I’m sure the numbers of how many people who attended the short preview to Doctor Strange (on a long weekend in North America) is as varied as the response to this film. While I’m excited to catch the end-product come November 4th (the 3D sequences when he’s flying through the multiverse look great), just how many die-hards can accept the movie’s obvious changes will determine its success. I’m okay with the gender-swapping of the Ancient One, and Tilda Swinton is a very respectable actress. With no successor to Mako Iwamatsu’s amazing presence, I’m guessing the producers had make changes lest they do a casting call throughout China / Tibet to find someone just as promising to fill the role.
When the introduction reveals nearly an hours’ worth of scenes are shot with IMAX cameras, the need to tease fans with what is to come is obvious — to spotlight the special effects on a box screen. I will certainly plan to see it again at the National Geographic IMAX Theatre. Sadly this operation plays these movies as a second-run product. Not every cinema has a proper screen to show off this format right.
In what is more in front and centre is Stephen Strange’s ego (Benedict Cumberbatch) which can easily rival Tony Stark’s. When he’s a famous neurosurgeon with some pent up frustrations over who he is required to operate on, the first few minutes works very well to show how conceited he is. That’s until he looks away from where he is driving to a cell phone (showing x-ray scans of his next patient instead of playing Pokémon GO) and winds up over a cliff. The slow-motion scene shows his hands getting crushed.
The new story constructed The Little Prince feels like a fitting continuation the French author might have written, had he desired a sequel.
Two stories are woven together in director Mark Osborne‘s modern movie adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry‘s The Little Prince. One serves to act as a launching off point to the 1942 tale of a pilot meeting a mysterious boy from an asteroid. As one story is visually and eloquently rendered in smooth CGI, the other has an archaic papier-mâché, stop motion, quality which works very well in contrast to the two worlds being presented.
In the main story, a girl (voiced by Mackenzie Foy) is on summer break and her mother (Rachel McAdams) has a regimen for her daughter to follow to pass the entrance exam to the prestigious Werth Academy in France. Although this adult is only worried about her child’s future, very little about the present is worth considering, including knowing how to take pleasure in the moment to enjoy life. When mom leaves for work, this young girl’s natural curiousity of the elderly neighbour (Jeff Bridges at his finest) almost follows in the tradition set by PIXAR‘s Up. This old codger was once an air force pilot and he takes an immediate liking to the young lass. He regales her with stories from his younger life, where Saint-Exupéry’s timeless story enters the picture.
If Southpaw is supposed to unseat the renown held by the Rocky film series, then it’s certainly drawing first blood. In one corner, we have the rising talent of Jake Gyllenhaal. The movie Nightcrawler showed him delightfully playing a seedy character and this new one sees him as Billy Hope, a distraught family man when he loses his wife, Maureen (Rachel McAdams), to a gunfire incident. To make life worse, the courts take his daughter Leila (Oona Laurence) away when he shows signs of self-destruction.