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Doctor Strange

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    80
    from 3 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Doctor Strange's 4K release is a must-have for MCU fans, offering a visually stunning upgrade.

    Doctor Strange 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    86
  • Doctor Strange's 4K UHD release impresses with vibrant HDR colors, sharp details, and a fine upgrade over Blu-ray, despite its 2K DI origins.

  • Audio
    86
  • These Dolby Atmos tracks offer solid if not always spectacular audio experiences, showcasing good dynamic range and atmospherics yet lacking in power and detail in places, with a noticeable room for improvement.

  • Extra
    80
  • Doctor Strange's UHD lacks extras, but the BD bundle includes Commentary, Featurettes, Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes, and more, enhancing film appreciation with Derrickson's insights and production details.

  • Movie
    86
  • Doctor Strange's multiverse debut is lauded for its visual splendor and narrative that redefines heroism and villainy, enriched by UHD's technical enhancements.

    Video: 86

    Doctor Strange's arrival on UK 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presents a visual extravaganza suited to its mystical and visually stunning universe, despite originating from a 2K Digital Intermediate. Utilizing a 3840 x 2160p resolution across the original widescreen 2.39:1 aspect ratio, it leverages 10-bit video depth, WCG, HDR, and is encoded with the HEVC (H.265) codec. The application of HDR and WCG delivers a spectacular neon vibrancy and a richness to the magical dimensions crafted in the film, enhancing the already impressive clarity and texture beyond its 1080p counterpart. Particularly noticeable improvements are found in the fabric and skin textures, metallic surfaces, and the mesmerizing magical constructs, offering a level of detail that outstrips what has previously been seen on Blu-ray.

    The presentation benefits enormosly from HDR, resulting in a picture that, while slightly darker overall compared to its Blu-ray release, showcases a deeper and more accurate color spectrum. Enhanced black levels and improved warmth in color temperatures contribute to a more immersive viewing experience. Scenes exploring the Astral Plane or showcasing magical conjurations stand out with their brilliance in color and luminance, far surpassing the capabilities of the standard Blu-ray version. This UHD version doesn’t shy away from delivering sharp and clear imagery across various lighting conditions and environments, sustaining its high quality throughout.

    Shot using Arri Alexa cameras and incorporating some 35mm film components, Doctor Strange was originally finished as a 2K Digital Intermediate. The jump to UHD sees an upscale that enriches the finer details in scenes shot at higher resolutions. Despite the aggressive HDR grade enhancing dark scenes and bright highlights to match the film’s thematic elements, the end result is a sumptuously rich visual experience. Colors pop with a newfound naturalness, especially on displays capable of handling such dynamic range effectively. While some may find the digital 4K version preferable for its Dolby Vision support, this 4K UHD Blu-ray edition brings Doctor Strange's magical world to life with unprecedented clarity and vibrancy, making for a compelling viewing experience on appropriately bright and capable displays.

    Audio: 86

    The Doctor Strange 4K UHD Blu Ray's Dolby Atmos track presents a complex audio experience that, while not unequivocally surpassing its Blu-ray's DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 predecessor, provides a robust and dynamic soundstage that occasionally lacks the lower frequency impact (LFE) some might expect from a flagship release. The upgrade to Atmos certainly introduces an enveloping soundscape with decent atmospherics, achieving a stronger immersive effect thanks to its utilization of overhead channels and wide front soundstage. Although the audio quality is indisputably high—marked by clear dialogue and well-defined music—there's a sense that the transition to Atmos might have compressed certain parts of the audio spectrum, leading to instances where the powerful movement of action scenes feels somewhat restrained within the otherwise expansive audio mix.

    Further analysis reveals that the Dolby Atmos mix excels in its seamless integration of the sound elements. Action sequences, particularly those in the "mirror dimension," are underscored by an impressively smooth and organic soundfield, enhancing visual effects without overwhelming the senses. Dynamic range shines with robust bass and clear highs, and the soundtrack adeptly balances intense action with quieter, more atmospheric scenes, creating unique sonic spaces that contribute significantly to the narrative journey. However, the audio occasionally demonstrates shortcomings in harmonious detail and powerful impact, especially noted in the subwoofer output, which lacks a bit in perfectly defined detail. Despite these minor quibbles, the Atmos track's workmanlike approach and effective surround integration deliver an engaging auditory experience, with ample support from additional audio options and subtitles in multiple languages for enhanced accessibility.

    In conclusion, while the Dolby Atmos track on Doctor Strange's 4K UHD Blu-Ray may not consistently reach the aural heights some audiophiles crave, it offers a commendably detailed and immersive audio presentation. Its strengths lie in its balanced dynamic range, clear dialogue prioritization, and the adept handling of both intense action sequences and subtler sonic moments. Overall, it represents a solid effort in upgrading the film's auditory experience to match the visual splendor of 4K UHD, albeit with room for slight improvement in low-frequency effects and overall power.

    Extra: 80

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Doctor Strange" delivers an exceptional viewing experience, albeit the supplemental content is exclusive to the included standard Blu-ray disc. This echoes the original 2017 Disney release, embracing identical extras without extending them onto the 4K disc itself. The addition enriches the collection with a broad array of behind-the-scenes insights, including a highly insightful audio commentary by Derrickson recorded on the eve of the film's premiere, deep dives into the film's innovative artistic design, multi-axis fight choreography, and Michael Giacchino's scoring process. It also provides a closer look at the character's history and various aspects of production, alongside intriguing deleted scenes and the humorous Team Thor: Part 2. Despite the lack of new extras specific to the UHD disc, the comprehensive nature of the accompanying commentaries and featurettes significantly enhances appreciation for the film. A Movies Anywhere digital copy code and an embossed slipcover are pleasant bonuses to this release.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: Derrickson provides a deep dive into the film's story, production, and mythology.
    • A Strange Transformation: Exploring the character's cinematic journey.
    • Strange Company: A look at the supporting cast and their roles.
    • The Fabric of Reality: Delving into the artistic design.
    • Across Time and Space: Insights into the unique, multi-axis fight choreography.
    • The Score-cerer Supreme: The process behind Michael Giacchino’s score.
    • Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look: Sneak peek into Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • Team Thor: Part 2: The second part of Taika Waititi’s mockumentary trilogy.
    • Deleted & Extended Scenes: Including a too-dark church scene and a moment with an injured dog in Kathmandu.
    • Gag Reel: Light-hearted bloopers and fun moments from production.

    Movie: 86

    Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” presented in the stunning fidelity of 4K UHD Blu-ray, solidifies its position as a pivotal entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), introducing audiences to the mind-bending concept of the multiverse. With Benedict Cumberbatch portraying the egotistical yet brilliant neurosurgeon turned Sorcerer Supreme, this 2016 release harnesses visual effects to craft a narrative rich in both spectacle and substance. Its narrative arc from overconfidence to enlightenment parallels not just a personal journey but introduces viewers to an entire realm of magical possibilities unimaginable in the otherwise tech-centric universe. As Stephen Strange’s story unfolds, so does an intricate world where magic and science intersect, portrayed with a depth and clarity that underscores the significance of his transformation and the broader implications for the MCU.

    Enhanced by 2160p/HDR video and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, this home release doesn’t just reiterate the technical prowess of its theatrical predecessor but elevates it, immersing viewers in the visually stunning and complex dimensions that Doctor Strange navigates. The film meticulously balances the introduction of new concepts like the Eye of Agamotto and the Sanctums with action and personal growth. Mads Mikkelsen’s portrayal of Kaecilius offers a tangible menace that anchors the narrative’s foray into these new dimensions, ensuring that the storyline remains compelling rather than becoming lost in its own spectacle.

    Despite its ambitious visual and thematic scope, “Doctor Strange” remains grounded in character development and narrative progression. Strange’s journey from a cynical surgeon to a master of the mystical arts is not only a testament to Cumberbatch's acting prowess but also reflects the film’s ability to entertain and engage without sacrificing complexity for spectacle. The Blu-ray edition, while not introducing new extras, retains the enriched visual and auditory experience that made the initial release so captivating, ensuring that both devotees and newcomers to the Marvel franchise can experience the movie’s full potential.

    Total: 80

    The "Doctor Strange" 4K UHD Blu-ray release stands out as a noteworthy upgrade for fans and completists of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, presenting an enhanced viewing experience that sits comfortably among the last few MCU entries to join the 4K format. Arriving on the scene towards the end of 2019, this release showcases a significant improvement with its 2160p/HDR video transfer, making it a visually more appealing version over its Blu-ray counterpart. Despite being part of the wave of MCU titles belatedly embracing 4K, "Doctor Strange" benefits immensely from this transition, with its HDR-enhanced visuals bringing out the intricate details and vibrant colors of the film’s imaginative settings and spellbinding effects. The Atmos sound mix, however, receives mixed feedback. It introduces a greater depth and dynamic range to the audio, enhancing the overall sensory experience of the movie, though not without its issues, hinting at a less than perfect but far from disastrous audio upgrade.

    No additional extras are included in this edition, which might be a missed opportunity to add value for fans and collectors. This release maintains the set of extras available on the previous Blu-ray edition, making it an essential purchase primarily for those focused on experiencing the film in its most visually and audibly impressive format. Despite these points, the "Doctor Strange" UHD is highly praised for its noticeable improvement in picture quality, with HDR amplifying the already visually stunning film to new heights, and its Atmos track adding an extra layer of immersion, even if it slightly falls short of expectations.

    In conclusion, the "Doctor Strange" 4K UHD Blu-ray is a must-own for enthusiasts of the MCU and aficionados of high-quality home cinema alike. Its augmented visual presentation greatly enhances one of the MCU's most visually innovative films, deserving a spot in any 4K collection. While its Atmos audio track may not represent a flawless upgrade, and the lack of new special features could be seen as a drawback, the overall improvements in video quality make it a highly recommended addition for those seeking the epitome of home viewing experiences, particularly within the Marvel catalogue.