Blu-ray/DVD, Reviews

“Doctor Strange”, Marvel Releases Another Hero

 

 

Marvel Studios continues to amaze with its use of astonishing computer graphic effects in the movie Doctor Strange now on DVD/Blu-ray and Digital HD. The film takes you into the realm of superheroes, this time a neurosurgeon who finds his body in ruin only to become a mystic with unusual powers. It’s a different kind of crusader, one that must rely on his own natural strengths in a world of antagonists with similar powers. It may be a detour from films like The Avengers and Thor, but one that keeps its main target audience enthralled throughout.

Following a horrific auto accident, famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) ends up on the operating table as a patient with the loss of the use of his hands. Losing all hope of getting a doctor to be able to perform successful surgery on his hands, he becomes despondent. He gets word that a Jonathan Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt) had success recovering from being paralyzed from the neck down. With the information gathered from Pangborn and the help of his friend Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), Strange seeks out someone called The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton).

Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Doctor Strange

So begins a tale so unimaginable it can only be called unparalleled fantasy. Director and screenwriter Scott Derrickson moves his film along at a fast clip setting up his characters and moving the location from New York City to the mountains of Nepal. Here Strange meets Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) the assistant to The Ancient One who has been tutored by her. While there he learns about the vindictive Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), who wants to rule the world.

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo and Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Stephen Strange

Derrickson holds nothing back from his bag of tricks providing some of the most incredible special effects. From collapsing buildings that fold and reopen to different locations, to special powers that provide portals to distant lands, his copious CGI makes for a lot of fun. It’s a super adventure for those who are Marvel geeks and us older folks that love a good action fantasy movie.

Special computer generated effects in Doctor Strange

The cinematography of the mountainous Nepal nestled between India and Tibet is breathtaking, providing one of the backgrounds for Doctor Strange’s training days. The interiors of the buildings where Doctor Strange has to battle Kaecilius get a fantasy workup by the computer graphic crew. For the fight the crew creates a nicely choreographed combat scene with the characters walking on moving walls and rotating ceilings that reminded me of a fun-house carnival ride.

All the actors, both lead and support, are extremely good making their characters interesting and exciting. A special call out to Tilda Swinton who sports a bald head throughout the film. She makes her The Ancient One a sly teacher who puts Doctor Strange through his paces. Mads Madson makes an excellent antagonist as the cruel and relentless Kaecilius. He takes on Doctor Strange in several battles that show his devastating powers of destruction.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Stephen Strange) and Director Scott Derrickson on set.
All Photos this page Credit: Jay Maidment

BONUS FEATURES:

“Audio Commentary by Director Scott Derrickson”

Featurettes:

“A Strange Transformation” – Open your eye to a new dimension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and see how the filmmakers brought one of comic books’ greatest characters to life.

“Strange Company” – Find out what it’s like for the cast to work on a Marvel film, and how Director Scott Derrickson engineered one of the most ambitious, imaginative films ever.

“The Fabric of Realit”y – Take a closer look at the movie’s extraordinary sets, meticulously crafted costumes and amazingly detailed production elements.

“Across Time and Space” – Explore the countless hours of dance and fight choreography the actors endured in preparation for their physically demanding roles.

“The Score-cerer Supreme” – Join Composer Michael Giacchino and a full orchestra during live recording sessions, and experience the movie’s mind-bending music.

“Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look” – Get an early peek at Marvel’s spectacular upcoming films, including Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”

“Team Thor: Part 2” – See more of the hilarious partnership between Thor and his roommate Darryl in this satirical short.

Deleted Scenes:
“Strange Meets Daniel Drumm”, “Kaecilius Searches for Answers”, “The Kamar-Taj Courtyard”, “Making Contact”, “Lost in Kathmandu”

“Gag Reel”

Doctor Strange has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence. Be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have some scenes that are inappropriate for youngsters.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A must for Marvel Studio geeks and action adventure fans.

Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Zara Phythian, Alaa Safi, Katrina Durden.
Director and screenwriter: Scott Derrickson
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action throughout, and an intense crash sequence
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Running Time: 1 hr. 55 min.
Video Release Date: February 27, 2017
Original Theatrical Release Date: November 4, 2016
Language: English (changeable to Spanish or French)
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Video: Widescreen 1080p, Aspect Ratio 2.39:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Number of Discs: 2 Discs combo pack DVD, Blu-ray, Digital HD
Distributed by: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 11 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com