Doctor Who? Everything you need to know about Benedict Cumberbatch’s new Marvel movie Doctor Strange

If you're a hardcore Marvel comic book fan – or even a moderately-cored fan of the Marvel movies – you're probably well aware of exactly who Doctor Stephen Strange is. In fact, you probably think it's a little strange that there are still people in this universe (or any universe) with no idea who the character might be. The Doctor Strange movie, starring cerebral  fan-favourite Benedict Cumberbatch, is released in just a few weeks, and our appetites for the forthcoming superhero movie have been whetted by several trailers and TV spots. According to a new Vanity Fair profile, however, just a few years ago Cumberbatch himself had no idea who the character was – and responded with a baffled "Doctor What?" when a journalist suggested he'd be a perfect fit for the role. In case you're still in a similar state of confusion, here's our need-to-know guide to the world's strangest superhero. (We'll stop using "strange" as an adjective now. We promise.) 1. Who is Doctor Strange? Is he a real doctor? In the original Marvel Comic books, Doctor Stephen Strange is a talented but arrogant neurosurgeon, who finds himself in a desperate position after a car accident leaves him with damaged hands, unable to perform the complex operations that helped make his name. Increasingly desperate for a cure, he heads to the Himalayas (the film's trailer names his destination as Nepal) and encounters a mysterious person known as The Ancient One, in the isolated mountain community of Kamar-Taj. The Ancient One (traditionally shown as an elderly chap with a big beard, now a woman – more on that later)  is initially sceptical about Strange, thanks to the doctor's former obsession with wealth and status. Luckily, however, she senses the potential for good in him, and begins training him to become the new Sorceror Supreme: a semi-mystical being who Continue Reading

Here Are All The New Disney Movies Coming To Theaters In 2018

Disney fans are going to have plenty of movies to sink their teeth into in 2018. And we’re not just talking animated films. From superhero flicks to another Star Wars movie to the return of Mary Poppins, there’s a little something for everyone. Here are all the Disney-produced movies hitting the big screen this year: Black Panther (Feb. 16) In case you didn’t realize, Disney produces all the Marvel superhero movies. The upcoming Marvel flick “Black Panther” is the story of T’Challa (played by “42” star Chadwick Boseman), who returns to his home nation Wakanda to take his place as king but is confronted by an old enemy that threatens to put the entire world at risk. The highly anticipated film is already being lauded for starring a black superhero, something many felt the Marvel franchise was long overdue for. A Wrinkle In Time (March 9) This adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s 1962 novel features a star-studded cast, including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. The science-fiction/fantasy story follows Meg, a young girl who travels across dimensions to rescue her scientist father, who is played by Chris Pine. Avengers: Infinity War (May 4) The latest installment in the Avengers saga will see the all-star superhero team fighting Thanos, a powerful enemy that threatens to destroy planet Earth. Fans will be thrilled to see the Guardians of the Galaxy finally join forces with the Avengers on the big screen! The cast includes heavy hitters Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, Josh Brolin and Scarlett Johansson. Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25) Star Wars fanatics will once again be able to get their fix of the epic franchise with this prequel story that focuses on beloved hero Han Solo. It will be directed by Ron Howard. Incredibles 2 (June 15) The original “Incredibles” was a hit when it premiered way back in 2004, and fans will finally get an update on the animated superhero Continue Reading

Zoe Saldana is proud of the bruises she got making ‘Colombiana,’ a role worth fighting for

If it were up to Zoe Saldana, she'd be in New York right now, riding the 7 train into Manhattan to visit museums and eat Chinese food at a restaurant on Broome St. where the waiters all wear Hawaiian shirts. But that's just not possible. The 33-year-old actress is too busy making blockbusters to hang out at her family home in Queens. Her latest, the action flick "Colombiana" (in theaters Friday), stars Saldana as Cataleya Restrepo, an assassin seeking revenge against the drug dealers who murdered her family. It's a totally different turn from her breakout role as the blue-bodied Neytiri in the 2009 smash hit "Avatar," but one for which she was more than ready. "I was really prepared for the fighting and the guns," Saldana says over the phone while driving to a meeting in Los Angeles. "I knew I would have to learn new fighting techniques since Cataleya has a unique fighting style that she learned through her uncle on the streets. But the guns weren't an issue." While Saldana considers herself a New Yorker, she spent seven years of her childhood living in the Dominican Republic, where she got her first pointers in marksmanship. Saldana's breakout role was in the effects-heavy hit "Avatar." "I grew up around a family of hunters in the Caribbean and guns were always around," she says. "I've gone hunting before, too. I have a lot of respect for weapons. Now, I obviously didn't know about all the weapons used in this movie, but that allowed me to create my own sort of swagger." And if there's one thing Saldana has in "Colombiana," a high-octane star vehicle, it's swagger. She runs, jumps and battles in a show of badassery fueled by, ironically enough, a background in ballet. "The fight scenes were certainly easier for me because I'm a dancer," she says, then pauses to scream at the driver who just cut her off. "The fight scenes were all about reacting and deflecting, and that doesn't always look graceful. It takes a lot of rhythm and physical Continue Reading

Al Pacino full of life as Dr. Jack Kevorkian in Barry Levinson’s HBO movie, ‘You Don’t Know Jack’

Al Pacino gives a riveting performance as Dr. Jack Kevorkian in Barry Levinson's new HBO movie. Maybe too riveting. As the famous and/or notorious "Dr. Death," Pacino so dominates the screen that the real issue Kevorkian was raising, physician-assisted suicide, often feels subsumed by the character. "You Don't Know Jack" takes a chronological trip through Kevorkian's odyssey, with director Levinson working hard not to become either strident advocate or critic. Kevorkian, who is still alive, saw and sees his work as simply fulfilling the duty of a physician to serve his patients: offering humane resolution to intolerable pain, in keeping with their wishes. Critics have argued that he was a murderer who was violating the fundamental moral and societal tenet that thou shalt not kill. Kevorkian's hands-on role ended when, after years of trying, Michigan prosecutors finally persuaded a jury to convict him of second-degree murder. He spent 8-1/2 years in prison and was released in 2007, at the age of 79, on the condition he not help anyone else commit suicide. He has continued campaigning for the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, a step so far taken only by Oregon. As this might suggest, the subject has slipped back into "don't ask, don't tell" land. That's not Kevorkian's style or wish. He's a blunt-spoken man who thinks society should assure people who face a long stretch of pain or incapacitation with a terminal condition that they have the right not to suffer.Even those who agree with Kevorkian, though, have wished he sold their case more smoothly. As captured by Pacino, Kevorkian is stubborn, irascible and direct to the point of rudeness.Yet he's also a man of contradictions. He's gentle with potential patients, most of whom he turns down. He offends some potential allies because he is occasionally given to outrageous rhetoric and inappropriate outbursts in places like courtrooms.He has loyal friends like Neal Continue Reading

‘Valkyrie’ extras are fighting mad over Tom Cruise

Tommy boy better get ready for a real fight. Movie extras from Tom Cruise's World War II film "Valkyrie" are suing the star's production company for $11 million in damages after reportedly getting injured on the job. Twelve extras suffered broken bones, bruises and cuts when a side panel of a German army truck burst open on set in Berlin. "A new letter has been sent to Tom Cruise, (business partner) Paula Wagner and United Artists, in which we set out the facts of the case again and put a figure on the legal demands of our clients ... of $11 million," said lawyer Ariane Bluttner in a Reuters report. The film has had many setbacks, including a postponed release date from December this year to now July 4 and restrictions enforced by the German government on what locations could be used. The film, which also stars Cruise, tells the story of a German officer who plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler during WWII. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Gov. David Paterson unveils dire New York State budget that includes new taxes, layoffs and cuts

ALBANY - Gov. Paterson's proposed $121 billion budget hits New Yorkers in their iPods - and nickels-and-dimes them in lots of other places, too. Trying to close a $15.4 billion budget gap, Paterson called for 88 new fees and a host of other taxes, including an "iPod tax" that taxes the sale of downloaded music and other "digitally delivered entertainment services." "We're going to have to take some extreme measures," Paterson said Tuesday after unveiling the slash-and-burn budget. The proposal, which needs legislative approval, did not include broad-based income tax increases, but relied on smaller ones to raise $4.1 billion from cash-strapped New Yorkers. Movie tickets, taxi rides, soda, beer, wine, cigars and massages would be taxed under Paterson's proposal. It also extends sales taxes to cable and satellite TV services and removes the tax exemption for clothes costing less than $110. "The governor is nickel-and-diming working class families," said Ron Deutsch, executive director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, an advocacy group. State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long warned that reinstating the sales tax on clothing and shoes will drive people to New Jersey, where they will also gas up their cars and pick up their wine, spirits and soda because the prices are less due to lower taxes. "You're sending notice to the people of New York that we really don't want you here," Long said. "The governor proposed flat spending, but why not actually cut the budget before raising taxes and fees?" Paterson's 2009-10 budget proposal represents only a 1% increase in total spending from this year's budget - the smallest increase in a dozen years. It also calls for: A 3.3%, or $698 million, reduction in school aid. $3.5 billion in health care savings, including reductions in payments to hospitals and nursing homes. Video slot machines at Belmont Park, more multistate lottery games and expanded hours for the state's Quick Draw lottery game. Continue Reading

Packers players land some laughs in new ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ ad

It’s not exactly a stretch that linebacker Clay Matthews would show up in an ad for the new “Thor” movie — there is a resemblance to the god of thunder — but he’s not the only Green Bay Packers flexing his comedic muscle to promote the film.He’s joined by Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb in a teaser for “Thor: Ragnarok,” the big Marvel Studios movie opening in theaters Thursday night. RELATED: Rodgers, dog star in new State Farm ad RELATED: Matthews shows some muscle in new ads with Sasquatch The spot shows Rodgers and Cobb with a cushy seat to watch the gladiatorial contest that pits Thor against the Incredible Hulk, his former ally and fellow Avenger, in the movie.As they hash over who they think has the advantage in “the fight of the millennium,” they're seemingly unfazed by who is next to the them on the couch: Jeff Goldblum in character as villainous dictator the Grandmaster and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, the god of mischief.Just as they’re starting to wonder what’s taking Matthews so long to join them, the camera flashes to No. 52 to deliver the big punchline.   Continue Reading

New York’s Neighborhood: TUDOR CITY

You’ve seen Tudor City in the movies. In “Spider-Man 2,” James Franco’s Harry Osborn lives amongst stone gargoyles in a penthouse on the East River. In “Scarface,” Al Pacino waits to blow up a UN delegate in front of one of its elegant lobbies. From the outside, Tudor City hasn’t changed much since it was built in 1928. The historic neighborhood still has the air of a peaceful urban idyll, where children walk alone to playgrounds and neighbors wave hello from 40 feet. It has Norman Rockwell written all over it. From the inside, though, the tiny enclave of 13 massive brick buildings along the East River is a hotbed of apartment hunters, gossip, New York City octogenarians with G.I. stories and bitter fights against pending developments that threaten their royal views. As of now, studio apartments rent upward of $1,500, and one-bedrooms start at around $450,000. Without the views, who knows how much they could depreciate? History: Built by architect Fred French in 1928, Tudor City was originally intended as fair-priced studio and one-bedroom rentals for people working in nearby midtown office buildings. In its Word War II heyday, it was New York glamour gone wild with Marlene Dietrich and Eleanor Roosevelt knocking around. In the 1950s, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station and the Daily News gave the neighborhood more verve. Charlton Heston, Loretta Young, Burgess Meredith and Telly Savalas called it home. “You never had to lock your doors,” says lifetime resident Vivi Treyz, who used to dance with GIs in nearby canteens during the war. “The doormen all had white gloves.” Where: Perched atop a bedrock overlooking the UN Building and the East River on one side and Second Ave. on the other, Tudor City is that slab of prewar brick where 41st St. and 43rd St. dead-end. You can climb stairs on both sides of 42nd St. to get there or walk up 41st or 43rd. If you drive, the area is one Continue Reading


Since tonight is Oscar night, we're taking you to the movies, and serving popcorn and punch. Hollywood directors have always had this fascination with stories of the prize ring. I can surmise that movie makers see a natural drama in the lives of fighters. Built into every story are simple but powerful emotions like triumph and heartbreak. The life of a pug is the life of good guys and bad guys. Mix all this with gold diggers, busted romances and the love of an honest woman and you have the elements that make for good box office. Fight movies go back to the Charlie Chaplin days, when everything was silent. You didn't hear the pows or the groans of a fighter when he was hit in the mid-section: Chaplin moving around comically in the ring was all you needed for pure entertainment. Chaplin, by the way, loved boxing, and he'd often summon the heavyweight champion, Jack Dempsey, to his Hollywood studio for a sparring session. It was a way for Chaplin to perfect his run-away footwork style. In later years Dempsey would break into hearty laughter as he told stories of his sessions. I still can remember a teary boxing movie starring Wallace Beery as "The Champ" and Jackie Cooper as his little son. It was the story about the old washed-up former champion whose kid wanted him to regain the title he had lost after losing a battle to booze. We won't go further into the story except to say it was a heartbreaker. If I'm not mistaken this picture won an Academy Award. C'mon, don't tell me I'm wrong, it reads better this way. The fight film always drew the crowds in the old days because boxing was king and fight fans would go to see how good or bad the actors were at playing fighters. At the time, most actors playing pugs didn't look that good throwing punches. James Cagney, who always played tough-guy roles, threw punches like he was swatting flys. Cagney certainly was a great actor in gangster films, but playing a boxer he was lost in a ring. Kirk Douglas was Continue Reading

BACK TO IWO JIMA. News editor says new WWII movie is painfully realistic

Editor's note: Bill Gallo, Daily News associate sports editor and an award-winning cartoonist, served in the Marine Corps from 1942 to 1946 and took part in the battle for Iwo Jima. Last week he saw a preview of "Flags of our Fathers," the Clint Eastwood movie about the bloody battle for the Japanese stronghold. I COULD SMELL the sulfur again - and the sickening scent of the dead. Clint Eastwood's new movie about Iwo Jima, "Flags of Our Fathers," was so powerful and so real it took me back 61 years to that hellhole island. So vivid was every combat scene that this Iwo Jima survivor was transported back to February and March of 1945. For those two hours in the theater I was there on Iwo, once again a 19-year-old corporal carrying things familiar to me. I had my M-1 Garand rifle, as much a part of me as my limbs. I had my pack on my back, bayonet, canteen of water, extra ammo, hand grenades, a picture of my girlfriend (today my wife) inside a prayer book and my trusty Zippo lighter. I was there once more, scared as hell, with the sounds of war - 20-mm. shells exploding, machine-gun fire and the moans from wounded buddies as we yelled, "Corpsman, corpsman, over here. ... Over here, Goddammit!" Once again, I saw the horror that hot metal from all types of gunfire does to human flesh. It's so horrible you might turn away. But it is real, my friends, as real as you could ever imagine. I'm alongside the flamethrower guys, the BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) men, the fellow demolition men. My squad is trying - under machine-gun fire - to get land mines the hell out of the way so our tanks can pass. We toss charges into pillboxes, wait for the blast, then examine the inside. All dead, we hope. Ones not surrendering would either commit hara-kiri or come out firing. The enemy, a formidable foe, has dug himself deeply into the black dirt, digging tunnels with room enough for regiments of Japanese soldiers. We learned the answer to how they survived 77 Continue Reading