Doctor Strange Review (Extreme Spoiler Alert!!!)

Re-live the hype from the newest Marvel Studios film Doctor Strange! MAJOR spoilers ahead! You’ve been warned.

The latest movie to join the long line of Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange stars Benedict Cumberbatch (AKA Sherlock Holmes, AKA Khan, AKA Smaug, etc) as the renowned surgeon Stephen Strange. Director Scott Derrickson has done an extraordinary job bringing the beloved Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme himself, to life from the pages of Marvel comic books.

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PC: Marvel studios

After playing extremely serious and intense characters like Sherlock Holmes, it was a welcome change to watch Benedict Cumberbatch enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the arrogant and, quite often, rude Stephen Strange. In order to mend himself after his hands were damaged in a horrific car accident, Doctor Strange seeks the rumoured land of Kamar-Taj.

Despite Strange’s skepticism and arrogance, he progresses extremely quickly as a sorcerer, encountering the mystical Cloak of Levitation, which, let’s face it, had quite an attitude for a floating piece of cloth. The fact that so much character was given to a normally inanimate object provided a twist to Doctor Strange’s atmosphere, integrating some much-appreciated comedy and chemistry between the cloak and Doctor Strange throughout the second half of the film. (By the way, Benedict Cumberbatch just completely nails the look of Doctor Strange.)

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PC: Marvel Studios

The Astral (“soul) Dimension, the Mirror Dimension, the Dark Dimension; Guardians of the Galaxy may have brought the cosmos to the big screen, but Doctor Strange really brings a whole lot of mysticism to the table. This allows the film to present itself as a distant cousin to the other Marvel Studios films we’ve had so far.

However, by far the most interesting aspect of Doctor Strange was the concept of bending space and time, especially during Cumberbatch’s showdown with Dormammu, a supposedly infinitely powerful being from the Dark Dimension. In an unexpected turn of events, Strange uses an artifact called the Eye of Agamotto to create an infinite time loop within the Dark Dimension, starting with Strange meeting Dormammu and ending with Strange’s death every time. It was painful to watch Cumberbatch die over and over again, in so many different, gruesome ways that only the video game Mortal Kombat’s fatalities can seem to match.

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PC: Marvel Studios

The flow of Doctor Strange seemed a tad bit rushed in the beginning, with Stephen Strange seemingly mastering the elementary and intermediate skills as a sorcerer and already learning to control time by nearly the 70-minute mark of the film. Furthermore, Stephen Strange may be the most arrogant character we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. Nevertheless, as we saw in the film’s first mid-credits scene, Doctor Strange most definitely will become a hero and join up with the Avengers sooner than we might think, starting with helping Thor look for Loki in Thor: Ragnarok.

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PC: Marvel Studios

Rather than another long, drawn-out fight between heroes and robots, Marvel Studios decided to spice things up a bit and bring us this intriguing and exciting new film Doctor Strange. Stephen Strange’s pure intellect but desire to help brought us back to the days when the first Iron Man movie was released, making the two moustached geniuses seem like long-lost twins.

With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 coming up next, Marvel Studios has quite some hype to live up to. Let’s hope they deliver in 2017 as they did this year with Doctor Strange!

Dormammu, I’ve come to bargain.

– Daniel Park (‘17)

Featured Image: Marvel Studios

Upcoming Superhero Movies

Superheroes, superheroes, superheroes. Whether they be from Marvel, DC, or any other franchise, there’s no denying that superhero movies have dominated movie theaters today. What’s the secret, you may ask? There’s something in these superhero movies that just clicks for everyone and anyone. Comic book nerds, everyday moviegoers, adults, children, you name it – there’s just something amazing about watching a man in a cape and red undies or a billionaire in a robotic suit save the day time and time again.

Marvel and Fox have been churning out their Avengers and X-Men movies for years, and DC’s recently entered the party with their release of Man of Steel in 2013. We get to see comic book pages spring to life, with all different types of super-powered characters joining in everywhere. The superhero craze is here to stay, and it’ll only get bigger as more and more movies are released in the upcoming years.

There are a LOT coming. Brace yourself.

1. Dr. Strange (2016)

The next movie in Marvel’s lineup is Dr. Strange. Starring the beloved and charismatic English actor Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Steven Strange himself, Dr. Strange is the first comic book superhero movie to focus on the mystic arts of the universe, which include energy-binding spells and reality-manipulating powers. Dr. Strange is said to be the next Marvel superhero movie to truly shake up the Marvel Cinematic Universe with its introduction of mysticism and parallel dimensions. The hype for this movie is booming, and we’re anxious to see what Marvel can pull out from under its sleeve.

2. The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

This next movie is somewhat of an anomaly. The only 3D computer-animated movie on this list, The Lego Batman Movie is a direct result of the positive responses to The Lego Movie released by Warner Bros. Pictures in 2014, which also featured Batman as part of the main cast. With Will Arnett voicing Batman, the humour that we enjoyed in The Lego Movie is definitely going to be twice as heavily featured in The Lego Batman Movie, as shown by the truly comical trailers of the movie that have been released to the public so far. The plot of The Lego Batman Movie isn’t clear as of yet, but who cares when you can watch a Lego Batman run around Gotham City, putting away bad guys with a plethora of unique gadgets? Oh, and did we forget to mention that the entire movie is in LEGO?!

3. Wolverine 3 (2017)

Possibly the end of Hugh Jackman’s famed portrayal of Wolverine on the big screen, Wolverine 3’s plot is also unknown. However, there are rumours that “Old Man Logan”, a version of Wolverine who’s grown quite old (despite his healing factor) and tries not to kill anyone with his adamantium – or vibranium, whichever you comic book nerds and movie fanatics want to call it – claws. We’ll certainly miss Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, and we grow more and more excited to find out how Wolverine’s story will end!

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PC: 20th Century Fox

4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

After the unexpected success of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, James Gunn has returned to direct its sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, projected to be released in 2017. Hopefully we’ll see more of the dancing sapling (hint hint). The second Marvel movie to focus on the cosmic elements of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, mainly on the universe beyond the Earth’s mightiest heroes, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will reportedly reveal Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) mysterious father. Again, this upcoming movie’s plot is relatively unclear, but we definitely hope to laugh at the abundance of humour and story that we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy.

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PC: Marvel Studios

5. Wonder Woman (2017)

We loved her superhero debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last spring with her outstanding soundtrack; Gal Gadot is finally getting a full solo movie in 2017 in the upcoming movie Wonder Woman! The Amazonian member of the Justice League Triad (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) will participate in the First World War, and the trailer below shown at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 depicts just how outstanding the visuals will be in the upcoming movie. Let’s admit it: we’re mostly looking forward to the action scenes, and the supposed trench battle looks like it’ll blow our minds away. Keep yourself updated on this sword-and-shield wielding demigoddess’ upcoming movie!

6. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Another Spider-Man, you may ask? The Spider-Men depicted on the big screen have gotten younger and younger with every remake, and this one, portrayed by Tom Holland, is certainly no exception. Making his debut in Captain America: Civil War earlier this year, this version of Peter Parker is only 15 years old, and Spidey’s action scenes in the movie reminded us just how enjoyable Marvel can make its characters, no matter how often they’ve been shown before. Spider-Man: Homecoming’s title seems to represent how we feel about Spider-Man on the big screen: we’re eager to see a truly comic book-accurate version in Marvel live action, and we’re sure that we won’t be disappointed with this upcoming movie!

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PC: Marvel Studios

7. Thor: Ragnarök (2017)

Now this is a movie that comic book fanatics will be drooling all over their seats to see! Thor: Ragnarök will be the Norse/Asgardian god’s third solo movie after Thor in 2011 and Thor: The Dark World in 2013. We’ve seen him fling that unpronounceable/unspellable hammer Mjolnir and fly around different worlds, fighting bad guys all the way through. Like how Captain America: The Winter Soldier shook the Marvel Cinematic Universe (this was as spoiler-free as we could get it), Thor: Ragnarök will reportedly have universe-shattering moments throughout, including a supposed cameo by an armour-clad gladiator Hulk! Yes, folks, you heard that correctly: gladiator Hulk may be suiting up and fighting alien monsters on an alien planet with alien weapons! Gladiator and Hulk were just used in the same sentence! If that’s not enough to get you to the movie theatre in 2017 when this film is released, then you need to redefine your standards of awesome.

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PC: Marvel Studios

8. Justice League (2017)

Finally. This is the moment in comic book/movie fan history we’ve all been waiting for: the Justice League is coming to the big screen in live action for the first time. That’s right. We’ll get to see Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as the Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg. That’s a heck of a lot of comic book stars right there, and every single one of them will appear in Justice League in 2017. Despite the relatively negative responses to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (we’re softening it up quite a bit), our hopes and support are still there for Justice League. Don’t ever call it “DC’s Avengers” to DC fans; it’s the quickest way to start a heated argument between superhero fans that you really don’t want to get in the middle of.

9. Black Panther (2018)

Chadwick Boseman’s debut as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War was nothing short of brilliant. He has all of the charisma, strength, and relatability that the Wakandan – a fictional, technologically advanced African nation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – king needs to dominate the big screen, leading Marvel’s charge into 2018. Essentially nothing is known about the plot of this upcoming movie, but after Chadwick Boseman’s performance as Black Panther earlier this year, we don’t think there’s anything to be worried about.

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PC: Marvel Studios

10. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

In 2018, we’ll get something even bigger than The Avengers, even bigger than Captain America: Civil War, and possibly even bigger than Justice League. Avengers: Infinity War is supposedly going to be the ultimate culmination of Marvel’s films right up to this very movie. The story will reportedly be split into two parts, but still have more than enough substance to fill two movies back-to-back in 2018 and 2019. Not much is known about the plot, but the big purple alien – last seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015 – who’s been observing the Marvel Cinematic Universe all this time will finally get out of his chair and do something for once. With nearly every character that Marvel’s put to screen coming together, including both films and TV, there’s absolutely no way that the releases of Avengers: Infinity War in 2018 and its sequel in 2019 won’t become huge – and we’re talking HUGE – blockbuster events for both superhero fans and everyday moviegoers alike.

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PC: Marvel Studios

The second decade of the 21st century is a good time, to say the least, to be a superhero fan, whether you support Marvel or DC. Of course, the age-old rivalry between Marvel and DC will still exist, and probably become an Infinity War (pun absolutely intended), but hey, that just adds to the fun!

– Daniel Park (‘17)

Featured Image: ComicsAlliance

Return of the Superheroes

Keep up with your superheroes as new seasons of Gotham, Arrow, and Flash are out for their fall premieres.

It’s fall season and our favorite superheroes are back with more action-packed plotlines and new villains. Few of the highest rating shows we have impatiently awaited that have returned for their brand new seasons are: Arrow, Gotham, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and The Flash. Anyone who watches any of these show has to admit that they are one of the most well-made shows all around, from their engaging plots to their memorable characters, no matter the size of their roles. Let’s get into brief recaps of two of these must-watch shows.

 

Arrow aired its new season this week and as usual, was not a letdown. Before I can rave about every part of the show, quick intro for those who are not acquainted with the oh-so-hot #absfordays Oliver Queen: Oliver was known as the Arrow, going around town with his squad (consisting of his girlfriend, his ex-girlfriend, his sister, and his bodyguard turned friend) and saving Starling City and facing many villains and overcoming many deaths and issues with his friends and family. Right before this fall’s season, Oliver faked being evil and emotionless to get into an elite evil mafia/cult-like group who he was apparently destined to be the leader of, to kill the then-current leader. This whole situation strained his relationship with a few people, strengthened some, and he eventually left with the love of his life to retire from being the Arrow. Back to this week’s episode, Starling City is under attack and his squad, left without its founder, is desperately trying to save it as usual until they realize the situation is bigger than they thought. The squad then calls Oliver for help and he reluctantly returns to his suit and arrows. The new villain in town, or should I say, back in town, is Damien Darhk who has made his own troop and has this new seemingly spiritual power that allows him to suck the life out of people. Let’s just say this is just the beginning and things are already started to look complicated and dangerous. Oliver decides to stay and go with a new code name which he has taken 70 episodes to say, “I am the Green Arrow.” So far so good. Arrow’s plotline from its very first season has been sensationally well-thought out (and I thought Smallville was good), so props to the writers for not having turned this superhero show into a hot cheesy mess as it turned out with many before adapted hero TV shows.

 

Gotham is definitely one to rave about. Gotham, as anyone may know, is the name of the city Batman saved and lived in. Remember Detective Jim Gordon? Gotham depicts his younger days working with the police department in the city where criminals lurk everywhere and even run the city. One of the side stories includes showing the life and shaping the future of our favorite Bruce Wayne a.k.a Batman, who is just a kid who has lost his parents. There is a new villain in the city who has taken some of the high profile criminals under his wing to make them his personal slaves who do the dirty work. Theo Galavan’s plan is to make his criminals wrek havoc in Gotham so that he can swoop in and ‘save’ the city to be looked as a renown hero. Now the acting job done by the criminals gathered up by Galavan is phenomenal. They are the stars of the season and what makes the show so thrilling and addicting. Every character on this show serves their purpose well and aces every facial expression and embodies their character on a level that cannot be overlooked. Some of the favorites that should be applauded and watched for are: Penguin played by Robin Taylor, Barbara Kean played by Erin Richards, and most of all, the short lived yet most memorable and twisted teen Jerome Valeska who is played by Cameron Monaghan. May I emphasize, Jerome Valeska, playing Theo Galavan who is comparable to a younger version of the Joker, has done an exceptionally sensational job in portraying his character. Watch the clips below. 10/10 for this show and should be on everyone’s list of must-watch TV shows.

 

– Hyun Jung Choi (’16)