54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
The biggest surprise is that this DVD didn't make you feel embarrassed for the creators, unlike the 1978 made for TV movie. This direct to DVD show is fairly watchable, and stays vaguely true to the Dr. Strange mythos - Wong, Mordo, Dormammu, the Ancient one are all here. Mordo is still a good guy gone bad. The animation is very similar to Marvel's other animated efforts.
While a bit more "Kung Fu Fighting" than one might expect, I'm sure the target audience is not 50 year old collectors of silver age comics. In this regard however, one misses the sometimes amazing visuals that artist Steve Ditko brought to the original 1960's comic book series. After all, Dr. Strange was one of Marvel's more cerebral characters.
Bottom line - a nice DVD to share with kids, or for Marvel fan boys.
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
The new Marvel animated made for video films have been hit and miss. In watching Dr Strange, they have found a great retelling of the Strange mythos with a modern day twist of the day.
The animation is crisper in color and hue. The storytelling on the Strange film is par to most feature films
For fans of the comic adaventures of Dr Strange will NOT be disappointed. Those new fans will enjoy this production as well.
It comes down to this, IS IT WORTH IT? I say this..it is an amazing production and would hope that those at Lion's Gate and Marvel retell more stories of Dr Strange. If it does not happen, well it is their Loss
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I've always been into the more hands-on of the superhero crowd, so you might see why Dr. Strange isn't one of my comic book favorites. Nevertheless, there were times when I looked in on him and relished his wacky adventures and trippy forays into funky looking dimensions, as creatively rendered by artist Steve Ditko. Given that my interest in the Sorcerer Supreme is anemic, I must mention that stories about Strange were never better than when Stan Lee was writing them waaay back in the '60s. I've always thought one of the coolest things about the Dr. Strange mythos were the wonderfully exotic sounding invocations (as imagined by Stan) which Dr. Strange would righteously toss out: "By the all-seeing Eye of Agamotto!" or "By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!" Or how about "By the shades of the shadowy Seraphim!"? But nary a one is uttered in this animated film, however, as we witness Dr. Strange's origin, a stage in which he probably wasn't that familiar with Agamotto, Hoggoth, or Seraphim.
To the plot now: Stephen Strange is a talented neurosurgeon. But he's egotistical, callous, and uncaring. He's even big enough of a jerk that he rejects a plea for help regarding a brain-diseased child who sees in her nightmares a dreaded countenance swathed in flames. One evening, while driving, Stephen careens off the road and hurtles down a cliff, which results in irreparable damage to his hands. Despairing, having lost his fortunes, and having exhausted all treatment options for his injuries, he bleakly reaches the end of his rope. But fate intervenes in the presence of Wong, a sorcerer who senses potential in Strange. Wong sends him to a remote Tibetan monastery, to possibly become a student of the Ancient One. However, Strange, being not much into Eastern mysticism, merely seeks to unearth a cure for his mangled hands.
No surprise then that it takes Strange a while to "accept the unacceptable," but once he does, he graduates from the grasshopper routine and begins to learn the arcane arts at a prodigious pace. In time, he comes to learn of the Sanctum Sanctorum which houses the Nexus, the center of all dimensions. It is the Nexus which the Ancient One and his disciples continue to safeguard from the Dread Dormammu. Dormammu, a malevolent, otherdimensional being formed of absolute magic, has repeatedly sent his eldritch creatures to storm the Sanctum. And, with each successive attempt, he gets ever closer. Dr. Strange figures out that Dormammu's plan is somehow linked to the widespread epidemic of comatose children which has overran many hospital wards. As he sets out to help the children, Dormammu launches an all out final assault on the Sanctum. Now will the true Sorcerer Supreme please stand up?
This being the origin story, parts of the film are naturally slow going. We learn of Strange's tragic backstory and how he came to be so cold-hearted and materialistic in his former civilian life. The flashbacks work to flesh out the character and to further engage the viewer. I'm not sure if the version in Marvel's mainstream continuity had a kid sister. But young April and her plight make Strange a more sympathetic person.
When not focusing on Strange, the film shifts to the exploits of the Ancient One's disciples, in particular to Wong and the surly, arrogant Mordo. Mordo takes it for granted that he is the Ancient One's successor to the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Wong is quite dissimilar to the manservant version from the comics. Here, he's more a colleague and even mentor to Strange. And he has hair. Wong is devoted to the Ancient One and mistrusts Mordo and his lofty ambitions. Meanwhile, they and the other disciples continuously take on Dormammu's ever encroaching minions in heartstopping magical scraps.
With the show of magic being generated to mostly craft weaponry out of thin air, there's no room for the classic Dr. Strange incantations, as I've said (but two more classic phrases I just about forgot are "By the Vishanti!" and "By the Crimson Bands of Cytorrak!"). It would've nice to see more esoteric mysticism going on. It's a bit odd seeing the good doctor engaging in a strenuous physical activity like sword fighting. At least, we get to see him make use of astral projection, a staple of the Dr. Strange comics. Dr. Strange does have over 40 years of published history to draw from. But, to reiterate, I'm not a Dr. Strange connoisseur, so I'm not sure exactly how much was altered in this film. One thing that's been changed for sure are his duds as this incarnation has him sporting a new costume that seems austere but is nevertheless very stylin'.
DR. STRANGE: THE SORCERER SUPREME is the fourth direct-to-dvd collaboration between Marvel and LionsGate and decidedly improves on the stinky animated The Invincible Iron Man dvd which it succeeds. We get very nice animation, explosive and well-choreographed fight sequences, and a decent story with enough soap to tug at the heart and enough tussles to keep content the adventurer within you. People die in this one, thus lending the film more depth and high stakes relevance than, say, your average Saturday cartoon episode.
DR. STRANGE: THE SORCERER SUPREME is presented in wide screen. Special features include: Marvel Video Game Cinematics; the 14-minute-long segment "The Origin of Doctor Strange," featuring interviews with comic book writers Stan Lee and Steve Englehart; A First Look at the promising upcoming "Avengers Reborn" (which is set in the future and features Ultron and the Teen Avengers); Doctor Strange concept art; and a trailer gallery. But no film commentary. Which sucks.
I say this one merits a rating of three and a half stars. I wouldn't at all be averse to a sequel. Marvel and LionsGate have something good going here with their direct to dvd animated releases. Keep 'em coming. I'm certainly down with the next project, Avengers Reborn. Now is it too much to ask that someone release a dvd of the 93-minute Dr. Strange / Movie television pilot, which came out way back in 1978?
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Stacy R. Ange
- Published on Amazon.com
Well after the lackluster The Invincible Iron Man and the dissapointing Ultimate Avengers 2 they finally got it right. Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme is everything I loved about the comics with a little kung fu too. The score was funny though, there are strains from the score of Lady in the Water and even part of a song from Charlotte's Web (the cartoon film of the 80's, I think). But it was nice all the same. Now, as far as Avengers Reborn...God it looks awful. I hope it's not as bad as it seems. It just seems a rotten idea, a total ploy to get the "kids demographic". I'm sick of all these movies trying to appeal to this or that audience. Have the artistic integrity to make the film you want to make, if the source material supports it then do it. But as soon as you start thinking about trying to get this type or that type or another type to like your film, pretty soon you have something so vague and watered down that no one ends up liking it.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Wow, what a mess up! An animated movie with a reasonable budget about Doctor Strange could be an opportunity to travel into untold worlds and have all kinds of amazing experiences with the Doctor.
But instead we get a badly done 'origins of the character' film that leaves very little to the viewer's imagination AND, WORST OF ALL, becomes a sword-fighting film.
When the first character pulled a sword of out thin air, I thought "hey, that's cool". But when everyone did it, including Doctor Strange, I thought, "OMG, they never read a single Doctor Strange comic!"
The animation was decent, and the monsters and enemies weren't horrible, but the filmmakers really blew it on STORY and CONCEPT. What were they thinking?!??!
This could have been a film starting with Dr Strange (already super-powerful) and with maybe a brief flashback entailing how he became the Sorceror Supreme -- but to devote the whole film to a bunch of magical cohorts who die easily (and no viewers care b/c they're not part of the comic anyway) and really miss most of what Doctor Strange was about -- what a waste.
Its like doing the only Superman movie and having 95% be about Krypton and the folks that live there... and then boom, everyone's dead except this one guy who can fly. The end.
I was suprised to discover from watching the production team interviews that they actually were fans of the original Doctor Strange comics.
But the telling line came from one interviewee who said (I'm paraphrasing), "We gave them each different abilities, and then from there it was similar to mutants and other superheroes." ie you blew it!
Another person also said (paraphrasing), "We only had a few panels of origin, so we had to make up all this other stuff." Take it from a Doctor Strange fan -- I wish you hadn't made up any of that ridiculous non-sensical origin material, and just stuck with the 100+ issues of much more interesting material -- that sticks to the Doctor Strange genre!
This is why the film was a waste -- Doctor Strange is a magician of utmost power and knowledge who can travel all realms of reality to stop evil doers on a grand scale.
He is not a sword fighter, martial artist, or Zen monk. He has a few very powerful items he uses frequently -- his cloak and necklace -- but he doesn't use a SWORD!!! Talk about 'missing the point'!
They didn't have ANYONE intone a chant for a spell, didn't have ANYONE explain about magic, and while they did go thru a few world portals, no one really did much in other dimensions. WHY!?!?!?
Damnit! C'mon, Marvel -- don't blow it! With each of these animated flicks, your company has a chance to do something great with your characters, but instead you are going for cheesy poorly written screenplays!
Stay away from 'origin' films. Have the courage to start your movie with a full-blown superhero, and don't take their powers away. Don't make them have amnesia. Don't go back in time or off to another place. Keep them in their spot, leave them with their powers, and let them do what they do in the comics! Is it REALLY that hard?!?!?
Hint -- do your film like a comic. It worked for Sin City, and it can work for you. Don't do films like films. We don't need any more 'origin' movies ... at leat not before the 2nd or 3rd movie. Just give us a flashback scene and explain more later...!
** NO MORE 'origin of superhero' movies!! **
I'm a screenwriter and promise to help you if you ask. Just ask me!