Category Archives: Movies

As Doctor Strange hits cinemas, here are the best and worst doctors in cinema

Benedict Cumberbatch is winning rave reviews for his performance as mystical medic Doctor Strange, the latest comic book blockbuster from Marvel. It got me thinking about big screen doctors of the past. Here are some of the greatest… and a few that deserve to be struck off…

Doctor Strangelove (1964)

Stanley Kubrick’s satire of Cold War nuclear lunacy stars Peter Sellars  as the USA’s (ex-Nazi) advisor, who suggests the top brass wait out the impending apocalypse in a bunker, surrounded by ‘stimulating females’ to repopulate Earth.
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Comedy genius Peter Sellers as Dr Strangelove

Dr Zhivago (1965)

Omar Sharif became an international heart-throb after playing the titular medic. The epic romance plays out between Sharif and Julie Christie’s Lara, against the backdrop of Russia’s march to revolution.

Back To the future (1985)

Christopher Lloyd is Doc Brown, a mad scientist who invents a time machine that takes Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) back to 1955, where he must fend off the amorous intentions of his (now teenage) mum to fix history and avoid a Freudian nightmare. You would have thought the security of the space/time continuum would be the least of Brown’s worries, given that his Delorean is powered by plutonium purchased from Libyan terrorists. He’d be better off catching a lift back to the 50s with Marty if he hopes to avoid a spell in Guantanamo.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Blu-ray Screenshot
It was spaghetti bolognese night at the asylum

The Silence of The Lambs (1991)

Anthony Hopkins chews up the scenery and fellow cast members as captured cannibal serial-killer Dr Hannibal Lecter. The evil genius is drafted in to help a rookie FBI agent (Jodie Foster) from his cell, when the hunt for another twisted psychopath hits a brick wall.

The Fugitive (1993)

Dr Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) is framed for his wife’s murder, and the middle-aged vascular surgeon, somehow evades a massive manhunt while simultaneously searching for the real killer – the One Armed Man.

The Island Of Dr Moreau (1996)

A risible take on HG Wells’ novel casts Marlon Brando as a physiologist playing God on a desert island. Val Kilmer is the castaway appalled by Moreau’s splicing of humans with animals to create horrific hybrids. The film, ironically, is 100% turkey.
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Marlon Brando in The Island Of Doctor Moreau

Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (1998)

Eccentric writer Hunter Thompson (Johnny Depp playing his real-life pal) and his Samoan attorney  Dr Gonzo (Benicio Del Toro) head for Las Vegas on a drug-fuelled bender as the idealism of their 60s hippy-dream evaporates.
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The most unexpected casting decisions in film history

For anyone who grew up in the 90s Jennifer Aniston is the dictionary definition of squeaky clean. As Rachel in Friends, the gentlest of gentle comedies, and in a subsequent slew of rom-coms she was never less than likeable but ‘controversial’ was not an adjective often attached to her.

So last week, while subbing a review of her latest film Horrible Bosses 2 (in which the 45-year-old plays a foul-mouthed nymphomaniac) for the newspaper I work for, we started chatting about the least likely pieces of casting we could remember.These were the roles that we came up with off the top of our heads. Feel free to leave any more suggestions in the comments section.

CHARLIZE THERON
Monster (2003)

The glamorous South African actress underwent an extreme makeover in reverse to play prostitute and serial-killer Aileen Wuornos, gaining 30lbs and fitting fake teeth. It paid off, netting her a Best Actress Oscar.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
Kindergarten Cop (1990)

In which Hollywood’s go-to beefcake tried out his comedic chops with toe-curling results. Only slightly less unlikely than his later role as California’s Governor.

ROBERT DE’NIRO
Stardust (2007)

HE’s made some odd choices since his 70s heyday, but watching the man who played Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle and Raging Bull’s Jake La’ Motta prancing in a pink feather boa as a cross-dressing pirate tops the lot.

JULIE ANDREWS
S.O.B (1981)

If you want to ruin a slice of your childhood, watch S.O.B, in which Andrews (aka Maria VonTrapp/ Mary Poppins) is convinced to star in a softcore porn musical and bare her breasts.

TOM CRUISE
Collateral (2004)

Cruise’s CV was a long list of All-American heroes  and flawed good guys (Top Gun, Rain Man, Mission: Impossible), so this impressive turn as a callous hit-man was a surprising departure.

JOHN TRAVOLTA
Pulp Fiction (1994)

The late 80s saw the Grease star reduced to sharing top billing with a wisecracking newborn in Look Who’s Talking.
The role of Elvis-loving heavy Vincent Vega made him cool again… briefly.

MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Once a six-pack flashing rom-com rent-a-hunk, McConaughey has made a career 180⁰.  His recent transformation is starkest here, as a rail-thin AIDS victim selling illegal drugs.