Dr. Strange:Film Review

Dr. Strange.
It’s officially the best time to be a comic book, movie loving, nerd. Of all the secondary, second tier, silver/bronze age heroes from comics… we got the best of the mystical controlling characters of the said mediums on the silver screen.

Director:Scott Derrickson, Writers:Scott DerricksonJon SpaihtsC. Robert Cargill, The cast Run Time:1h55m

Dr. Steven strange was reportedly created to reach the mass few who delved into the psychedelic, paranormal mind altering activities or the few who got there from vice favoured substances. Over the years he’s had books launch and cancelled and has even switched roles for a time. He even served as an ‘Avenger’ as recent as B.M.Bendis’ run on the aforementioned comic title.

Whatever your reason for liking Dr. Strange as a character, he has always been more of a lurking in the background character. Which works to his benefit as seen in this film.

Director Dickerson, Cumberbatch and Co, treated him and his story in what felt like two halves. It felt as dark and gritty as the Netflix stuff with his origin/ first 40 or so minutes and then more like the Marvel films, dubbed MCU, has been known to have.

This may or may not be a spoiler but I thought it very interesting how on the surface they kept everything, namely his injured hands, in the foreground. I thought they would’ve had that healed up by the half mark. But for the dramatic effect of his character it was one of his core challenges. (Side note: has Cumberbatch always had a lisp?) Cumberbatch did a great job from being a dude with his head up his ass to learning some humility. Its reminiscent of the first Iron Man & Thor film. Though as fun as the jokes were. I just feel it could have done with less but that’s just my strict personal opinion. After seeing the trailer above you’d think there would’ve been a darker tone to entire film. For me it takes me out of the dire need to save the day if you’re constantly laughing.  In no way is it a comedy, but there’s just a few too many on the nose jokes for My liking. Let serious moments be sometimes.

I think its cool how even though he could have ended up like Johnathan Prangborn in the film, he was so amazed by this new world, that he gave up the life style he had in NYC to become something more.

Chiwetel, I feel, out acted Cumberbatch and arguably everyone else. But not  in a better or for worse way; Just in more sincerity to convince me/the audience on his take of his character, MordoMads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius was very under developed though. He has his moment of explaining his plan to Strange, and he begins to cry, and for the life of me I couldn’t fathom why. I get his mind has been opened, but I did not care. the best core acting scene was between McAdams and Cumberbatch in the “I don’t need your pity scene”. Additionally I felt like Christine was poorly developed as well. I think this movie could have used an extra 30 minutes.

A shame the film was shot in the manner it was as they opted for a more thrilling ride than arguably stronger shots. I think they should have pushed for some pop shots and to tease us with some other parallel known universe, from the comics, when he was traversing time and space.

His transformation from pretty boy doctor, to desperate man, to sorcery supreme was very well crafted by the hair makeup and wardrobe/costume departments. Every characters look in the film felt authentic and probable for the universe and the individual franchise. The amount of colour that came from each frame of film, especially during the astral planes of existence. It’s arguably 2nd for all time colour film of the mcu*. The production value for what we got was pretty great. Only wished less green screen was used for more of the films simpler things.

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Bottom line:
It’s a good film but the character development was missing either in the edit suite or the actual script. There could have been some great moments but I feel as though the powers behind these films are pulling too much of the strings to give us great films. I’m happy they made this movie as it helps pave the way for more riskier characters to be given the light of day. I just hope the next one gives characters like Mordo, Wong & Christine more to do.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7.3 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 7.5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 5 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? fun in Imax especially with the Dormammu stuff. it will be a worthy add to any collection of the MCU once its hit home viewing.

*(Avengers for 1 and a tie for 2nd between GotG and Dr. Strange for most colourful)

 

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Movie Review

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The first one was amazingly done and Peter Jackson and crew, up the ante by adding foreshadow that lends itself to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy,  and Legolas.

My biggest problem with this picture was that it didn’t feel as fun as the first. It felt a bit dragged on, on purpose rather than just elongated to grasp the full spectrum of the story. I would like to believe P.J. stretched the book out over three parts to give you that idea of a journey to really submerge yourself in the world to really just feel a part of middle-earth. I’m fine with that honestly. But in comparison to the first chapter, this just felt longer.

 

Another thing that irritated me was this was the only movie I’ve seen in recent memory (Maybe outside of Thor 2) where I noticed the difference between studios set to real world filming. When he does go outside however, P.J. and crew, it’s as gorgeous as ever. New Zealand is definitely a place worth putting on your respective bucket list.

The story this time around is all a mystery to me since I never finished the book, nor read ANY of the LotR books. But I’m generally fascinated by that realm of witches, wizards, swords, and Knights. This could be why I didn’t enjoy it as much. But this is still a good movie.

The-Hobbit-The-Desolation-of-Smaug-Poster-HD4Do you remember Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers? Yea. Legolas made bows and arrows castles, and that movie, so cool. When he shows up in this movie it’s all bad ass: Each and every scene, even when he’s standing and talking. The red head elf, Tauriel, isn’t an original character. Well she is, but she’s not from the source material, this (for some reason) is something from screenwriter, Philippa Boyens, created for the film. Evangeline Lilly does an incredible job at being the redhead of the elfish society and being a fair and adequate love interest to Legolas. The acting wasn’t poor at all. I believed everyone’s effort from start to finish. I’d give the breakout role to Ms. Lilly.

The 48fps wasn’t as noticeable this time around, but that could be because I expected it. There isn’t much I can say that is a pro or con to it. It’s something that you either like, don’t mind, or hate. I’m a mix of the latter. I noticed it at times but it wasn’t anything bad. The best scenes for 3D were with Smaug.

Bottom line: This isn’t the best out of the Tolkien/Jackson story/movies but it’s a damned good effort for what it is. Great effects and use of character, only real flaw was pacing. It didn’t match the first one and that was just as long if not longer.

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 10 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9.7 out of 10,
  • Audio: 9 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9.5 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Worthy of a Tuesday. Better at home..

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW