Doctor Strange Review

doctor_strange_posterI should go back to my Oscar predictions but let’s take a look to another Marvel Cinematic Universe movie first.

DOCTOR STRANGE (2016)

Directed by Scott Derrickson

Written by Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill & based on Marvel comics by Steve Ditko

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams,  Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen & Benedict Wong

Synopsis: A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts. (IMDb)

I didn’t know anything about Doctor Strange beforehand. I’m not a fan of comics, I find them kind of silly. I used to find comic films silly as well but Marvel changed it. Since The Avengers I always have high hopes for MCU film and sometimes I’m a bit disappointed (meaning I give a film 8 out of 10 at IMDb) but usually I’m not and Doctor Strange is not exception. It’s a solid film with great visuals, interesting story and well, with that cast, obviously strong performances.

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I kept thinking during Strange that it is quite an achievement from film industry to make these huge blockbusters with actors who have been recently nominated for Oscars or some have even won some like Tilda Swinton in this case. No wonder characters in these kind of films are not bland anymore like they used to be. There is much more depth to them even if scripts are weak. The script of Doctor Strange is probably the simplest thing in it. And for some reason, villains in recent comic movies have been on the weaker side too. And Doctor Strange is no exception. But at least its villains are not black or white. What brings me to the point of Doctor Strange being accused of “white washing”. What? There’s Ejiofor, there’s Wong and there’s a woman as an Ancient One. And internationality more than most of the films.

Marvel Studios Hall H Panel

The best element in Strange is the pace. I was never bored. The story starts right away, you get the feeling who we’re dealing with Dr. Strange and Cumberbatch draws the character perfectly. We see how he deals with others, what kind of a person he is. And we don’t really like him but we get to know him and see him grow and we definitely start to care about him. I also liked a lot of McAdams’ character even though she’s quite on the side. And there are some very, very nice one-liners. As always when it comes to MCU movies.

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In general Doctor Strange is great! It might lose some of its magic (ha haa) when watching it again (and again which I will probably do) and on the first time, I loved it. Is it perfect? No, but it’s entertaining as hell. I recommend. Half of the star in rating is given because I got overly excited because of the first end-credits scene, it sure was the best one so far!

Rating: ****½ (out of 5)

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The Best of the Best – Marvel Cinematic Universe

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I was thinking of saving this for later when MCU is ready with its plan but they probably will continue making those films as long as there’s audience for them, so as I really liked new Cap America, let’s list things to celebrate the success of Marvel!  So far there have been 13 films that are part of phases one, two and three. Obviously there are tons of other films that are Marvel branded, e.g. X-Mens but I will only include films surrounding The Avengers.

avengers-age-ultron-hulk-mark-ruffaloUsually I have in my Best of the Best lists some bubbling-unders and will do that this time too. Though there are only three of them. I’m not a big fan of The Incredible Hulk, the whole Hulk-thing didn’t work for me at all until Mark Ruffalo came along. He’s genious. So that is on the bottom of the bunch and next up is Captain America: The First Avenger, it’s way too American for my taste. Plus Cap is kinda boring. And unfortunately I have to leave Ant-Man out of the final Top-10. I love Paul Rudd but that film was just ok.

10)

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Captain America: Winter Soldier

This is really hard as I’m a fan of the whole universe and all these films are entertaining enough and often more. Well, Cap, until the last chapter, has been way too oldie goldie for me and thus this is my number 10 pick.

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Thor

I love, love, love Loki as many of you might know but if you take him away from Thor films, they are not very entertaining. Especially the first one.

8)

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Iron Man 2

Perhaps. I just checked and I’ve given all three Iron Man movies 8/10 at IMDb. So… I don’t know.

7)

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Iron Man

Yeah. Still don’t really know.

6) iron-man-3-poster-ben-kingsley

Iron Man 3

Right now it feels like I enjoyed this one the best, I really liked Ben Kingsley’s character.

5)
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Thor: The Dark World

Loki. And London is a plus. But mainly Loki.

4)
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Avengers: Age of Ultron

It’s a bit messy and too much but I just love it when they’re all together. And Hawkeye’s storyline worked for me. And it was a bit sad too which is usually nice touch to this kind of action films.

2) dancing_groot_gif

Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s basically tie between this and number two but like said, I love my avengers, so Star Lord and his crew lost. Then again that killer soundtrack gives it an edge. It’s a tie.

2)

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Captain America: Civil War

Like said and like I wrote few days ago, the latest installment to the series is a great one! Go see it! Spidey! Whose side your on?

1) Loki_Empire_header

The Avengers

But it does not beat the original. Josh Whedon is king of this film, the script is absolutely great. And you know; Loki. 😉

What do you think? What’s your favourite?

Time to Get Excited! (Aka what was going on in Comic Con 2014)

San Diego International Comic-Con is over again and it gave us some treats again! Here are a few that I appreciated.

As a huge Marvel fan, especially The Avengers, I always, always love to see these guys:

The Hollywood Reporter has the highlights of Marvel’s part of Comic-Con.

Obviously some of the most anticipated films of this year and the next were presented in teasers or full trailers. Let’s take a look.

Katniss is going to go to a war in the next installment of Hunger Games saga:

Things are not looking good in the final part of The Hobbit either:

Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron are looking fierce in Mad Max: Fury Road, out in 2015:

Other semi-interesting news were that there will be more monster movies after the success of Godzilla. I didn’t like that, so I don’t really care of those. Guardians of the Galaxy is going to get a sequel. Haven’t seen the first one yet, so not that excited. Batman vs. Superman revealed Wonder Woman and she’s hot!

The Walking Dead trailer for season five is apparently great. Not following the show due to horrible second season, I can’t tell. But I can tell that Norman Reedus was Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. 

A lot of other stuff happened too. Check out this adorable gallery of Entertainment Weekly and also a blooper reel for Game of Thrones:

Some year I will be attending!

 

Man of the Day – Tom Hiddleston

hiddleston2This gorgeous Brit has his 33rd birthday today and to honour that I created a new series called “Person of the Day” to celebrate the individuals of the entertainment business. I have already mentioned that even though I haven’t been aware of him that long, he has affected quite a lot to my future plans. I’ve always been a sucker for this British upper class style and he is the perfect example of that. The man has the manners, the humour, the voice and accent, he can carry the suit and is confident enough to make fun of himself. And that smile. Plus he’s able to quote Shakespeare whenever needed. All in all, I’m really glad he exists, it gives me hope that there are others like him.

Like most of the people following TV and movie world came to know him as Loki (if you haven’t seen him greeted in Comic Con last summer, it’s about time: YouTube), the mischievous brother of Thor, the thunder-god of Norse mythology, played by Chris Hemsworth in Marvel Universe, so did I. In Thor Hiddleston went a bit unnoticed even though he is the best part of the movie but after The Avengers he became everyone’s favourite villain. Loki_Empire_headerAnd already during the marketing campaign for Thor sequel The Dark World, the studio and makers of the film knew how to draw audience to cinemas by building the marketing campaign around Hiddleston. He is the man who women want but at the same time he is that funny that, I assume, it is really hard for men to hate him. Plus he plays Loki. So, if you haven’t seen three movies mentioned, do see them. I wasn’t a fan of comic book films before The Avengers and now I’m getting geekier everyday.

Apart from being mischievous semi-god, Hiddleston is classically trained actor. He went to Royal Academy of Dramatic Art after completing his education in University of Cambridge. For four more days he is playing the title role in Donmar Warehouse production of hiddleston1Shakespeare play Coriolanus in West End. And apparently he is very good in it. I’ll be seeing the cinema version of the play in couple of weeks, I’ll let you know what I thought. Other known roles of Hiddleston include F. Scott Fitzgerald’s role in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, which I liked a lot and he’s very charming in it, Captain Nichols in Spielberg’s War Horse, where he is with his buddy Benedict Cumberbatch, so I should definitely watch it, and Freddie Page in the Deep Blue Sea where his character is very repulsive which shows well how good actor he really is. The film itself is quite tedious and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone but that’s just my opinion. In the future we’ll get to see him in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive that has been touring festivals to quite good response and in the new The Muppets movie, Muppets Most Wanted. The man surely stays versatile.

So, if you haven’t yet gotten to know the actor Tom Hiddleston, I recommend to do so. He seems genuinely nice person with a great sense of humour and a massive amount of talent to portray any kind of role. And he is the second sexiest man of the world.

Happy Birthday Mr. Hiddleston!

 

Thor : The Dark World – Review

thor-2-poster-2Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Directed by Alan Taylor

Written by Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Don Payne & Robert Rodat

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Christopher Eccleston & Anthony Hopkins

Sometimes it’s good to live in Finland. One of those times is when Marvel movie comes out. We get to see them before the most of the other countries. And that was the way with Thor: The Dark World as well. I saw it yesterday. Yay!

The first of all; I’m not able to be objective with this film. So this is probably more “the fan girl” review than the actual one. I love Loki. Love him. Tom Hiddleston in other roles is not that bad either but as Loki… And guess what, I’m not the only one. Have you seen this clip from last summer’s Comic Con?

Yeah, seems like everyone is in love with him after The Avengers and Marvel, Disney, Whedon and especially in this case, the scriptwriters Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely know it. All the best lines are written to Loki. Don’t get me wrong, this is still very much about Thor (or well, the black elves wanting to destroy the natalieworld) and Loki is the side kick but yeah, he is the best side kick when it comes to sarcastic and laugh-out-loud comments. Thor is also less brooding than before and I definitely think Natalie Portman should do more comedies, she’s not bad at being funny. Plus OMG how beautiful she is.

But anyway, Thor 2 is entertaining, quite fast-paced, fantasy action. But to me it was much better than the previous installment of the same character. By that I mean Thor 1. Because unfortunately this is not as good as The Avengers. I’m not even sure if it’s as good as Iron Man 3. It is really hard to be objective when you are just glad to see your favourite villain back at big screen and having fun with it. But this is solid popcorn entertainment but the tone is a bit darker than in ironmen, so it makes it somehow harder to take it seriously. I haven’t read the comics, so I don’t know the tone in them but to me it hemsworthseems a bit weird that the general tone in Marvel films is quite light (vs. e.g. Nolan’s Batman trilogy) but this hero gets the moodiest vibes. But then again, I did cry during the film and that’s quite a lot. But mostly this one is about nicely executed actions scenes, great one-liners and not so much about the plot which is kind of stupid as well is the main villain of the story. But who cares, when there’s Loki and scene with camera gliding along Chris Hemsworth’s shirtless upper body. They know their audience. 😉

See this one, if you watch anything from Marvel. If you like Hemsworth, Hiddleston or Portman. If you like good gags, not-that-bad action, London, this weird combination of sci-fi and old-fashioned clothes and houses (I don’t get it; you live in the city with more than modern facilities when it comes to war machinery or safety and then you dress up like you’re living in the middle ages?! ) or just in general a decent piece of entertainment. Don’t expect too much and you will not be disappointed. Oh, and do seat through both of the end credits.

Rating: **** (out of *****)

Photo credits to Screenrush, natalieportman.com, GQ

What Happens in Hollywood…

I have this habit to post all interesting film industry news to my Facebook wall. Unfortunately the most of my friends are not so interested in reading movie news. So, I decided I’ll start a new series to add to existing ones (Films of the Week, Tv of the Week and The Best of the Best). I should probably make some list on the front page, huh? But anyway, here are the news of the Hollywoodland that got my attention during the last seven days.

skyfallEurope made the record of cinema ticket sales in 2012. The leader of the board was of course the newest instalment of the Bond series, Skyfall. To be exact there were fewer tickets sold but because of the higher average price of ticket the total amount was 8.5 billion dollars, a new record. Besides Skyfall, other major ones in box office were family animation Ice Age: Continental Drift, Taken 2 and 3D spectacles The Hobbit and overall winner The Avengers. Also European originated The Impossible from Spain and Intouchables from France made the big bucks. Well, euros. In Finland the ticket sales were 19.7 percent up.

Talking about The Avengers. The Disney mastermind behind the Marvel dominance, Kevin Feige, has revealed a bit more about the so-called Phase Two. There’s going to be, of course, Thor 2 (to be released in the end of October) and Captain America sequel. Iron Man 3 was the first film released in the phase two and to date it has already made around 740M $ at the box office. Nice start. The original films in the Marvel World to come out will be Ant-Man and The Guardians of the Galaxy. And the phase two will end with the probable bang with The Avengers 2 that has the helmer of the first part, Joss Whedon, back on the board. To The Avengers 2 Whedon has planned to add two new characters from the comics, Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch. I don’t read comics but apparently those two are siblings of certain age. The Hitflix is now wondering who will be playing the characters. gemmaAnd they are listing evermore lovely Gemma Arterton! I so hope that they will at least consider her, she’s a total fox and can easily kick any ass as seen in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Who would you like to see play these two?

Other thing for Disney to ponder is the paycheck of Robert Downey Jr. He has fulfilled his contract now with Iron Man 3, so they need to seal the new deal with him soonish. It is said he already got 50 million dollars for The Avengers, so he can arguably ask whatever for the sequel. Especially after Iron Man 3 making huge money in the cinemas all over the world.

R.I.P. Ray Harryhausen, the pioneer of special effects. Harryhausen got interested in special effects after seeing original King Kong back in 1933. Since that he began creating new monsters and dinosaurs to be used on the big screen.He also created the technique that allowed models to be integrated to live-action films. His talent can be seen for example in this clip of The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

Ray Harryhausen Myths And Legends Exhibition

“Anyone in the world of animation, SFX or fantasy owes everything to Ray Harryhausen. A true legend. RIP sir.”
-Andrew Stanton, director for Disney and Pixar, in Twitter

The Hollywood Reporter is listing the aspiring TV pilots for the new season. There were a couple that got my attention. The first is called Anatomy of Violence and is at the moment skeetstarring Skeet Ulrich and Amber Tamblyn. The both of them are known names and I have especially found Ulrich very intriguing in kind of sinister way. The series, in case of it’ll be produced, is about “a criminal psychologist (Skeet Ulrich) with an expertise in sociopaths partners with a young, female detective (Amber Tamblyn) with whom he shares a conflicted past”. As you know, I got a thing to that kind of a psychological stuff. The other that I noticed was of course Joss Whedon series S.H.I.E.L.D. That’s Marvel. Again. Maybe I should start to read the comics as well?

The another darling of mine, Game of Thrones, has its own beer now. Would like a taste.

And as a post scriptum, I’ve got to include this video. I just heard it for the first time a couple of hours ago. I’ve always got a thing for Chester Bennington but after hearing this, I think I’m in love with him.