Hello, please look outside.
Is it unreasonably dark at an hour that is approximately 5.45pm? Are people hunched over and huddled together like smokers on a rainy day? Are the trees completely bald and twiggy? You know what this means, buddies: WINTER IS HERE.
Winter is good. This is a very true fact. Part of the reason why I’m basically OK with winter is that it allows me to enjoy warm, hot, burning and boiling things without sweating like some kind of disgusting human showerhead.
’Tis the season for soups, casseroles, big bowls of custard, tea, coffee, puddings, curries, coats, hats and baths. ’Tis also the season for watching movies about warm places: tropical islands, deserts, beaches, resorts, or some of those very bad sci-fi films about trying to blow up the sun.
So, if you’re looking to get some vicarious warmth through your peepers – or if you just want to spend winter living on the couch under a blanket with a big bowl of soup – then why not give the following five flicks a go?
Ah, baby Leo. What a sweet-faced pudding man he used to be. The Beach is basically Lord of the Flies for people who like full-moon parties. Richard (little Leo) wants to find the most perfect island in the whole of Thailand. He finds one, it seems blissful, but then it all goes horribly wrong. Thankfully, nothing is the island’s fault, really, so while everyone is arguing and yelling, you can just focus on the sandy beaches, hot sun, and shiny gemstone water.
What happens to Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) in Cast Away is very bad: he survives a plane crash only to get stuck on a deserted island for four years without a dentist or a hairdresser or anything (also, his only friend is an anthropomorphic volleyball named Wilson). From a lifestyle point of view, it could be worse: a tropical island, an endless supply of seafood, not a single other living human being, coconuts. I’m keen.
Once you’ve seen Dr. No, you can make the following excellent joke: “Dr. No? More like Dr. Yes, am I right?” (copyright me and everyone’s dad). In Dr. No, there’s no denying Sean Connery is an extremely hairy and attractive man. There’s also no denying that Ursula Andress emerging from the tropical Jamaican waters like some kind of lady Neptune is also quite the sight. If you’re looking for a hefty side of cavalier sexism with your delightful island vibes, Dr. No is a dream come true.
Ah, surfers. You think they’re just a bunch of relaxed dudes with long hair and strange priorities, but some of them are also BANK ROBBERS. Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 flick (please don’t talk to me about the 2015 remake) features some of her characteristic moves as a director: she drops us into an overwhelming environment (the beaches of LA) and trusts us to make sense of what’s going on. And, let me tell you, there’s a lot going on: waves, boards, Keanu Reeves in a wet t-shirt. Steamy.
Lilo and Stitch
Among its many virtues (aliens, Hawai’i, family, sisters, surfing, a creature pretending to be a dog), Lilo and Stitch is a very good reminder of the beauty and loveliness of watercolour backgrounds and 2D animation. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a glorious combination of science fiction, family melodrama, comedy, and action – all set against rainbow sherbet skies in a place pretty close to paradise – then this is definitely the movie for you.