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Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Spider-Man and Doctor Strange opened up the multiverse in Spider-Man: No Way Home and the Sorcerer Supreme (and Doctor Strange) explore it themselves in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. Along the way introducing quite possibly the most important character yet in the MCU; the Pizza Poppa. Sam Raimi returned to mesh both his super hero and horror expertise in this wicked spin through Marvel. It’ll come to you on 4K Ultra-HD on July 26th. The release has an Atmos track, commentary, deleted scenes, multiple featurettes and Aaron Neuwirth’s favorite – the Gag Reel. Sure, you’ve beeen able to watch this on Disney+ for a month, but own the better presentation of the film with this disc. You can order one by using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows this review at the bottom.

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Film

Journey into the unknown in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. When the MCU unlocks the Multiverse, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) must enlist help from old and new allies as he traverses mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities in order to confront a surprising adversary.

There are 2 stars of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness. One is the Pizza Poppa. The other is Sam Raimi. Many worried about spoilers, things leaking and whatnot in the run up to the film that promised a lot of otherworldly craziness and cameos. But the real secret couldn’t be spoiled, it had to be seen. That being Sam Raimi himself and what exactly the man could not only bring to the Marvel universe, but what he just brings to a film in general.

Raimi hadn’t made a film since Oz the Great and Powerful in 2013. That’s 9 years without the man on our big screens (Yes, he directed some Ash Vs The Evil Dead on TV). There’s a can being opened in this film that feels like it had been collecting dust on a shelf somewhere. Early on in the film, you truly have a sense that Sam is back and doing his thing. But a certain part of the film hits and Raimi ultimately just lets loose til the finish. Its exciting, its fresh, its real, it has a pulse. While its very much Marvel and very much Doctor Strange here, its equally a top to bottom Sam Raimi film. Which, those always include Bruce Campbell. Which has this time introduced us to the Pizza Poppa. And what a joy those are.

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness hits the ground running from the start and doesn’t look back. Its a fast and frantic adventure which delivers plot and character information on the run. A very movie-movie, it doesn’t stop and let you catch your breath much. The one time it does is the famed Illuminati sequence which stops the fun dead in its tracks for some flashy cameos. However, the resolution to that is a great punchline worth the slow delivery. A lot the beats and such are delivered the old school way, on visuals, quick and “telling” exchanges, camera angles and more, which can tend to a more difficult film to swallow in our spoon-fed blockbuster age. Nonetheless, Multiverse of Madness is here to have fun, get a little sloppy, and just be a comic book movie, striving to excel and expand genre/studio trappings instead of trying to showcase its importance to the world at large.

This Phase 4 feature really thrilled, surprised and shocked me in many ways not just with the plot on paper stuff. It really played to my sensibilities with both horror and filmmaker appreciation. Raimi really spoke loudly through Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness and its a lot of fun for it. There aren’t many of the Marvel movies I revisit too frequently by nature of having loads to watch all the time, but this is one of the few I’ll find myself popping in time to time with ease.

Video

Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray as a native 4K title. This is a nice upgrade on the Blu-ray with a more refined image with good black contrast and color saturation. Its a sharp picture and handles a lot of the special visual effects wonderfully. I’m not sure what more they can add to this as it hits all the color timings in the film expertly and about what we come to expect with many of these Marvel movies in terms of image quality in the non-upconvert era.

Depth: Pretty rock solid depth of field with good push back and a 3 dimensional like feel to the entire proceedings. Motion is smooth, natural and no issues come from any sort of rapid action causing any jitter or blurring.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and natural, really bringing in some contrast that helps the crispness of the image and for many of the colors to liven up. No issues with information hidden and no crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Color are quite lovely and striking, especially the gorgeous CG elements in here. There’s a nice glow from the HDR that really accentuates mystical powers coming from Wanda or Strange. There’s a nice look on reds and purples as well.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish. Skin tones and textures comes through plenty clear and make-up effects hold up quite well. Zombie Strange in particular looks really cool to see all the grisly details.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness carries one of the better Atmos tracks for a Marvel flick, but still has some areas where it could see improvement. This one does a little more than “just enough” and that’s a good sign. It hits pretty good, has some great nuance and playful jumps and swooshes around the room. Vocals have a nice prominent fixture in it, where they always feel part of the environment, but always are clear and audible.

Height: Above is very active in the ceiling channels. Stuff like debris falling, little bits of sand/dirt/dust from shaking, flying above, beams…all sorts of fun comes in at good, audible and effective volumes.

Low Frequency Extension: This one hits pretty good for a Disney title. There could be more impact still from the subwoofer, but it does rumble quite good and “does the job”.

Surround Sound Presentation: This one wickedly goes all around the room and back again, leaving no stone unturned and many mysteries to uncover from each channel. Its well thought out and pretty clever with solid, impacting rolling travel across the room.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. All bonus material is found on the standard Blu-ray disc.

Audio Commentary

  • with Sam Raimi, Richie Palmer, and Michael Waldron

Constructing The Multiverse (HD, 11:10) – Kevin Feige, cast and crew talk about the scale and possibilities of doing a multiverse and what comes with that. Also, the choice to bring Sam Raimi to direct, Scarlett Witch being the villain and a lot of your quick hit making-of stuff.

Introducing America Chavez (HD, 3:29) – This one goes over the history of America Chavez, how she fits the film and Xochitl Gomez playing her.

Method To The Madness (HD, 5:02) – This the featurette talks about how Sam Raimi was the perfect person for the job and the strengths he brings to a film. This includes some behind the scenes footage of the original Evil Dead as well. The most important person on the Doctor Strange project, Bruce Campbell is here for an interview. This also goes over many Raimi-isms included in the film.

Gag Reel (HD, 2:28)

Deleted Scenes (HD, 3:06)

Summary

As the end credits shows, the Pizza Poppa will not be foiled and lives to see another day. Hopefully his return will be sooner rather than later. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness was a fun, hit the ground running Marvel adventure with loads of technical personality/voice lacking in many of their very enjoyable productions (a turn off for the their fanbase, it seems). Disney has this 4K Ultra-HD cooking with good video and audio as well as a nice little bit of quick hit extras that include MORE Pizza Poppa in the deleted scenes!

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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