HUGE Doctor Strange Villain Confirmation

As I’ve said before, and bears repeating; I really hate spoilers. There’s often something about the early reveal of crucial plot-points that reeks of someone out to steal everyone else’s joy.

That being said, what I stumbled upon an article from it confirmed what I long hoped about the latest entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) long before it even hit theaters. 

Namely, the identity of Doctor Strange’s enemy (and I don’t mean Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelson, below)

What tipped me off were his eyes and how the prosthetic he’s wearing looks as if he were burned.  

When I saw that I KNEW almost immediately who was either pulling Kaecilius’s strings or manipulating him to do his dirty work.

And that puppet master is the lord of the Dark Dimension!

As a result I don’t think that it’s a spoiler more so than a confirmation because people who know Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts probably suspected it all along, and those who aren’t familiar with him it won’t matter all that much for that very reason.  

The Origin Of The (Cinematic) Universe, Part One

‘Early Milky Way’ image via

Success breeds imitation, and in the past ten years few movie companies have been successful as Marvel Studios.

And while many in the Hollywood community seem surprised, if they had any idea of the pent-up demand for seeing characters like Iron Man, Falcon and many others that millions of people have grown up with from Marvel Comics, on the silver screen, they probably wouldn’t have been.

Though what made Marvel Studios such a success wasn’t superheroes in and of themselves (despite the aforementioned demand) but the way they were presented.

What Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, brought to the table was the creation of an integrated cinematic universe, the likes of much had never been seen in movies before (coupled with extremely faithful interpretations of the characters).

And as far as ‘imitation’ goes, other companies have tried to mimic the approach of Marvel  Studios, with varying degrees of success.

Sony Pictures attempted to create a cinematic universe based on Spider-Man with The Amazing Spider-Man movies. After an initially strong showing, the sequel–while profitable–indicated a definite downward trend, financially speaking, for the franchise.

So they, perhaps anticipating the franchise falling precipitously enough that the rights would eventually revert back to Marvel, instead entered into a deal where future Spider-Man movies would be under Marvel Studios’ creative control, while both studios produced (some have written that the upcoming movies would be produced exclusively by Sony, with Marvel providing only creative control.  This literally makes no sense at all because having only creative control gives Marvel Studios relatively little, while granting Sony access to the uber-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., is one of the most successful Marvel Studios’ characters, who’ll next appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming). 

Universal Pictures plans to create a cinematic universe based upon Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf Man and the Mummy (which is filming with Tom Cruise in the lead).  At this point it’s too early to tell how well it will do.

What’s perhaps most surprising is the current position of DC Films in the world of the cinematic universe.  ‘Surprising’ because before Marvel Studios was barely an idea they were producing movies based upon Superman and Batman.  The problem was that–for reasons that will probably never be entirely known–they never built and expanded their offerings, despite seemingly ample opportunities to do so.

Logan – Official Trailer

screenshot-2016-10-20-10-45-40It’s no secret that I don’t particularly like what Fox has done with the Marvel’s X-Men, though take that dislike and double it, and that’s approaches what I feel what they have done with Wolverine.

And the worse thing for me is that it’s all about greed.

Hugh Jackman’s portrayal (despite that, visually speaking, he’s not at all like the character in that he’s too tall and too handsome) won fans over early on, so what they did was make everything about him, sidelining virtually every other character.

So, did I like the trailer for Logan? It’s okay. It’s certainly trying (a bit too hard) to get across a certain mood and atmosphere, which it does; Johnny Cash song and all.

I also like that it appears that the cinematographer seems to be making use of a lot of natural light in the trailer because there’s something that’s stultifying about people that are perfectly lit.


Doctor Strange End Titles Score

I’d be the first person to admit that the scores for most Marvel Studios movies have been less than memorable (at this point only two tracks from Henry Jackman’s theme to Captain America: The Winter Soldier stick in my mind at, and those are ‘Winter Soldier’ and ‘Lemurian Star’) and that’s taking into account ALL their movies.

That being said, Michael Giacchino’s score–the End Titles at any rate–are particularly fascinating because it sounds to me evocative of The Moody Blues in songs like Knights In White Satin, with instruments that sound like guitars, sitars and drums taking center stage.

There’s a curious lack of menace to it though, which is fascinating because if the music that accompanies the trailer is any indicator, then Giacchino’s score holds a few surprises.

Assassin’s Creed – Official Trailer 2


I honestly don’t know about this movie, both literally and figuratively because it doesn’t feel as if there’s any particular reason to make it more than someone  thought that the video game is awesome and would makes a great movie.

And who knows? Maybe it will, maybe it won’t (I said I don’t know).

Though what’s more pressing at the moment is the Animus, and what to me looks like a (relatively apparent) logic hole. In the screenshot from the video below you’ll not notice that I’ve included a scene where an arm of the device that’s part of the Animus process is attached to Fassbender’s back.

Part of the Animus.png

As far as I can tell, the point is to mimic the motions his past aspect is going through, so if he falls, the arm lifts him to an approximate height, so he can mimic the motion in the present day.

Now here’s the problem:  The space where the Animus looks to be set up looks far too small to mimicking the actions of what his avatar is going through.

For instance, you see scenes of Fassbender’s avatar literally diving off buildings that look hundreds of feet tall.

The point being, I’m guessing that that mechanical arm has to be approximately the same distance from the ground as the leap his past self is making or he’s going to be a handsome splash on the ground.

It’s a little thing, but little things count, especially when you’re supposedly establishing a new franchise.

Star Wars: Rogue One Official Trailer 2

As I have written in the past, I’m not particularly fond of Gareth Edwards as a director.  I think that he’s talented but the movies he’s directed so far never seem to fit well with his stylistic sensibilities.

Monsters could have been titled ‘Traveling Through Mexico Meeting An Occasional Beastie‘ while Legendary’s Godzilla remake could have been called ‘Godzilla?  Where!?‘ due to, pardon the pun, the legendary monster’s late entry in his own movie.

That being said, what we can see from his direction of Star Wars: Rogue One is interesting because it shows a grittier side of the Star Wars movies, which look almost sanitized by comparison.

It looks like that we’re going to see more of the aftermath of what happens when the massive vehicles common to the Star Wars universe lay waste to a place; the human cost of all the technology run amok.

It should be an interesting juxtaposition and perhaps better fitting with Edwards’ style.