Rocketman – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review


Musical biopics are quite the rage within the past couple of months. First, there was Bohemian Rhapsody based on the life and music of Queen. Now, we have Rocketman, a biopic based on the life of Sir Elton John. Unlike Rhapsody, Rocketman isn’t your typical musical biopic. It doesn’t play out in a straightforward way that other biopics do.

Instead, the film feels more like a traditional biopic in the way it puts a lot of emphasis on the musical numbers—especially due to the fantasy nature of the film. Because of that, the film is so beautifully and dynamically shot. There’s also a panache and attitude to the film that’s very fitting for the likes of Sir Elton John. Everything is so over-the-top when it comes to this film.

But Rocketman isn’t made to simply highlight Sir Elton’s musical career. The film sheds light on all of his alcohol and drug problems during his lifetime. Everything stems from his need to be loved properly—either from his parents or significant other.  Unfortunately, none of them give that to him.

As it is with all biopics though, his struggles never really develop throughout the film. One minute he’s sober and the next he’s not. Of course, with all of the various musical numbers in the film, it’s easy to see why there’s not a ton of development. It’s a delicate balance that the filmmakers never really found in the movie.

Regardless, Taron Egerton is simply phenomenal as Sir Elton John. He seemingly captures all of Elton’s mannerisms and personality. Not to mention, he gives such an emotional performance once the movie reaches the second act. Time will tell if Taron will achieve the same award success as Rami Malek but so far he’s up there.

Overall, Rocketman is a fantastic fantastical musical biopic that’s fitting for a man like Sir Elton John. Character and story development issues aside, the combination of his music and story is a definite must-watch for fans and non-fans alike.

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms


Rocketman - Taron Egerton

Rocketman hits Ultra HD Blu-ray (see it on Amazon) with an HDR transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. For as lively a person as Elton John is, the video transfer sure doesn’t equal it. That’s not to say that the video looks bad but the colors in the film aren’t vibrant at all. They simply just have a natural saturation to them. However, there are instances where the neon lights seem to jump off the screen. The same can be said of the brightness of the video as well. The bright areas of the video just jump off the screen.

Unfortunately, the black levels take a bit of a hit. Instead of a deep black, we get something that’s a shade lighter than that. Also, as it is With most Paramount releases, the details are clean and well-defined. Every bit of Sir Elton’s offbeat costumes can be seen clearly. On the other hand, there is a tiny bit of softness in the edge details. Overall, this is a pretty good video transfer.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms


Rocketman - Jamie Bell and Taron Egerton

Rocketman hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Rocketman‘s Dolby Atmos track. Much like the video transfer, it’s a bit sad to see that the audio mix doesn’t have the same dynamism and playfulness as the film itself. The use of the Dolby Atmos is a bit more subdued compared to other musicals that use the Atmos format. Thus, the atmospherics and overhead effects are subtle and it’s something you don’t really notice unless you really try and listen for it.

On the other hand, the music is loud and triumphant. Yet the music doesn’t feel immersive. The static positioning of instruments simply just fills up the soundstage. At the same time, it feels like it’s relegated to the front because the vocals are in the front. Despite all that, at least the dialogue can clearly be heard. Overall, this is a decent audio mix.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Special Features

Rocketman - Taron Egerton and Richard Madden

Rocketman‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the regular Blu-ray disc:

  • Extended Musical Numbers
    • Introduction by Dexter Fletcher
    • The Bitch is Back
    • Saturday Night’s Alright (for Fighting)
    • Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache
    • Honky Cat
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
    • Introduction by Dexter Fletcher
    • I Love Rock and Roll
    • You’ve Got to Kill the Person You Were Born to Be
    • Arabella
    • Elton in the Gas Oven
    • Stylish Boots
    • You’re Not the First Closet Queen with a Mummy Complex
    • Blood Test
    • Heart Attack
    • Launderette
    • Do You Want Anything?
  • It’s Going to Be a Wild Ride: Creative Vision
  • Becoming Elton John: Taron’s Transformation
  • Larger Than Life: Production Design & Costuming
  • Full Tilt: Staging the Musical Numbers
  • Music Reimagined: The Studio Sessions
  • Rocketman Lyric Companion: Sing-Along with Select Songs (English Only)
    • Play Movie with Sing-Along
    • The Bitch is Back
    • I Want Love
    • Saturday Night’s Alright (for Fighting)
    • Your Song
    • Crocodile Rock
    • Tiny Dancer
    • Honky Cat
    • Rocket Man
    • Bennie and the Jets
    • Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
    • Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word
    • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    • I’m Still Standing
  • Rocketman Jukebox: Jump Straight to the Music

The extended musical numbers are all amazing to watch. However, due to the length of them, you can see why Dexter Fletcher had to shorten them. On the other hand, the deleted and extended scenes are fine for the first time, but you don’t need to watch them again afterward. None of the scenes really contribute majorly to the film.

For whatever reason, the standard of behind-the-scenes featurettes is becoming more and more stale and generic. Luckily (and thankfully), Rocketman has quite a bit of in-depth and revealing look at the making of the film. Thus, there’s no EPK or back-patting at all in these five featurettes.

Lastly, the sing-along songs and jukebox options are simply there for everyone that just wants to listen to music or sing-along. They’re not really groundbreaking but you will probably spend a lot of time with this bonus feature.

Special Features Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Overall, Rocketman is a stellar musical highlighted by the eclectic music of Sir Elton John. On the other hand, it’s just a tiny bit sad that the audio and video doesn’t quite parallel the movie. Unlike the movie, everything is subdued here. Thankfully, the special features are all spectacular. Not to mention, the sing-along videos and jukebox features are something that you’ll pick time and time again.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Paramount Home Entertainment.

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