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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, September 9, 2006

Arctic access on DVD

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

"Ice Age," featuring Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo), is one of many icy films to help you cool off.

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"March of the Penguins" is another one ...

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... along with "Fargo," starring William H. Macy ...

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... and "Snow Day," starring Josh Peck and Chris Elliott.

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Are you ready for more warm weather? Hey, you know that in Hawai'i, cooler days don't come along until around late October or so. With weekend forecasts calling for highs near 90, it might be time to load up on the ice cubes, drinkies and DVDs and pretend to be in a deep freeze. Here, from Miami Herald film critic Rene Rodriguez, is a list of movies that have one thing in common: Frigid weather figures into the plot in some way the colder the better.

"The Thing" (1982): Chilly weather is a veritable character in John Carpenter's remake of the 1951 Creature Feature classic about a group of scientists in the Antarctic battling a shape-shifting alien.

"The Ice Storm" (1997): Ang Lee's masterful adaptation of the Rick Moody novel details the ruinous effects of counterculture morals on a 1970s Connecticut suburb during a paralyzing winter storm.

"March of the Penguins" (2005): The weather doesn't get much colder than in Antarctica, where emperor penguins embark on long treks each year, braving blizzards and unimaginable temperatures to breed.

"Ice Age" (2002): It may lack the wit and snap of a Pixar movie, but this computer-generated 'toon makes great use of its glacier-ridden setting.

"Snow Day" (2000): So-so family comedy about the high jinks that ensue after severe snowfall shuts down a town is enlivened by the eclectic nature of its cast, which includes Pam Grier, John Schneider, Chevy Chase and Iggy Pop.

"The Fast Runner" ("Atanarjuat") (2001): Enthralling drama about love and murder among the Arctic Circle's Inuit people. Runs almost three hours but feels like 90 minutes.

"Touching the Void" (2003): Director Kevin Macdonald takes an unusual approach to this documentary about a horrible mountain-climbing accident in the snowy Peruvian Andes.

"The Day After Tomorrow" (2004): Laughably bad disaster epic about the perils of global warming is saved by Grade-A special effects, including the sight of New York City buried under snow and ice.

"Cliffhanger" (1993): Sylvester Stallone stars in this enjoyably preposterous action flick about a mountain climber who is tricked into helping crooks stranded in the snow-covered Rockies.

"Fargo" (1996): Arguably the best movie from filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, this comical murder mystery could be described as film blanc or a film noir set against a backdrop of blindingly white snow.