Well, that was strange…


Benedict Cumberbatch is one of those actors of whom I can’t get enough.  Also Chiwetel Ejiofor.  I’ve loved him ever since “Serenity” came out.

And then we get to see more of Rachel Anne McAdams (and who wouldn’t want to see more of HER?), as well as Tilda Swinton (what, you don’t remember the White Witch in the “Chronicles of Narnia”?) who can make shivers run up your spine and make your tongue hang out at the same time.  Oh, and Mads Mikkelsen is even a better villain than he was in “Quantum of Solace”.

In this movie, their superb acting ability was enhanced by a Matrix-like computer-graphic set-up that is incredible.  Or maybe unbelievable is more accurate.  In any case, I defy you to even attempt to figure out what was done in a blue-room, and what was done on location.  And before you smugly say “Obviously the scene on Mount Everest was faked,” you should know that they did go to the Himalayas to shoot some scenes.  (So there — smarty pants!)

I really, really, really loved this movie from start to finish.  It starts, right out of the box, with a battle between good and evil that will remind you of the Matrix (well, it did me).  Then it backtracks a little bit and shows you how an arrogant, smart aleck, asshole brain surgeon (Strange) becomes pretty much the only thing standing between good and evil for all life on this planet.

To break up the seriousness of the plot-line, there’s plenty of humor as well.  However, the best funny stuff comes from “the magical cape” that adopts Doctor Strange and watches his back. (If you ever watched the Disney cartoon series “Aladdin” you’ll know what I mean).  There was so much happening that I found myself trying to press the rewind button on my remote — only they don’t give you one of those at a movie theater.  So guess who’ll be going back to see it again?

It should come as no surprise that Doctor Strange wins over evil at the end — although how he wins may, indeed, surprise the heck out of you.  And, if you keep up with the Marvel Universe, you’ll know that this won’t be last we’ll see of Dormammu, the ultimate evil from another dimension.  Boy howdy, I can’t wait for the sequel!!!

For what I hope is the last time I’m going to remind you not to leave the theater until after ALL the credits are done.  Not most, all.  Because even after you’ve seen the little “surprise” at what seems to be the end of the credits, there are more credits to follow — as well as another surprise.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

P.S. You know, I’m re-thinking my wish to become the next Harry Potter.  I just might want to be Doctor Strange instead!



Okay, right up front I’ll admit that this is not my kind of movie — too few running gun battles and too few explosions.  Plus I couldn’t follow the plot because I hadn’t read the book.

Daddy and Mommy had read the book, and they said that, except for the ending, the movie followed pretty close to Dan Brown’s idea of an intellectual, fast-paced, action story.  All I can say is, Ron Howard managed to create so much tension in the movie that I almost clawed off the armrests.  Every time I thought I’d figured out who were the good guys and who were the bad guys, the story changed — all the way to the end.

So, in short, if you liked the book, you’ll probably like the movie (except for the ending — I’m not saying anything more).  If you haven’t read the book, you will probably be lost most of the way through the movie.  At least, that’s what happened to me…

Thank goodness Halloween is over…

I never want to see another piece of candy as long as I live.  Which might not be long, at this point, since I’ve eaten a whole bowl full of candy and my tummy’s not very happy about it.   I mean, what’s there to live for if I’m giving up candy?

This year Teddy went as Farmer Brown and Bunny went as herself (no imagination).  Tiger went as the pink panther, as usual.  And me?  Well,  I can safely say that I surpassed myself in my costume choice this year.  I went as Dennis the Phantom Menace.


See my overalls and my light saber?  I thought that was pretty clever.   I wasn’t able to get a cow lick going, although I tried.  Well, I asked Tiger to lick my head but he refused.  Can’t say I blame him.  Although at this point I’d about as soon lick my head as eat another Twix.

Whatever you do, don’t even think of chocolate.  Or if you do, stand well back — no, even further.  Yeah, that should do it…

Call for Super Reacher!


If you’ve seen the first Jack Reacher movie, then you know everything you need to know about this movie.  If you haven’t seen the first one, then don’t worry.  This isn’t really a sequel and you’ll catch on quick.

When this film starts, JR is sitting at a diner counter.  Some cops pull up, survey a parking lot full of bodies and get pointed towards Reacher.  Yeah, that’s right, the opening of the above trailer is the opening of the movie. That facial bloodiness Tom Cruise displays at the beginning stays with him throughout the film.  Not just because the time span is too short for healing to take place — he also adds to his facial scars by getting beat on every five minutes.  (Kinda reminded me of Paul Newman’s black eye in “Harper“, or Jack Nicholson’s split nose in “Chinatown“.)

Anyway, the action never slows down, and as much as I dislike “Tom Cruise” the “personality”, I find that I often enjoy Cruise’s movies.  This film is no exception.  It follows the same basic plot-line as the first movie (good guy, under impossible odds, beats up the bad guys, and walks off into the sunset at the end), but at least it is a different story idea.  Of course, being a Cruise film, there’s never any ambiguity about who’re the good guys and who’re the bad guys.  The casting was solid, and you’ll want to clap and cheer when the bad guys get it in the end.  And, there goes Cruise, walking off into the sunset.

At first I kept thinking he was trying to be Kwai Chang Caine, wandering around the country on foot, living off the land, and fighting evil.  But then I remembered that Caine had a purpose (trying to find his American family).

In both of his movies, Reacher just seems to be wandering around looking for trouble.  But, after exhaustive mental gymnastics, I figured it out.  It’s obvious, really, when you think about it…