Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange ★★★½

I abhor the phrase “guilty pleasure”. If something gives you pleasure (and it’s not affecting unwilling participants), why feel guilt about it? Guilt is a feeling for others; no one feels guilt without outside influence. “Guilty pleasures” are a product of “gatekeeping” and I won’t be a party to it. But recently, I’ve come close....

  Now, this is the internet, which means there are a ton of supreme, grade-a, dumb-dumbs lurking all around us, many are happy to not hide at all. But in general, I’m not talking about you guys. I consider most everyone that I follow to be a peer in this self-indulgent journey, and in 99.9% of cases wish that I had the way with a thought and a word that all the rest of you do. But, those other people...it’s just...y’know....there’s a lot of Marvel hate out there, ya’ll. Disney owned-paint by number-muted color-snowflake baiting-bad CGI using-villain teasing-Whedon abusing-toy advertising-theatre landscape ruining Marvel movie hate. I get it. I do. But, these “reviews”? These, these....Helvetica hit pieces...these text-based take downs...they bounce off of me like bullets off of a mis-handled representation of Superman. 

  I LOVE Marvel movies. Period. Full stop. I’ve been a Marvel Zombie (insider term equivalent to “Stan”, I believe?) since I could read. I’ve grown up with, idolized the characters and creators of, and collected Marvel comics forever, it seems. I’ve gone to every Marvel false start in the past, hoping my ticket would be the one that convinced the studios to actually put time and effort into a viable franchise, and I was the one sheepishly walking out of every God-awful piece of nonsense that drove the nail of malaise further into the coffin of public opinion.

 The last 10 years have been like a dream to me. I keep seeing things I was certain I would never see. My whole house is full of Marvel maniacs and we treat these installments as an event. We all know the lore, and revisit our favorite scenes on a whim. I’ll never be able to extend my appreciation to the care that Kevin Feige has taken to making this world both full of the things I love, and a separate reality from the things I grew up with; and I don’t hold them compatible. 

  When Tilda’s powerful Ancient One pushes Strange’s astral form into Steve Ditko’s Mystic Realm, try and tell me about the bland color schemes. When Mordo is escaping and you can see he’s using the Vaulting boots of Valtorr but no one ever even mentions them, talk to me about formulaic story telling. When Dr. Strange rises up, backlit, in front of the window bearing the facade of the Eye of Agamotto. and stares out of the Sanctum Santorum as the camera pulls away to reveal it residing at 177A Bleeker Street, tell me about the toys...I wanna know where I can buy ‘em. 

Guilt is for people that feel like they’ve done something wrong. To me, Marvel movies feel totally right.

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