What’s So Strange About A Little Less Doctor Strange?

Reading my blog, you’ve probably noticed that there’s been a dearth of Doctor Strange-related posts, despite there being quite a bit of material released over the past few months.

That’s no accident. I’ve been a fan of Doctor Strange long before the movie was a gleam in Kevin Feige’s eye, so I’m not among those that need convincing.

Though more importantly, I don’t want to know anything more about the movie. I can’t go into it as if I had never heard of the character before, though what I can do is to make sure that no more plot elements are revealed because Marvel Studios never translates their characters exactly, as they are in the comics, to the screen.

For instance, one of the things that differs is that Baron Mordo is apparently not only not waiting to betray Strange, but is genuinely his friend.

So if I give myself half a chance I might end up surprised!  And in a world where you can virtually find out the most intimate details about virtually anything in a matter of minutes that’s saying something.

Though sometimes things slip between all the trailers–like Doomsday appearing in the trailers for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice–interviews and junkets, and I am not at all interested in either seeing that happen or reporting on it if it does.

So if something interesting happens as far as Doctor Strange goes I might give it a write-up, but I am going to be extremely selective when I do because friends don’t spoil movies for friends.

‘John Dies At The End’ Review

John Dies At The End

“Here’s to all the kisses I snatched, and vice versa.”

—Fred Chu

Think about it for a moment, you’ll get it.

One of Marvel Studios’ Phase Two projects is a feature film version of Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts. I still think that Ioan Gruffudd should play Strange, though who should direct?  On the strength of “John Dies At The End” (never mind his rather bizarre filmography) it should be Don Coscarelli.

The reason being is that the movie takes some really odd subject matter, and not only makes it approachable, but fun.  When I heard that this film was coming out a few years ago, I picked up the book by David Wong, so that I would go into the movie with some idea of what’s going on.

I enjoyed the read, but beneath the weird chocolately coating lies a somewhat conventional center.

What Coscarelli did was bring the most interesting, stranger parts of the novel to the screen, while de-emphasizing the conventional elements.  What’s left is a movie that plays like David Cronenberg’s “Naked Lunch,” with its reliance on mainly practical special effects, while unlike that aforementioned film actually makes sense.

What “John Dies At The End” also reminded me of the Hardy Boys.  On acid.

And apropos of Doctor Strange, wouldn’t Clancy Brown be an awesome Baron Mordo?

I am also resisting the temptation to reveal more about the movie–Trust me.  My restraint has been admirable–but the actors that play John and David Wong, Rob Mayes and Chase Williamson, are a great bit of casting.

I referred to Clancy Brown earlier, though he rounds out a remarkable cast that includes genre veterans like Angus Scrimm, Glynn Turman, Doug Jones and Paul Giamatti (who also executive produced).

Though all is not rosy because “John Dies At The End” deserves a nationwide release, as opposed to the limited one that it actually got.  I live in Washington, DC, and unlike Michael (thanks for reminding me that it was available online) over at Durmoose Movie Musings, I didn’t have the benefit of seeing this awesome movie in a theater.

Pity, that.