Monday, November 14, 2016

All I need is...possible.

For a couple of months in my twenties, I worked in the dank bowels of an urban hospital. It was mindless, windowless work, where I essentially shuffled pink papers for eight hours a day. My female co-workers had a little more responsibility than I did (I didn't even have a computer), which led to very few conversations among us. And if I ever did start talking to one of the ladies, each feature of the supervisor's face instantly converged on one another in an attempt to stifle rage, and I would quickly stop talking and pray she didn't dragon punch me in the chest.

For those months, my only friend was the pleasantly monotone female voice periodically emitting  from the loudspeaker. She didn't say much, other than page three of the (in my mind, anyway) most handsome and heroic doctors on the planet: Dr. Burns, Dr. Watts and Dr. Quick.

Paging Dr. Burns. Dr. Burns. Dr. Burns to the cafeteria.
Paging Dr. Watts. Dr. Watts. Dr. Watts to the basement, please.
Paging Dr. Quick. Dr. Quick. Dr. Quick to the third floor.

Man, I loved those guys.

Well, until I found out a little more about them, anyway...

Also aptly titled and also not very heroic, is Marvel's latest cinematic hero, Doctor Strange. Somehow, the faceless behemoth that decides what C-list comic book character is suddenly our total favorite! threw a dart made exclusively of Bald eagle talons and landed on Stephen Strange. Dr. Stephen Strange, that is, who just so happens to be the least likable character Marvel has ever rammed down our throats. Like, even worse than Terrance Howard's War Machine. Or the guy that kills an adorable sheep in Ant-Man [review].

While I would have been happy with Black Widow leaning out of a steamy shower to tell Bruce Banner something along the lines of Hey, we got a new guy on the team, an asshole who makes portals with his jazz hands! (and Bruce indifferently going oh, then returning to beakers full of green stuff), we're instead treated to yet another mostly lifeless origin story. Though this time, with more Tilda Swinton!

The short version goes like this: brilliant brain surgeon/ overwhelming douche Dr. Strange is crippled in a fairly rad car accident. When he comes to, his hands look like he put them in a wood-chipper, thereby making his entire life not worth living. He makes an shitty comment to a physical therapist, travels to Nepal, and realizes he has super powers that could save the world from inter-dimensional danger. He doesn't care about that, however. Instead opts into returning to full-time douchery. For the most part.

I might have oversimplified director Scott Derrickon's aesthetically-riveting Doctor Strange um, a lot, but trust me, outside of some kick-ass world-folding, you've seen this movie before. And it probably someone a lot more likable that Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange holding it down.

So psyched to see the 'There is No Spoon' kid all grown up...
Maybe I've just grown tired of Marvel's B-squad (or is the the C/D squad), or maybe most of these tertiary characters simply aren't worth spending two hours with, but whatever the case may be I simply wasn't a fan of Doctor Strange. My wife and son both liked it, and they are way better individuals than I am (and the world seems to be in favor of it). But for me, Grumps McAssface, twenty-four hours after seeing it, the whole flick felt about as magical as the second time someone pulled their thumb in half.

Also lacking the wow-factor, or thumbs of any kind, are the Yays and Boos. We were totally giddy to be back in the cinema (after a two-month hiatus), but almost lost our minds at the new ticket prices. Thirteen bucks for a 3D flick? You know that's the median annual household income around here, right? Damn, Regal. You's a heartless motherf--ker, you know?

Anytime NYC folds in on itself is the best time.

  • Whoa. Who knew being a librarian could be so, uh, deadly
  • Side-of-building Fight #1 was awesome. More of that plea- ah, okay. Too much, now.
  • Regina George grew up to be a doctor! Yes! (I love McAdams)
  • Hey, Benjamin Bratt! Could we borrow you for like, I don't know, fifteen minutes? It's nothing really, just to have you join the MCU, thanks.
  • Just let your soul go, baby! Damn. That was a Hell of a punch!
  • Even though these kind of characters fall out of any tree you shake in Marvel Land, I kinda liked Benedict Wong's, uh, Wong. And f--k it, I don't care how that sounds.
  • Even though they look silly to conjure (and my sister won't stop doing them), they look fantastic in action. So many sparkles!
  • The Mirror Dimension is pretty cool, even if it seems like a less handy Room of Requirement.
  • That time control bracelet is cool as Hell. Really, every time Strange busts this out, I rubbed my hands together like Montgomery Burns.
  • I don't know how many more Stan Lee cameos we're gonna get, but I'm gonna cheer all of 'em, regardless.
  • Watch out Edge of Tomorrow [review], the best Endless Death Montage competition just got real.
  • And finally, even though it was only two seconds long, any future time I get to spend with Thor (and Taika Waititi) is solid f--king gold. To say I'm looking forward to the third Thor film is a major understatement. I. Can't. Wait. (same with Guardians 2).
No, no. It's not that bad. You've still got your penis.
Well, most of it. Your thumb was in pretty bad shape...
  • Thanks for that violent beheading, guys! My wife was a huge fan...of having our son there. (oops)
  • Nice watch collection, a-hole. That'll serve you well on the mean streets of Kathmandu...
  • Goodness, for a second there I thought I was a watching a reboot of Me Before You [review]. Does everyone who has everything except a few working body parts absolutely hate their f--king lives? 
  • What was with that giant, space butthole? Seemed kinda weird, no?
  • And speaking of, that was a long, strange trip, wasn't it? Like, waaay too long, and waaay too strange.
  • Anytime anyone is in trouble, the best solution is to run away. Like, actually run. Away.
  • Good thing they have that one-handed guy at the temple, huh?
  • But the only thing worse than an awful training montage? Those awkward conversations while sparring. If I had a nickel for every time some newb had a conversation with his master in a f--king reverse choke hold...I'd have a shitload of nickels.
  • Uh, leaving Strange on Everest seems kinda risky, don't you think? How many other dudes never figured it out and froze to death?
  • Dr. Strange types his emails using 48pt font.
  • My son, after counting the days til we got to see this flick, totally fell asleep and made sounds like Leo in The Revenant. (and if I hadn't actually seen him come out of my wife, this would have been the thing that confirmed that he is indeed her child, trust me)
  • A jumpscare? What the shit?
  • That hospital seemed pretty know, until Dr. Strange shows up straight from the Ren Fair.
  • And finally, blow the dust off it and fire up that old record. You know, the one that says how Marvel villains are boring and stupid... Yes, friends, even with the handsome Mads Mikkelsen in full KISS eye-makeup, once again we get a villain even less interesting than the shitty one that preceded him. At this point, I'm assuming the next bad guy is a totally regular dude. With a scar. And maybe, just maybe...a cane.
Even though Doctor Strange was a letdown, at least he was an actual doctor. Because Dr. Burns? That dude never went to med school. That was some jerkface with a fire extinguisher, as Dr. Burns was code for a fire in the building. Same goes for Dr. Watts, as paging that f--ker meant there was an electrical outage somewhere in the hospital. 

But my real hero, the one that really broke my heart. That was the super handsome and virile Dr. Quick. Well, fine. He was a doctor. And there was an emergency he needed to respond to immediately, but that wasn't his real name, dammit (they just needed a doctor to hurry, get it?). Who the f--k came up with all these damn code names, anyway? The whole idea is so disappointing and random. 

Paging Dr. Strange. 
Dr. Strange?



  1. Dr Quick sounds like a Z-grade villain that The CW would scrape together for a filler episode of The Flash. Anywhoo, awesome review as always mate! It's a shame you didn't love it (I thought it was pretty cool) but I can see what you're saying about it being a fairly run-of-the-mill origin story :)

    1. Ha! Dr. Quick will probably get his own show in about a year. Hopefully I'll earn some residuals...

      Thanks, man. I actually left the theater pretty happy with the whole thing, but by the time I woke up...I had some buyer's remorse (I wish we had gone to Arrival instead). The more I thought about Stephen Strange, the more I didn't care for him. The guy's a total prick!

  2. I lost my shit reading "Dr. Strange types his emails using 48pt font." I don't know why, but that tickled the hell out of me.
    $13 for a 3D movie doesn't sound so bad compared to our £14, but with the current exchange rate it's not much different now!
    - Allie

    1. Seriously! He sends an e-mail at one point and it's f--king gigantic. Very odd behavior from such a seemingly brilliant man.

      I avoided the cinemas for two months and I think 3D prices went up a couple of bucks. This shit used to be, they're like f--k you, we know you like movies, so hand it over.

      America is a crazy place.

  3. Aww I liked this movie a lot more than you did. I'm still pleasantly surprised by Marvel's ability to make me give a shit about most of their random comic characters.

    I'm also psyched for Ragnarok beyond belief. I've been reading spoilers on it (well, SDCC ones anyways) and my hype cannot be contained.

    1. I have a feeling that I can't like anything anymore. Well, outside of the next movie I'm going to review...because I f--king loved it.

      Dude. Duuuuuude......Ragnarok (did I spell that right?) is going to be f--king great. Though what do I know? I'm the only asshole that loved the second one...

  4. "Dr. Stephen Strange, that is, who just so happens to be the least likable character Marvel has ever rammed down our throats. Like, even worse than Terrance Howard's War Machine. Or the guy that kills an adorable sheep in Ant-Man" - Jesus Christ what does Cumsatchel do? Kick a puppy?

    Wasting Mads Mikkelsen should be considered a criminal offense.

    1. It's not so much what Beezlebub Cabbagepatch does with the role, as it's more a product of Strange being this unrelenting asshole. Tony Stark was a selfish prick, sure, but at least he had charisma.

      Whoever wasted Mads needs to move to a small town in Europe and have a little girl accuse them of something they didn't do. That should make it even.