Bohemian Rhapsody 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 237, March 2019

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Thematic elements, suggestive material, drug content and language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Bryan Singer
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Bohemian Rhapsody" is a celebration of the rock group Queen, their music, and their lead singer Freddie Mercury (Malek), who defied stereotypes and convention to become one of history's most beloved entertainers. Following Queen's meteoric rise, their revolutionary sound, and Freddie's solo career, the band reunion is also chronicled with one of the greatest performances in rock history. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the complete Live AID movie performance (HD 21:55), the featurettes "Rami Malek: Becoming Freddie" (HD 16:13), "The Look And Sound Of Queen" (HD 21:44), and "Re-creating Live Aid" (HD 19:55); theatrical trailers; and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1/1.33:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa 65, Arri Alexa SXT and Arriflex 35 BL camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. This picture is warm and rich in color and natural throughout. Primaries are strong, and the range of hues captures the naturalness of each scene. At times colors pop in contrast to backgrounds and surroundings. HDR contrast is excellent with blacks that are deep and shadows that are nicely resolved. Highlights are bright and intense and effective as a lighting element. Fleshtones are perfectly natural. Resolution is excellent with fine detail exhibited throughout. Facial features are nicely detailed, exposing skin pores and lines, hair, beards and mustaches. WOW! segments are from 30:02 to 33:26, 01:07:36 to 01:09:48, and 01:32:18 to 01:36:00.

This is a beautifully and naturally colorful picture that is warmly and richly visual with stunning imagery and cinematography. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack delivers excellent fidelity, though, at times there is a strident edge to the sound. When Queen is in performance, the soundfield is huge with an aggressive and fully enveloping surround field. Dynamics are excellent. Deep bass extension sounds natural during Queen's performance and really produces foot-tapping energy. Sound effects, such as flash photography and other sounds, are sharp and clear. Foley sound effects are precise and realistic. A scene with Freddie in the rain is fantastic. Dialogue is intelligible but a bit forward at times and wanting in spatial integration.

The Immersive Sound element consists of crowd sounds, street ambiences, microphone feedback, fake wind ambiance, a train-like rumble, audience applause and screams, reverberant music extension, a jet landing, birds chirping, party chatter, heavy rain and thunder, huge wild audience applause, and other ambiences. While there is a lot of musical performance, extension to the height channel is rather weak. The sound designers incorporated a lot of crowd and audience ambiences but ignored other soundscape reproductions.

This is a satisfying soundtrack with excellent fidelity, surround dimension, and dynamics that will thrill Queen fans. (Gary Reber)