Bohemian Rhapsody appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an appealing presentation.
Sharpness was almost always positive. A minor amount of softness crept into a couple of long shots, but otherwise the image remained tight and well-defined at all times.
I noticed no issues with shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also failed to mar the presentation.
Rhapsody went with a heavily orange and teal palette typical of modern films. Within the movie’s color design, the tones seemed solid.
Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows demonstrated nice smoothness. This was a consistently satisfying image.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, it proved to be unusually ambitious for its genre, though as expected, music dominated. With a wide variety of performances, the songs filled the side and rear speakers on a frequent basis.
That was par for the course, but the way the mix used effects came as a surprise. With some “action elements” like jets and other escapades, the track opened up in a broad manner on more than a few occasions. These gave the situations more range and scope than I anticipated.
Audio quality seemed fine. Music showed pretty good pep and power, with songs that came across with nice clarity and range.
Effects were similarly full and accurate, while speech seemed distinctive and concise. The track worked well for the flick.
Despite the movie’s success, only a handful of extras appear here, and the first offers the Complete Live Aid Movie Performance. This lasts 21 minutes, 55 seconds and expands the 13-minute, 25-second segment seen in the film.
Don’t expect “Complete” to stay focused solely on the concert stage, though, as it includes the same cutaways to other characters found in the final flick. Really, “Complete” acts more as an extended scene, one that mainly benefits from the addition of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “We Will Rock You”.
Though it doesn’t add much not found in the finished flick, “Complete” still offers a nice bonus. Too bad the disc doesn’t give us a split-screen comparison to the actual Live Aid performance – I guess I’ll just have to synch the Blu-ray to my Live Aid DVD!
Next we get Becoming Freddie, a 16-minute, 13-second piece with comments from producer Graham King, Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May, movement coach Polly Bennett, music supervisor Becky Bentham, vocal coach Annie Skates, director of photography Newton Thomas Sigel, makeup/hair designer Jan Sewell, costume designer Julian Day, and actors Rami Malek, Joe Mazzello, Gwilym Lee, Allen Leech, Ben Hardy and Lucy Boynton.
“Becoming” covers Malek’s casting as Mercury as well as aspects of his performance and elements connected to his transformation. Inevitably, some of this revolves around praise for Malek, but we still get a nice view of the ways the film brought out Mercury.
The Look and Sound of Queen goes for 21 minutes, 44 seconds and presents notes from Malek, Hardy, King, Mazzello, May, Lee, Sewell, Day, supervising sound and music editor John Warhurst and production designer Aaron Haye.
With “Look”, we cover the story’s path to the screen, cast and performances, May and Taylor’s involvement, sets/locations, and other character elements.
In addition to three trailers, the disc ends with Recreating Live Aid. The 19-minute, 55-second featurette includes info from King, May, Taylor, Malek, Lee, Hardy, Mazzello, Haye, Sigel, Day, Sewell, Bennett, concert lighting director Tony Simpson, visual effects supervisor Paul Norris, DNEG supervisor May Leung, visual effects producer Tim Field, VFX sprite system R&D supervisor Ted Waine, and DNEG 2nd supervisor Andrew Simmonds.
As expected, “Recreating” tells us how the movie brought the big Live Aid sequence to the screen. Like the other clips, it leans toward happy talk, but it also provides useful insights.
I’m Still Annoyed update: King doubles down on the lie that Queen reunited for Live Aid, though May acknowledges the band had just finished a tour.
Also, Taylor claims Live Aid offered the first time rock musicians organized an event for the greater good. That bizarre statement immediately caused George Harrison to spin in his grave.
A second disc presents a DVD copy of Rhapsody. It provides the Live Aid set but lacks the other extras.
A massive hit, Bohemian Rhapsody suffers from massive flaws. Too fictionalized and too schmaltzy, the movie wastes good acting and a strong real-life story. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio along with a fairly informative set of supplements. Rhapsody brings a botched biopic.