's character gets the ultimate dose of cabin fever in a fright-fest that gave us many indelible moments, including "Red-rum," "Heeeeere's Johnny!" and those twins. It edges out "Misery" as the most chilling adaptation of a Stephen King work. Shelley Duvall also stars.

"Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" (1980): It begins with a spirited battle on the ice planet Hoth. It ends (does anyone really need a spoiler alert?) with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) being frozen in carbonite and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) learning a cold truth. Outer space is pretty frigid, too.

"Miracle" (2004): Kurt Russell obliterates the image of Karl Malden playing Herb Brooks in an earlier TV movie about the 1980 U.S. Olympic men's hockey team's stunning upset of the Soviet Union (them again!) and gold-medal run.

"Groundhog Day" (1993): In snowy Punxsutawney, Pa., a weatherman (Bill Murray) tries to get a woman (Andie MacDowell) to warm up to him as he relives a single day incessantly. But the real thaw is taking place in his cold, me-me-me heart and soul.

"Happy Feet" (2006): So you think you can dance? Well, check out the ice-tapping, hippity-hoppity skills of Mumble, the too-adorable penguin at the heart of this sweet animated saga. For other frozen treats for kids, try "Snow Dogs" or the "Ice Age" movies.

"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (2005): Endless winter with no Christmas? Thanks a lot, you Witch. But the snowy, enchanting and harrowing land of Narnia, ensconced behind a wardrobe closet, offers four siblings brisk but indelible lessons about life.

"Ocean's Eleven": Talk about cool. Both the Rat Pack cast in the original caper flick in 1960 and the George Clooney-Brad Pitt gang in the 2001 remake were hip and unflappable.

"Fargo" (1996): Aside from the windswept vistas, there's nothing numbing about this Coen brothers dark-comedy classic. Frances McDormand's persistent, pregnant police chief warmed our hearts -- and disavowed us of any notion that we do not have accents.

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