Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. A native 4K project, the disc appeared to replicate the source material nicely.
Sharpness remained solid. Virtually no softness popped up, so the movie demonstrated positive and definition.
Jagged edges and shimmering failed to occur, and I witnessed no signs of edge enhancement. Print flaws weren’t a factor, so the movie always remained clean and fresh.
Like most modern action movies, Madness went with a stylized palette that favored amber and teal. These choices seemed predictable, but the disc replicated them as intended, and the multiverse settings allowed for occasional appearances of a wider variety hues, mainly via reds attached to Wanda. HDR gave the hues added range and impact.
Blacks appeared deep and dark, while shadows displayed good clarity and smoothness. HDR brought power to whites and contrast. Overall, I liked this consistently positive presentation.
With its action and magical orientation, the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Madness also worked well, as the movie boasted a wide and involving soundfield. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7,1, this showed up during scenes both loud and quiet.
During the latter, music offered nice stereo presence. Various environmental elements displayed quality localization and involvement.
The bigger sequences added more pizzazz to the package. These used all the channels in a satisfying manner, as the action scenes created a lot of useful material. From start to finish, the mix used the speakers in a way that gave real life to the proceedings.
In addition, audio quality was strong. Music appeared vivid and full, with crisp highs and rich lows.
Speech was concise and natural, so no issues affected the lines. Effects appeared to be accurate and lively.
Those elements lacked distortion and they boasted nice low-end during their louder moments. Overall, I felt pleased with the mix.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The Atmos audio added some range and movement.
As a native 4K presentation, the UHD disc offered nice improvements, as it seemed better defined and more vivid. While the Blu-ray looked just fine, the 4K became the superior version.
No extras appear on the 4K itself, but the included Blu-ray copy comes with a mix of materials, and we open with an audio commentary from director Sam Raimi, producer Richie Palmer and writer Michael Waldron. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, the movie’s place in the MCU, cast and performances, sets and locations, production challenges related to COVID, effects, music, editing, photography, and related topics.
This becomes a listenable but somewhat disappointing commentary. At its best, it brings a reasonable view of the movie’s creation.
However, a lot of the discussion tends to feel somewhat superficial, and those involved ladle out a lot of praise. The track still merits a listen, but don’t expect anything better than average,
Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of three minutes, six seconds. We find “A Great Team” (1:30). “It’s Not Permanent” (1:00) and “Pizza Poppa” (0:29).
“Team” gives us a flashback to a younger Stephen and Christine, while “Permanent” and “Poppa” offer slight extensions of Bruce Campbell’s cameo. None seem important, though it’s fun to get more of Campbell.
A Gag Reel spans two minutes, 28 seconds and brings the usual silliness and mistakes. Nothing compelling occurs, but at least it doesn’t last long.
Three featurettes follow, and Constructing the Multiverse lasts 11 minutes, 10 seconds. It offers notes from Raimi, Waldron, Palmer, producer Kevin Feige, visual effects producer Cyndi Ochs, special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, 2nd unit director Jeff Habberstad, and actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong and Rachel McAdams.
“Constructing” covers story and characters as well as cast and performances, sets and some effects. Some insights emerge but a lot of “Constructing” feels superficial.
Introducing America Chavez goes for three minutes, 29 seconds and provides notes from Raimi, Feige, Palmer, Waldron, Cumberbatch, Wong, McAdams, Olsen, stunt coordinator Brycen Counts and actor Xochitl Gomez. As expected, we learn a little about the America character and Gomez’s performance in this puffy piece.
Finally, Method to the Madness occupies five minutes, two seconds with material from Raimi, Waldron, Palmer, Feige, production and development manager Samantha Vinzon, editors Tia Nolan and Bob Murawski, storyboard artist Doug Lefler and actor Bruce Campbell.
“Method” looks at Raimi’s approach to the material. It becomes another fairly fluffy piece, though Campbell offers amusing notes.
Because the 2016 cinematic debut of the character seemed decent but not great, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness enjoyed room for improvement, and it takes advantage of those possibilities. While not a terrific MCU adventure, Madness nonetheless becomes a pretty solid tale. The 4K UHD comes with very good picture and audio as well as a mix of bonus materials. Madness works well enough to make me look forward to a third Doctor Strange movie.
To rate this film, visit the Blu-ray review of MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS