Yesterday – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review


Out of all of the musical films that came out this year, Yesterday is easily my favorite out of them all. This isn’t a biopic nor is this a drama. The film is a light-hearted musical that simply celebrates the music of The Beatles. The keyword here is light-hearted. The film doesn’t necessarily have a lot of drama or conflict in it. It’s just a heartwarming and feel-good film.

Essentially, the single conflict in the film comes from Jack’s guilt for stealing all of The Beatles songs. Yet anyone can see how this story will play out. Primarily, it’s because we see that Jack is the kind of character with a good heart. So you know that his inner conflict will eventually bring him back into the light. At the same time, you root for him because he’s charming and a nice guy. In a way, his inner struggle becomes your struggle too.

But this inner conflict isn’t something that weighs down on Jack throughout the film. A majority of the film takes a look at Jack’s rise to stardom. The best part of it is that it’s full of Beatles songs. Danny Boyle’s usage of songs plays up the light tone of the film and amps up the entertainment value of the film. Despite the light tone, the film also has a ton of heart as well. Much of that comes from the love story between Jack and Ellie. All these romantic moments are heartfelt and most importantly, earned.

None of Yesterday‘s success would be possible without Himesh Patel’s charming and beautiful performance. He brings an underdog likeability to the character that you can’t help but gravitate towards. Also, his singing voice brings these iconic songs to life in a way we’ve never heard before. You know it’s his version and he’s not doing it in a way that’s reminiscent of a cover band.

Overall, Yesterday is a heartfelt and entertaining ride through the music of The Beatles. Thanks to its director and cast, the film invites us into this happy-go-lucky world that brings warmth and kindness to our hearts. It’s a place that we’ll love to revisit over and over again.
Movie Rating: 4.5/5 atoms


Yesterday - Lily James and Himesh Patel

Yesterday hits Ultra HD Blu-ray (see it on Amazon) with an HDR transfer and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. As good as the picture looks there still an inconsistency to the brightness. Certain daytime scenes have subdued whites while other scenes have them popping off the scene. At the same time, there are different shades of black too. It ranges from deep black to a light black. Not to mention, various night scenes also have a reddish hue in these areas. As for the colors, they have a natural and not too saturated look to them. Thanks to the native 4K transfer, the details are clear but there is some minor softness around the edges. Overall, this is a decent video transfer.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms


Yesterday - Himesh Patel

Yesterday hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Yesterday‘s Dolby Atmos track. Due to the nature of the film, you won’t find a lot of dynamic movement in this audio mix. However, the audio mix makes use of the Atmos format through immersion rather than playful movement Also, the mix’s accurate use of overhead effects fully engulfs you in a scene. But the biggest crowd please is the crowds themselves. The crowd noise can distinctly be heard and thankfully, it doesn’t overpower and complements the scene well.

Now, the music is where the mix is at its most playful. The playful use of instruments across the soundstage—including the overheads. Fitting for a mix showcasing the music of The Beatles. The dialogue is clear which is great since you can hear the dialogue even with the actors’ accents. Lastly, the subwoofer doesn’t always show up but you can hear it when it does. Overall, this is a very fun audio mix.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features

Yesterday - Himesh Patel and Lily James

Yesterday‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc following special features on the disc:

  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Late for School
    • Nutters Italian Ice Cream
    • Sortisimus
    • Moscow Audience
    • Alexa
    • A Gonk
    • W Hotel
    • Jack Calls Ellie
    • Corden & Roxanne
    • Hilary in the Mirror
    • Nick and Carol
    • Hazel’s Selfie
  • Live at Abbey Road Studios
    • “Yesterday”
    • “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
    • “Let It Be”
  • Alternate Opening
  • Gag Reel
  • A Talented Duo
  • Playing for Real
  • Soul Mates
  • Ed Sheeran: From Stadium to Screen
  • Agent of Comedy: Kate McKinnon
  • A Conversation with Richard & Ed
  • Feature Commentary with Director Danny Boyle and Writer/Producer Richard Curtis

Although the theatrical ending was already sweet, the alternate ending is equally as sweet too. Hearing Himesh Patel sing Ed Sheeran’s “One Life” is heartwarming as it is ironic. On the other hand, the alternate opening isn’t as good. The theatrical placement of this scene works better than as an opening. As the rest of the scene plays out, you begin to realize how short and sweet the theatrical opening is.

Unfortunately, all of the deleted scenes are not very good. These scenes would’ve taken away from the film instead of adding to it. “Live from Abbey Road Studios” is practically music videos. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to hear the singing talents of Himesh Patel. The same can also be said about the gag reel as well. The reel is short and not particularly funny.

“Playing for Real” is such an interesting look at the decision to cast Himesh Patel as the lead and the decision to have him play live in front of the cameras. You’ll also find out about several interesting pieces of information about the film as well such as Patel learning to play two instruments just for the film. “Soul Mates” covers the casting of both Lily James and Himesh Patel. Also, James and Patel break down the characters that they play in their own words.

Although it may seem like “Ed Sheeran” might be another “love fest” featurette, it’s not entirely about that. You learn some behind-the-scenes information about Sheeran’s role in the film. These range from how he got involved with the film to the genesis of his song “Penguins”. “Kate McKinnon” is yet another featurette that isn’t entirely a love fest. Well, half of it is, but the other half features some fun and interesting information about McKinnon’s involvement in the film.

Unfortunately, “A Talented Duo” is nothing but an absolute love fest for both writer Richard Curtis and director Danny Boyle. Luckily, in between the lovely words about Curtis and Boyle, we get to see some behind-the-scenes footage of the film. Thankfully, the conversation between Ed Sheeran and Richard Curtis is just so fun. Their banter and joking around is truly fun to watch.

Lastly, the audio commentary features several interesting details about the film—such as Chris Martin from Coldplay turning down the role that eventually went to Ed Sheeran. You’ll also hear a lot of fun and interesting stories about the making of the film. However, those who are looking for some filmmaking/screenwriting tips and tricks may want to look elsewhere. Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis strictly focus on their experience in making the film.

Special Features Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Overall, Yesterday is a fantastic heartwarming film that’ll put a smile on your face. The video is a bit inconsistent but the audio mix is a lot of fun. The special features may contain some duds but there are several gems in this release.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

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

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