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October 18, 2017

Doctor Strange (2016) --- "Arrogant Doctor Breaks His Hands And Learns How To Do Magic To Save The Universe."

Plot Summary
Dr. Stephen Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he looks for healing, and hope, in a mysterious enclave. He quickly learns that the enclave is at the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying reality. Before long, Strange is forced to choose between his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     The character Doctor Strange, created by Marvel's legendary artist Steve Ditko around the 1960’s, was originally named Mr. Strange but Ditko and Stan Lee decided to change his name. At time people would mistake Mr. Strange with “Mr. Fantastic1” and since there was already a villain named Dr. Strange they choose to spell out the word “Doctor” rather than use the abbreviation. His physical appearance and middle name pay tribute to the 1960’s horror icon Vincent Price, who often played a mystical sorcerer on film. The world of Doctor Strange was inspired by the 1930’s radio program “Chandu the Magician,”2 featuring a secret agent magician who could traverse the astral plane and project illusions. All together this makes Doctor Strange one of the most unique Marvel characters to date and this is refreshing to see: he is not a Norse god, space alien, a product of technological armor nor does he gain his powers from a super serum or through gamma rays.
     The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has developed a knack for bringing back-to life old or unknown origin stories, with Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) dominating the box-office with it's over $800 million boot and Ant-Man (2015) repeating the process a year later,  it is no wonder that Doctor Strange is keeping that record alive. While Doctor Strange maybe the strangest (pun intended) addition to MCU, nevertheless it enjoyable and entertaining to watch with  a thought-provoking story and screenplay, mind-bending CGI, and amazing action.
     Director Scott Derrickson (Sinister) helped provide the script, though this origin story (like most) is a bit rushed, the clever time/world bending and clever screenplay is displayed quite well and the final result is impressive. The whole concept of the film is that was going to strange from start to finish and the screenplay alone will start to bend your mind with all of the thought-provoking ideas you come find. The dialogue is typical of a MCU film with witty humor and sarcastic banter, even when Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch – Star Trek: Into the Darkness) fought the villain – both of them. The CGI is a cross between the magic of Harry Potter and the reality defying, world building of Inception; just half of the CGI alone makes Inception look a rough draft. The action is on par with Captain America: Civil War (2016) and it is amazing to watch a scene with a million pieces moving yet we can still focus on the characters. The pace not flawless as it slows down a bit before the final act, which I think was unnecessary.

     Overall, MCU has a special way in which they produce their movies that allows for some creativity, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Captain America trilogy are proof. The MCU shines again with Doctor Strange as the strangest yet entertaining addition though it is not the BEST Marvel film it is one of the BEST movies of 2016. The cast was wonderfully developed, the action and dialogue were typical of Marvel, and the CGI was a Harry Potter- Inception blend; the later looking like a rough draft in comparison to this film. Also there are two credits scenes that tease future films, one being a possible Doctor Strange sequel. This is a strange world and I believe that anybody will be able to find something they like.

***Marvel Cinematic Universe (In order of how you should watch them)***
Iron Man (2008)
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Thor (2011)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Marvel's The Avengers (2012)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Ant-Man (2015)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Doctor Strange (2016)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Black Panther (2018)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Captain Marvel (2019)
Untitled Avengers film (2019)
Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel (2019)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (TBA)

"It's Strange."
- Dr. Stephen Strange

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  of 5 star
Worth Buying:  of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
Ant-Man (2015)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Avengers (2012)
Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (2015)
Avengers 3: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers 4: Untitled film (2019)
Black Panther (2018)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Captain Marvel (2019)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (TBA)
Hulk (2003)
Incredible Hulk (2008)
Iron Man (2008)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 (2019)
Thor (2011)
Thor: Dark World (2013)
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Cast & Crew
Directed by Scott Derrickson
Produced by 
     Victoria Alonso         ...   executive producer
     Stephen Broussard   ...   executive producer
     Louis D'Esposito       ...   executive producer
     Kevin Feige                ...   producer
     David J. Grant           ...   co-producer
     Stan Lee                     ...   executive producer
     Charles Newirth       ...   executive producer
Cinematography by Ben Davis
Film Editing by Sabrina Plisco and Wyatt Smith
Casting By Sarah Finn and Reg Poerscout-Edgerton           
Production Design by Charles Wood 
Set Decoration by John Bush and Lauri Gaffin
Costume Design by Alexandra Byrne

Benedict Cumberbatch         ...        Dr. Stephen Strange
Chiwetel Ejiofor                      ...        Mordo
Rachel McAdams                    ...        Christine Palmer
Benedict Wong                        ...        Wong
Mads Mikkelsen                      ...        Kaecilius
Tilda Swinton                           ...        The Ancient One
Michael Stuhlbarg                  ...        Dr. Nicodemus West
Benjamin Bratt                        ...        Jonathan Pangborn
Scott Adkins                              ...        Lucian / Strong Zealot
Zara Phythian                          ...        Brunette Zealot
Alaa Safi                                     ...        Tall Zealot
Katrina Durden                       ...        Blonde Zealot
Topo Wresniwiro                    ...        Hamir
Umit Ulgen                                ...        Sol Rama
Linda Louise Duan                ...        Tina Minoru
Mark Anthony Brighton       ...        Daniel Drumm
Meera Syal                                 ...        Dr. Patel
Amy Landecker                       ...        Dr. Bruner
Adam Pelta-Pauls                   ...        Nurse Billy
Sarah Malin                              ...        Dr. Garrison
Eben Young                               ...        Dr. Weiss
Ezra Khan                                  ...        Kamar-Taj Librarian 

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