Doctor Strange 15-minute IMAX preview screening details and reaction
When a studio invites audiences to experience 15 minutes of a movie for free, three weeks before it its initial theatrical release,it’s safe to say they are feeling confident about their upcoming release. Marvel studios did just that on October 10th. Invites were sent to press and select contest winners to experience 15 minutes of IMAX footage from the upcoming DOCTOR STRANGE film, the 14th movie from the now seasoned studio. I must admit, I was pretty skeptical about the turnout considering it was Thanksgiving Monday, and didn’t expect a big crowd. I was dead wrong…
The theatre was packed, and if I didn’t have the two seats that were reserved for me , I would have been in the front row. yes, it was that full for a 15 minute preview. Fans have been rejoicing since Benedict Cumberbatch was cast to play the sorcerer supreme, and when the lights went out, and he appeared on screen to welcome everyone to the special event, the room went nuts! It’s painfully obvious he was born to play this role, and the way he parted his hands to show the audience that the black bars on the screen would be moving to accommodate the larger IMAX footage we were about to see was the perfect touch!
We then got the standard backstory set up. Dr. Stephen Strange, the confident surgeon who definitely believes his own hype. He is shown performing an extremely risky operation and cozying up to his co-worker (Rachel McAdams), with whom he obviously shared a romance with at one point. She comments about how it’s “always about him”, a nice set for the next scene.
We see Strange behind the wheel of an insanely expensive sportswear, speaking with the hospital on his phone, while speeding through a windy canyon. He is searching for the next high profile operation to perform, and refuses the majority of the choices that are being presented to him. We see his gaze travel from the road, to the X rays on his phone display, all the while passing oncoming traffic, and then...boom, a horrific accident that leaves him without the ability to use his hands again.
We then see a scruffy, bearded Strange traveling from place to place, trying to find someone to show him the way back to his amazing life, ending up at a temple. He is face to face with The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and then shit gets real. After much deliberation, Stephen Strange is taught to expand his mind and he is sent on a journey through time and space.
What followed can only be described as a total mind trip. This movie is going to change the entire game when it comes to special effects and the way they are used to tell a story. I saw things I have NEVER seen onscreen, only in the pages of a comic book. Fingers on hands turned into more hands, and then overtook the entire screen and enveloped the Doc, dragging him into a place only he could know. We saw inside Strange's head, and then through his eyes and then his eye became a portal to his mind, and he walked through it! The life size Strange walked through his own eyeball!
The images and colours were dizzying and you felt as if you were in this out of body experience with the Dr Himself. When he finally comes back to the physical plane, he utters the line we fanboys have all grown familiar with from multiple views of the the theatrical trailer..."teach me!" This is what is so exciting about this movie. The technology needed to pull off a Doctor Strange movie is here, and the imagination to create the mystic realm in which he travels to has been accomplished!"
The last few trailers had led me to believe that this movie might just be a superhero INCEPTION, with buildings morphing into each other and gravity being suspended in a dream-like state, but no, this is going to be so much more.
The footage was INSANE and to be perfectly honest, I felt like i was on psychedelics. We are introduced to the cast, who include a ton of heavy hitters like Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One. There were also a lot of laughs, and that was a nice break from the onslaught of visual orgasms my eyes were having watching DOCTOR STRANGE cast spells and bend time and space.
This movie will be unlike anything we have seen from MARVEL yet and I think it will breathe new life to a genre that sometimes teeters on the brink of oversaturation. When the lights came up, the audience was loud, and i heard more than one person comment that they couldn’t wait to buy advance tickets for November 4th at midnight. They also handed out an 11 x 17 poster printed on card stock that was specifically created for the event. A nice touch.
The possibilities are endless with DOCTOR STRANGE, and Cumberbatch drives home the point that Hollywood A-listers are flocking to find their place in the Marvel Universe, and bring depth and longevity to these characters. It truly is a great time to be a comic book fan and see all this come to life the way it has over the last 15 years. I am willing to bet, judging by the stunning images i saw in IMAX , that this will be another HUGE win for Marvel.
DOCTOR STRANGE magically appears in theaters on November 4th.
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