Rocketman 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 243, September 2019

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Language throughout, some drug use, and sexual content
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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(Full Screen Edition):
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Dexter Fletcher
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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(French Language):
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"Rocketman" is the musical celebration of rock & roll legend Elton John and boasts incredible performances of Elton John's beloved songs by Taron Egerton. The movie shows how a shy, small-town boy becomes one of the most iconic figures in rock & roll. Along the way, the movie is filled with show-stopping musical performances. (Gary Reber)

Special features include four extended musical numbers with introduction by Director Dexter Fletcher (HD 14:48); 10 deleted and extended scenes with introduction by Fletcher (HD 19:39); five featurettes: "It's Going To Be A Wild Ride: Creative Vision" (HD 07:08), "Becoming Elton John: Taron's Transformation" (HD 06:52), "Larger Than Life: Production Design & Costuming" (HD 08:55), "Full Tilt: Staging The Musical Numbers" (HD 10:09) and "Music Reimagined: The Studio Sessions" (HD 11:33); a Rocketman Lyric Companion: Sing-Along with 13 Select Songs (HD 35:44); Rocketman Jukebox: Jump Straight to the Music (HD 52;49); "Think You Know Me? Think Again" a special message from Elton John presented in a 16-page booklet and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa Mini camera system and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. Image resolution is superb throughout, especially during close-ups. Color fidelity is rich and warm with incredible hue shadings, no doubt due to the wider color gamut. The flashbacks in Eton's life are perfectly natural and slightly desaturated. Modern day imagery is vivid. HDR contrast is excellent, with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Bright accents and spot lighting never appear exaggerated unless used as a visual enhancement. The imagery overall exhibits incredible image depth. Lighting is perfect, with varying intensities that enhance the sense of depth and contrast. The scene at Mama Cass' house is beautifully light and presented. As the movie progresses, saturation appears to become stronger, particularly in the staged performances. WOW! segments are from 12:06 to 13:30, 20:20 to 22:14, 41:12 to 42:52, 46:52 to 50:20, 59:42 to 01:00:28, 01:02:12 to 01:04:04, 01:14:36 to 01:15:53, 01:23:18 to 01:24:39 and 01:51:25 to 01:53:38. This is a picture that is well photographed and very natural in appearance with nicely saturated colors, lavish costumes and set designs. A real audience pleaser. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is lively and dynamic. Elton's earlier life is subdued and dialogue focused with segments of early music talent. As Elton's music advances, the excitement rises dramatically during the stage production numbers, often with expansive orchestrations and instrumentations. The soundstage is wide and deep and extends aggressively to envelope the entire soundfield. The music is the star and delivers dynamic sound, powerful dynamics, rhythmic beats and, at times, sensitive nuances. The music completely engulfs the soundfield with an aggressive presence. Deep bass is rhythmic and perfectly complementary to the musical performances. The orchestra/choral arrangements with string section are wonderful. Fidelity is incredible. Dialogue is perfectly integrated spatially with superb clarity, as is the singing. Adam Murray's choreography is spectacular.

The Immersive Sound element is primarily comprised of the orchestral/choral score and Elton John's music. Some atmospheric and sound effects occasionally extend to the height layer, such as the laughter of teens at an amusement park, motorcycle engine revs, nightclub chatter, a club's crowd singing a chorus, a couple of swoop sounds, Elton's voice aggressively presented against background missile fireworks, an underwater swoop and bubbles, a stadium audience singing "Rocketman," a firecracker blast, audience shouts and other subtle ambience effects.

This is a wonderful holosonic® spherical surround soundtrack with fantastic music and big-scale, reference-quality presentations that will thrill every member of the family. (Gary Reber)