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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Danny Boyle
Cast:
Himesh Patel, Lily James, Sophia Di Martino
Writing Credits:
Richard Curtis

Synopsis:
A struggling musician realizes he's the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.

Box Office:
Budget:
$26 Million.
Opening Weekend
$17,010,050 on 2603 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$73,286,650.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English Dolby Atmos
French Dolby 7.1
Spanish Dolby 7.1
English DVS
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 117 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 9/24/2019

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Danny Boyle and Writer Richard Curtis
• Alternate Opening & Ending
• Deleted Scenes
• “Live at Abbey Road Studios”
• Gag Reel
• “A Talented Duo” Featurette
• “Playing for Real” Featurette
• “Soul Mates” Featurette
• “From Stadium to Screen” Featurette
• “Agent of Comedy” Featurette
• “A Conversation with Richard & Ed” Featurette
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Yesterday [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 16, 2019)

From Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, 2019’s Yesterday offers a massive “what if?” tale. Set in Suffolk, England, Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) struggles to make a career as a singer/songwriter.

On Jack’s bike ride home, a worldwide blackout occurs. Stuck on a light-free road, a bus hits Jack and knocks him unconscious.

After Jack awakens, he eventually learns that no one knows of the Beatles. Apparently the only one who remembers their work, he passes off those songs as his own and finds himself on the fast track to musical stardom.

Of course, complications ensue, though surprisingly few of these relate to Jack’s ethical dilemma. Occasionally he appears to feel squeamish about his ruse, but that seems to come more from a fear someone will catch him than the basic lie itself.

Jack also deals with a deepening connection to his longtime manager and best pal Ellie Appleton (Lily James). Long platonic friends, Jack’s success takes him away from his small-town life and makes both him and Ellie confront their buried romantic feelings.

As much as Yesterday attempts to ladle out plot points, it really remains more of a concept than an actual film. And it’s a fun concept, as the notion of a world without the Beatles creates a slew of exciting possibilities.

At times, Yesterday explores these in an engaging manner, but not as often as one might expect. Although a few other famous brands/subjects also don’t exist in this brave new world, we see little real difference between the Beatles-free universe and our own.

I get that this would be difficult to explore adequately, as the Beatles’ work became so entwined in our existence so long ago that no one can adequately define what the musical landscape would look like if they never existed. Yesterday makes a joke at the expense of a famous 1990s band who may or may not owe their existence to the Beatles, but otherwise, we don’t see any substantial changes.

While I appreciate that topic seems beyond the scope of a 117-minute romantic comedy, I’d have liked a little more effort in that regard. For instance, we see other rock artists who still exist in the post-blackout world and I guess we’re supposed to assume nothing changed for them, but given that the Stones and Bowie – two artists mentioned here – recorded Beatles songs, there’s no way rock history wouldn’t have changed pretty radically. Cripes, Lennon and McCartney wrote the Stones’ first single!

I also find it a stretch to accept that audiences would gobble up Beatles songs in 2019 just like they did 50-plus years earlier. Did the Fabs write a lot of great songs? Sure, but that doesn’t mean they’d have the same impact in 2019, especially given the Yesterday versions lack the performing talents of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

The Beatles didn’t remake rock history just because they wrote great songs. Their performances were a large part of it as well, and their individual personalities/charisma mattered as well.

In a world where homely, dull Ed Sheeran is a mega-star, I can’t rule out anything, but Jack feels like an odd messenger to spread the Fab gospel. Given that Jack only seems moderately talented, we need to accept that the songs themselves are essentially unkillable and would be hits in any area via any singer.

Nope. That’s a bridge too far, and it becomes a tough concept to swallow. The Beatles were a cultural phenomenon as well as musical stars, whereas the movie just wants us to see them as really good songwriters.

Even as much as I question this side of the movie, the biggest issue with Yesterday comes from the dreary, tedious romantic dance between Jack and Ellie. Both Patel and James offer decent skills but they don’t really connect as a couple, and the entire relationship arc feels gratuitous.

Does the movie need the ups and downs of Jack and Ellie? Not really. I guess the filmmakers thought the film required some kind of dramatic tension beyond Jack’s musical journey, but the Jack/Ellie relationship never gels.

This means the movie wastes time with their flat interactions when it could dig more deeply into the fantasy elements. For instance, with one major exception, we’re left to wonder what happened to the four members of the Beatles.

Why not explore this subject more fully? Jack appears to Google everything else related to the Beatles but he never bothers to find out where the real Beatles are?

Wouldn’t he want to find them and see what happened to their musical dreams and why the Beatles never happened? That would’ve been way more interesting than the mawkish scenes between Jack and Ellie.

Ultimately Yesterday exists more as a concept than as a movie. It manages occasional moments of fun but it can’t use its clever idea to go down a particularly satisfying path.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B

Yesterday appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a pleasant presentation.

Sharpness was positive. Only a smidgen of softness impacted some interiors, so the image remained pretty tight and well-defined most of the time.

I noticed no issues with shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also failed to mar the presentation.

Yesterday went with a teal-influenced palette that sprinkled in some amber/orange as well. 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 Dolby Atmos mix of Yesterday, it showed scope generally typical of the drama/comedy soundfield. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the film’s material allowed it to open up in a satisfying manner when necessary

Musical segments added immersiveness, especially when performed in various venues. The mix used the music in a broad, engaging manner, though, and the whole package fit together smoothly.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Music seemed warm and lush, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy. Bass responses delivered great punch. The mix suited the story and kicked into gear when necessary.

The disc comes with a bunch of extras, and these begin with an audio commentary from director Danny Boyle and writer Richard Curtis. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, music, editing and deleted scenes, sets and locations, and related domains.

Overall, this becomes an engaging piece. Boyle and Curtis show an easy chemistry and give us a chatty, informative view of the film.

In addition to 12 Deleted Scenes (23 minutes, 29 seconds), we find an Alternate Opening (4:47) and an Alternate Ending (3:10).

The “Opening” sets up a few story/character concepts, whereas the “Ending” gives us a more concrete resolution to the movie’s romance – plus another anachronism-related gag. The “Opening” basically sets up concepts that don’t need reinforcement, so it feels superfluous, and the “Ending” ties too neat a bow in the film.

As for all those deleted scenes, we get some good nuggets here. Of most interest, we see the James Corden Show sequence teased in trailers, one that shows a potential connection between Jack and an actress. In the same vein, we find a clip that shows Jack’s comments to Ellie about a sexual conquest in Russia wasn’t a lie.

Others flesh out minor character bits and parts of Jack’s career. Outside of the romance-based scenes, none seem significant, but they’re interesting to see.

A Gag Reel spans two minutes, four seconds and shows the usual goofs and giggles. Nothing enchanting appears, but at least it wraps up quickly.

Musical content shows up under Live At Abbey Road Studios. It runs nine minutes, 50 seconds and features Himesh Patel’s performances of “Yesterday”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Let It Be”.

“Live” exists for promotional reasons. At least it comes at the advertisement in an unusual manner, so that makes it more valuable than usual.

Six featurettes follow, and From Stadium to Screen lasts three minutes, nine seconds and offers notes from Curtis, Patel, Boyle, and actor Ed Sheeran. We get thoughts about Sheeran’s work in the film via this fairly fluffy piece.

With Agent of Comedy, we get a three-minute, 17-second featurette that involves Curtis, Patel, Sheeran, Boyle, and actor Kate McKinnon. We learn about McKinnon’s role and performance. It’s a forgettable reel but I like the smidgen of McKinnon improv we see.

A Talented Duo occupies three minutes, 25 seconds and includes material with Boyle, Curtis, Patel, McKinnon, and Sheeran, producer Matthew James Wilkinson and actor Lily James. “Duo” looks at the working partnership of Boyle and Curtis. It tends toward happy talk and doesn’t tell us a ton.

Next comes Playing for Real, a five-minute, 35-second segment with Curtis, Patel, Boyle, Sheeran, McKinnon, music producer Adem Ilhan, producer Tim Bevan, and composer Daniel Pemberton.

“Real” covers the movie’s musical performances. Despite the inevitable praise, we get a mix of decent insights.

Via Soul Mates, we locate a four-minute, 47-second reel that features Patel, James, Curtis, McKinnon, and Boyle. This one discusses the lead characters and performances. It lacks much substance.

Finally, A Conversation with Richard and Ed goes for three minutes, 22 seconds and offers a chat between Curtis and Sheeran. They banter in a self-mocking way that doesn’t present a ton of info but it seems fun.

The disc opens with ads for A Dog’s Journey, The Hustle, Fighting With My Family, Amazing Grace and Perfect Harmony. No trailer for Yesterday appears here.

Blessed with a delightful concept, Yesterday offers occasional moments of mirth. However, it seems too long and too concerned with a dreary romantic subplot to really work. The Blu-ray brings very good picture along with satisfying audio and a mix of bonus materials. I like the premise of Yesterday but the movie itself doesn’t gel as well as I’d like.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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