Rocketman appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. The movie came with excellent visuals.
Sharpness maintained a high caliber of clarity. Virtually no softness marred the presentation, as it remained tight and well-defined. I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and both edge haloes and print flaws also failed to appear.
Can’t Hollywood at least avoid teal and orange for period biopics? Apparently not, as those tones dominated the film’s palette.
Despite the tedious nature of those choices, the colors looked well-represented for what they were. Occasional instances of other tones managed to show nice vivacity, and the disc’s HDR added zing to the hues.
Blacks seemed dark and deep, while low-light shots offered solid delineation. Contrast looked solid, and the HDR brought intensity to whites. Everything about the transfer satisfied.
Though not as memorable, the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack worked fine for the material at hand. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, music dominated and used the various speakers well. These boosted the songs in a lively manner.
Effects got less to do and usually offered general ambience. That left us without much in terms of auditory fireworks, but given the story’s character/musical focus, this made sense.
Overall audio quality seemed good. Speech was natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.
Music sounded peppy and full, while effects seemed acceptable. As mentioned earlier, these elements lacked much to stand out from the crowd, but they appeared accurate enough. This all added up to a “B“ soundtrack that fared best in its use of Elton’s songs.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? Audio was identical, while visuals seemed fairly similar as well.
The 4K UHD offered a mild boost in accuracy, and colors/contrast seemed stronger. While the 4K UHD was the superior rendition, it didn’t offer a huge upgrade over the Blu-ray.
No extras appear on the 4K UHD itself, but we get features on the included Blu-ray copy, and two music-related options appear as extras. Lyric Companion provides words when songs play to give us a “singalong” option, whereas Jukebox lets us jump to any of the movie’s 23 songs – or watch them all via a “Play All” feature that lasts 52 minutes, 49 seconds. Neither of these adds much value from my point of view, but they’re harmless and someone might like them.
Four Extended Musical Numbers fill 14 minutes, 48 seconds. In addition to an optional – and forgettable - 30-second introduction from director Dexter Fletcher, we find “The Bitch Is Back” (2:13), “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” (4:00), “Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache” (3:55) and “Honky Cat” (4:39).
After another fairly pointless 25-second intro from Fletcher, we see 10 Deleted and Extended Scenes. These occupy 19 minutes, 39 seconds.
With the “Musical Numbers”, most go on a bit too long. “Bitch” offers some interesting changes, but others – especially “Cat” – just ramble.
As for the deleted/extended clips, most bring us a bit of extra character exposition. For instance, we see more of Elton with his childhood piano teacher, and we get more of other characters. They’re decent but not especially memorable.
In a more substantial addition, we see the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and its impact on Elton. Another scene lets us observe Elton’s burgeoning interest in that cause. Both of these seem interesting on their own, but I think they would’ve been contrived if placed in the final film.
Two segments that show Elton in rehab feel the same. Independently, they’re intriguing, but they slow the movie’s pace.
Five featurettes follow, and Creative Vision runs seven minutes, eight seconds and brings comments from Fletcher, Elton John, producers David Furnish and Matthew Vaughn, and actor Taron Egerton.
“Vision” looks at the film’s roots and approach to the material, development, and story/character elements. A few decent notes emerge, but most of the featurette feels superficial.
With Taron’s Transformation, we find a six-minute, 52-second reel that features Egerton, John, Fletcher, makeup/hair designer Lizzie Yianni Georgiou, costume designer Julian Day, and pianist/vocal coach Michael L. Roberts.
As expected, this show discusses Egerton’s preparation and performance. Though we get a smattering of insights related to Egerton’s approach, much of “Transformation” just praises him.
Next comes Larger Than Life, an eight-minute, 55-second clip with Fletcher, John, Vaughn, Day, Georgiou, production designer Marcus Rowland, and location manager Andrew Buckley. Here we examine sets and locations as well as costumes and hair/makeup. “Life” becomes a reasonably efficient overview.
Full Tilt fills 10 minutes, nine seconds with notes from Vaughn, Fletcher, Furnish, Rowland, songwriter Bernie Taupin, choreographer Adam Murray, music producer Giles Martin, Egerton, and actor Richard Madden.
“Tilt” covers the reworked songs as well as choreography. Like “Life”, it offers a fairly useful take on the topics.
Finally, The Studio Sessions takes up 11 minutes, 33 seconds with info from Vaughn, Fletcher, Egerton and John. These tell us about Egerton’s singing in a generally fluffy piece.
As a virtually lifelong fan of Elton John’s music, I wanted to enjoy Rocketman. Unfortunately, it makes so many severe missteps that it becomes a chore to watch. The 4K UHD boasts excellent visuals, good audio and a decent array of bonus materials. Even diehard Elton aficionados should avoid this mess.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of ROCKETMAN