The Reviews are In: Dr. Strange

maxresdefaultThere’s a moment during Marvel’s Dr. Strange when the titular Sorcerer Supreme, while discussing the (spoiler) sometimes dubious motivations of The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) with Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo, thinks for a moment and says, “She’s… complicated.”

Complicated is a pretty good word for Dr. Strange, too. It’s characters are layered, it’s action set pieces are frickin breathtaking, and it boasts a level of political and social awareness and I, for one, am coming to expect from Marvel. But first things first. Let’s reign it in for a sec and talk about the Cumberbatch of it all. If you’re not a fan of England’s finest import doctor-strange-1since Posh, Scary, Baby, Sporty, and Ginger, you’re either not female or not a fan of marine mammals. If such is the case, this might not be the post for you. So… scoot. Yep. Go watch the new XXX trailer on repeat.

Are they gone? Oh good. Now that it’s just us Cumberbitches, let’s get to it.

Even as someone who expects only the very best from Benedict Cumberbatch, I found his performance impressive. His interpretation of Stephen Strange (a  Marvel Comics deep cut) is part Dr. House, part Tony Stark, and part Hilary Swank from The Next Karate Kid. It’s a zag for Cumberbatch, who’s characters tend to be varying degrees of austere. Dr. Stephen Strange is a celebrated neurosurgeon who loses everything when a car accident causes permanent nerve damage to his hands. He wanders the globe in search of a cure, only to stumble upon a secret order of sorcerer ninjas in Kathmandu who take him in and teach him their ways. He’s thrust into a world of magic, inter-dimensional evil, and Danish bad boys. That last one, of course, refers to Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), zealot follower of a malevolent force hell-bent on forcing the Earth into submission.

Dr. Strange doesn’t subvert superhero tropes by any means, but because the source doctor-strange-benedict-cumberbatch-rachel-mcadams-copertinamaterial is so unknown and the film itself so visually arresting, I sort of didn’t care. We still had an unfailingly loyal girlfriend (Rachel McAdams), a conflicted BFF (Ejiofor), and a reluctant teacher (Swinton). No, what made this movie interesting wasn’t it’s humor or complex characters or it’s new, mystical approach to superheroism, but it’s uncanny timing.

Stephen is given a choice between two opposing, but equally fanatical, factions. One is lead by a woman forced to make difficult, and often morally compromising, decisions that she believes will facilitate the greater good. The other is driven by a radical who, while claiming to be acting in the best interest of the world, actually seeks to acquire eternal life and make the human race as miserable as he is himself. Sound familiar?

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And THAT is what I love about the superhero genre, and why it will never bore me. Because almost without trying, they manage to reflect our own experiences back at us, in a way that encourages and rewards bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of overwhelming tyranny. Also, the muscles.

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I really like the muscles.

Whitney Weldon

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Anglophiles Anonymous: James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, Benedict Cumberbatch, Anthony Head Star in BBC Radio Adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

NeverwhereAs far as I can tell, there are only two types of people in the world: people  who love Neil Gaiman, and people who don’t know they love Neil Gaiman. If by some cruel twist of fate you find yourself in the latter category, then don’t panic. BBC Radio has produced an audio adaptation of Gaiman’s novel Neverwhere, the story of a Scottish mensch (James McAvoy) who gets trapped in a secret London underworld and is shanghaied into assisting Door (Natalie Dormer) in eluding the subterranean sociopaths that murdered her family. You can get your hands on the audiobook version on Audible.com, or you can be thrifty and just listen to it on youtube like the cool kids. Here is part 1, my gift to you. 

Whitney

 

Fangirly Exposed: When Fandom Takes Its (Literal) Toll

Season-3-of-Sherlock-Starts-Shooting-This-MondayAs some of you may or may not be aware, BBC’s Sherlock will be coming back to the US on January 18th with its third season.  As perhaps less of you may be aware, it is currently airing in the UK and because I have already had to wait two years for the resolution to season 2’s finale, “The Reichenbach Fall”, I was NOT about to wait two more weeks.  Yes, I am using less than… savory methods to get my hands on it, but a fangirl has got to do what a fangirl has got to do.

The first two episodes have been brilliant, or in the words of my favorite tweet about the premiere “cracking good telly” (so cute and British!).  My intent with this post is not to spoil anything, but instead to air out my dirty laundry about how this show is currently affecting me.

The season 3 finale is set to air this Sunday (these 3 episode seasons fly by far too quickly), and in reading non-spoilery reviews for the finale, I am causing myself to literally become sick and enter full blown panic attacks.  Yesterday, while reading an article during work hours, I had to literally stifle a scream with my scarf.

My roommate came home and told me about some real life issues that she is facing and all I could come back with was “Well, the Sherlock finale is on this week and I am having a meltdown.”  To which she responded with something about getting a boyfriend.  Psh.  Overrated.

Tell me I am not alone.  Someone please assure that I am not the only one whose health and mental well-being is affected by fictional characters in a fictional world.  I’m not, right?

Ellen

Grade A, Choice Picks: Top 10 Tumblr Blogs

tumblrWith my current job, I have a lot of free time to browse the internets and I have to say that my browsing has not been the same since I discovered Tumblr.  The memes, the gifs, the videos, the internetiness of it all.  The hours one (I) can waste on this site are astounding.

Tumblr can be a little daunting to any newcomers, so I thought I would list my top 5 favorite Tumblr blogs, in no particular order, as a good jumping off point. Continue reading

Run-On Sentence Reviews: Star Trek Into Darkness

star-trek-2-into-darkness-pictures-28With this review keep in mind that I really liked the first (new) Star Trek which I know a lot of people didn’t but I really liked it and it just so happens that I really liked this one too because it was funny and of course Benedict Cumberbatch was amazingly awesome as the surprise villain and it was just overall a fun sci-fi adventure.

Verdict: Go see it.  Especially good on the big screen.

Ellen

Awards by the Minute: Golden Globes

Join me, as I get angry, joyous, and ambivalent over the course of an entire award ceremony.

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show0:00 Guys, not going to lie, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have a lot to live up to for this old girl.  But given how much I love them and anything that comes out of their mouths, I’m sure they will deliver.

0:01 Off to a great start: “Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television.”

0:02 When you run afoul of the Hollywood Foreign Press, they make you host this show two more times.

0:03 Ooooh, James Cameron burn goes over swimmingly and will probably be the edgiest burn of the night.  “I have not been following the controversy over Zero Dark Thirty, but I’m going to trust the lady who was married to James Cameron.”

0:04 Provin’ me wrong:  “Anne Hathaway, I have not seen anyone left alone and abandoned like that since you did the Oscars with James Franco.”

0:05 And the award for Joke only Liz Lemon could have written goes to: “The Hunger Games was one of the biggest films of the year, and also what I call the six weeks it took me to get into this dress,” “Ang Lee’s been nominated for Best Director for Life of Pi, which is what I’m going to call the six weeks after I take this dress off!”

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show0:05 Quentin Tarantino is coincidentally the star of all my sexual nightmares, as well Tina.  This is why I love her.

0:06 I loved Meryl Streep in The Flu, everyone is raving about it.

0:07 Also, it needs to addressed how smoking my ladies are looking.

0:08 They have to cut away from Lea Michele before she says something really bratty about Kate Hudson’s dress (which would not be completely unfounded). globes090-3_4_rx512_c380x510

0:09 Christoph Waltz gets Best Supporting Actor in a Film and I am actually someone surprised.  Everyone is saying Tommy Lee Jones is a lock, but Waltz’ performance is something to behold.

0:12 How did Hayden Pannetierre get nominated?  She is good at best. I was expecting less, so that is saying something.

0:13 Will Maggie Smith ever NOT win for Downton Abbey?

0:17 I have to admit, that mini-series and TV movie categories are always my blind spot, but I do want to see The Hour.  Shocker: Game Change wins.

0:21 Oh my gosh, please tell me that Amy and Tina are going to be sitting in the crowd all night as fake nominees.  Please, Golden Globes!

0:23 And here to remind a Hollywood that has become increasingly obsessed with musicals that she can sing: Catherine Zeta-Jones!

0:30 You can hear America tuning out as the HFPA president is announced, but she is actually quite cute and funny and hits on Bradley Cooper, so we have that in common.

0:31 Oh, hey, lifetime crush Paul Rudd.

damian-lewis0:32 I do not watch Homeland, but I love Damien Lewis so much from Band of Brothers and this really random adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing that he did, that I am always happy to see him win anything.  So charming.

0:35 Only Paul Rudd can make technical difficulties charming.  And apparently I need to watch Homeland.

0:42 Pretty cool that they got the real Tony Medez (Argo) there even if you couldn’t hear anything he said.

0:46 You guys, how adorable is Ang Lee?

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show0:47 Is there any way that Adele is not going to win this?  Not necessarily that she deserves it more, but just because she was Adele in 2012?

0:49 You guys, how adorable is Adele?  Really, though.

0:55 I don’t think it will happen, but Benedict Cumbatch SHOULD win for Sherlock.

0:56 YES! They are doing the fake nominees for all of the acting categories it seems.  This bodes well.  But NO! Benedict didn’t get it.

0:58 Of course, Bill Clinton gets a standing ovation at the Golden Globes.

1:01 “That was Hillary Clinton’s husband!” Amy would say that.

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show1:02 Thank goodness we have SNL alum like Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig to liven this thing up.

1:06 Winners for best presenters of the night, so for, but probably for the night: Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig.  “YOU GET OUT OF HERE!”

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show1:07 Jennifer Lawrence’s really should mention that she beat Meryl because that is an achievement at the Globes.  And she is getting the award for most charming speech, so far.

1:13 You guys, how adorable is John Krasinski?

1:15 For award that is shocking no one: Anne Hatheway (but she does deserve it)70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show

1:17 You guys, how adorable is Sally Field?

1:24 Shocked by the love for Django Unchained.  Not that it is completely unfounded, just unexpected.

1:26 You guys, how adorable is Ewan McGregror?

1:28 In typical HFPA fashion, Don Cheadle wins just for being Don Cheadle and not for actually being a good show.

1:34  Arnold and Sly are BOTH pretty hard to understand.  Don’t take steroids, kids.

1:38 Homeland is sweeping.  Okay, I get it.  I’ll watch this stupid show.

1:45 Somewhat of a strange intro for the Animated Feature Film category.

1:49 All of my dreams are coming true.  Jason Bateman carried Aziz Ansari out on stage.

1:51 The Take That, Will Arnett Award goes to: Amy Poehler chatting it up with George Clooney when her name was announced.  I was dying.

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show1:53 Amy should have won, but don’t get me started on the HFPA’s utter disregard for Parks and Rec

1:59 Warning Taylor Swift to stay away for Michael J. Fox is actually quite sage advice.

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show 2:02 Did anybody else feel out of the loop during Robert Downey Jr.’s presentation of Jodie Foster’s Cecil B. DeMille Award?

2:04 You guys, the glee that I had at seeing Bugsy Malone on Jodie Foster’s reel is unparalleled.  (Look it up, kids).

2:11 I’m sorry, but I don’t get why everyone was teary eyed by the end of Jodie Foster’s speech.  She seemed somewhat the manic, crazy person, no?

2:17 For Biggest F You to the Academy:  Ben Affleck for director of Argo, after not getting nominated for the Oscar.  (Don’t get me started.)

2:22 Loved Jimmy Fallon trying to push Jay Leno out of The Tonight Show.

2:23 The Award that Should Have Been Parks and Rec’s:  Girls for Best Comedy (Don’t get me started)

2:32 I really wanted Bradley Cooper to win Best Actor – Comedy or Musical.  He deserves as much praise as Jennifer Lawrence but is not getting it because he is in the same awards season as Daniel Day-Lewis.

jackman-3_4_rx3402:34 I am going to say this in the nicest way possible, but does anybody else find it incredibly endearing that Hugh Jackman’s wife is not as pretty as him?  Just an observation.

2:40 I wanted Silver Linings Playbook to win, but I am fine with Les Mis winning.

2:47 Middle-aged Clooney DOES make young Clooney look like garbage.

2:48 Yay! Jessica Chastain! She really does deserve it.  Her performance in Zero Dark Thirty was haunting, depressing, and exhilarating, all at once.

2:51 Once again, Daniel Day-Lewis’ win shocks no one, but he REALLY deserves it.  His performance is eerily intoxicating.

affleck-onstage-4_3_r536_c5342:58 When they were reading the announcements for Best Motion Picture – Drama, I realized that this one could go any way, but after Ben Affleck’s snub at the Oscars, I really wanted Argo to win… and I got my wish!  Highly recommend this one, most crazy intense movie experience I have ever had.  It took me a solid hour to come down from this movie.

3:00 Well, that’s it, folks.  I was “meh” about most of the winners, in that I wasn’t surprised by a lot, was pissed about others, but more often, I had wished that someone else had won, but was okay with who won.  This just makes me excited for the Oscars to see if they make me less pissed or more.  Probably less, because I get more enraged by the TV nominees.

– Ellen