Rocketman is an epic musical fantasy about the incredible human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years. The film follows the fantastical journey of transformation from shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton John. This inspirational story — set to Elton John’s most beloved songs and performed by star Taron Egerton — tells the universally relatable story of how a small-town boy became one of the most iconic figures in pop culture. Rocketman also stars Jamie Bell as Elton’s longtime lyricist and writing partner Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as Elton’s first manager, John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Elton’s mother Sheila Farebrother.
Plot: A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years.
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Runtime: 121 min
Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: It’s going to be a long, long time before a rock biopic manages to capture the highs and lows of an artist’s life like Rocketman.
“A fantasy-biopic you don’t want to miss!”
This movie was shot with Arri Alexa Mini cameras with Panavision G-Series Lenses. With that, this was shot in 3.4k and given a 2k Digital Intermediate, so you will get an upscaled image on this disc. Lastly, it was also given a HDR color grade for your viewing pleasure in Dolby Vision and HDR10.
When it comes to grain, I can confirm that you’ll get practically none — it was digitally shot and it comes through as such. There are some noticeable soft shots, but nothing that takes you out of the film. The moment you knew it was going to be a rock solid disc was when the HDR & black levels worked together beautifully right out of the gate. Reggie is conducting an orchestra from his bed in the dark, so you get bursts of light from the flash-light on various places of the room and on different musicians — all the while holding great contrast, detail and everything in between. (You’ll see what I mean.)
While HDR does its job nicely you will still see a lot of detail represented on this disc too. You will notice dust and scratches on an old YAMAHA piano, streaks on walls, textures on various suits and on all of Elton’s bright-glittering outfits. The costume department really nailed the aesthetic of the 70’s — and that’s not just on wardrobe, but even the recreating Hollywood during that time too! Beyond that, you already know what the format does best, close up character shots. Most of the time it’s naturally sharp with more apparent beard stubble, wrinkles, blemishes, makeup — everything you can come to expect from UHD.
As a side not: the audio sounded great on this disc, I still don’t have a setup to comment properly, but my subwoofer was really working — especially during some of the longer musical scenes like the full “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” set.
Now on to some highlights I jotted down. In Chapter 7 you will witness Elton and Bernie talking atop the roof of their apartment. You get the city backdrop at night with only the light coming from the moon and the streetlights. Here you’ll see some great HDR, detail and sharpness. Later in the movie, during the pool scene in Chapter 14 there was zero banding (and I was looking for it.) I thought there would be some because of the lighting, but it held on strong with absolutely none visible. Finally, during Chapter 16 Elton is sitting at the piano softly singing “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” as the camera pans closer and closer to his face. Here you will get more HDR showcase with great flesh tones and depth.
I didn’t grow up when Elton John was in the prime of his career, but he’s my mom’s favorite artist so his music has surrounded my entire life. Because of that, I was excited to see this in theater and I’m glad they didn’t follow suit with Bohemian Rhapsody — instead of a straight up biopic, it’s a fantasy musical, something for everyone to enjoy, especially the fans of Elton John — which, who isn’t? Not only is this a great movie to own, it’s also a great 4k disc to add to your collection. This is easy recommendation! Go and grab yourself a copy!
Will you be picking up the UHD? Sticking to the Blu-ray? Don’t care at all? Let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, Rocketman will be available to own August 27th on 4k, Blu-ray & DVD at your local retailer! You can grab it on digital today!
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