Thursday, 24th August 2017
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Doctor Strange

Never has a movie been more appropriately titled then this one. It is just strange from beginning to end. It is part of the 'Marvel' franchise of films which are usually all about Superheroes but in this one we are told that 'while the Avengers protect the physical world we protect the astral one'. So, that's us told. Basically the movie is about a super cocky neurosurgeon who after a car crash, his own fault, loses the 100% flexibility in his hands that he needs to do his job and therefore quickly loses the will to live, the audience will soon discover this feeling as well. A short time later the doctor is given some hope when he hears about a place in

Katmandu where it is said that even the most impossible of cases can be healed. He heads there straight away only to be sorely disappointed when he realises that the center is all about the mind body connection and not a place of cutting edge surgery procedures.

However given a quick demonstration by 'the ancient one', Tilda Swinton in a bald cap, the doc realises that this place might just be able to help him. He engages in the daily routines of the center and soon begins to find out exactly what they are all about. Which is basically to protect earth from all supernatural attacks on it. Being the super type A personality that he is with an eidetic memory the doc advances fast and within a matter of hours is one of the most accomplished students in the center. Which is just as well as he will soon be asked to defend the earth against a being from the 'multiverse; which was to decimate earth and is being helped by a former student of the center, a quite evil Mads Mikkelsen. There are a lot of special effects, as you might expect, in this movie and they have even been nominated for an Oscar but if you've seen the film Inception which was released in 2010 you've really seen the majority of the special effects. Needless to say that good triumphs over evil and the sequel is set up all in a few minutes by the end of the picture. There obviously is a huge appetite for these superhero blockbuster movies and globally they seem to be big business so they are not going away any time soon. Doc' Strange is not bad, it's just that it isn't terribly good either, it is such a mash up of different styles, fantasy, action, adventure and a whole lot of moralising that you really just have to go with the flow and as long as there is a bit of action every ten to fifteen minutes it seems that the target audience will be happy. But surely a film, even if it is aimed at teenagers and kidults should aim a little higher. And given that it is part of the Marvel franchise it is irritating to have to be subjected to another annoying Stan Lee cameo. Hitchcock he ain't.

Family Guy

Who would have thought that having grown up as a child on Saturday morning cartoons that one of the funniest programmes as an adult would also turn out to be a cartoon, although one with a decidedly grown up flavour. Family Guy like it's more wholeseome, in comparison, show The Simpsons has been going for years now and hasn't for one second let up on it's creativity and it's ability to surprise and make you laugh. Comedy is nearly always about people who don't change, who do the same things and never learn from their mistakes and in this respect the characters in Family Guy are fundamentally the same no matter how long the show is going. Peter is always the drunken idiot with the long suffering wife and their children are equally as typecast, although in Stewie the toddler with plans for world domination and a decidedly gay side they have broke new ground, particularly with his best friend the family's talking dog Brian. It is with the background characters that this show really has fun, the neighbourhood paedophile, Trish Takanawa the 'Asian' reporter, Peter's three sidekicks, the permanently pregnant Bonnie, the list goes on and on. With so much invention and irreverence up on screen it makes you wonder what doesn't make the final cut and what it considered too gross or offensive. As it stands it is still, after all these years, one of the best comedies on television. And it's creator Seth McFarlane is also responsible for 'American Dad', that's a whole lot of mad for one person.

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