Bohemian Rhapsody (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

Bohemian Rhapsody 4K ReviewWhile I never was a huge Queen fan growing up I was never ignorant to their musical place and historical significance and in the world of rock.  That much was never lost on me.  I was a fan of most of their songs and like many from my generation completely smitten by “Bohemian Rhapsody” when it was resurrected in the 1992 Wayne’s World film.  However, when the first trailers of Bohemian Rhapsody, the musical feature we’re all gathered here to talk about today, first came out I had little to no interest in it.  I had no doubts that I wouldn’t love it, but instead focused my thoughts on other urgent priorities.  Then all those positive reviews came pouring in and like usual try as I might I could never get myself to the theater to see this one during its run.  Today’s viewing is my first.

Bohemian Rhapsody


There’s so much controversy with Bohemian Rhapsody that we can talk about for paragraphs like how Director Bryan Singer was fired (Dexter Fletcher was hired to complete the film) or history like how the star of Borat was originally attached to play Freddie Mercury.  However, I choose to take the high road and celebrate all the good here instead of any negatives.  After all this is very much a celebration of life and discovering oneself so let’s keep it that way.  Bohemian Rhapsody is very much a 2018 biographical film about the British rock band Queen.  The musical adventure was written by Anthony McCarten and stars Rami Malek as Mercury, with Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Allen Leech and surprisingly Mike Myers (as Ray Foster).  Also surviving Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor served as consultants.  The movie chronicles the life of Freddie Mercury from his joining the band in 1970 all the way to Queen’s historic Live Aid reunion performance at Wembley Stadium in good ole 1985.

There’s no doubt about.  Sure there is some critical divide, but ultimately Bohemian Rhapsody has captured the hearts of fans globally.  That includes yours truly.  It simply an awe inspiring masterpiece to take in.  However, don’t take my word for it.  Let’s quickly recap all the awards and nominations it currently is tracking with and has earned.   First and most significant Bohemian Rhapsody has received five nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Malek.  I’m good with it taking those latter two.  The biggest accomplishment thus far was when the film won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the 76th Golden Globe Awards.  It was also nominated for the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture and BAFTA Award for Best British Film. Furthermore, Malek also won the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor.  Rightfully earned in my opinion.

Okay so let’s talk some more about this celebration I mentioned up above.  Bohemian Rhapsody to me is a celebration of life well that is of the rock band Queen.  It explores their origin, meteoric rise up the rock charts and of course the downfalls and problems that sadly tore them apart.  That also goes without saying you can’t tell the story of Queen without focusing on the larger than life entertainer, their lead singer and frontman Freddy Mercury.  He defied stereotypes and overcame his demons by not only finding himself, but choosing to go out on top and not become a boo hoo poster boy for the disease he unfortunately contracted.

As a former musician we all know how these kind of movies go.  They are much like gangster films.   They embrace my favorite pessimistic saying “nothing good ever lasts forever.”  I appreciate that about these kind of films, but unlike the musical biography Straight Outta Compton the filmmakers go out on top here like John Elway did in his final Super Bowl appearance against Atlanta.  What I mean by that is we don’t bathe in the waste of seeing Freddie Mercury’s health degraded and ultimate demise.  Once again I harken back to my original statement.  Bohemian Rhapsody is brilliantly a jubilant celebration of life, nothing more and nothing less.

Now let’s sum up all those haters of Bohemian Rhapsody.  However, before we do I want to express my praise for not only the movie’s enthralling story, but also the performances and oddly enough the VFX employed to make everything possible here (we’ll cover that more down below in the extras).  While Malek’s performance and the musical sequences received rightful praise I guess the film contains a number of historical inaccuracies like for example how they made Freddie almost a villain for exploring a solo career (so I’m told by a buddy).  I guess you would need to be a big Queen fan to know all of this.  There’s one thing though that nobody can dispute about Bohemian Rhapsody.  It became a major box office success, grossing over $835 million worldwide on a production budget of only $50 million.  It became the seventh-highest-grossing film of 2018 worldwide and set the all-time box office records for the biopic and drama genres.  Not too shabby, eh?

Bohemian Rhapsody


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Dolby Vision: No
  • HDR: Yes (HDR10+)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Things are super clean, chiseled and detail throughout here.  I was not expecting an end product here this amazing looking.  Everything is clearly visible in actors’ complexions such as stubble, pores, blemishes and more, but special prosthetics and wigs never look bad despite the level of detail.  Textures look equally amazing too.  Highlights include leather on guitar cases, felt inside of them, wood grain on guitars and so much more.
  • Depth: There’s always something to be amazed by here.  While most of the big concerts are short against green screens and whatnot the characters throughout all have that three-dimensional pop to them, which strongly separates them from the backgrounds.
  • Black Levels: The black levels are never overly deep, but rather very natural and in check.
  • Color Reproduction: Things also look very natural and authentic in the color department.  Some of the early 1970s sequences has a slight yellowish tint to it reminiscent of the time period, but for the most part nothing is ever overly exaggerated.
  • Flesh Tones: Last but not least the flesh tones all looked very natural, clean and authentic throughout.
  • Noise/Artifacts: There is nothing to nitpick about here.  It’s all very clean in appearance with no ugly distractions.

Bohemian Rhapsody


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of Fox’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Bohemian Rhapsody.  I do want you to know that while the 4K UHD Disc comes armed with a Dolby Atmos surround track the 1080p Blu-ray one only houses a DTS-HD MA one.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French DTS 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Dynamics: I don’t even know where to start here.  The soundstage is so wide here.  You literally feel like you’re in the middle of a classic Queen concert with each and every performance here.  Fidelity is a majestic king throughout here and absolutely nothing gets lost in the shuffle or dropped.  Every nuance and moment of ambiance is meticulously recreated and audible here.
  • Height: The height channels are not discrete, but instead as wide as the dynamics of it all.  Everything bleeds into them musically speaking in the concert sequences.  However, there are also your typical discrete Atmos moments such as explosions on stage, airplanes and rain falling.
  • Low Frequency Extension: This should be no surprise.  This surround track is like attending a rock concert and the bass is strong with this one in the songs, which of course means the drums.  Rat-a-tat-tat!
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels brings the complete concert experience right to you immersing you in it all.  Everything is brilliantly captured in them from ambiance to the music itself.  One of my favorite moments here includes being in the recording booth with the drummer being ordered to hit the high notes while recording the weirdness that is “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
  • Dialogue Reproduction: The dialogue levels are impeccably loud, clear and always intelligible throughout.

Bohemian Rhapsody


While it looks like there’s not much to be found here in the way of extras we do have near 1 hour of supplements to briskly tackle.  For the first time, Bohemian Rhapsody fans can experience a truly one-of-a-kind music movie event with the complete “Live Aid” Movie Performance featuring the two never-before-seen songs (“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “We Will Rock You).  This is all packed into a 22-minute collective experience recreating the original event.  Truth be told I have NO IDEA why they just didn’t incorporate this into the final film on home media here.  How can you leave out “We Will Rock You” I’ll never know.  In addition, on Blu-ray & Digital, fans also get a look behind the making of the film including interviews with Queen, the cast and creative team.  Like usual too you also get a redemption code for the film digitally via Movies Anywhere, etc.  So without further ado let’s explore everything you’ll find on the 4K and Blu-ray Discs.

  • The Complete Live Aid Movie Performance Not Seen in Theaters (featured in 4K Ultra HD HDR on the 4K Ultra HD Disc, 21:54) – This is the only extra found on the 4K UHD Disc.  It’s also found as an extra on the 1080p Blu-ray Disc.
  • Rami Malek: Becoming Freddie (HD, 16:13) – The cast, crew and surviving members of Queen discuss all things Freddie Mercury like how they met him, his exotic background and so much more history of the real man.  It was interesting to learn Rami had a movement coach here to help him movie like the legend.  I also have to applaud the phenomenal use of wigs, prosthetics and makeup throughout.  Spot on perfect!
  • The Look and Sound of Queen (HD, 21:44) – The cast, crew and Brian May and Roger Taylor talk about the legacy of Queen and the music.  However, this one really chronicles nicely the journey of making this film.
  • Recreating Live Aid (HD, 19:55) – Here it is.  This is the make or break moment of the band’s career.  It’s also the first sequence the filmmakers shot here.  I know.  Shocking!  It was interesting to see how they recreated the Live Aid stage precisely on an airfield in London, but even more revolutionary was the VFX used to recreate the mass of audience members.  It’s called “spriting” and it was remarkable to see how it was all made.
  • Theatrical Trailers (HD)

Bohemian Rhapsody


I think I can spare you from any more persistent rambling of how much I loved Bohemian Rhapsody and why I believe this is a MUST-OWN product to feed your ever growing home media collection.  The outstanding audio and video presentations aside I gave you tons of reasons up above.  It doesn’t get much better than this and if I only have one wish in life, I would like KISS to take me up on my offer to bring their legendary tale to the big screen.  You listening Gene and Paul?  Look at how much money this one made and what I can do for you fellows.  I digress.  Until that time we’ll just have to agree to disagree that Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the greatest rock bio films out there.  It’s full of heart and inspiration in regards to finding oneself.  Enjoy!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  The above screenshots are not taken from the actual 4K product.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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