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Doctor Strange Review (2016) | Benedict Cumberbatch Uplifts the Uplifted

Doctor Strange is as badass as Marvel gets. You take the inbred flamboyance of Benedict Cumberbatch into consideration and remove those palisades of expression that bind him, you take his innate knack for humour and let it flow with his perfect timing, you let him really get under the skin of a character that you so profusely adore, and lo! You have got yourself a winning movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch: The Winner (Spoilers Ahead)

Haven’t we always secretly wished Benedict Cumberbatch to portray a superhero at some point? With a diverse portfolio like that of his, that keeps getting better every day, playing a superhero for him was always on the cards. Yes, he gives you more reasons to love him every day. This time by joining forces with the Marvel golden goose that has never really missed. It doesn’t miss this time either.

benedict cumberbatch as doctor strange in doctor strange movie

When you take a good look at the movie, Benedict Cumberbatch is it. He is there in the entire movie. In every frame, in every act you can feel his strong presence. That being said, Doctor Strange is all about it too. Such a great sorcerer he is that you can’t want him enough. And so he delivers! His solo movie that runs all by his magic fuel.

Humour in the movie is just the right amount as Marvel prefers. Melodrama is superbly complemented by Benedict’s knack for it. You can’t help but feel sorry for him when you see him completely decimated by that car accident in the beginning. The seemingly torture that follows is havocking for him, and he makes you feel all of that. It is a relief when you find his life head towards a different purpose.

Characters in Doctor Strange Movie

Rachel McAdams does a great Christine Palmer, firing up that fun element whenever Strange’s strangeness is around. Scott Adkinson as Lucian gets another ephemeral yet a fairly good part with Marvel; he doesn’t go unnoticed. It is Tilda Swinton however as The Ancient One that steals the show forming the primal carver of the story. The part where she wishes to go, when time stops has been gorgeously manifested. The screenplay there reaches levels of awe.

still of mads mikkelsen as kaecilius in doctor strange

Mads Mikkelsen invests himself well, doing a powerful Kaecilius but unfortunately gets a very limited part to prove his perversion. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo looks very promising and has a bright future ahead with Marvel.

Astounding Bits

Even in those rare vexing fight scenes, Scott manages to hold everything together. The depiction of the Sanctums, and the confusion of topsy-turvy worlds have been helmed with a superlative touch. One of the finest things that happen to Strange is the Cloak of Levitation. Instantly takes you back in time to remind you of Aladdin’s Magic Carpet. Extraordinary stuff!

Steve Ditko’s original comic series has been paid plenty of tribute on numerous occasions. That scene where they fight in an Astral plane as Palmer operates on him, is so intelligently thought of that you cannot applaud the creator enough.

There is beauty in Scott’s depiction as Strange bends time to his will experimenting with the fate of an apple. The final climactic scene to force Dormammu to bow down to Doctor Strange’s bargain was one of the most brilliant ways to vanquish someone. It goes on to show how insane Doctor Strange’s powers really are. You can’t help but wonder how strong is Doctor Strange really?

You can pre-order Doctor Strange movie from here:

Direction of Doctor Strange

I have always admired Scott Derrickson’s direction. Even in a movie as powerless as Deliver Us from Evil we found him steady as a rock, working hard. He never lets his sobriety wane, and that shows in his diligent work. Thus Doctor Strange has been helmed too. Right from the point of giving us a badass perspective into the life of the extraordinary yet egotistic surgeon Stephen Strange to the point of him coming to terms with subsequent dimensions in our reality, scenes have been brilliantly directed.

Downsides

It is what follows immediately after however makes you wish there was a better visual exploration about the things we don’t know, rather than immediately getting up to speed with Strange quickly packing in powers, and heading towards unveiling the secrets of the Eye of Agomotto. It seemed as if that was the only thing left to do at Kamar-Taj. Forced!

still of tilda swinton the ancient one showing doctor strange astral plane

With that awe-inspiring push into the extant multi-dimensions, Doctor Strange’s vision is something that will give you goosebumps. It makes you think of all the possibilities that stay hidden from naked eyes. Till that point of time you are gnawing at a lot of plausibility. But then it bereaves you when things kind of speed up. You don’t see the Ancient One taking Strange for a ride after he begins learning stuff, which in fact, sadly pulls off the plug from reality.

You come back wondering – it’s a comic after all. Stephen’s transformation into the superhero we think he is, gets affected owing to that, and it heads into your vantage of Marvel’s illusion almost immediately.

Doctor Strange Movie Editing

Editing, I am afraid, hasn’t been done properly either. As the movie quickly gallops towards an astral perspective, you see a lot of scenes getting chopped off mid-way, in order to move on. Viewers aren’t allowed to have a proper focus when it’s the learning hour for him.

To the point where the learning of Dr. Strange begins, the flick works seamlessly with ample plausibility. And then in order to move the story forward you see frequent time lapses making it chug at the speed of bullet.

Also, the fact that there is no calm sieving explanation of how and why laws of physics are bent in their worlds or how it all functions. I wish Ancient One had taken him for a ride explaining their ways of living, even though it would have been a spiritual sojourn, it would still have made things a tad more believable.

The Final Verdict

At the end of the day, Doctor Strange remains a character in Marvel’s colossal database. And that too one of the finest ones! MCU has been blessed with Benedict’s presence now. I guess it is time to show him crossing ways with the other Sherlock. Can’t wait for that!

With Benedict joining the elite house of the Avengers, things are endearingly heading towards the ultimate act of badassery.  And Thanos wink intended.

Yes there are end credit scenes. Two of them. So you can wait if you like fitting pieces in the puzzle.

You can check out the trailer of Doctor Strange movie here:

Understanding the Timeline in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Movie

I am assuming a lot of you were left scratching your heads after watching Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie. Must be trying to figure out how loops really worked in the movie? Direction is to be blamed a little for that. Since the colossal significance of showing loop entries and exits was next to absent. Also, the surprise quotient that the flick should have tacked all along, never really came to fruition.

Time theory is huge. To be stuck in a loop, to be able to relive a day all over again is a concept that demands ample amount of focus and time to process. I believe a 2 hr 7 minutes movie can’t really do a prodigious concept like that justice. Now since we can’t really wait for a TV show to watch things fall in place, let us make do in whatever little we have to work with. I have explained how timelines in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie worked. So without wasting more time let’s get to it.

Timeline of Miss Peregrine Movie Explained (Major Spoilers)

Here is the timeline that explains how everything  fits in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie:

  • Before dying his grandfather Abe tells Jake to go to Cairnholm island to “find a bird in the loop of September 3, 1940”. The bird yes you guessed right, was none other than Miss Peregrine. Abe tells him to tell her about what happened.
  • Jacob follows the children in his Grampa’s stories into some caves. That’s when he enters the same time loop his Grampa had talked about before dying. The day of September 3, 1940. The same wretched day when Miss Peregrine’s house was destroyed by a German bomber too. But since Peregrine was a Ymbryne she could control time. They lived their everyday without growing old. (So, that insinuates if you come out of the loop you begin to grow normally, I surmise)
  • In an unfortunate turn of events an ornithologist Rupert Everett follows Jake to the cave where the loop entrance stood. He is able to enter it since he is a peculiar. It is also revealed that he was none other than Mr. Barron, the main antagonist himself.

Close to 2016

  • He walks in Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children in her time loop of Sep 3, 1940 demanding her to come to his loop, which as a matter of fact Miss Avocet (Judi Dench) had created in Blackpool. It is also the time loop where his immortality experiments were being performed in the year 2016. The loop is 6 months old from the present day with the date: January 11, 2016.
  • Miss Peregrine is abducted in her Ymbryne form and taken away by Baron. Children encounter a Hollow that tagged along with Baron. Owing to the absence of the Ymbryne Miss Peregrine, the German bomb falls closing their 1940 time loop forever. It cannot be reset.
  • The clueless children then decide to help Miss Peregrine by going to Blackpool. The same location had a loop entry point for January 11, 2016 the time loop where Barron had taken Miss Peregrine. They make a theatrical entry into the year by taking a titanic ship to the Blackpool port.
  • Remember while making that journey to Blackpool, Emma breaks it to Jake that since Miss Avocet is dead that Blackpool loop can’t be reset. That would mean the loop would close and then time would become real time. Meaning Emma and the children would have to go to their time, (if not then they might die with as “time catches up”) even though Jake could continue to thrive as a normal person in 2016.
  • The final show down, the big event where skeletons of Enoch O’ Conner, fight the Hollows, then takes place on January 11, 2016,  in the same Miss Avocet’s loop at a seaside carnival. Children had to get out of that loop before 4:30 which was the time of the Avocet’s loop closing. (If not they would get stuck in 2016 only to die quickly than )
  • When everything calms down, and Baron is vanquished, Jake says goodbye to everyone, and returns home to find his Grandfather still alive. This is primarily because that event of Hollows killing Abe hadn’t occurred yet. It is also very unlikely to happen since Hollows and Barron have been killed before time. Meaning Barron would never go to Florida with the Hollow to meet Abe.

The Ending Part

  • Miss Peregrine on the other hand is hurt, so she can’t come back to her normal form to create time loops. She makes it along with other children to the year 1940. The same year when the time loop was completely annihilated with that bomb drop.
  • In the end, Abe insinuates: Even though Miss Peregrine’s 1940 loop has closed, Jake at least knew were they were. Abe offers him some international currency and a map showing the exact location of all the loops to track them down.
  • In order to reach the same time however he has to travel many time loops (that explains his hair growth) taking shortcuts that would take him to the the precise moment where they were about to leave with the ship i.e. in the year 1940 still.
  • When he finally reaches there, he finds Emma still on the ship, brooding, lost in her thoughts. For her the time hasn’t really changed.

still from miss peregrine's home for peculiar children movie final scene ship

Another Important Fact from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Movie

Do you remember how smug and unsurprised Grampa Abe was when Jake found him in the end? Well, partly because he knew beforehand that Jake was a peculiar too. Also he probably knew that Jake was already helping the birds.

Now, one of the major reasons why Grandfather knew that his grandson was a peculiar too was because he had listened to that phone call that Jacob tended to in the year 1940, telling him how much he loved him, and missed him.

Mind = Blown!

Anything you find more intriguing about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie ? Drop it in the comments section.

For a better glimpse into the movie I would suggest you read our complete thorough review here: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children Review 2016

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Review (2016) | Fantastic Plot

Tim Burton‘s knack for the queer continues. This time he picks up Ransom Riggs‘s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children off the shelves. But the big question is he able to deliver a proper literary adaptation? The answer is not quite. I would say Miss Peregrine ends up becoming a tad unremarkable for its remarkable tale. However, its story can’t be overlooked either. If you pay heed to the plot of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, you will realize that it takes one hell of an imagination to think something so beautiful! For that I can’t thank Ransom Rigg enough.

PLOT OF MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (SPOILERS LOOP AHEAD)

If you take the beautiful plot of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children into account, you will be surprised to know how intriguing its story-line is. It skims on the surface of time loops that is an adventurous topic per se. Jake, played by the meek mien of Asa Butterfield, is visiting his grandfather Abe who used to babysit him when he was young.

GRANDFATHER ABE

Abe would tell him stories about peculiar children showing him photographs that would tingle his senses. In his story a Lady Peregrine, who could turn into a bird (Peregrine good guess there!), used to take care of the children with strange mutant like abilities in a huge house. However, growing up, Jake came to believe, all his stories were nothing but sham. Lost faith in his Grampa’s vision, he ends up going aloof from him.

still of the peculiar children in miss peregrine movie

Once when paying his Grampa a visit, he encounters a strange man standing in the middle of the road, some blocks ahead of Grampa’s abode. Clueless he moves on. On reaching there, he finds his grandfather dead and without his eyes. Before dying Abe asks Jake about a bird, a loop and the year 1940. Confused Jake fails to understand, when he finds a gargantuan tentacled beast in the woods. Aftermath, he ends up in therapy.

VISITING CAIRNHOLM ISLAND

His constant struggle with what his grandfather was trying to tell him, compels him to visit an island called Cairnholm to look for clues. He coaxes his father into taking him there. Jake finds the house of the peculiars there, however it’s in tatters owing to a certain German bomb attack that had burnt the house to cinders in 1940. Trying to satiate his curiosity, the bold Jake ventures in to have a look. He finds photos of the children that confirms his Grandfather’s stories. But then out of the blue he finds them all alive. Scared he tries to run, but ends up knocking himself out.

BRILLIANCE OF TIME LOOPS

That’s when the plot of the story starts shaping up too. On waking up, and realizing they were for real he follows the children to a cave. Unknowingly, he enters a time loop that takes him to 1940. He finds the Peculiar Home intact. That’s when he gets to meet the gorgeous Peregrine lady played by Eva Green. Miss Peregrine is an Ymbryne who can manipulate time. She has, along with her children, taken refuge in a time loop that she had created moments before the bomb attack.

still of eva green as miss peregrine in miss peregrine's home for peculiar children

The beauty of this very concept lies in its surreal poetry. Every single day living the same life over and over again, knowing everyday is going to end with that same wretched bomb dropping from the sky. Every single day goes by without them ageing, in constant fear of being discovered, and trying to hide under the blankets of time. Such a beautiful thought! But unfortunately, Tim Burton doesn’t milk this enough. The beauty of its poesy disappears along with its constantly running frames. You can’t help but blame the movie’s sped up editing for it.

DARK ANTAGONISTS

Like any yarn, galloping towards a direction, we are introduced to elements of perversion here as well. They are called Hollowgasts or simply Hollows, people who became monsters as a result of an experiment gone wrong. Misshapen they can’t be seen with naked eyes (unless you are Jake or Abe of course). Hollows hunt for peculiars as that’s their only chance to become a tad normal. They are known as Wights. Barron is the head of the wights who has been trying to hunt down more Ymbrynes to continue his experiments of immortality.

still of a hollowgast or hollow in miss peregrine movie

The real tension begins when Mr. Barron follows Jake to their timeloop who is then followed up by a ghastly Hollowgaust. Tim Burton uses peculiar children’s abilities to help each other out from that situation. A bomb drops and their loop forever shuts down.

It is then when Jake and the other peculiars decide to save Miss Peregrine and other Ymbrynes from the clutches of the evil wights. That becomes the sole theme of the movie afterwards.

You can pre-order Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar children here:

MAJOR DRAWBACKS

The first obvious one was Shelly, the non-peculiar. Her reaction when she finds oddity going on in the real world is not what we expect. It is as if Tim Burton has taken it for granted that everybody is okay with a tinge of eccentricity. I mean, if I was there, I would have first freaked out. The abnormal absent reaction of Shelly will make you think,

“Is she for real?”

Then moving on to Miss Peregrine’s character. To be really candid, Eva Green wasn’t really fit for the role. Okay, she does bring a rare sense of grandeur to her character but was that really enough? Her portrayal was very unconvincing and forgetful. Could it be because of the limited screen-time she had?

There was nothing motherly about her portrayal, if she was supposed to be the caretaker of those children. Somehow I felt a stronger character was supposed to be the call of the hour that no one took. The script demanded someone powerful like Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep or Emma Thompson for that to matter.

BURTON’S BLEAK TIME LOOPS

With time loop being one of the major driving forces of the tale, Burton’s depiction ends up becoming really bland. Tim Burton’s loops are empty. They come and go at odd hours without packing in much theatrics which ebbs its colossal import. At a time where the ending fight should have mattered the most, the backcloth score of a carnival makes that huge showdown a laughable affair.

Samuel Jackson plays a non-serious villain trying to introduce some humour through his acts. He is alright actually. He makes himself less scary even though he looks terrifying. The Whites of the Wights ( their eyes) were enough to terrorize little kids who had come thinking it was a Disney movie.

still of Samuel Jackson as Baron in Miss Peregrine

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children isn’t really dark. But there are dark elements in the tale nevertheless that are trying real hard to throw in different angles. But the depiction of it all ends up becoming more fun than gloomy. What makes it so is not only just the odd placement of music by Matthew Margeson and Michael Higham but also its less terrorizing banal acts. You can also count both stop motion animation and the CGI of the movie in whilst judging it.

THE FINAL VERDICT

To drop the final gavel on this, I would say it is an enjoyable ride nevertheless. However I do wish to see a perceptive TV series made on Ransom Rigg’s book, to capture the beauty of its ravishing story in pensive time frames.

Having trouble understanding the time loops in Miss Peregrine movie? Read our article on: Miss Peregrine Movie Explained

Check out the trailer of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children here:

Alice Through the Looking Glass Review (2016)

Surprisingly good!

If Lewis Carroll would have been alive today he would have given a nod to Alice Through the Looking Glass. Of course not for the reason that they totally changed his book and messed with every single detail to weave something different altogether, but for the mere fact that it is brimming up with an equal fanciful inclination and zeal that Carroll shared.

THE CONCEPT OF TIME

Alice Through the Looking Glass personifies ‘Time’ which is both poetic and enigmatic as Alice embarks on a journey to bring Hatter back to life. Time’s depiction is downright extraordinary and aced superbly by Sacha Baron Cohen. The blue tinge in his eyes and his animated mechanical body help him lip a fantastic creation.

“Time is a thief, and a villain.”

There are a lot of time references that have been brilliantly thought of and executed nicely. Watch out for that bit when Time is made fun of by Hatter, Cheshire Cat, Thackery, Mallymkun and the rest. The movie packs in the concept of toying with timelines, which happens to be one of my favourite fancies. Unfortunately they fail to make it palpable.

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS REVIVING CHARACTERS

You get to hear the voice of Alan Rickman as Absolem which was endearing per se as if he sprang up back from the dead. It was ephemeral but it makes you think of him which was really pleasant. Mia Wasikowska is as outstanding as she was in the prequel. So was Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth. Her rampaging confidence is a joy to watch. Also, Andrew Scott has a short cameo, that was actually quite satisfying.

Screenplay is kind of a beautiful literary affair, and will keep you interested throughout. Visually it is gripping. The plot oscillates a little betwixt the real and the virtual but finds a firm grip in both the worlds. Well thought of, I must say. It isn’t really that dark and grim as Tim Burton’s style of movie-making is. But it is still fun.

CURIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD:

The thing that seemed a little out of place in Alice Through the Looking Glass was the huge plot punch on which the whole movie was based upon. If you look at it closely you wonder Alice goes to all that trouble just to make Hatter, who is already mad, happy? Is that it? To answer that you must think from Alice’s perspective. It is this whimsical world she tries to fit in, and petty things that entail in it that matter to her the most. If one was to weave a story out of her life, it would always surround tales with such quaint things, things that matter to Alice, if not to you. Well, if you can’t digest that, a simple – “Hatter was going to die with gloom” should do it.

OTHER DOWNSIDES

Alice Through the Looking Glass isn’t really that serious when trying to skip alongside the time component that it so profusely tries to milk. It will flabbergast you beyond limit, vex you if you try to connect the dots, and elude you as you try to reason with it. At the end of the flick you realize it’s Disney after all. What do you expect?

Eventually, you wonder if Alice Through the Looking Glass even came close to how Lewis had intended his book to be, but to be honest there are more creative juices at play in today’s fantasy scenario. The world is constantly growing. We improvise, don’t we?