May 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

MCU Rewatch Issue #14: Doctor Strange

Cumberbatch! Cumberbatch! Cumberbatch!

You knew Jenny would make sure to show up for this one.  Doctor Strange starring some guy.  I think he was on Sherlock.

watson:  So Dr Strange. I watched it a day early just to get a jump on Tom and Jimmy.
I got nothing
This is one mediocre movie. This was a film designed to fill a slot on a shared universe’s release schedule.
It is visually beautiful but ultimately doesn’t add much in the way of uniqueness or story telling.
Cumberbatch, who I enjoy usually, is entirely mediocre. I liked this film more the first time but on second viewing, it doesn’t do much for me.

jenny: ^ I hate you

tomk: He’s allowed to not like it, Jenny.

watson: It wasn’t the film she was defending…

jenny: ^ha, I hate that you know me so well.

tomk: I was hoping for better from Jenny.

jenny: I will get to it, just working – LIKE ALL OF YOU SHOULD BE…

tomk: You don’t know my schedule.

watson: I watched it last night.

tomk: I will watch this evening as is my habit.

watson: Get your shit together, Tom!

tomk: Time to get a little Strange.

watson: Too late…

tomk: I really have to stop feeding that troll.

You know, I really like Tilda Swindon in this.

watson: You would as a known white washer… :-p

tomk: I am not enjoying this chat right now. 😐

tomk: OK, so, Doctor Strange…visually stunning, and Cumberbatch may be the most obvious casting for the MCU since Downey. But that may be the problem with the movie: it’s basically Iron Man retold with magic. Arrogant rich guy gets hurt and becomes a better person. I like the movie, more than Watson, but it doesn’t help those who complain the MCU tends to look very similar from one film to another. And with yet another overqualified actor wasted in a nothing bad guy role.

jimmy: This is one mediocre movie. This was a film designed to fill a slot on a shared universe’s release schedule.

It is visually beautiful but ultimately doesn’t add much in the way of uniqueness or story telling.

Cumberbatch, who I enjoy usually, is entirely mediocre. I liked this film more the first time but on second viewing, it doesn’t do much for me.

I just cut and pasted everything Watson said since it’s pretty much how I feel as well.

tomk: ^ I hate you.

jimmy: This is going to be a short chat.

tomk: Maybe if your fingers sprouted hands whose fingers sprouted more hands and dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you.

jimmy: Lol

tomk: I’d do my worst, but that was Iron Man 2.

jimmy: I didn’t dislike it, but it was very mediocre. Reminded me a bit of Ant-Man in that way. Both of which I think I liked better the first time I saw them.

tomk: The visuals elevate it a bit for me. Plus Strange saves the day by being smarter and not blowing something up.

jimmy: I knew you would mention that. 🙂

But I think both of your reasons are why it doesn’t hold up as well for me since you’ve seen it before. Yes, we’ve seen all of them before. But the first time through Strange, my enjoyment may have been elevated seeing all these things for the first time. Ignoring Inception of course…

tomk: My understanding is Ryan starts every podcast by saying, “Watson, I’ve come to bargain.”

jimmy: He is big on this whole “deal with the devil” thing.

tomk: We can worry later why anyone thought good things come from a place called the Dark Dimension.

jimmy: So the first potential patient that Strange rejects on the phone just before his accident…was that Rhodey?

tomk: Huh. Hadn’t noticed.
How long was he in training in Kamazotz or K’un L’un or Montreal or wherever he was?

jimmy: 32 year old Colonel, spinal injury. Something like that. I wondered how it overlapped Civil War as well. And how long he was training?
Though Don Cheadle wishes he was 32.

tomk: Rhodey could be 32.
Actually, unless the Air Force works differently from what I know, I highly doubt there’s a 32 year old colonel anywhere. Most I know are at least a decade older than that.

jimmy: I have the age wrong (though not by much) and forgot about the “experimental armor”. Here’s more:

So…I guess not. It sure sounded it like him though when viewing and not thinking about it too much.

watson: I was reading Jimmy’s post and thinking, “man. That fuckstick Jimmy is finally making sense for once” and then he explained why.

jonathan: I think the only reason Strange got a traditional intro/origin is that they had to lay so much foundation on the mystical realms that will be, presumably, very prominent in future MCU entries. Otherwise, the new Spidey/Panther style intro works so much better.

tomk: We’d best be careful, or Jenny will get upset at the Cumberbashing.

jonathan: It definitely wasn’t to make us care about Stephen, because he’s still an unlikable asshole.
A handsome one, but still.

tomk: Handsome assholes are the worst kind.

watson: That is the burden I carry, Tom…

tomk: Should I ask if Watson can pull off a cloak of levitation?

watson: You certainly can’t pull off a mustache…

tomk: Again, I must stop feeding the troll.

jimmy: At the very least it revealed the location of an Infinity Stone.

jenny: Okay, phew – the week is over and I’m ready to discuss Dr. Strange.
Granted – I have not read the above – so if I duplicate anyone’s comments, then I apologize ahead of time.
But here’s the deal – I love this movie. I don’t think that anyone is surprised by this.
Yes – I’m 100% biased because of Benedict Cumberbatch – I could watch him take a dump and be entirely entertained.
But that’s not why I love this movie – well….he’s not entirely why I love this movie.
I love it because of what it represents – an introduction to magic and multiple demensions and possibilities.
What’s so wonderful about this, is that up until this point, we’re working solely on one timeline, one earth, one universe. But when we get introduced to Dr. Strange, all of that changes. Actually, the whole game changes. We now (or he who poseses the time gem) can manipulate space and time.
And when I think about all the different worlds, dimensions, and plains that affects – it blows my mind. Like I said before, the possibilities are endless.
So – keeping that in mind, while I was watching the story unfold, I was entralled. I was totally sucked into this world of multiple possibilities with genuine curiostiy. If anything – I think they hard job of trying to communicate that visually, but I believe they pulled it off.
Pushing some of the controversy aside, like the casting of Tilda Swinton (sp?), ultimately I enjoyed every bit of this origin story.

watson: But they don’t use those opportunities for anything. They are window dressing to remake Iron Man 1.

tomk: Is it true if you say his name three times he appears?
Cumberbatch Cumberbatch Cumberbatch!

jenny: To me – the idea of magic and the manipulation thereof is enough. We didn’t need to see what/how – at least not yet. Because the story was about Stephen Strange – not the multiverse. So tell his story – which I think they did, solidly, and then open our minds to the new posibilities moving forward with who/what he represents in the MCU.
The more I watch this movie – the more I love it. Truly – For me – it gets better every time. I love the story. And I know not a lot of people did – but I do.

It’s no Winter Soldier – But it’s no where near IM3 – I give this a solid 8 Cape Tear Wipings out of 10. (tears of shear Benedict Cumberbatch joy)

watson: Because no geek media had EVER established those constructs. It set up neat things and didn’t use them. Strange’s story was bland and unoriginal. Cumberbatch didn’t bring any of the flair that makes him great. This might be the furthest one MCU film has dropped for me.
Since we are doing grades, I give Dr Strange 6.5 “bargains” out of 10.

tomk: Time to grade? I’m closer to Jenny. 7.5 forgotten love interests out of 10.

jenny: Agree to disagree on this one William. But I still love you.

watson: You just like Cumberbatch…

jonathan: This one exchange was worth a full point bump in my score:
“Mister Doctor.”
*Sigh* “Strange.”
“Perhaps. Who’s to say?”
7.5 “It’s the Wi-Fi password… We’re not savages” out of 10

watson: It’s a 6.5 without that line?

jimmy: “Mister Doctor” is a great exchange.

tomk: The humor based on Strange’s name does largely work.

jimmy: It did make me wonder if anyone actually has the surname Strange, because it’s a bit…uh…strange.

tomk: There’s a student at my school with that name right now.

jimmy: Really? Interesting.

tomk: He probably doesn’t think so.

jimmy: No, probably not.
What I did find interesting though is that after Jenny’s love letter to Dr. Strange, she still “only” rated it 8/10. And also interesting that it seems she likes the movie (outside of Cumberbatch) for what it represents and introduces to the MCU, ala Jonathan liking Age of Ultron because it is built of connective tissue.

tomk: That’s the Newmans for ya.

jimmy: Except for Thor showing up in the funny post credit scene and the mention of the Infinity Stone, this one seemed pretty disconnected from the MCU as a whole.

tomk: Isn’t that the point? The sorcerers fight against things the rest of the world—the Avengers included—is unaware of?

jimmy: I’m not saying it is not. It’s just something of note seeing that we are 14 movies in, and we know that they’ve forced connections at times. And it seems like EVERYONE is unaware of the sorcerers according to Thor.

tomk: Well, Thor is. He knows about that stuff. And that scene came from Ragnarok.
If Strange has been in training for a while, he might be more of a known quantity by then.
Or not.

jimmy: Yes, but Strange is not the first. But Thor makes the comment “So Earth has wizards now, huh?”, implying no previous knowledge of the Ancient One, etc.

tomk: Strange is so egotistical, he had to make it known he was part of a secret wizard cabal.
That or the fact he’s so darn handsome and charming according to some that people can’t help but notice him.
They write songs about the man!

jimmy: lol

I was thinking as well that you never hear much talk about a Doctor Strange sequel (maybe it is one of the like 20 unknown films the MCU has on it’s schedule), even though the post credits scene was one of the best in terms moving the narrative forward.

jenny: Jimmy, you do bring up a good point. My guess is that the sanctums, and leaders thereof were sworn to secrecy, thus living and performing acts of protection on secret plains. That being said, after the threat of Dormamu, and the fact that Strange is the new Sorcerer Supreme, that those secretive walls are now unnecessary.

tomk: Is he the new Sorcerer Supreme? He doesn’t get that title in the movie.

jimmy: He’s a wizard Harry.

jenny: I thought he did get the title. Hmmm

jimmy: I think Wong says that he is still in training.

jenny: Ah, okay.
Well, either way, there is an obvious change in tradition after Tilda Swinton dies.
So, maybe SS will be granted to Strange organically after or through IW

jimmy: Unless he dies in Infinity War.

jenny: Jimmy! Watch your mouth.
DS isn’t going to die in IW.
Cap maybe. But not Strange

jimmy: You never know…

jenny: Nooooooooo

jimmy: :-p

jenny: I’m sorry I missed Civil War, I kind of wish that movie was next.
What’s next? Spider-Man?

jimmyGuardians 2

jimmy: But we’re not quite there yet. I’ll give Doctor Strange 7.5 Mister Doctors out of 10 and feed our scores into Calcutron-2024:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier 10.0
Iron Man 9.4
Guardians Of The Galaxy 9.4
The Avengers 9.3
Captain America: Civil War 8.9
Captain America: The First Avenger 8.7
Thor 8.0
Ant-Man 7.8
Avengers: Age of Ultron 7.6
Doctor Strange 7.4
The Incredible Hulk 6.7
Iron Man 2 6.6
Iron Man 3 6.6
Thor: The Dark World 6.6

MCU overall 8.1
Phase 1 8.1
Phase 2 8.0
Phase 3 8.1

jenny: The Calcutron-2024 is doing a great job!

watson: It uses the same top secret wizardry as the List of Truth™.

tomk: And it shares a number with a Blade Runner movie!