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‘Doctor Strange’ reviews: Benedict Cumberbatch rules, smoke ’em if you got ’em

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posted by Safer Reviews alias saferreviews on Tuesday 1st of November 2016 09:10:50 PM

via Image: Disney/Marvel LOS ANGELES Critics who were the first to write about Doctor Strange found a lot to agree on: It looks amazing, it looks … amazing … and WOW, does it look amazing. A few other sentiments rang through the handful of early reviews posted Sunday as the Disney/Marvel embargo lifted. As in, the cast is superb, Tilda Swinton made the “controversy” around her casting disappear with the wave of a hand, and if you’re the sort to partake of altered states, well … definitely do your thing if you’re off to check this one out. SEE ALSO: ‘Doctor Strange’ clip: Benedict Cumberbatch tries out his spells in battle We’ve seen Doctor Strange here at Mashable and our review will land in the coming days. Meanwhile, see what the early birds had to say about Marvel’s foray into the realm of Mystic Arts. Most particularly, those next-level visuals, which justify a big screen and 3D ticket all by themselves. Yes, Benedict Cumberbatch nails this role This one was elementary. Image: Disney/marvel Brian Truitt, USA Today Benedict Cumberbatch plays Stephen Strange with enchanting spiritand a clever wit, giving comic-book movies another goateed icon who can hang alongside Robert Downey Jr.s Tony Stark. Diny-Ray Ramos, The Tracking Board Essentially, this movie isIron Man, but instead of Tony Stark, its Stephen Strange. Instead of Pepper Potts,its Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) who keeps the heros ego in check. Instead of technology taking front and center, its the mystic arts that are being used as a tool against the bad guys. And because of all the similarities,Doctor Strangeis formulaic but its recognizable story arcmakes it easy to digest for Strange newcomers. Mike Ryan, Uproxx Its obvious why they hired a big time star like Cumberbatch, because Doctor Strange is here to guide us through the next decade of Marvel movies, just like Downey did in the last decade. Doctor Strange is basically a reboot of Iron Man, only with a lot more prettier things to look at while youre stoned. Its a good strategy. And it works. Eric Goldman, IGN Cumberbatch is great as Strange, whether hes playing him as a know it all or someone in awe of what hes seeing. The visuals are simply next-level spectacular, see it in 3D Did Christopher Nolan do THIS? Image: Disney/Marvel Alonso Duralde, The Wrap In a year where bloated, empty spectacles have induced a crushing level of CG fatigue Now Showing: Alice Through the Warcraft Suicide Apocalypse Justice this funny, freaky adventure reminds us of how effective VFX can be when theyve got some imagination behind them. … Yes, there are big battles in city streets, but they appear to have been designed by M.C. Escher and not a colorblind four-year-old. Brian Truitt, USA Today Saying the battles are out of this world would be technically accurate and also an understatement. Kaecilius chases Strange and colleague Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) through New York, folding buildings onto each other and bending skyscrapers to create an M.C. Escher-style Big Apple. Diny-Ray Ramos, The Tracking Board Visually, the movie is a stunning marvel of WTF moments of kaleidoscopic eye candy and action scenes that are an acid trip that merges an M.C. Escher drawing and the best parts of Inception. Peter Debruge, Variety The latter trick, which turncoat ex-disciple Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) uses for more nefarious purposes, lends the film a staggering visual effects innovation, in which the building bending seen in Christopher Nolans Inception is taken to an extreme that would blow even M.C. Eschers mind. Mike Ryan, Uproxx Yes, we can talk about the visuals, which are dazzling. (I will rarely say this: but the 3D is worth it this time.) Theyre sodazzling that its easy toforget were watching another origin story. Eric Goldman, IGN Some have noted that a couple of shots in the trailer are reminiscent of Inception, but Doctor Stranges visuals have a much broader swath than that that allows it to feel very fresh and inspired in this regard. There are some incredibly outrageous, surreal moments here that are true standouts, whether they involve buildings folding into themselves or mystical windows that can be changed, like TV channels, to reach different parts of the world. No controversy here: Tilda is the Ancient One, the Ancient One is Tilda Haters to the left? To the left Image: Disney/marvel Brian Truitt, USA Today As the Ancient One, Swinton adds sass, emotional depth and a little frailty to the wise-warrior archetype. Her performance will wipe away any remaining concerns about the character not being the Asian man of the comics. Diny-Ray Ramos, The Tracking Board As for the controversial casting of Swinton as The Ancient One, which is written as an Asian man in the comics, she did her job well in the key Yoda-like role. One wouldnt expect anything less considering she istheTilda Swinton. Eric Goldman, IGN Controversies around changing the Ancient One from the comics aside, Swintons ethereal, unique presence feels right at home here, playing this serene yet oh-so powerful character. Peter Debruge, Variety Much has already been written about the casting of Swinton in a role originally conceived as an old Asian man (as if the world needs yet another Mister Miyagi/Pai Mei stereotype), when the only real disappointment there is that the practically extraterrestrial star wasnt asked to play the title role because who is stranger? Swinton already walks this earth in some sort of enlightened state, and its no far leap to accept her as an ageless oracle with the power tobend matter and slow time. Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter Politically correct casting alarmists may stamp their feet about a white woman being cast as the supreme custodian of knowledge at a Himalayan retreat, which is, in fact, a thoroughly interracial establishment. But this is obviously nothing like Sam Jaffe playing the High Lama in the 1937 Lost Horizon, and there’s little doubtSwinton can speak perfectly well on her own behalf if any issues come up. Smoke ’em if you got ’em “Don’t do drugs” is the company line Image: Disney/marvel Diny-Ray Ramos, The Tracking Board [Marvel] steps into ambitious territory, opening a portal into a whole new world of magic, sorcery, and mysticism that would be elevated to levels of psychedelic proportions with the aid of hallucinogenics. Despite being a visual marvel for stoners and shroom heads, the trippy effects and mind-bending fight scenes are merely window dressing for a refreshing, yet recognizable journey of a superhero that isnt a household name for non-comic geeks. Alonso Duralde, The Wrap The action climaxes with a truly impressive finale, one that employs time going in multiple directions thats like nothing Ive ever seen in a movie before. The effects shots here arent just visually impressive; they actually let the narrative go to places it couldnt without this level of, youll pardon the expression, wizardry. Peter Debruge, Variety Burn a bit of incense or something stronger before watching, and this already hyper-vivid 3D experience is liable to carry you away entirely, especially when Kaecilius proceeds to fold first staircases and later the streets of New York into an elaborate moving kaleidoscope, in which Doctor Strange proceeds to jump, slip, and slide like a pawn in an elaborate, multi-dimensional chess game. Doctor Strange his theaters Nov. 4. Read more: The post ‘Doctor Strange’ reviews: Benedict Cumberbatch rules, smoke ’em if you got ’em appeared first on Safer Reviews, Unbiased & Independent Reviews..

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