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Posted at 10:33 AM ET, 07/18/2006

Catching a Cinematic Chill

By Jen Chaney

On sweltering hot days like the ones we're experiencing this week, one of the best places to chill is a movie theater. Honestly, it doesn't matter which one. Practically all of them will have the A/C cranked up to the Meat Locker setting. To wit: Last night I walked into the Regal Gallery Place on one of the most humid days of the year and immediately wished I'd brought a sweater.

In summary: Going to a movie theater = relief from heat exhaustion. But what about the films themselves? Are there certain flicks that induce an even more complete sense of coolness? I've taken a look at what's currently playing in cineplexes and composed the following two lists: Movies That Foster Frostiness and Movies That Will Only Make You Hotter.

Movies That Foster Frostiness:

"Jaws" -- Images of water and swimming beach-goers abound, which should keep the sweat at bay. But keep in mind that the frequent people-chomping could put a little perspiration back on the brow. The original summer blockbuster is showing at the AFI Silver tomorrow and Thursday.

"Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D": I've never been to the moon. But I have to assume it's cooler there than it is here.

"March of the Penguins": If you can hold off until Aug. 12 and if the National Archives' theater has reopened by then, you can catch this Oscar-winning doc in the William G. MacGowan Theatre for free. And if circumstances don't allow it to be shown there, you can always rent it. All those frozen landscapes are sure to drop your temp. And the Chilly Willies are just so cuddly-wuddly.

"Poseidon" -- This sequel is pretty lame, but its scenes of rushing H2O will make you feel like you've plunged into a big swimming hole. That, or it will really make you have to pee.

"The Devil Wears Prada" -- Is there anything colder than Meryl Streep's ice queen of a boss?

Movies That Will Only Make You Hotter:

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest": Sure, they're sailing the breezy high seas. But if the sight of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom gets you somewhat hot and bothered (color me guilty), then the ocean vistas won't have the desired effect. Plus, by the end of the movie, you'll definitely be steamed because: a) you just wasted 2-1/2 hours of your life sitting through this mediocre sequel and b) you just contributed even more money to this already stinking-rich piece of cinema.

"An Inconvenient Truth": I'm not saying you shouldn't see the Al Gore documentary. I'm just saying you may want to wait until temps fall to at least the low 80s. Learning about how the Earth could burst into flames at any moment, then walking outside to a scorching sidewalk may be a little too much to bear.

By Jen Chaney  | July 18, 2006; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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