Doctor Strange 3D Blu-ray Review
Doctor Strange makes his debut into the Marvel Cinematic Universe the same way almost every character has; safely. While many critics will lob groans and complaints that Marvel sticks to their tried and true formula, I continue to be impressed by Marvel’s consistency. DOCTOR STRANGE doesn’t break any new ground and it’s not going to be mentioned when debating the best superhero movies, but it’s a fun, quality film that sets up the good Doctor’s future involvement in the MCU.
Doctor Steven Strange (Cumberbatch) is a brilliant doctor, consumed with himself and his quest to be the best surgeon in the world. While on his way to a speaking engagement, he loses control of his car and crashes off a mountainside. When he awakes, he learns that he’ll never fully regain control of his hands, thus ending his life as a surgeon and everything he’s worked for. But he refuses to accept that answer and his quest for a cure leads him to Kathmandu, where he meets The Enlightened One (Tilda Swinton), who agrees to take him on as a disciple and teach him her ancient secrets. There, he learns how to travel through portals and use magic to fight off those who have turned to darkness. That knowledge comes in handy quickly because he soon comes face to face with Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), who is determined to bring Earth to the dark realm.
Of all the Marvel movies, DOCTOR STRANGE reminds me the most of ANT-MAN in terms of story, structure and characters. Like ANT-MAN, DOCTOR STRANGE is a very safe movie where the good guy goes on a journey of redemption to become a superhero and faces off against a villain that never really poses a real threat. DOCTOR STRANGE adds some flair here and there with nice special effects that are very reminiscent of INCEPTION, but at the end of the day, this is a movie we feel like we’ve seen before.
I know that sounds like a negative, but before everything culminates with AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, I think “safe” is a good way to go. These are fun movies with cool characters and good actors that tell a story that, although familiar, is still interesting. Of course, the best part about DOCTOR STRANGE is Benedict Cumberbatch, who was the obvious choice for the role, but for good reason. He plays Strange as a more charming version of his Sherlock Holmes character, but it works and he commands the screen at every turn. This wasn’t so important in a movie about his character, but it’s going to pay huge dividends when he joins forces with the other, more established Avengers.
DOCTOR STRANGE gives you exactly what you want and I don’t think the film should be criticized for it. It’s a worthy addition to the MCU and the incredible special effects make the journey of Doctor Strange even more enjoyable. This isn’t the greatest superhero movie of all time, but it’s still one of the better ones.
3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
DOCTOR STRANGE felt tailor made for the 3D experience since the film relies very heavily on 3D-worthy special effects. I prefer most Marvel movies without the 3D effect, but DOCTOR STRANGE is the exception. It somehow manages to be gimmicky without feeling gimmicky because the glass and “magic beams” (sorry, I don’t know what they’re called) come at you pretty often and they always feel legitimized by the events in the film. This is a fun 3D experience.
Video: There hasn’t been a bad Disney/Marvel Blu-ray release that didn’t look incredible on Blu-ray and this isn’t the first. DOCTOR STRANGE looks wonderful.
Audio: The audio was equally impressive.
Commentary with Scott Derickson: DOCTOR STRANGE seemed to be a drama-free film (at least compared to ANT-MAN) and so the commentary lacks the juicy details you might be looking for. Derickson keeps the commentary moving along nicely and he covers everything you’d want to know about filming.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (7:50): Five scenes are included here and it feels like all of them were cut for pacing reasons.
Team Thor: Part 2 (4:40): Thor continues to have issues with his roommate.
Gag Reel (4:10): Cumberbatch seems like such a cool guy.
Featurettes: The following five featurettes are all okay, but I feel like if you’re going to include multiple featurettes under 15 minutes long, you should edit them together into a longer making-of featurette. But that’s just my preference.
Across Time and Space (13:20): This one looks at the fight styles used in the film and touches on some special effects.
The Fabric of Reality (12:30): This featurette focuses on the look of the film, specifically costumes and setting.
Strange Company (12:35): The supporting characters in the film get compared to the comics and they throw in some information on the director for good measure.
A Strange Transformation (9:40): This should have been closer to an hour long because they run through the making of the film from idea to finished product. They quickly touch on Cumberbatch and his preparations for the film, but it needed more time.
The Score-cerer Supreme (9:50): This one focuses on Michael Ciacchino’s score.
Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look (7:30): More time is spent recapping Phases one and two, but it does look at the upcoming slate of Marvel films.