Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ice To See You

Today was a welcome relief from the recent stifling heatwave. I even earned the right to complain about the high temperatures after spending all of Saturday grilling alongside the meat at a sweltering backyard BBQ. In my brief time outside today I enjoyed the seemingly forgotten feeling of a cool breeze again and, at the end of the day, gladly welcomed walking back to the car in a thundershower. Ironically, the cooler weather made the building turn down the AC so it actually felt a lot warmer than usual in the office. The day wasn't exactly like the twist in the "Twilight Zone" episode where the earth kept moving closer to the sun until it turned out that it was only a dream and that the earth was actually moving away from the sun so everyone was going to slowly freeze to death; but it was still a notably refreshing change of pace.

So in honor of this terrifically temperate day and in step with maintaining the balance of the universe, given the last heat-centric post, I figured I should blog about something cold; and really what's colder than three random personal thoughts on long time Batman villain "Mr. Freeze" (thought I was going to go with the Snow Miser didn't you? Well here's the song as a consolation prize):
  • I become quite heavily reliant on AC during the last few days. I spent most of my time as a sort of prisoner to whatever room or building that had a functioning air conditioner. Only under the most necessary of circumstances would I have left the comforts of recirculated air for the baking oven that was the natural world. I suppose this must be a taste of what it's like to be Mr. Freeze. Anytime he walks out of his random freezer hideout or his cold suit springs a leak or he leaves the special cold area of his prison cell, it must be like walking into the worst heatwave imaginable. I can kind of relate to that now, it sort of humanizes the character (definitely a lot more than the whole mourning over his frozen wife stuff. I ain't married).
  • Speaking of Freeze's trademark handicap, I also came to a realization about Arnold Schwarzenegger's portrayal of Mr. Freeze in the much maligned "Batman & Robin". His character's notorious compulsion to drop a never-ending stream of increasingly ridiculous, groan inducing ice related puns makes a lot more sense if you go into the film with the assumption that, in addition to constant sub-zero temperatures, his unfortunate condition actually forces him to keep spouting cold based one-liners to stay alive. It's like his body cannot stop producing terrible freeze themed jokes and if he doesn't find an outlet for them he'll suffer a stroke or a maybe aneurysm. Why else would he keep saying those lines? It's definitely not to be funny or amusing.
  • Of course as wacky as the film adaptation of Mr. Freeze was, it was practically cinema verite compared to any of the character's portrayals on the wonderfully campy 1960s "Batman" TV series. The series Mr. Freeze went through three different incarnations featuring three incredibly unlikely guest actors. He was first played by Academy Award winner George Sanders, who instead of using that sophisticated yet sinister Shere Khan/Addison DeWitt voice spoke with a clunky German accent. He was then replaced by acclaimed director Otto Preminger in one of his rare acting roles. This was the Mr. Freeze I always remembered grown up (also it always feels more right for Mr. Freeze to be bald); at least the German accent was more legit this time around. Finally, the third version was played by the immortal Eli Wallach (seriously he's 95 and still actively working) who looked downright pixieish in the role; sort of like an elf who went rogue from Santa's workshop. Really a strange trio and it is fairly debatable who was the best.

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