Doctor Strange appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The Blu-ray appeared to replicate the source material nicely.
Sharpness remained solid. Only a smidgen of mild softness ever impacted on wide shots, as the majority of the movie demonstrated positive and definition.
Jagged edges and shimmering failed to occur, and I witnessed no signs of edge enhancement. Print flaws weren’t a factor, so the movie always remained clean and fresh.
Like most modern action movies, Strange went with a stylized palette that favored orange and teal. These choices seemed tedious, but the disc replicated them as intended.
Blacks appeared deep and dark, while shadows displayed good clarity and smoothness. Overall, I liked this consistently positive presentation.
With its action orientation, the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Strange also worked well, as the movie boasted a wide and involving soundfield. This showed up during scenes both loud and quiet.
During the latter, music offered nice stereo presence. Various environmental elements displayed quality localization and involvement.
The bigger sequences added more pizzazz to the package. These used all the channels in a satisfying manner, as the action scenes created a lot of useful material. From start to finish, the mix used the speakers in a way that gave real life to the proceedings.
In addition, audio quality was strong. Music appeared vivid and full, with crisp highs and rich lows.
Speech was concise and natural; no issues affected the lines. Effects appeared to be accurate and lively. Those elements lacked distortion and they boasted nice low-end during their louder moments. Overall, I felt pleased with the mix.
This package includes both 2D and 3D versions of Doctor Strange. The picture comments above address the 2D edition, but I also want to talk about the 3D image.
In terms of visual quality, the 3D picture took a bit of a hit due to brightness. A dark movie, dimly-lit scenes seemed more opaque in the 3D edition. It still looked good overall, but it definitely came across as a little murkier.
When it came to 3D impact, the movie excelled. With all the action and supernatural material, the film boasted plenty of moments that allowed the footage to leap out of the screen, and these instances added a lot of fun and pep to the proceedings.
As happened with other recent Marvel movies, Strange altered aspect ratio often during the 3D edition. This meant much of the footage spread to 1.90:1, and that gave the 3D rendition an extra boost. Even with the slight degradation in picture quality, the 3D version became the best way to watch the film.
As we head to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Scott Derrickson. He presents a running, screen-specific look at how he came onto the project and his approach to the material, visual design and the influence of the original comics, cast and performances, sets and locations, story/characters, visual effects, and related domains.
Derrickson delivers an unusually insightful and introspective commentary. While he gets into various nuts and bolts of the filmmaking process, he spends more time with the “whys” of the processes, and he isn’t afraid to delve into controversies such as the casting of Tilda Swinton. Derrickson makes this a terrific discussion.
Derrickson appears again with an optional introduction to the movie. In this one-minute, six-second sequence, the director welcomes us to the film. He doesn’t give us anything substantial, but it’s a painless opening.
Under Featurettes, five clips appear. With a total running time of 58 minutes, five seconds, we find “A Strange Transformation” (9:42), “Strange Company” (12:37), “The Fabric of Reality” (12:32), “Across Time and Space” (13:21) and “The Score-cerer Supreme” (9:51).
Across these, we hear from Derrickson, executive producers Charles Newirth and Stephen Broussard, executive producer/head of post-production/VFX Victoria Alonso, costume designer Alexandra Byrne, production designer Charles Wood, fight choreographer Jonathan Eusebio, composer Michael; Giacchino, producer Kevin Feige, property master Barry Gibbs, senior props painter Philippa Ashcroft, set decorator John Bush, magic choreographer Julian Daniels, visual effects supervisor Stephane Ceretti, 2nd unit VFX supervisor Geoffrey Baumann, and actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ojiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Zara Phythian, and Scott Adkins.
The shows go over story/characters and the adaptation of the source, cast and performances, sets and locations, various effects, costumes, stunts and action, and music. As expected, there’s a fair amount of happy talk here, so you’ll hear the participants tell us a lot about how great the movie and all involved are. Still, the featurettes cover a good array of topics and they do so well for the most part, as they examine different areas with reasonable depth.
Next comes an “exclusive look” at Marvel Studios Phase 3. This presents a seven-minute, 28-second piece with notes from Feige, Alonso, Cumberbatch, Broussard, executive producers Jonathan Schwartz, Louis D’Esposito, Nate Moore, Brad Winderbaum and Jeremy Latcham, filmmakers Ryan Coogley, James Gunn, Anthony and Joe Russo, and Taika Waititi, and writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus.
“Phase 3” looks at four of the handful of MCU movies that hit screens after Strange: Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. Oddly, it omits 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. In any case, the whole featurette offers nothing more than promotional material, so we don’t get any substance about the films.
For something with a comedic bent, Team Thor Part 2 runs four minutes, 38 seconds. Shot during the production for the next Thor movie, this shows how Thor (Chris Hemsworth) spent his time during Captain America: Civil War. It’s pretty funny stuff.
Five Deleted and Extended Scenes take up a total of seven minutes, 52 seconds. We get “Strange Meets Daniel Drumm” (1:01), “Kaecilius Searches For Answers” (1:37), “The Kamar-Tai Courtyard” (1:54), “Making Contact” (1:59) and “Lost In Kathmandu” (1:21).
The various scenes add a little exposition and character information but not much else. In that realm, they serve a purpose, but I can’t claim any of them bring anything especially memorable to the proceedings, so they seem pretty ordinary.
A Gag Reel lasts four minutes, 12 seconds. It offers a pretty standard collection of silliness and joking. If that sounds good to you, have a party!
The disc opens with an ad for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Sneak Peeks adds promos for Marvel Contest of Champions and Marvel Future Fight. No trailer for Strange appears here.
A third disc provides a DVD copy of Strange. It comes with none of the Blu-ray’s extras.
With 2016’s Doctor Strange, the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues apace, though not with its “A-game”. While the film manages to introduce the character with reasonable style and intrigue, Strange lacks the juice to become one of the better MCU films. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio as well as supplements highlighted by an excellent commentary. Though not a great Marvel film, Doctor Strange works reasonably well, and the 3D version becomes its best representation.
To rate this film visit the prior review of DOCTOR STRANGE