Saturday, January 06, 2024

"Doctor Strange" - 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly'

Now that the sequel "Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness" has come and gone, take another look at The GoodTheBadandTheUgly in Marvel Studios first film, "Doctor Strange", starring Benedict Cumberbatch:

Michael Stevens/SneakPeek.Ca For THE GOOD

"'By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth', as an early fan of Marvel Comics' 'Strange Tales', I was willing to open my mind to the endless impossibilities' of the IMAX 3D world of 'Doctor Strange'...

"...immediately entranced 
 by the M.C. Escher-like VFX, with loopy, angled landscapes and bending skylines...

"...amused by droll Benedict Cumberbatch as 'Stephen Strange'...

"...chilled by madman Mads Mikkelsen as 'Kaecilius'...

"...and enlightened by the radiant Tilda Swinton as 'The Ancient One'.

"'By The Shades Of The Seraphim', I also enjoyed the sentient 'Cloak Of Levitation'...

"...and all of the hand-waving, finger-gesturing flourishes...

"...reminding me of the mystical energy in John Carpenter's 'Big Trouble In Little China'.

"Also memorable is Strange popping in and out of dimensional portals like a gopher, or screaming for his sanity as he's flung into 'Altered States' and gnarly realms.

'''By the Flames of the Faltine', 'Doctor Strange' magically ushers Marvel Comics' brilliant, bohemian 'Sorcerer Supreme' into the Marvel Studios universe.   

Graf Orlok For THE BAD

"'By the Ageless Vishanti', actress Tilda Swinton ain't exactly a '10', but I was moved by her metaphysically beautiful 'Ancient One'...

"...gifted with a psychokinesis that seems to take its martial arts cues from 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'.

"But for some weird reason, 'The Master of the Mystic Arts', came across like the 'Master of His Own Domain'.

"Although Strange is followed around by ex-lover, nurse 'Christine Palmer' (Rachel McAdams), things never get down and dirty as Christine refuses to even kiss Strange on the lips. (?!)

"But 'By The Fangs Of Farallah', there finally is a somewhat emotional outburst of a scene, when self-loathing Strange decides to take out his manly frustration on Palmer with an abusive tantrum. (if you get off on that sort of thing).

"'By The Mists Of Morpheus', aside from all the Smoke and Mirrors, does 'Doctor Strange' hit the mark ? 

The answer is yes ... if you bought a ticket (zzzzzz).

Jane Doberman For THE UGLY

"'By The Vapors Of Valtorr', witness 'Dr. Stephen Strange' spiral down a slippery slope towards 'Shangri-La-La-Land' in pursuit of Far Eastern mumbo jumbo that (as usual) surpasses any/all scientific, medical advances of Western civilization.

"Strange hustles his way into a sacred sanctum, armed with a photographic memory, to create shields and weapons via incantations, instantly metamorphosing into 'Mandrake The Magician'. 

"Benedict Cumberbatch, looking like the 'Doctor Strange' comic book character, is unfortunately just as flat and 2-dimensional here, ironically bending space and time without any sense of comic timing. 

"But 'By The Seven Rings Of Raggadorr', what really irked me was how nurse 'Christine Palmer' reacted after seeing the body of the unconscious Strange on an operating table, only to have him suddenly materialize in his astral form. 

"Instead of losing her mind like 'Oda Mae Brown' in 'Ghost', Christine quickly accepts Strange in his new form. 

"Nothing to see here. Move along... 

"Scar-faced Mads Mikkelsen, looking like a poster boy for Maybelline mascara...

"...plays his one-note bad guy with one-note of emotion.

"But 'By the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak', the 'One Ahead' principle, where a conjurer uses previously obtained information to stay one step ahead of the audience, is played to the hilt here, assuredly giving Marvel Comics' fans what they want.

"So there you have it 'True Believers'. This first film foray into the occult world of Marvel is far better than a kick in the ass...

"...or a poke in 'The All-Seeing Eye of Agamotto' ...

"Only in Marvel Movies kids, only in Marvel Movies..."