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HTS Moderator , Reviewer
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Title: Dr. Strange 3D

Movie: :4.5stars:
Video: :4stars:
3D :4stars:
Audio: :5stars:
Extras: :3.5stars:
HTS Overall Score:88

I’m really starting to like the “secondary” Marvel movies much more than the main films. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original “Iron Man”, and “Captain America: Winter Soldier”, but the rest have just been “good”, but not great. On the other hand, all the lesser known characters, or ones that aren’t intrinsically involved in EVERY OTHER Marvel film, have all blown me away. “Ant Man” was a blast, and “Guardians of the Galaxy” actually shocked everyone by being one of the best movies of the entire franchise. Now comes along “Doctor Strange”, a film that had me initially very excited, but also very nervous. Nervous because this was the first time that real MAGIC had been introduced into the Marvel universe (sure we can see some pretty fantastical stuff with “Thor” and “Avengers” super powered infinity stones, but not true MAGIC). Luckily, I was completely blown away by how fun and energetic the film was, and it ended up ranking as my tied for second place in my Marvel hierarchy.

Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a gifted, but incredibly arrogant, neurosurgeon who suffers the ultimate fall from grace. On his way to a party he gets distracted and nosedives his car off of a cliff and ends up DESTROYING his hands in the resulting crash. The very things that guaranteed him fame, fortune and his own pride had just been stripped of him. Now everything in his life tasted like bitter ash. He drives away co-worker (and ex-lover) Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) in the search for a restoration for his nerve damaged hands, but all he finds is emptiness and more despair. That is until he runs across the file of a man (played by Benjamin Bratt) who had suffered a severe accident like his and now is walking around normally. This man sends him to Nepal, where will look for the place that helped him.

Upon arriving Doctor Strange is welcomed to someone known as the “Ancient One” (played by Tilda Swinton) where he soon has hopes of medical knowledge giving him a cure in the first 30 seconds. There if finds that there are other powers at play. Powers that can give him abilities he never dreamed of, and maybe even cure his hands. However, this is a Marvel movie, and a simple healing story is not what we expected. At the temple of the sorcerers, Strange soon becomes sucked into a civil between the Ancient One and an ex student named Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelson) who desires to tap into the mysterious Dark Dimension. A war that soon may sweep across the entire Earth is Kaecilius has his way.

At its core “Doctor Strange” is your basic origins story. A narcissistic and arrogant fool has everything taken away from him and is destroyed down to his core being before being built back up into a hero (kind of like what the military does to you I have to say). Stephen Strange is the epitome of the guy that you love to LOATHE at the beginning of the movie. He’s arrogant, egotistical to the extreme and has tons of a money. Even after his money and his livelihood are taken away from him he is STILL an egomaniac. Even after learning much from the Ancient One his arrogance is still a core part of his being. It’s not until he is faced with decisions and actions that he has no answer for does her learn to think outside of himself and actually grow. The movie is a bit reminiscent of Nolan’s “Batman Begins” in regards to that tearing down and rebuilding back up (just without an evil Ras a Ghul as his teacher), and the character arcs benefit from that finely tuned storytelling.

The big benefit of the film comes from the smart complement of actors that Marvel/Disney pulled in. Benedict Cumberbatch is absolutely fantastic as Strange (something I wasn’t sure about at first), and Mads Mikkelsen does the impossible. He actually makes a Marvel villain a fully fleshed out character. I love me some Marvel super hero films, but they have ALWAYS had a problem with their movies sporting really weak villains that you just gloss over. Kaecilius isn’t as complex as say, Magneto or the like, but he is leagues better than any of the villains in the “Avengers” lineup except for maybe Loki. He can exude a sort of calm maniacal nature that is deliciously energetic, and creepy at the same time. Rachel McAdams sadly didn’t get a WHOLE lot of screen time, but she does well as the future Mrs. Strange with what she was given, and I was even surprised at Tilda Swinton, and not because I don’t Like her as an actress. A lot of people were turned off to the fact that the Ancient One was changed from an Asian man to a white as could be women and moaned a lot about white washing the character. I can’t speak for most people, but they tweaked her character enough that it wasn’t obvious or necessary that she be Asian (unless you’re a stickler for the comics) and Swinton did a fantastic job with role of the Sorceress Supreme.


Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence

Video :4stars:
“Doctor Strange” is a great looking image, but it is slightly different than the rest of the Marvel universe films. The Marvel films usually employ lots of shiny colors, and brilliantly lit sequences, but “Strange” is a film that, much like the sorcerers that it is about, stays mainly in the shadows. Dim lighting and ancient mystical fortresses keep a dark and slightly drab appearance to the film, but there are LOTS of psychedelic colors to balance out the dim lighting. All of the magical spells and battles are accompanied by shiny oranges, blues, greens and other neon shades as Doctor Strange battles both on earth as well as the Dark Dimension. Fine detail is very stable, and stays distinctly fresh in the viewer’s eye, with every fold of the mystical cape that he wears, or the scarring on the good doctor’s hands showing up perfectly. Sometimes the copious amounts of CGI is more noticeable than others, and it can stand out a bit if you notice it, and the shadows sometimes lose a little bit of detail with all of the dim lighting, but overall the image is very faithful to what I saw in the theater.

3D :4stars:
The 3D disc is a slight deviation from the 2D image in tone and feel. The darkness that was present in the 2D disc is now more pronounced, and if you A/B the two discs side by side it’s pretty obvious that the overall darkness levels in the 3D experience are a bit deeper and darker. One of the standout features of the 3D disc is the fact that Marvel brought across the shifting aspect ratios that it has employed on the last several films (expanding out to 1.90:1 to accommodate the Imax Digital scenes and then going back to the traditional 2.39:1 for the rest of the film). I would have liked to have seen that feature translated to the 2D disc, but I understand that this version was ONLY seen on the Imax Digital 3D screens, so I’m assuming it has something to do with the 3D master. Depth is good, as the copious amount of spells pop off the screen, and the flow of Stephen’s cape really uses some incredible layering at times. Look at where Kaecilius attacks the London sanctum with all of the rows of artifacts as the battle rages on. It’s an impressive thing. The only thing I can complain about is the darkness levels deepening, and the colors looking a bit dimmer as a result.

Audio :5stars:
I’ve been slightly disappointed with the last few Marvel movies in the audio department. “Age of Ultron” had really anemic bass, and “Captain America: Civil War” wasn’t THAT much better. However, “Doctor Strange” does a fantastic job at fixing those errors, delivery a top notch 7.1 mix that really wows the listener. Sadly, Disney STILL hasn’t jumped into the Atmos arena, but the 7.1 is not exactly a poor performer either. The dialog is strong and clean, no matter the location, and the array of special effects and magical battles create a wildly immersive experience that jumps about the 7 main channels with dizzying speed. Energy blasts crack in the front channel, while the swirl of a tornado of energy pulses in the rears. The LFE is deep and unfiltered, giving us a pretty intense experience that culminates when the good Doctor visits the Dark Dimension near the end of the film. Like I said, I was a LITTLE disappointed in the last couple Marvel Films, but “Doctor Strange” has a top-notch mix and a fantastic audio track for this Blu-ray. Absolutely amazing.

Extras :3.5stars:

• A Strange Transformation
• Strange Company
• The Fabric of Reality
• Across Time and Space
• The Score-cerer Supreme
• Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look
• Team Thor: Part 2 – See more of the hilarious partnership between Thor and his roommate Darryl in this satirical short.
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Audio Commentary by Director Scott Derrickson

Overall: :4.5stars:

I think that “Doctor Strange” is the most mature and nuanced film of the entire Marvel lineup, except for maybe “Captain American: Winter Soldier”, and in my top 3 favorite Marvel films. I was worried about how Disney/Marvel would bring in magical abilities to a world that seems to be dominated by “science” (kind of like how Nolan’s Batman movies shied away from showing off some of the crazier villains in an effort to keep them grounded), but they embraced the pure fantasy elements of the origin story with gusto and glee. Benedict Cumberbatch once again proves why he’s such a mega star and for once we get a rather impressive villain (the weakest part in every Marvel movie). The audio is nothing short of breathtaking, and the video does wonderfully considering the darkness of the movie. Extras are solid, but nothing fantastic (although it is a step up over the last few films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Definitely a must watch for those who love superhero films.

Additional Information:

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelson
Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Written by: Scott Derrickson, Jon Spaihts
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (2.39:1 and 1.90:1 in 3D) AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1 French, Spanish DD 5.1, English DD 2.0 DVS
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 115 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: February 28th, 2017

Buy Doctor Strange 3D On Blu-ray at Best Buy
Buy Doctor Strange On Blu-ray at Best Buy

Recommendation: Loads of Fun

More about Mike

154 Posts
I'm in. This should be a blast in 3D. In particular from a DLP projector with an Oppo 203.
Thx Mike

The OPPO UDP-203 offers perfect 3-D playback performance

"Its been well documented over the last 7 years, that the problem with 3-D in the home is the poor quality performance of flat panel screens that delivery terrible 3-D quality when compared to DLP projectors. If a consumer would connect a 3 chip 144Hz DLP projector, single chip 144Hz DLP projector, or one of Epson’s new 480Hz LCD projectors to the OPPO UDP-203, then that consumer would experience perfect ghost free and eye strain free 3-D quality.

In the February 2017 issue of Widescreen Review magazine, the OPPO UDP-203 was used as a reference quality 3-D playback Blu-ray player when connected to the 480Hz Epson Powerlite Pro Cinema 6040UB projector, and the professional reviewer experienced perfect Blu-ray 3-D playback."

1,546 Posts
Thanks for the review, Mike! Saw this one in theaters and absolutely had a blast with it. I'm really looking forward to visiting this one again tomorrow and in 3D no less. When I saw this in the theaters in 2D, I thought the visual effects and style would be a perfect fit for 3D, so I am really looking forward to experiencing that way!

I'm also glad to hear that they got the soundtrack right for this one, as opposed to the previous Marvel soundtracks.

I thought Cumberbatch was a great fit for the arrogant Dr. Strange and his transition from arrogance, to broken, to humbled, then to superhero was fantastic. I couldn't imagine a better person for the role. Tilda Swinton won me over as the Ancient One despite not being Asian. I really don't understand people's hang-up on the white-washing issue. I'm Asian and her not being Asian did not bother me at all. All I really want is for the filmmakers choose actors/actresses that will do the character justice, whether they are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, etc. And not the characters from the source material, like the comics in this case, but the characters they are portraying on screen. You're also right on Mads Mikkelson, he performed incredibly well as the antagonist in this film and it was good to see a properly fleshed out and menacing villain in the MCU.

1,546 Posts
Watched my copy last night. So glad I picked up the 3D copy as it felt like the 3D really enhanced the story-telling of the film.

The most impressive parts of the 3D were certainly the buildings and structures folding in and creating kaleidoscope-like feel to them. When I had seen it in theaters, I figured those shots would look really cool in 3D. I found myself grinning through numerous scenes.

154 Posts
I too watched the 3D version last night; it was simply awesome. The perfect film for the 3D immersive hallucinogenic experience. ...Well executed...90/100

It still amazes me that TV manufacturers all have abandoned 3D this year, just unbelievable after watching another great 3D movie like 'Doctor Strange'.
And even more tragic that most all 4K Blu-ray discs get the 3D immersive audio (Dolby Atmos), and the 3D BR versions don't, just a very bad decision from Hollywood movie executives in charge of entertainment from Blu-rays @ home. It does not augur well with Disney, because they could have include 3D audio on their BR movies, without waiting for 4K.

But yes, for 3D addicts get this; it has to be included in your 3D BR movie collection...among the very top tiers.
And when the 4K BR version with Dolby Atmos (or DTS:X) comes later on in 2017 from Disney Marvel studios, just double dip it.

* Many scenes are dark; that was the intention. Still the 3D effects shine on a properly calibrated display. It's darker than say 'Avatar'.

What a great time to be alive! 3D is alive and fantastic!
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