Having established the rules of its shared cinematic universe, Marvel Studios now sets about shaking it up by introducing magic to the mix with the tale of a crippled neurosurgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) who finds salvation in the mystic arts. While the actual story is nothing particularly new, the excellent cast and novel dressing (sparkling magical sigils and kaleidoscoping cityscapes) makes it feel fresh. It's also nice to see a comic book movie where the hero outsmarts the villain rather than simply beating them into a pulp.
Picture: Following a rather drab and gloomy opening scene, the 3D incarnation of Doctor Strange quickly proves it has some serious stereoscopic skills. As the action in the prologue shifts to the streets of London the MVC-encoded image's impeccable clarity and tangible depth puts you right at the heart of the twisting architectural forms.
From then on this 1080p 3D image doesn't really put a foot wrong, maintaining a convincing sense of volumetric space (with a few fun instances of boundary-popping negative parallax thrown in for good measure). While brightness takes a slight dip, colour reproduction remains surprisingly strong at all times.
Unlike the accompanying 2.40:1 2D presentation (which is itself up to the high standard fans have come to expect from Marvel/Disney), the framing of the 3D version alternates between 2.40:1 and 1.78:1. While some may find the constant shifting back and forth a bit of a distraction, there's no denying that the fuller-framer shots add an extra sense of scale to the film's already pretty epic visuals.
Picture rating: 4.5/5
Audio: As it's a Disney title, there's no surprise that the Doctor Strange Blu-ray lacks the Dolby Atmos soundtrack that accompanied the film on its theatrical run; it compensates with a detailed and dynamic DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix. Positional cues are precise and plentiful, panning and flitting around the soundstage with slick fluidity (witness the shifting position of the Ancient One's voice during Strange's out-of-body experience in Chapter 5). LFE notes hit deep and contribute to a largescale sonic experience.
Audio rating: 5/5
Extras: Director Scott Derrickson provides an intro to the film and an illuminating solo commentary. Further details about the cast, costume and production design, fight training, visual effects and score can be found in a collection of five behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Rounding out the package are five deleted/extended scenes, a gag reel, a comedy short updating fans as to what Thor has been up to since we last saw him, and a promo featurette teasing future Marvel movies (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War).
Extra rating: 3.5/5
We say: Marvel is no stranger to Blu-ray success and this latest 3D outing is yet another heroic release.
Doctor Strange 3D, Walt Disney, All-region BD, £28
HCC VERDICT: 4/5
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