Dr. Strange Love

(Editor’s Note:  This was supposed to be a review of Logan.  However, as is becoming an all too familiar theme in my life, being an adult stinks.  So, instead of using my break to do things I wanted to do, I spent it doing things I have to do.)

All things considered, I suppose that I should consider myself lucky that I had 99% of this vacation to do with as I please.  I used it to rearrange my new Magic cards.  I applied my time and energy to make 2 Generations gaming into a functioning entity again.  My wife and I even got to have a date night.

Still, I’m a bit bummed to realize that today is already Sunday and I was not able to see Logan or join a Modern Masters draft.  Truth be told (and why would I lie?), I’m actually more upset about the draft.  I mean, I’ve had a week or so to hype myself about Logan.  However, talking to Chris, taking out my cards, and remembering the fun times I had with previous drafts on xMage have me wanting to try the real thing.  Then again, and this might just be me out of practice, I tried a draft on xMage for this set and it did not feel like a good draft set to me.  Maybe it is better as sealed.  Maybe it is just a “draft a bomb and profit” set.  Who knows?  All I know is that I was having a difficult time finding the synergies in the cards.  Perhaps more testing is needed.

I felt like I was being pushed into 3 colors. Maybe, from the above card, that’s intended. Maybe it’s a trap!

But, this article isn’t about Magic.  I know that it won’t be the latest and greatest, but perhaps I can revisit this in May when we do our show on Magic.  Now, I want to talk about Dr. Strange.  Naturally, this may lead to side conversations about other movies this year.  However, as this seems to be the year of DC with regards to movies, I will most likely be able to stay on target.  Also, I really liked this movie.

I get the feeling that was not a common assessment.  I have not heard overwhelming hate against it like I did Batman vs. Superman, but it was a quirky movie.  As a kid, I always liked the lesser celebrated heroes.  Sure, I collected Spidey and Hulk, but I also had Guardians, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Dr. Strange in my collection.  This has followed me into adulthood in two ways.  First, I’m infinitely more excited about those franchises coming out this year than Spidey.  Some of that might be Spidey fatigue.  The second aspect of my legacy of obscure super heroes lives on in Aiden.  He loves Iron Fish and Flash is his absolute favorite book.  But, there will be time to talk about that in November.

Now is the time for Dr. Strange and one of my main man crushes.

The movie hooked me with the casting of Sherlock heartthrob Benedict Cumberbatch.  One of my favorite actors playing one of my favorite characters?  Sign me up!  I never got to see it in the theater for the same reason that I wasn’t able to see Logan.  Okay, that’s not entirely true.  I could have taken the boys to see this one.  Maybe it was just a lack of time and money that kept me from this one.

Whatever the case, I wish that I had seen this one on the big screen.  It’s rare that I say that about a movie these days.  With HD wide screen TVs and surround sound, the theater experience is relicated quite easily with only 1.50 from RedBox.  But, the special effects are the best that I’ve seen from a Marvel movie.  I never saw inception.  I know.  accuse me of yet another geek crime and bring me before the tribunal already.  However, from what I’ve seen of the Inception trailer, the visual style of Dr. Strange is very similar.  Maybe I will finally see the movie and strike one of my crimes from the record.

There was only one part where the effects took me out of the fantasy of the movie.  When the ancient one takes Strange on his tour of the multiverse, some of the efffects looked wonky.  But, it was brief and the rest of the movie was so entertaining that I put the minor glitch behind me.

This is the part that looked most fake to me. Right after this when he went flying off into the distance. It wasn’t terrible, but it definitely looked like it was at the end of the production schedule and they rushed it.

That was the other thing that stood out to me about Dr. Strange.  It was funny.  I mentioned Batman vs. Superman earlier  and the hate that it received.  I didn’t agree with much of it, but DC is definitely missing the point by making their movies so dark.  They got too much into the *Batman voice* “dark and gritty realism” that they forgot how much fun these stories can be.  Like all of the Marvel movies, Dr. Strange made me chuckle several times and laugh out loud more than once.  I have always been a Marvel zombie, but that added humor is why I prefer the Marvel movies to DC.  They have gotten better.  Aiden has been watching the Flash TV show.  Between that and some of the trailers that I’ve seen, DC is slowly bringing more humor into their franchises.  One big complaint about Batman vs. Superman was Batfleck, but perhaps his introduction into the universe will end up being a net positive.  We shall see.

Before you think this is universal praise, there was one aspect of the movie that worried me and it wasn’t necessarily a fault of the movie.  How’s that for some double speak?  Comic book audiences have been trained for the big action and explosions.  I know that Dr. Strange exists in that world, but he’s not so much about the punchy/kicky as he is about the hocus pocus.  Would people think the movie is boring?  Again, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I was very entertained by the action present.  There was plenty of punchy/kicky in the form of martial arts and there was even some explosions during the finale.

Heck, the punchy/kicky even added hocus pocus to the mix.

Above all of this, though, my favorite part of the movie did not involve punchy/kicky.  Instead, Dr. Strange used some major hocus/pocus to defeat Dormammu and save the world.  For those of you even lamer than I am, I won’t give away any more than that, but it is definitely worth the wait and does the character justice.  If you’re a fan of Dr. Strange, you won’t be disappointed.

This movie didn’t surpass the first Avengers as my favorite Marvel movie.  I’m not even sure if it cracks the top 5.  However, it is probably the most entertaining comic book movie I’ve watched in the past year.  If you are in the mood for a good time with great effects and more or less faithful to the source material (if that’s your thing), then you definitely want to see this movie.

 

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