Doctor Strange is in Irish cinemas on the 25th of October, which is a good bit earlier than in the US because we're just awesome in these waters!
I got the chance to pop out to an early preview of 15 minutes of footage from the film, presented in IMAX. The final 115 minute feature will have almost an hour of footage enhanced for the large screen format, and by this early evidence it's going to look absolutely stunning.
The footage from Doctor Strange started out roughly chronological and then jumped all over the place. We get to meet the self involved doctor himself (Benedict Cumberbatch) and get a glimpse at this life before the accident which robbed his surgery skills.
I'm not going to dwell on the story elements much, except to say there's a good deal more humour here than has been obvious from the trailers so far. In fact I'd go so far as to say that the promotional material we've been seeing isn't especially representative of the feel and even the look of the film which I got to sample. There's a fun and breezy tone which is at odds with the rather dire events depicted in those trailers.
And the Disney and Marvel folks have been seriously sparing the spectacle in those promos too. Strange gets his whole world view rocked by his meeting with Tilda Swinton's Ancient One and we're right along for the ride.
Just the other day I was trying to remember the last time I saw special effects on screen which were truly special, as in being used to create something which I had never seen before. Honestly, Doctor Strange might be the answer to that question.
Director Scott Derrickson has the difficult task of trying to present a worldview being shattered on screen, of realities bending and breaking as a rational man's mind is opened up to a new reality and isn't able to handle the truth. And the result is some of the most uncanny and richly vivid images I've seen in many a year, expanded to fill the IMAX frame.
And this is just an idea of what's going on in Strange's mind, there was also a glimpse of how those powers might be used in the context of the conflict of the film. With enemies capable of distorting the fabric of reality itself, and multiple dimensions to play with, the sky is pretty much the limit.
It's a safe bet that Doctor Strange is going to be a unique vision in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and one which is far apart from the rest of the pack in its pursuit of mysticism. That's a welcome change merely for the sake of contrast, though it does beg the question of how this character is going to fit in with the rest of the Avengers in the future.
On this evidence, I'm already very excited indeed for what the film has to offer - though there are a few caveats right now. I'm still not on board with Cumebrbatch's accent - his English tones are so delicious it seems a shame to waste them in some dull American funk. And I really do wish that these Marvel movies could come up with a compelling score. Composer Michael Giacchino is a talented fellow but there's nothing memorable in the extracts which appear here.
Otherwise, it's looking like a rare unique cinematic treat, and well worth seeking out on the largest screen you can find.
Doctor Strange is in Irish cinemas on the 25th of October, 2016.