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UHD Review A few words about...™ Bohemian Rhapsody & A Star is Born (2018) -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Message #1 of 137 Feb 9, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2019
    Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    It is neither through disrespect, nor negligence, that I combine the comments on two of the major 4k Blu-ray releases from the 2018 season.

    Each in its own way, defines a specific style, both cinematographically as well as aurally, and both are reproduced on tiny CD-sized discs with immense resolution, and "break your lease" Dolby Atmos audio.

    They both have approximately the same running time (134 minutes for Bohemian Rhapsody / 136 for Star is Born). Both share the same aspect ratio. So compression should be similar.

    Bohemian Rhapsody was shot generally large format with an Arri Alexa 65, while ASiB was shot with an Arri Alexa Mini, and both are magnificent on 4k disc, with a bit of help from nicely used HDR. ASiB is encoded for Dolby Vision.

    My purpose here is not to review the two films, which at this point need no further reviews, but rather to make the point that we have reached a technological state via which the theatrical experience, short of screen size, can be accurately reproduced in one's home theater.

    We've come a long way from Arrival of a Train, so beautifully captured by the Lumiere Brothers, and Rescued by Rover, as directed by Fitzhamon and Hepworth, and even the best of Berkeley.

    Our ability to properly reproduce color and audio will most assuredly make further "advances," especially with 8k on the horizon, but I'm not seeing any necessity to raise our current technical specifications, as the human eyes and ears are reasonably well tapped out.

    Both of these releases are of magisterial proportions, and like a handful of 4k releases that came before them, should make it very difficult to anyone not to make the move to 4k and Dolby Atmos, even if that move might necessitate a new partner, or the need (as someone else noted) to relinquish a minor Picasso.

    With all of the discussion regarding 8k, and further additions of speakers and amps, it seems that we've hit a point with our current technology, at which ones eyes and ears will not be able to either differentiate or appreciate further upgrades.

    At this point, we break into two disparate camps. Flat panel and projection.

    Current OLED flat panels may find ways forward. Those that may roll up into a ceiling mount, and span over 120 inches in width, and are able to solve the problems of black levels and high illumination we still have in projection.

    But beyond that, this may be a huge problem for home theater hardware manufacturers, because we can finally rest comfortably - which we were never able to do from VHS, Laser, CED, Beta or HD - that (yes, I'm repeating) what we have in our homes capably and accurately reproduces what we saw and heard in theaters (or betters that experience), and that there may no longer be a logical way forward toward built-in obsolescence.

    My intent here is not to damn 8k, which is a wonderful halo product, but to take a rational perspective and where we are, and where we may or may not need to go.

    For those unaware, both of these films deserve your attention, and both should be in any serious library.

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5

    Pass / Fail - Pass

    Very Highly Recommended

    RAH

     
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  2. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    Both terrific films and will be purchasing both.

    Will make a great double feature.
     
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  3. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    I agree. However both are polarizing to different degrees as will be apparent from the posts forthcoming below. :D
     
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  4. Message #4 of 137 Feb 9, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
    Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Noting a special feature on the Rhapsody disc. A 20 minute uncut sequence of the entire Live Aid sequence, as filmed.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    One film more so than the other, since, it's based on real people while the other is mainly fiction based on previous film versions.
     
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  6. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    Slight correction RAH. It’s Live Aid.
     
  7. Message #7 of 137 Feb 9, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
    B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Cinematographer

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    Better than confusing it with Band or Rite ... ;)
    Sharon Osbourne - spouse of Ozzy said that the scenes backstage in BR at Live Aid were not realistic. As opposed to the backstage scenes ASiB-2018. Which Ms. Osbourne -a concert promoter, manager etc. said were more realistic - (she was stating why she was upset Mr. Cooper did not get a Best Director Oscar nomination)

    I plan to get both films on 4K disc
     
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  8. JWC1969

    JWC1969 Extra

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    Well said, Mr. Harris. It's an exciting time for A/V, a millions miles from when I'd hook my boombox to the VCR to add more aural oomph to the VHS pan-and-scan rental of Apocalypse Now I was watching on the family's 20" color CRT.
     
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  9. ArnoldLayne

    ArnoldLayne Stunt Coordinator
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    Just rec'd my copy of BH UHD, ready for Valentine's Day after dinner and beverages ;-)
    Equipment-wise I'm a happy camper , buying UHD new releases and only upgrading when the existing BD transfer is poor.
    Epson 5040, Oppo 203, Marantz SR6011, Emotiva XPA2 300 wpc, SVS Ultra speakers & subs.
    :-O
     
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  10. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    Watched Bohemian Rhapsody last night.

    Looked and sounded tremendous in UHD and Dolby Atmos.

    My wife and I’s favorite film of the year.
     
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  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Hi RAH! For once, I'm ready and willing to agree with the general "we've reached the point of diminishing returns" in terms of home video reproduction with regards to the current state of 4K HDR + Atmos setups that can be affordably (relatively) purchased.

    A variant of this statement was said for DVD, then HD, (not by you, but by others in years past) neither of which I was comfortable with supporting. I was tempted to agree with 1080p HD, but blowing that up to a 120" screen made me change my mind. Now with 4K UHD/HDR...unless you're running an IMAX screen at home you're not going to tell the difference. And having just set up an Atmos 5.1.2 at home...I find it audibly indistinguishable from a theater. Same excitement, punch, directionality and visceral effect (I run PSA and Hsu subs so I can shake the room if needed). I can't imagine what a 5.1.4 or 7.1.4 (which my receiver can do, I just haven't bothered to buy more speakers) would sound like, but I truly have the ability to recreate the theatrical experience at home in a way that the only difference is screen size. And that's just a function of my wallet and not the technology. If at some point I can buy a true 4K HDR front projector and put up a 120" screen at home...given seating distance and field-of-view coverage I'll essentially have fully recreated a theater at home.
     
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  12. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Cinematographer
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    'A Star is Born' is my pick for Best Picture of the Year. However, my recommendation is quite lacking in that I've only seen two of the nominated Best Picture films (the other being 'Black Panther').

    Now that it is available for rental, I am contemplating seeing 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. The problem is, I'm not really a fan of Queen's music. I don't hate their music, but I wouldn't go out of my way to listen to it.

    I'm not a fan of the film 'Wayne's World', which I watched once and went "Meh!" So the notably used 'Bohemian Rhapsody' number in that film isn't a draw for me either.

    Frankly, my hesitation in watching the film is my concern that I'll despise it. And if I despise it and it wins Best Picture, then I'll despise the Academy voters.

    But 'A Star is Born' is FABULOUS filmmaking. If Lady Gaga doesn't get Best Actress it had better go to Glenn Close ('The Wife') or there will be more hell to pay.

    We'll be showing 'A Star is Born' in the Booth Bijou Garage Theater the first weekend in March. I'm really looking forward to seeing it again.

    Mark
     
  13. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    I've seen 7 of the 8 BP noms and "ASIB" is easily the best of that bunch, IMO.

    Watched it a second time on the 4K disc last weekend and liked it as much as I did theatrically.

    I doubt it'll win but it should!
     
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  14. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    I love both performances from Close and Gaga but I hope Olivia Coleman wins for The Favourite. She blows them both away I thought.
     
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  15. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I plan to buy ASIB sight unseen, but just had a funny thought in that I recently re-watched The Hangover and that was my first real, memorable experience of Bradley Cooper in a starring role. What a career trajectory!
     
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  16. Message #16 of 137 Feb 13, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    Never mind the Queen aspects, Mark;
    go into "Bohemian Rhapsody" knowing that you'll be witness to an uncanny tour-de-force performance by Rami Malek;
    the hands down winner for this year's Best Actor.:cool:

    Understand the Gaga aspects entirely, but it is Lady Glenn's turn.
    Ms. Close, since her first nomination, has endured a 36 year waiting period for Oscar;
    and this win will not be a sympathy award, either; for this is acting at its best.:thumbs-up-smiley:

    You've got lucky neighbors.:)
     
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  17. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    The first time I "noticed" Cooper was as the d-bag fiance in "Wedding Crashers"...
     
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  18. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I remember him as the lovelorn love interest on TV in Alias.
     
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  19. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I remember how everyone hated his character on Alias and when he got written off that show, I thought "Gee, that poor guy's career is probably ruined now." I can call 'em. :)
     
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  20. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    People made the same statement about Judy Garland winning for 1954's A Star is Born but she was robbed.
     
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