Wednesday, November 23, 2016

On the Big Screen in Utah

Dr. Strange, Brewvies, Salt Lake City
This year Mindy and I are going to a church, a bar, and a movie (in a theater) in every state. There are other things we do in every state -- eat and sleep, for instance. And watch a movie (on DVD or streaming) that was set in the state we’re in. And send a postcard to two little girls in Texas (though we didn’t do that in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas). Obviously, this is a lot  to do in a week -- well, maybe not a lot to do, but at least it’s some to do -- so we occasionally combine things. In Ohio we went to a church that met in a bar. In Utah we went to a movie theater at a bar. Or was it a bar at a movie theater? I’m really not sure.

I already wrote about the bar part of this combined experience here, and I’m writing about the movie part, well, here:

Let me start at the end of Dr. Strange, the movie we saw in Utah. Audiences have learned to stick around for the end credits of Marvel movies, because when it is over, it really isn’t over. After “The End,” there is always something else. It used to be a hint, a clue of a Marvel character who might appear in a feature film -- a glimpse of Captain America’s shield or Thor’s hammer. Or they might end with a joke --the Avengers sitting around eating schwarma. But the end credits of Dr. Strange seem to be just a preview of coming attractions for future films. Marvel, please change things up.

Marvel did change one thing up from previous films. Most every Marvel film seems to end with a climactic battle in a big city between our hero or heroes and a giant something -- robot or alien or hamster. Dr. Strange seems to be headed in that direction, and then with a clever twist, headed in a different direction. So kudos to them for that.

Scott Derrickson (looking like Dr. Strange)
There is a church in this story of a crippled surgeon who gains mystical powers. The villain attempts an evil incantation in a beautiful sanctuary. Why he’s in a church is never discussed, but one thing can be said about it: it seems to be a very welcoming place if they let in evil super villains.

The film was directed by Scott Derrickson, a graduate of Biola University, a Christian liberal arts school. Dr. Strange is not a “Christian” film, but it does point to the importance of finding meaning outside of ourselves and the material world.

The end credits promise more Dr. Strange films, which is probably a good thing. At least if Benedict Cumberbatch works on his American accent.

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