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Idea for a movie
Unable to surmount a career-ending injury, a Taoist sorcerer moves from Hong Kong to Boston, where he masters engineering in six weeks.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

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Yeah the stupidly compressed timeline annoyed me too. Just set his accident in the early 2000s, Marvel.

There's a bit of a hint about the time it took if you look at his hair - there's more and more gray hair at the temples as the movie progresses. It *could* be years.

There's also the line just before his car accident, about a soldier whose spine was injured in some kind of experimental armor. That sounds like a reference to the beginning of Iron Man 2. I'm not sure if the Marvel movies are meant to be happening in real time or not, but for what it's worth IM2 came out in 2010. So it might be six years. Well, five, if we give him a year of exhausting all other options.

They are in somewhat real time, although a particular film may occur at different points. In "Civil War", Vision mentions that Tony Stark outed himself as Iron Man eight years previously (Iron Man - 2008, Civil War - 2016).

The reference isn't to an Iron Man film: it might have been considered in an early draft, but they conformed it wasn't a reference to any previous film (other than with Iron Man around, of course people are going to be trying to develop their own armour).

There's no set timeline within the film and there's a lot of argument about it. Some of his awards in his apartment apparently are dated 2016 but you don't get a close look at them.

The only thing they've been explicit about is that the film from the initial attack (when he gets thrown into the New York City sanctum) to the end is in real time, with no significant skips. They've been vague on how long the training montage is before that however.

"a soldier whose spine was injured in some kind of experimental armor"

I thought that was supposed to be Dusty Rhodes*, who got a spine injury in Civil War

*typing that name was a real struggle

Rhodes was Air Force, not Marines.

I was thinking is was the guy we see briefly in the footage that Stark hacks out of Justin Hammer's computers during the Congressional hearing at the opening of IM2; we see the torso of an experimental armor suit suddenly rotate 180 degrees from the pelvis, and Justin hastily says "that guy lived, by the way" or something like that.

But Keith says the writers (or someone) confirmed that it was not a reference to that, so, so much for that idea.

He drives a 2015 model car before his training starts.

The director says in an interview that the entire film spans a single year, from car crash to the finale. The rehabilitation takes about 3-6 months, leaving 6-9 months of training.

Oh dear. I haven't seen it yet. That does not bode well.

Fortunately, he finds an Asian engineering master in Watertown to teach him.

Said Asian is played by Matt Damon.

No. Eliza Dushku. (She really is from Watertown.)

For proper symmetry, shouldn't it be someone from Bangalore doing a truly horrendous impression of Boston Irish?

Not really. The comic's Ancience One was an Asian, but I don't remember anything in the movie pointing to Swinton's character being one. Her students are an international lot; no reason to assume she's not from Europe or the USA.

She's explicitly called Celtic in the film.

A Celt who lives in the mysterious Asian land of WeSwearItsNotTibetIstan, in an ancient temple, where she teaches the Mystic Arts in traditional Asian Master Woo-woo style, judging from the clips I've seen. The movie does not so much avoid the Ancient Asian Master stereotype as mug it and then have a white Brit wear its skin.

Edited at 2016-11-08 08:17 pm (UTC)

But that does kind of undermine the trope's awfulness, doesn't it? And it's not like she's being the white person who teaches the natives about their own culture. The other prominent students are a black guy and a white guy.

There's a variety of racial appearances (for whatever one wishes to use the term) shown throughout the film, both among the novices and among the senior practitioners/masters. Wong's predecessor as librarian was white, the master originally defending the New York sanctum was African-American, Strange finds out about the Ancient One from a guy who is played by someone of mixed White/Native American ancestry, the master of the Hong Kong sanctum is Tina Minoru (based on the name, possibly mixed race), so on and so forth.

There certainly are positive elements. But some people argue this is a case of trying so hard to avoid Asian stereotypes that it turns into whitewashing instead.

There reallly isn't a good alternative is there if you want to keep the Ancient One: hoary old racist cliche or white washing. Tilda Swinton may have been the least awful choice.

Neurosurgery takes slightly longer; say, eight weeks.

It's not rocket surgery.

A friend of mine has a story about a satellite he had a small part in building being held up on the launch pad in French Guiana due to a fault. It looked like they might have had to scrub the mission, return the satellite to the clean room to be disassembled and fixed, but they realised that it could be fixed on the pad by someone with small hands. Somehow or other they found a doctor with the right-sized and steady hands to do the thing, and the satellite was sent on its way with only a small delay.

So, you know, rocket surgery.

*sporfle* Oddly, I enjoyed the Doctor Strange comic back in the 1980s, probably when I was too young to know any better. I really don't want to see the movie.

Well, the first thing they teach in Training Montage 101 is how to build a time machine. Most don't have the knack for it, and and have to keep learning the slow way...

"Never underestimate the strategic value of a good Training Scene Montage"

Yeah, that'd be a kickass movie.

It lacks the important ethnic charge, but, astoundingly dumb movie Armageddon has as part of its setup the idea that sure, you can train oil rig operators to be astronauts in like two days tops.

Well, to be fair, they didn't need to be good enough astronauts to come back in one piece, they just needed them to be good enough to survive to deliver the nukes. :)

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