Bombshell (Blu-ray Review)

Bombshell is a film where I initially only showed up for because of the 3 leading women, most notably Harley Quinn…err I mean Margot Robbie.  I pretty much will see anything with her nowadays, but I digress.  Other than that I had originally thought there was really no reason for me to watch Bombshell.  I mean our site reviewer Aaron Neuwirth hates it, so why should I care then?  While I am totally for the women exposing the audacious acts against them here there were a few moments in the trailer I didn’t particularly care for.  On the surface I thought it was going to be a lot of political propaganda.  I‘ll usually leave it at that because politics is something I never talk about or at least I do my best to try not to, but I do need to still address it here.  Truth be told though there was also something very trippy and mesmerizing in that first Bombshell trailer that hook, line and sinker caught ahold of me and never let me go (that song and the leading ladies in the elevator).  So that’s why I’m here…plus I really liked it too!



Bombshell is directed by Jay Roach from a screenplay written by Charles Randolph.  The film stars the aforementioned three leading ladies Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie plus John Lithgow, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Malcolm McDowell, Allison Janney and more.  It’s based  upon the accounts of several key women at Fox News that bravely exposed CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment and literally showed the world the creep he is (or should I say was).  The movie hits home for me with recent events like with what happened in 2017 with NBC’s Today Show host Matt Lauer or made relevant this year by Apple TV+’s The Morning Show, which is outstanding by the way.

Interestingly enough this project really wasn’t brought to fruition in the real world until the death of Ailes (whom Lithgow portrays here) in early 2017.  Also, Bombshell has already garnered a lot of positive reviews (opened in limited release on December 13th last year) and even two Golden Globe nods.  Wow!  Theron and Robbie were nominated for Best Actress – Drama and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, at the 77th Golden Globe Awards and Robbie for Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards.  Go Robbie go!  Truth be told too I have always been a huge Nicole Kidman fan.  I mean how can you not be?  Moulin Rouge baby!  Now that I completely went off topic again let’s reel you back in and discuss what you can expect with Bombshell, eh.

First things first, let’s talk the P-word, politics.  So we all know that Fox News is pro Republican, right?  That shouldn’t come as a surprise.  And sigh…we all know that President Trump is featured prominently in the trailers and he’s very relevant during all of this, right?  Well that’s just it.  Despite these two controversial points, Trump’s women hating comments and more Bombshell kind of just reports the facts.  There’s nothing taken to the extreme or any hidden messages in here saying you have to be a liberal or else you’re the devil.  No!  It just replays the circumstances with what went down in the media during this time and how Fox News just like in real life is known for being very conservative.  That’s all.  I like this approach because it didn’t feel like I was watching a propaganda film.  All this is important to know too for background information, but it’s truly the story of these women that’s really front and center, which I think should be the case anyway.  So let’s talk more about this story!

The three leading women in this movie are all trying to make it as front desk newscasters in this men’s world here at Fox News.  The defiant one, portrayed by Kidman, is on her way down with Ailes pretty much making life miserable for her.  The up and coming beautiful one, played by Robbie, is quickly learning this is a comply or get out organization if you want to make it at Fox News (meaning the shorter the skirt the further you will go).  She, however, has loyal ties to Fox News because it’s all her conservative family watches and she was literally raised on it.  So she wants to make a good impression!  Theron is a dead ringer as Megyn Kelly and she unfortunately is being awoken by everything going on.  She’s kind of in a damn if you do and damn if you don’t say anything kind of situation.  It was interesting to re-live the awkward predicament Trump kind of put her life into as well for over a year.

So above is the scenario.  If you don’t make Mr. Ailes happy, your career isn’t taking off (and he’s not afraid to tell you).  The guy is an absolute P-I-G and Lithgow nails him perfectly (prosthetics and all).  Furthermore, I would go as far as to say all the performances throughout Bombshell were both believable and extremely well executed.  The narrative literally flows too thanks to the engaging story, 4th wall breaks and quick paced edits at times.  There were never any moments where I felt like things were slowing down at all.  It was riveting from start to finish and the tears, harassment and more felt genuine and real.  There’s also moments of historical footage and real audio clips sprinkled throughout that kind of make the impact hit home harder and lend itself to the authenticity of the scandalous situation. Truth be told it did truly hit home for me seeing Cleveland so prominently featured in this one due to the Republican National Convention being held at Quicken Loans Arena during this time period.  When I saw the outside establishing shot of the arena my heart nearly jumped out of my chest.  I miss my hometown (I digress again).

All in all I think outside of the exceptional performances and wonderful “guest” cast Bombshell shines because it holds your attention to a tee, but never crosses that fine line of being too risky, too propaganda like and all-in-all just too much.  It’s the right balance of what is believe to have happened (minus some sequences inserted for dramatic effect) coupled with the atrocity of it all, but never puts you in that awkward position (sans one slightly uncomfortable scene) of going too far onscreen (you get the big picture through the words alone).  Instead of delivering knock out blows and forcing propaganda down your throat Bombshell executes nearly flawlessly in my opinion by getting its point across effectively and shining a clear spotlight on how things truly are in the media world, and let’s face it in other office worlds for women too.  It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and Bombshell delivers that message in commendable fashion, but I fear many people will want that MORE factor.


  • Encoding: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Bombshell‘s Blu-ray transfer here was apparently culled from a 2K DI transfer captured by Arri Alexa model cameras.  The result is a great looking presentation where fine detail is very prominent like closeups in skin items like pores, wrinkles, hairs, wig work, etc.  It was so clear that for the first time I also noticed a very small scar on the right shoulder of Margot Robbie.  What happened, Margot?!  There’s also a wealth of detail in the backgrounds and sets here so be on the look out for crisp items.
  • Depth: There is an abundance of depth of field to take in throughout here mainly in interiors like in the basement of Fox News Room, cubicles and more.  Because of the fine details mentioned above there was a tremendous three-dimensional pop to it all here.
  • Black Levels: The black levels for the most part are dark and inky.  A few shadows are questionable, but overall nothing to write home about.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors throughout were all bold, bright, vivacious and even natural looking throughout.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones were all natural looking and authentic.
  • Noise/Artifacts: There was zero to scrutinize over here in regards to nasty artifacts littering the presentation.  Overall I’m very pleased with everything here.


  • Audio Format(s): English 5.1 Dolby DigitalAudio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, English Descriptive Audio
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French SDH, Spanish
  • Dynamics: Alright lets get this over with.  The surround audio of Bombshell is nothing at all to write home about.  It’s not great and the mater of fact that it’s not lossless is a whole other can of worms to open here.  Shouldn’t lossless at least be mandatory on a BD-50 disc like this?  I think so!  With that being said there’s nothing glaringly wrong with the surround presentation, but truth be told it really doesn’t come to life at all until something in the film revolving around the character of Gretchen happens.  It does have a nice trippy score.  So there’s that!  And because of the lossy track this one packages I’m severely dinging this score here probably .5 lower than it really should be.  However, I’m not happy so that’s my justification for doing so.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is pretty weak.  There are moments, but for the most part it’s a rather flat track here.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: There are ambient effects and even an airplane to be found in the rear channels, but for the most part it’s a pretty tame surround presentation.  I did love how the score infects the rears from time-to-time including the “bum, bum” trippy track in the elevator.  I love that!
  • Dialogue Reproduction: As minimal as this surround track is at least the dialogue throughout is intelligible and clear.  You justness to turn this one up a bit because of its lossy qualities.


With Bombshell you no doubt get to explore the journey it took to bring this ripped-from-the-headlines tale to the screen.  However, with this Blu-ray package you’ll also get access to bonus features that include a 7-part making-of documentary featuring interviews with the incredible cast and crew that brought this story to the screen.  In addition you get a redemption code for the movie digitally, which you’ll have your choice of where to redeem it.  I can confirm it works in iTunes, but sadly Lionsgate codes are not part of Movies Anywhere.  So without further ado let’s take a peek behind the Bombshell Blu-ray curtains and tackle the 7 segments within “No Easy Truths: The Making of Bombshell” 7-Part Documentary down below in more detail.

  • Convergence: Genesis of the Film (HD, 11:13) – Here you’ll dive into the origins of the film with Charlize Theron, screenwriter Charles Randolph and Director Jay Roach as they break down the harassment issues at Fox News.  Charlize has very nice things to say about the script here.  It was interesting how Charles wanted a female director, but Charlize wanted Jay.  Even Jay thought a woman should direct this.  Charlize is also apparently very involved in this one as she’s not only in front of the camera most of the film, but producing from behind the cameras too.  I think the most profound part of this extra was how Charles said this is a movie for men and if he can put them in the seat of how harassment feels he achieved his goal.
  • Quid Pro Quo: Charlize, Nicole, Margot, John (HD, 16:21) – This one obviously examines the stars and the insight on how they had to portray them while dealing with many facets of gender politics, power struggles and more.  I do love the behind the scenes filming moments and how shots are framed where for example we don’t see Charlize’s fuzzy slippers during a newscast.  Haha.  On a serious note it was interesting to learn how Kidman challenged her character here and brought more to it all.  They are also really fond about Robbie’s performances and dedication to her craft.  I mean who isn’t though, right?  I love how John really went dark for his role, but remained respectable in the overall process.  Great prosthetics too!  You can tell he has nothing but mad respect for the three leading women here.  
  • Human Dynamics: The Ensemble Cast (HD, 16:09) – The rest of the cast get a chance to chime in and share on-set experiences and talk about the crazy cast chemistry here.  
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Visual Design (HD, 14:50) – This one looks at the visual design of the film where they employ multiple cameras and cross-shooting with zoom lenses to create the artistic/realistic look they are going for here.  From what I learned is shockingly the style is all instinct.  Very interesting!  This one also goes into the set design and how they brought the Fox News setups to life with authenticity as much as possible.
  • Layer by Layer: Makeup, Hair & Clothing (HD, 17:42) – This one dives deeper to give us a closer look at how Theron, Kidman and Lithgow were aided with prosthetics, make-up, costumes and hair as we meet all the designers behind the scenes bringing them to life.  Just the fact that Theron had prosthetics on her face is amazing enough.  I never even noticed her ultimate transformation until this extra.  With Lithgow it’s obvious, but Theron had eye lids, nose, cheeks and chin prosthetics.  Wow!  It was also interesting to learn how beauty makeup and prosthetics work together and how they had to get around some of the challenges.  
  • A Unique Skill Set: Jay Roach (HD, 9:22) – The cast and crew chime in here how Jay Roach was the perfect choice to lead this production.  
  • Catalyst for Change: Parting Thoughts (HD, 9:14) – To exit the extras here some of the stars of our movie share their thoughts and reflections on the film in the examination of sexual harassment within the feature.


I realize that Bombshell is not for everyone out there.  Heck I’m still trying to figure out how they released this on Blu-ray with only a Dolby Digital audio surround track, but I digress.  At the end of the day Bombshell was one of my Top 10 films of 2019, but I realize coming from me that ain’t saying much.  I’m the guy who has now seen Birds of Prey 7 times.  Yep!  You read that right.  I would definitely recommend Bombshell as a rental.  However, I’ll leave you with this little secret.  If you redeem the digital feature in iTunes, it does redeem in 4K so there’s always that!  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.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.



Blows Things Up…

Figuratively Speaking

on Blu-ray

March 10th





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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