The Movie: 8.7/10
Those of us who have been alive since the 60’s and 70’s have the privileged and good luck to have seen music in a whole different way. When I was a kid, hearing Queen on the radio wasn’t “classic rock’n’roll” yet, it was just the rock’n’roll of the day. I had Another One Bites the Dust on a 45, yea, a 45, and I would listen to it with my head next to the speaker of that living room console stereo unit, you know the ones. As the record finished I would have to get up and move the needle back to listen again, and again. I can hear it now, “da dun dun dun da da…another one bits the dust, and another one gone and another one..!”, playing in my head, and if I close my eyes I’m a kid again feeling that thing that Queen did so well, which I can’t define.
I didn’t know anything about Freddy Mercury’s life, not really. I’m not that kind of music fan, or any kind of entertainment fan. I don’t try to learn all about the person, the people, their lives, their favorite colors, their aches and pains or trials and tribulations. I know it helps to know the story if you are in love with lyrics and the lives of the band are woven into those words, but even that I didn’t really know about with Queen. All this doesn’t really tell you much about the movie though does it? That’s because my experience with this film was more about my memories of the music along with appreciating the (fictionalized) journey the band took to get their music onto my record player way back when.
The movie is fun to look at, that’s the first thing I think about. It’s got some amazing sets, costumes, and camera work that brings it all that spark of life that I think is true to the Queen experience. The performances are amazing, and intriguing which captivated me from the first scene. We all know the sad ending of Freddy Mercury’s life, so that is always hanging over the whole thing, or at least it was for me. Knowing the impact their music has had on my generation, the generation before me, and all the generations since, crept into every single scene. The songs we get to see our fictional version of the band perform is 100% pleasure! The excitement of their defiant attitude, and those recognizable songs, mixed with a bit of their drama (again, fictionalized) built a great story. The thing is, even with a good movie that looks great and is fun to watch, the overriding experience is all about the music. It’s not just how it’s woven through the film, but that urge to stop the movie and put on a Queen album because as good as it is in the movie, listening to the real deal is so satisfying.
Bohemian Rhapsody is well made, tugs at the emotions, tells us a bit more about the band dynamics, and of course gets all of us to go find the real footage of Live Aid immediately after it’s over. And then we play the songs from the movie, and then we listen to the whole albums and watch more videos of the band back in the day….and overall it makes for a great experience, a full meal with the movie as the appetizer:)
- The Complete Live Aid Movie Performance (22 Minutes) – The full version of the concert performed in the movie.
- Rami Malek: Becoming Freddie (16 Minutes) – A look at the physical and mental challenges it took for Rami to embody Freddie.
- The Look And Sound Of Queen (21 Minutes) – Interviews with the cast and Queen about the amazing music in the film.
- Recreating Live Aid (20 Minutes) – Queen and Bob Geldof visit the Live Aid set and are amazed at the results.
- Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Copy
Audio & Video: 9/10
Bohemian Rhapsody comes to Blu-ray courtesy of 20th Century Fox and an AVC encoded transfer in 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Some of the archival footage used here including the famous Live Aid scene are shot on film while the rest is a digital image. Detail here is respectable with lots of facial closeups and exciting concert footage. Fleshtones are on point and shadow detail is perfectly dialed in.
The soundtrack here is dialed up to 11 and is one of the most impressive I have heard this year. Dolby Atmos fans will need to buy the 4K disc as that track is only available there. The Blu-ray comes with a DTS-HD 7.1 track that is equally as impressive though, low end (LFE) is represented perfectly with concert footage literally rocking the house. Dialog is also precise and never muffled in the center channel.
Overall Score 8.7/10