We Need to Talk About Stephen

My dad was so eager for me to see Dr. Strange that he bought me a ticket and e-mailed it just so we could talk about the film… which is only funny because I have no words. I mean, I can describe it, but the true message is individualized in a “Jack Palance holding up his finger” sort of way. I didn’t find that out until later. The first few minutes of the film, all I could think was that Stephen Strange was based on nearly every surgeon I’ve ever met. The scene where he’s giving a patient’s family an awkward side-hug is worth more than any words I could add.

And then Benjamin Bratt appeared on the screen and the people next to me couldn’t understand why I was convulsed in laughter. I just looked over and said, “inside joke.” And then they laughed because I was sitting by myself.

I don’t want to give anything away, but the film reminded me why God and science are both so important to our society because of the different functions they serve in the spirit… walking together as lovers through a deeply wooded park. I felt similarly walking to my car from Contact, Inception, and The Matrix… from which Dr. Strange borrows nothing in direct concept but shows through in look and feel.

I will tell you one thing about the movie because Inception reminded me. If you get motion sick easily, skip 3D. I can’t even see 3D and there were a couple of times I wanted to barf. The camera moves you (even without 3D) like those IMAX documentaries in a science museum, but there was no announcement beforehand saying, “if you experience motion sickness, just close your eyes… and the feeling should pass.”

The best part, though, is that I hadn’t heard anything about the film and went in blind just knowing that Benedict Cumberbatch played a doctor.

With those two pieces of information, I said to my dad, “so it’s a good movie.”

It wasn’t a question.




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