03 November 2007

The Friends and Foes of Batman - Mr. Freeze

Originally called Mr. Zero, Dr. Victor Fries first appeared in 1959. Originally, he was a mad scientist who plotted crimes around ice and cold. In most incarnations, this desire stems from a medical condition in which his body temperature was permanently lowered and he required a refrigerated “ice suit” to survive. Mr. Freeze (not sure why he dropped the Dr in his villain name) has appeared in the Batman live action TV show, Batman: The Animated Series, The Batman, and on theb ig screen in the turdtastic Batman and Robin. The animated series version of Freeze was more calm and composed than previous, campier versions and the comic book version has since been altered to resemble it. Of course, lets not forget to mention that Arnold portrayed this newly revamped character as a pun shouting idiot in the B&R movie using up most of the stock the character had recently gained. Thanks Arnie.

As a child, he was fascinated by freezing animals. His parents, horrified by his "hobby", send him to a strict boarding school, where he was miserable, feeling detached from humanity. In college, he met a woman named Nora, whom he befriended and ultimately marries.

Nora later fell terminally ill. Fries took on a job working for a large company run by the ruthless Ferris Boyle. Fries discovers a way to put Nora into cryo-stasis (using company equipment), hoping to sustain her until a cure could be found. Boyle found out about the experiment and attempted to have her brought out of stasis, overruling Fries' frantic objections. A struggle ensued in which Boyle kicked Fries into a table full of chemicals and left him for dead. Fries survived, but his body temperature was lowered dramatically; he could now only live at sub-zero temperatures, forced to wear a special refrigerating suit to stay alive. As Mr. Freeze, he used cryonic technology to create a gun, which fired a beam that froze any target within its range.

His first act as a costumed criminal was to take revenge upon Ferris Boyle, a plan with which Batman interfered. Mr. Freeze fired his freeze-gun at Batman, but he dodged, causing the beam to shatter Nora's capsule. Freeze blames Batman, and swore to destroy whatever the Dark Knight holds dear (mainly Gotham City, and eventually Robin).

Mr. Freeze's crimes tended to involve freezing everyone and everything he ran in to. In addition, he hardly ever forged alliances with the other criminals in Gotham, preferring to work alone, although he has worked as a hired enforcer/hitman for the Black Mask. Once, in the hopes of reviving his wife, he allied himself with the Secret Society of Super Villains, fashioning for Nyssa al Ghul a sub-zero machine in exchange for the use of her own Lazarus Pit. He attempted to restore Nora to life without waiting for the adjusting needed in the pool chemicals. Sshe returned to life as the twisted Lazara, and escaped. She blamed her husband for her plight, and estranged herself from him.

BUY IT NOW: Batman on DVD

Friend and Foe Profiles:

Ra's al Ghul
Talia al Ghul
Baby Doll
Bat-Hound (Ace)
Black Mask
David Cain
Calendar Man & Calendar Girl
Clock King
Crazy Quilt
Floronic Man
Mr. Freeze

The Dark Knight returns in 258 days!

02 November 2007

The Bee Movie has Landed

The Bee movie is upon us. Post your thoughts and box office projections here. I will probably take my little girl to this movie, but I am a little disappointed that all Jerry Seinfeld could come up with was another bug movie. But hey, at least its not ants again.

31 October 2007

Presenting the Creatively Titled Kung Fu Panda

Looks like dreamworks has done it again... and I dont mean that in a good way. Here is to hoping that this movie is more like Over the Hedge than Shrek the turd.

Dreamworks on DVD

30 October 2007

Old News is New Again

So, rumblings around the net say that Green Lantern and Flash films are going to be the first spun off from the upcoming Justice League film. They both have direstors getting to work, but thats been true before so... The big news this time is that, uh oh, suddenly this train wreck of a movie may be a huge deal. Not only will a bad JL movie derail hopes for a good ensemble film, it may take down the whole DC universe with it. I would feel much better if our hopes werent in the hands of the dude who brought us Happy Feet.

One last thing, I hear a lot that the only Leaguers who can carry a solo film are Supes and Batman. This is just silly. Look at the Marvel films. Quality aside, Ghost Rider and Daredevil both carried profitable movies and Ant-man has a film coing for crying out loud. Surely a well made Flash or Green Lantern movie could be a hit.

BUY IT NOW: Justice League on DVD

Ink Blots - The Return of the King

In 1980, following in the footsteps of The Hobbit, which preceded it by 3 years, The Return of the King debuted as a Rankin Bass made-for-TV special. After The Hobbit, the Ralph Bakshi Lord of the Rings theatrical movie departed from the cute and chubby look of the TV project into a dark and dingy world. The movie fared ok, but it ended half way through the story, and no follow up was made. Enter Return of the King. I dont know if this special was made partly to satisfy fans left hanging by the LOTRs movie, but it doesn't really pick up where the other left off. It does, however, finish the tale in the nice and cuddly style of the Hobbit.

The movie opens with Frodo recounting his journey through Mordor to uncle Bilbo around Elrond's table. In fact, most of this movie is about Frodo's half of the Return of the King story. Hardly any time is given to the magnificent battle at Minis Tirith. Herein is the movies greatest problem. Even though this project was made 25 years before the Peter Jackson version, it will forever onward pale in comparison. The live action ROTK is one of the greatest movies ever made, and whether or not it is fair, the TV version is inferior in every way. There are some cool things in the TV film though. The design of Minis Tirith must surely have motivated the design in Peter Jackson movies, as it is spot on. Also, the music of the TV movie is quite nice.

Glenn Yarbrough, man-sheep hybrid, returns from the Hobbit to "baa" some more songs. Also, the orc marching anthem "where there's a whip, there's a way" is unbelievably awesome (It also was an excuse to recycle animation 3 or more times). Unfortunately, the songs are not enough to rescue the film from its slow and plodding plot focused on two Hobbits sneaking through Mordor, and the Kings returns with a mere B-.

BUY IT NOW: Lord of the Rings on DVD

28 October 2007

The Flash Zips Through Gotham

Here is a look at the Flash who joins the ranks of Superman and Green Arrow as a guest hero on this 5th season of The Batman. Next Saturday, Wally (or is it Barry?) takes on the Mirror Master and a host of evil doppelgangers. Sounds cool!

BUY IT NOW: Flash on DVD