Bohemian Rhapsody (Blu-ray) (2018)

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Released 13-Feb-2019

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Biography More…-The Complete Live Aid Movie Performance (21:55)
Featurette-Rami Malek: Becoming Freddie (16:13)
Featurette-The Look and Sound of Queen (21:44)
Featurette-Recreating Live Aid (19:55)
Theatrical Trailer-Teaser Trailer, Theatrical Trailer, inal Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2018
Running Time 134:37
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Bryan Singer
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Rami Malek
Lucy Boynton
Joe Mazzello
Gwilyn Lee
Ben Hardy
Allen Leech
Tom Hollander
Aiden Gillen
Aaron McCusker
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music John Ottman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 7.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
French
Spanish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Bohemian Rhapsody is the story of Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) and Queen from their beginnings in 1970 to their triumphant appearance at the Live Aid Wembley concert in 1985. Along the way we meet the band’s first manager John Reid (Aiden Gillen), their accountant and later manager Jim Beach (a deadpan Tom Hollander), Freddie’s “love of my life / best friend” Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton), Paul Prenter (Allen Leech), the sycophant, lover and self-styled minder who almost destroyed Freddie’s life with drugs, drink and hangers on, and Jim Hutton (Aaron McCusker), Freddie’s final companion.

     We don’t, however, see anything of the private lives of other three band members, John Deacon, (Joe Mazzello), Brian May (Gwilyn Lee) and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) away from Queen. There is plenty of the four recording, disagreeing, playing tours and concerts, breaking up and reconciling in time for Live Aid but the focus of the film is on the life and loves of Freddie Mercury; his relationship with his Farsi parents, the complicated relationship with Mary Austin before and after Freddie came out, Paul Prenter, who thought he owned Freddie, and finally Jim Hutton with whom Freddie found happiness. Despite his popularity and the trappings of success, however, such as a huge London house and the wild parties with hangers-on, the film shows Freddie to be an isolated and sometimes lonely man which is where Malek deserved his Oscar; you can mimic the performances and the moves of Freddie (there is certainly enough footage of Queen) but Malek’s performance in these quiet scenes shows a self-doubt, sadness and poignancy that is impressive.

     Queen were a flamboyant band and while the film gives us samples of their concerts it delays a “complete” performance until the Live Aid concert at the climax although along the way there are some fun sequences, such as the band recording Bohemian Rhapsody or developing We Will Rock You. The Live Aid concert was painstakingly reconstructed including a stage with the same dimensions as the original and it is a magnificent, triumphant climax to the film; the conclusion We Are the Champions is uplifting in the best way brings a tear to the eye!

     Bohemian Rhapsody is by no means perfect; the montage of concerts in the middle of the film or those in the gay bar are lazy storytelling and lose some of the film’s momentum. Bohemian Rhapsody has also been criticised for chronological and factual inaccuracies but, hey, this is not a documentary but a feature film where things can be changed for dramatic effect; with original band members Roger Taylor and Brian May fully involved one might think that at least the spirit of the events is preserved. Then when the film gets into its last quarter, with the reveal of Freddie’s HIV, his reconciliation with the band members, his reconnecting with Mary and finding Jim Hutton, all leading to the climax at Live Aid, Bohemian Rhapsody soars and is moving, sad and exhilarating. When all is said and done, the real legacy of Queen is some magnificent music. Long live Queen.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Bohemian Rhapsody is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     Close-ups on faces and costumes are strong and detailed. Close-ups during the concert performances, including Live Aid, are also sharp with natural colours although wide shots of the heaving, digital masses are predictably less crisp. Interiors are another matter. Much of the first half of the film at least has a brown, almost sepia palate and many scenes have diffused lighting, such as glare through windows, giving the film a soft look with soft shadow detail. The blacks are solid, skin tones generally fine; contrast and brightness does vary although this is to be expected in the concert footage. Marks, artefacts and motion blur were absent.

     English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available plus French and Spanish.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is a choice of English DTS-HD MA 7.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, English descriptive audio (Dolby Digital 5.1) and French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1.

     I do not have a 7.1 set-up, but even in 5.1 Bohemian Rhapsody rocks! The film won Oscars for sound editing and sound mixing (as well as best actor for Malek and best film editing) and those two sound Oscars were well deserved. The concert performances of course are the highlight with the instruments, vocals and crowd all separated and clear. Close your eyes and you were there in the front row. Recording sessions also show good separation around the sound stage while the audio at times adds an aircraft overhead, rain, vehicles and voices at the party. Dialogue is clear and the subwoofer added boom to the music and the crowds.

    The original score is credited to John Ottman but one hardly notices it amid the numerous wonderful Queen anthems on the soundtrack.

     There are no lip synchronisation issues.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     This is a decent collection of extras. While a commentary would have been nice the biggest omission is the failure to mention anything about the fractious production and especially the firing of director Bryan Singer before the filming wrapped.

The Complete Live Aid Movie Performance (21:55)

     The filmmakers reconstructed the entire 20 minute performance by the band at Live Aid but did not use all the footage in the finished film. This is the complete reconstruction.

Rami Malek: Becoming Freddie (16:13)

    An excellent piece that starts by discussing the character and many facets of Freddie Mercury before covering the casting of Malek to play the role and teaching him to move, look, act and feel like Freddie without mimicking him. Included are film clips, rehearsal footage and thoughts from cast members Malek, Joe Mazzello, Gwilyn Lee, Ben Hardy, Allen Leech and Lucy Boynton, producer Graham King, movement coach Polly Bennett, the real Roger Taylor and Brian May and others including the costume designer and DP.

The Look and Sound of Queen (21:44)

     Roger Taylor and Brian May control Queen’s music and film rights and this extra shows how closely they were involved in the making of this film. With comments from most of the individuals noted above plus film and on-set footage this extra covers the look and sound of the band, including costumes, from humble beginnings to superstars! Also covered is the production design and set decoration both of Freddie’s London house and the barn in the country the band turned into a studio to record Bohemian Rhapsody.

Recreating Live Aid (19:55)

     Recreating the Live Aid stage with the same dimensions as the Wembley original in a field, costuming the extras, recreating the crowd and recording the performance. Basically the same people as above comment plus concert and behind the scenes footage.

Theatrical Trailers

     Three trailers are included: the Teaser Trailer (1:31), Theatrical Trailer (2:55) and Final Trailer (2:08).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This release of Bohemian Rhapsody is the same as the US Region Free Blu-ray.

Summary

     Bohemian Rhapsody as a film is flamboyant, loud and full of colour, much like the band whose story it follows. The film does not shy away from Freddie Mercury’s sexuality and illness, although neither is overdone. Even if you are not keen on the music of Queen the Oscar winning performance of Rami Malek is a good reason to enjoy the film.

     The video is variable, the audio stunning. The extras are worthwhile even without any mention of Bryan Singer’s firing but as we get what is available elsewhere we shouldn’t complain.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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