Thursday, October 11, 2007

Doctor Strange DVD

I've spoken about the direct to DVD movies that Marvel and DC are putting out, and I've just recently sat down and watched the Doctor Strange movie. It was a toss up when I was at the shop between this film and the recently released Superman/Doomsday, but I've heard some less than glorious reviews from the internets about the Death of Superman, and as I quite enjoyed the Invincible Iron Man, I figured that I would give Marvel the benefit of the doubt and go with Doc Strange.

I wasn't disappointed. I thought that Stephen Strange went through a thorough yet believable transformation in personality, from self-obsessed neuro-surgeon to heroic Sorcerer Supreme, and that it seemed organic to the character as to why he was behaving a certain way at any point throughout the film. Make no mistake, this is an origin story, and it does take some liberties with the myth of Doctor Strange, but I feel that they are all for the best, serving to update and flesh out the character, setting it up to be a series I hope to see more of.

The villains are interesting and are classic foes of Strange; The Dread Dormammu and the evil Baron Mordo, and both offer good foils to the protagonist. Mordo was nicely updated to fit in with the retelling of the origin, and I liked his harder edge warrior mage image.

The animation is nice, if not as daring as the Iron Man art, and continues to reinforce the "look" that Marvel is creating with it's animated DVDs. The voice acting is alright, neither hindering nor adding anything special to the experience of the movie. My one complaint with the DVD is that the special features are a little light. There is an "Origin of Doctor Strange" featurette with interviews of comic creators Stan Lee, Steve Englheart, J.M. DeMatteis along with some of the production crew of the DVD, but I didn't get much out of it, as it was often more about the movie than the character's history. The comic creators they did have weren't given enough screen time, and it would have been nice to hear from an artist of two, perhaps Gene Colan, Steve Leialoha, Paul Smith, or even if it would never happen, Steve Ditko.

All in all, I would recommend this DVD, as the movie is fun and does take you on a journey, and there's enough there on screen to give it a re-watch value. Marvel has a trailer up on their site if you're still unsure and want to take a look.


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