Doctor Strange DVD Reviewed By Jon E Clist

The Premise
Marvel's "Doctor Strange" follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City's Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilising a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Review
I am not sure what to say about Doctor Strange other than, this is another smash hit for Marvel. Like AntMan and Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel have again managed to do a brilliant job creating another semi standalone super hero film that sits within the entire Marvel universe and is placed to easily insert its characters into the greater stories. There are plenty of little easter eggs dotted amongst it that for those Marvel fans will be super fun to put together. Based on that alone it is well worth staying through the credits to see the bonus scenes. When I say the credits, there are two lots of credits. The first part is the animated actor names after which there is a little bonus scene and then after the entire list of every man and his dog that was involved there is another extra scene. Both scenes are worth staying for.

So, here’s the thing, this is a super action-packed film that covers pretty much all the bases in regards to storyline. Pulling together science with spirituality, the plot evolves from a place of knowledge to that of understanding. I think this is something that Marvel has consistently done a great job of. Interspersing stories of the personal struggles of its characters into these massive landscapes of good versus bad battles. Whether it is Iron Man struggling with his own vulnerabilities and massive ego through to Thor becoming a wise and worthy King or even the thief trying to make things right in Ant Man. These are stories of something so far out of our world and yet the emotional struggles connect us with it and therefore drawing us in to care for these characters. Now that is smart entertainment.

Here we have a brilliant surgeon who bases his whole worth on his medical abilities and when that is taken away because of his own ego, he must try to find something else. What a powerful story of the inner struggle of vulnerability.

Benedict Cumberbatch is truly superb and once you see him in the lead role you would be hard pressed to imagine any other actor as Doctor Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch initially had to decline the role of Doctor Strange, due to scheduling conflicts. When the release date was pushed back from July 2016 to November 2016, he could commit to shooting. Which is very lucky for us. He said that the spiritualism of Doctor Strange is what appeals to him the most about the role: "I'm very excited about that spiritual dimension. It's something that's been a huge part of my life. I meditate a lot, that's a huge tool in trying to calm myself, get away from the crazy circus of it all, have a focused mind as well as be a kinder, considerate person in the world."

Something a little fun to learn is that while filming, Cumberbatch walked into a comicbook store in full costume and bought an actual Doctor Strange comic. That would have been awesome to see.

Then you have the always amazing Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One. Swinton has certainly made a name for herself as this larger than life and enthralling on screen presence. From her breakthrough performance in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe things have just continued to smash our senses in the face. Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy were considered for the role of The Ancient One and so I can honestly say that although they are all great actors, this was by far the right move for Marvel as she completes the puzzle so perfectly.

Brilliant to see Mads Mikkelsen in a bad guy role that you feel has been written for him. This is going to be his year in so many ways with a massive role in the upcoming Rogue One later this year.

As you would expect with any Marvel film, the settings, the action and the magic are spectacular to watch and add a whole other dimension to this world of comic book heroes. If you have watched any Marvel film (Other than Wolverine: Origins) then you know what to expect, big loud and fun!

The Verdict
So brilliant! my wife loved it, my son loved it and I loved it. I’d say that’s a clean sweep.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 1st March 2017
Rating: M – Contains violence
Duration: 115 minutes 
Genre:  SciFi, Marvel
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams and Mads Mikkelsen
Director: Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us From Evil, Sinister)

The Extras
Before becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, Stephen Strange received training at an Eastern monastery. Benedict Cumberbatch spent his gap year volunteering as an English teacher at a Buddhist monastery in Darjeeling, India. He had stated that the experience was very profound and influential on his life, and sought to draw from this experience in preparing for the role.

Although this will be his first outing in a solo movie, Doctor Strange has been teased in earlier movies:

-Thor (2011): The Orb of Agamotto can be seen among the treasures in Odin's treasure chamber.

-Thor: The Dark World (2013): The Crossroads is among the various phrases written on Selvig's chalkboard. The Crossroads is another-dimensional reality that has a prominent role in the "Doctor Strange" comics.

-Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014): Jasper Sitwell mentions Stephen Strange as one of the high-risk targets that HYDRA keeps under surveillance.

Doctor Strange's creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko based his appearance on Hollywood actor Vincent Price; the character even bears the middle name of Vincent.

According to Kevin Feige, the concept of magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is inspired by The Matrix (1999) and the fantasy works of Stanley Kubrick and Hayao Miyazaki: "Have you watched the Cosmos (1980) series? That's magic, the quantum physics. If somebody knew how to tap into that stuff, what's the difference between that and magic? You don't get into it in Harry Potter, but if a scientist went to Hogwarts he'd find out how some of that stuff is happening! We're not going to spend a lot of time on it, but there will be some of that, particularly for a character like Doctor Strange, who goes from a man of science to a man of faith and who traverses both worlds. And sometimes there won't be an answer! Sometimes he'll want an answer - 'How is this happening?' - and nothing."

Chapter Two of Phase Three in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.