Doctor Strange. A wild trip.

Yeah– remembering the days of black lights, Pink Floyd and the guys on the track team in the basement of an apartment building, smoking oregano. Cause, you know, a nickel bag in the Bronx, who knew what you were getting? Seriously. I assume there are no “nickel” bags any more? We also used to go to Woodlawn Cemetery and do keggers. Did you know that’s where the money drop for the Lindbergh baby was set? I digress, as I am wont to do.

Anyway. We watched Doctor Strange last night and it was pretty crazy. Definitely whoever did the effects in Inception had a lot of fun with CGI.

But that’s not what I liked about it. First, there was some good humor. The movie, and the characters, didn’t take themselves too seriously. Even the bad guy. I liked Benedict Cumberbatch. And seriously, that can’t be a screen name. Has to be his real name. He found that hard balance between being serious and not overdoing it.

Tilda Swinton? Seriously? That was an odd casting choice, but it worked. My favorite with her, though, was Michael Clayton which ranks up there as one of my favorite all time George Clooney movies. The bad guy, Mads Mikkelsen– is that a screen name, pretty cool– did a great job; oh yea, Hannibal on TV– knew I’d seen him. I was a bit disappointed in Chiwetel Ejiofor, but he worked with the part he was given– for me, he made Serenity work a long time ago as the bad guy.

More importantly, the core message of Doctor Strange was solid: “It’s not about you.” In this day and age, that something that we seem to have lost a lot. I know I have to be reminded almost every day by my wife. One of the by-products of my brain disorder is it comes off as narcissism at times– even was diagnosed by one shrink as “brittle narcissist” but that didn’t quite fit. So I have to ground myself in the real world and remember that it’s not about me. Maybe I need a magic cloak?

The way Strange solved the problem at the end was perfect for not only the plot, for who he was. I was wondering, as a writer, how they would “show” him changing. Since that’s a key rule in character arc. Loved what the writers came up with.

Overall— Cool Gus recommends it!



BTW– if you’re a writer and interested in what I mean by character arc, I’ve updated all my free writing writing slideshares recently and here’s the one on character. Also, we will have dates for Writing Scenic, our new writing workshop at our new place, up shortly.



  1. My son Josh and I watched it last night as well! Really trippy – glad I didn’t try it on the big screen. I’d have either thrown up or passed out.

    I liked how the truth came out that the ancient one used the dark power to prolong her life, but she used it to do good. Power isn’t inherently good or bad – it’s just a tool. It’s how you use it that defines good and evil. Something I try to portray in my own writing.

  2. I always enjoy your comments, and books, and will Tardis over to learn you VP on character arc. Always learning.

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