Archive for the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)’ Category

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Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Release Date: February 12, 2019

Region: Region A

Length: 02:14:37

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC)

Main Audio:

7.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio

Alternate Audio:

2.0 English Dolby Digital

5.1 English Descriptive Audio

5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital

5.1 French Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Ratio: 2.39:1

Notes: This package also contains a DVD disc and a digital copy of the film. UHD/Blu-ray Combo and DVD editions of the film are also available for purchase.

Title

Those who love Queen will undoubtedly enjoy Bohemian Rhapsody, because it is the music and performances that carry the film forward. Fans will find themselves charmed by default, because music has the power to mesmerize. I sometimes forgot that I wasn’t actually watching the real band. My ignorance as to the events of Mercury’s life makes it impossible for me to judge as to whether the filmmakers wasted any of the subject’s potential. What I do know as a Queen fan is that Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury is uncannily accurate. Even his bodily movement seems to embody the character. It is Malek’s profound talent that has already earned the film two Golden Globe awards in the Best Motion Picture (Drama) and Best Actor (Drama) categories (not to mention an array of other prestigious accolades—including Best Actor awards from SAG and BAFTA). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently followed suit and nominated the film in five different categories, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Rami Malek), Best Editing (John Ottman), Best Sound Editing (John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone), and Best Sound Mixing (Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, and John Casali).

It should be said that Malek deserves the Oscar in the Best Acting category. I’ve never seen any of his other performances and cannot compare it to anything else that he has done, but I know that none of the other nominees had the challenges that Malek had to overcome for this film. Bohemian Rhapsody, however, doesn’t deserve to take home the Best Picture statue since the film doesn’t really go deep enough into the psychology of the eccentric protagonist. The film moves at such a fast pace that relationships aren’t examined in any real depth. We see Mercury struggling with various demons, but we are kept at arm’s length. We’re never invited to struggle with him. We simply have to take the dialogue at its word, and the performances cover this particular blemish quite admirably. There are probably a certain number of viewers who will be more than grateful for the film’s pacing, but I personally wouldn’t have minded hanging out with the characters in a more intimate manner. It is always fun to get a glimpse at the creation of iconic music, but Freddie Mercury’s personal struggle should have been the ultimate focus of the film for the simple reason that this would have been more dramatically compelling.

To be fair, the film has succeeded despite an incredibly problematic production. It certainly isn’t a film that offers a solid argument in favor of the auteur theory since Dexter Fletcher replaced Brian Singer as the film’s director for the final two weeks of production. In view of this, the final product is much better than it has any right to be. One gets the feeling that this is more of a producer’s project than a director-driven film, and it lacks the kind of singular vision that separates great films from those that are merely engaging entertainments as a direct result of this. However, there is something to be said for any film that can truly be called an engaging entertainment. As I mentioned previously, it is a movie that stands on the strength of the music and on a number of performances that range from good to incredible. It makes me want to get out my Queen albums, and what is this if not a testament to the film’s appeal?

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The Presentation:

4 of 5 Stars

20th Century Fox protects the Blu-ray and DVD discs in a standard 2-disc Blu-ray eco-case. We are not fond of eco-cases and find that they do not offer adequate protection for the discs or the artwork. Luckily, the first printing of this title includes a slipcover that features the same artwork that appears on the sleeve enclosed in their case, and this further protects both the artwork and the discs contained inside. The cover art for this release is based on one of the film’s poster designs (although not the design used on the primary one sheet). The image has been cropped significantly on all four sides, but we are happy that they chose to use this image as it looks quite attractive.

The animated menu features footage from the film accompanied by music. It is both attractive and intuitive to navigate.

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Picture Quality:

5 of 5 Stars

20th Century Fox offers fans an incredibly strong 1080P transfer of Bohemian Rhapsody that showcases an incredible level of fine detail and authentic color reproduction and terrific clarity. Black levels are solid without crushing important information, and it is difficult for one to really take issue with anything whatsoever. There aren’t any noticeable compression issues or any other potentially distracting anomalies. Everything here looks fabulous, darling!

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Sound Quality:

5 of 5 Stars

This 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is absolutely terrific. It really does deliver the goods. First of all, the mix is well prioritized with incredibly impressive low ends and dynamic surround immersion throughout the film. It really does wrap around the viewer in ways that transport them into the world of the film—it makes will make you want to travel back in time so that you can attend an entire Queen concert! Dialogue is always well rendered and understandable as well. There really isn’t any room for complaint about this one.

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Special Features:

4 of 5 Stars

The Complete Live Aid Movie Performance – (21:55)

It’s nice to have this compete recreation of the original Live Aid concert performance in its entirety, but it would have been even more fabulous to have also included the original concert by Queen. Actually, such a supplement would have been worth the price of this Blu-ray all on its own. Then again, this recreation isn’t exactly anything to sneeze at as it does give fans an idea of just how much meticulous work went into the Live Aid sequence in Bohemian Rhapsody, and it will probably add to the viewer’s appreciation of the film as a result.

Rami Malek: Becoming Freddie – (16:13)

Rami Malek’s performance carries Bohemian Rhapsody (with the help of a lot of great music), so it is nice to have this featurette that actually discusses the work that was required of Malek in order for him to achieve such an incredible portrayal of Freddie Mercury. It’s actually much more comprehensive than the sixteen minute duration might suggest. It’s a worthwhile addition to a great disc.

The Look and Sound of Queen – (21:44)

This program focuses on such things as the cast and the various production elements that went into recreating the time period, the band, and the iconic performances that are showcased throughout the film. Again, this is more comprehensive than one might expect and a worthwhile viewing experience for anyone who enjoyed the movie. Better yet, it includes quite a bit of input from Roger Taylor and Brian May!

Recreating Live Aid – (19:55)

This is a detailed look at the recreation of Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance and it is another comprehensive program that includes plenty of “behind the scenes” footage along with cast and crew interviews—not to mention interviews with Roger Taylor and Brian May (although we do here less from them here than in the previous supplement). It’s a great addition to the disc.

Theatrical Trailers:

Teaser Trailer – (01:31)
Theatrical Trailer – (02:25)
Final Trailer – (02:08)

The very least that a studio can do for fans is include a film’s theatrical trailers, so it is nice to see that all of the major trailers are here in all their glory.

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Final Words:

I’m not at all certain as to the accuracy of the biographical content, but Bohemian Rhapsody works as an engaging entertainment. Watch it for the music and for an incredible performance by Rami Malek. 20th Century Fox has released a Blu-ray that delivers the goods, and it comes highly recommended for Queen devotees.

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