Sunday, October 16, 2016

Is The Eye of Agamotto an Infinity Stone? It appears that way...

This past weekend I had an opportunity to watch an 8-10 minute sneak peek for the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange. The sneak peek was in 3D which had me skeptical because I can't stand 3D movies. I think it's a cheap gimmick to get people to pay more for already high ticket prices, in some areas. Before I go into all I saw I will admit that 3D is definitely the way to go for this film, assuming the entire movie looks as incredible as the 8-10 minutes I saw. I was completely blown away at the depth the film took with 3D. The alternate realities within the main focal point took on a completely unique textural feel I have not experienced before and I couldn't have been more impressed.

The sneak peek starts off with the star Benedict Cumberbatch talking about how this film is using brand new, innovative technology and that is believable after watching the sneak peek... 3 different times in the same day.  The first minute we've seen in the trailers with the image of the yellow hooded figure adjusting the look of the buildings and then walking into a shining golden circle followed by Strange walking into the temple. From this point on there will be potential spoilers... you have been warned...

We get to see that Doctor Strange isn't picking up magical abilities as quickly as the others in training. The Ancient excuses everyone and she walks Strange through a portal and onto Mt. Everest. She tells Strange the life expectancy of an individual in that climate and informs Strange his potential is approximately 2 minutes before loss of function and she walks back through the portal leaving Strange to conjure his own portal, something he has yet to accomplish up to this point. Back in the temple the Ancient One and Baron Mordo are waiting patiently for Strange to walk through a portal when Mordo suggests he go and help but the Ancient One stops him and Strange falls through a portal covered with snow.

We also are treated to an expanded scene that we've seen in the trailers. The Ancient One tells Strange she's teaching him to show him how much he doesn't know and then commands him to open his (3rd) eye and pushes him into the astral plane and alternate realities. These scenes literally blew me away. We see Strange floating through space, being pushed into multiple copies of himself, being disintegrated and reformed while floating through a rainbow tube and eventually falling back into the temple where we've seen him say, "teach me." This entire sequence looked spectacular in 3D. This felt like the tribute to the Steve Ditko artwork that I love to pieces. It's a modern look but I believe it's a tribute to his incredible legacy with Doctor Strange comics.

We also get to see the first time he speaks with Wong as a 1 on 1 meeting. There's some humorous lines by Strange regarding Wong's name that I won't spoil here but it's a fun break from the intense moments before and what will be after. Wong's expressionless face is priceless in this moment.

The chase scene involving Strange, Mordo, the Ancient One and Kaecillius. We get to see a brief moment of the Ancient One in combat which looked awesome. Also, with the 3D the scene you've watched in the trailer regarding the city turning inside out is mind blowing. Strange falls from a building, slides through a subway train, falls out of the train and lands on a street where he and Mordo run from Kaecillius but reality splits into 3 pieces and Kaecillius literally turns the landscape sideways making Stranges portal impossible to jump through, which would've allowed he and Mordo to escape. The 3D added such an impressive depth to this scene where we watch Strange fall and the buildings in 3D make his fall seem forever.

Now, the "Eye of Agamotto" is, in the comics, one of the pivotal pieces of magic that is associated with Doctor Strange. Like Batmans' utility belt, Captain America's Shield, Thor's hammer and the Green Arrow's bow/arrows, Doctor Strange has the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto. There's one awesome scene where we get to see the cloak of levitation fly to Strange and save him from falling after getting kicked by Kaecillius in the Sanctum Sanctorum. However, it appears that the Eye of Agamotto is not the essential piece of magical gear from comic lore, but instead, an infinity stone, the time gem to be exact. We see Strange imbued by this power to literally speed up time as he casts its energy on an apple which appears to be eaten or disintegrated in rapid time. Also, on a street in Hong Kong, it appears, we see Doctor Strange literally stop time using the Eye of Agamotto which prevents Kaecillius from stabbing him and then he reverses time to fix the area that was blown to bits. This scene also look magnificent in 3D.

I watched the sneak peek 3 times in 1 day and I couldn't be happier for making that decision. This film looks like the most ambitious film Marvel has done and I'm hopeful that word of mouth will help boost box office sales. I already have my tickets for November 3rd and 4th. I don't believe we'll see the same Doctor Strange from the comics but that's ok. I get the feeling that the spirit or character of Doctor Strange will be prevalent in this film and that's enough for me. Marvel has earned my trust and I cannot wait for opening weekend!

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