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post #1 of 23 Old 08-19-2019, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Rocketman Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years. Check out Ralph Potts’ Ultra HD Blu-ray review of Rocketman from Paramount Home Media Distribution.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

93



Details:

Studio and Year: Paramount - 2019
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 121 minutes
Genre: Drama/Biopic

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed by: Dexter Fletcher
Music by: Matthew Margeson
Written by: Lee Hall
Region Code: A


Release Date: August 27, 2019


"Based on the True Fantasy"


Synopsis:

Rocketman is a one-of-a-kind musical celebration set to Elton John’s most beloved songs. Discover how a shy, small-town boy becomes one of the most iconic figures in rock & roll.

My Take:

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.

Growing up in the seventies and eighties I have clear recollections of Elton John, his entertaining flair onstage, the popularity of the music he played and, only bits and pieces of some of the difficulties associated with his personal life. I can’t say that I was a fan per se but, I enjoyed his music and fondly recall the various stages/events in my life that listening to it brings back. I went to the theater and took in Rocketman and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Much of this is owed to the performance of Taron Egerton in his portrayal of Elton John but, I really felt that the cast as an ensemble made the film work. The story focuses on Elton’s early life, containing bits of his childhood, meteoric rise to stardom, personal relationship with longtime friend and writing partner Bernie Taupin, the evolution of his life/career leading up to his rock bottom addictions and the events surrounding his path to sobriety.

The film is told via a narrative that incorporates Elton’s music through “live” performances by star Taron Egerton as well as a series of ensemble musical numbers that are wonderfully integrated. Rocketman isn’t a musical and most definitely falls within the category of a drama but, how the music is incorporated into its telling works quite well, adding an entertaining and, at times, Fantastical element that proves evocative. There is a rawness to the emotion that surrounds the pain endured by Reggie Dwight in childhood and how that pain would later unravel him as an adult named Elton John. I appreciated how it was conveyed in the film allowing the audience to have a fly on the wall perspective on a very personal level.

The film’s pacing is spot on, supporting its thematic tone, allowing a defining connection to the various stages of the story. Seeing it again proved every bit as engaging and, rewarding, as I found myself caught up in its series of memorable moments. I must once again praise Taron Egerton for giving us an amazing and moving tribute to a living music icon. Rocketman is a must see.



Replay Value:4 Stars


Parental Guide:

The rating is for language throughout, some drug use, sexual content and thematic material.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


UHD Presentation(HDR-10): 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:



UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:




Dolby Atmos Rating: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Level of immersion:
  • Soundstage integration:
  • Audio object placement:
  • Effectiveness of Atmos platform:
  • Entertainment factor:



Rocketman comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Media Home Distribution featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Rocketman was rendered from a 3.4K source and appears to have been finished on a 2K DI and, up-converted to 4K. The 1080p transfer for this film looks great and this Ultra HD rendering takes it up a notch with a discernible increase in detail, emboldened contrast, and a noticeably sharper image. The film utilizes a variety of environs that use both natural and artificial lighting that combines light/dark elements, that simply look terrific.

Color reproduction is consistent, with primaries like blue, red, and green appearing richer, even a bit more delineated. During interior sequences whites are emboldened, detailed and bright, especially during low level transitions viewed in a darkened environment. Contrast abounds, lending an authenticity that underscores the subject matter, particularly during the concert sequences in darkened venues, where shadows mixed with light looked very natural. The sun splashed exterior sequences looked great as well.

Resolution received a boost although the differences between the UHD and 1080p renderings aren’t quite night and day. Close-ups tend to look amazing, with resolvable texture visible in the various interior/exterior sets, physical features, and backgrounds being quite obvious. Having seen this film’s theatrical presentation, I believe that what we are seeing is a faithful rendering of the film’s elements. Rocketman in Ultra HD presents very well and is the best way to experience the film on home video.



Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR-10 presentations for Rocketman, I found the HDR renderings to be very close. Each presented similarly in terms of color rendering, but I did take a close look at contrast, and delineation, during scenes containing dark and bright elements. When I switched back and forth between the DV and HDR-10 renderings, I felt that the DV presentation revealed slightly better interstitials in the darkest portions of the image, resulting in better definition. The differences aren’t especially noteworthy, but in the grand scheme, made for a more pleasing image. At the end of the day both looked terrific, leaving me thoroughly satisfied with what I saw.


Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety which, considering the source material, was a nice surprise. Its use of audio objects placed above consists of atmospherics and discretely placed sounds that enhance the effects associated with the film’s various venues. Where the Atmos presentation sounded its best was during the film’s musical set pieces and, concert sequences. In many respects the track retained the feeling of being front focused, however when called upon its ability to render acoustics, point to point imaging and expanding the breadth of the soundstage never disappointed. While this Atmos mix doesn’t make constant use of attention-grabbing sounds from above, I found myself completely involved when it mattered. I found this to be an enjoyable audio presentation that absolutely complimented the source material.



For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Blu-ray Video:


Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


Audio: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA


Rocketman comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

Colors are effectively used in this film to help set the tone based upon the mood of the scene. The chroma range is broad and hues can vary from being sullen and inanimate to warm and inviting. Skin tones are beautifully rendered with natural highlights and descriptive variation. Images onscreen are exquisitely detailed and sharp with superb depth of field and visible texture during wide angle shots. Contrast is spot on and blacks are deep with revealing delineation that provides excellent perceptibility during scenes shot at night or in lower lighting. The video has a pristine quality that is free of video related artifacts.

The 7.1 soundtrack makes effective use of the surround platform and offers detail rich sonic clarity, and crystalline dialog reproduction. As you’d expect this mix doesn’t bombard you with aggressive surround sound. It applies it when appropriate and combines directional cues with supporting ambience that fills the listening area nicely. The front and rear sound field never collide but work in unison to render the soundtrack’s elements. Dynamic range and bass response are appropriate, adding thematic emphasis and resonating punch when called upon. This is a solid audio presentation that mates well with the source material.


Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Rocketman Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Rocketman Blu-ray
    • Extended Musical Numbers:
    o Introduction by Dexter Fletcher
    o The Bitch Is Back
    o Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
    o Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache
    o Honky Cat
    • Deleted and Extended Scenes:
    o Introduction by Dexter Fletcher
    o I Love Rock And Roll
    o You’ve Got to Kill the Person You Were Born To Be
    o Arabella
    o Elton in the Gas Oven
    o Stylish Boots
    o You’re Not the First Closet Queer with a Mummy Complex
    o The Blood Test
    o The Heart Attack
    o The Launderette
    o 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 - Behind the scenes in the recording studio with Taron & Elton
    • ROCKETMAN Lyric Companion: Sing-Along with Select Songs (English only):
    o The Bitch Is Back
    o I Want Love
    o Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
    o Your Song
    o Crocodile Rock
    o Tiny Dancer
    o Honky Cat
    o Rocket Man
    o Bennie and the Jets
    o Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
    o Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
    o Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    o I’m Still Standing
    • ROCKETMAN Jukebox: Jump Straight to the Music
  • Digital



Final Thoughts:

Rocketman is an engaging and entertaining biopic that features a sterling performance by Taron Egerton in the lead role. It comes to Blu-ray from Paramount Home Media Distribution featuring top notch Ultra HD video, engaging lossless surround sound, including a solid Dolby Atmos immersive listening experience and a worthwhile supplemental package. If you’re a fan Rocketman is a must have for your Blu-ray collection.















Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


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post #2 of 23 Old 08-19-2019, 01:49 PM
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Interesting. Mick LaSalle, a critic whose reviews are printed in my local paper, basically panned it. He didn't like Egerton's singing, and didn't like the movie's departures from historical accuracy.

I was slightly surprised by that, as Egerton appeared on a late night talk show to support the movie, and gave the impression that Elton was involved in, and approved of, the production.

Maybe I'll have to give it a look, although I'm not a big Elton John fan.
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I saw Elton John in concert 4 times, late 1970's and early 1980's, was a huge fan and still love his music.
Will rent it


I kept some of my old concert stubs ... 37 years ago this one, I wrote the name of the person/date on it .. ahh bygone youth

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post #4 of 23 Old 08-19-2019, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknavs View Post
Interesting. Mick LaSalle, a critic whose reviews are printed in my local paper, basically panned it. He didn't like Egerton's singing, and didn't like the movie's departures from historical accuracy.

I was slightly surprised by that, as Egerton appeared on a late night talk show to support the movie, and gave the impression that Elton was involved in, and approved of, the production.

Maybe I'll have to give it a look, although I'm not a big Elton John fan.
Elton John was a producer on the film and very involved with it. He also helped to promote the movie. Its true that some of the songs in the film were out of historical order. That was an artistic choice that both John and Taupin approved of. I am a elton john fan and though the film was outstanding. Has there ever been a movie made that some critics didnt like ? If the guy who was lip syncing Freddy mercurys voice in Bohemian Rhapsody won last years oscar than Taron Egerton should at least me nominated for one. If you watch the end credits there is a photo montage comparing actual photos in eltons past against the same scenes in the movie and they are very accurate. I recently saw an interview with Bernie Taupin and he said most every dramatic scene in the film was accurate .

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post #5 of 23 Old 08-19-2019, 08:51 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph. People who I know who have seen this film have high praise for it.
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-19-2019, 08:58 PM
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I loved this movie. It's wonderful mix of biography, fantasy and jukebox musical rolled into one. Who didn't find themselves humming or singing along with the soundtrack? What was amazing that almost every cast member could sing. Richard Madden's voice was very good as was Jaime Bell's. Taron Egerton should definitely get an Oscar nod for his brilliant performance.
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-19-2019, 11:21 PM
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At least they didn't cheap out on the audio - Atmos on the 1080p version too.
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-20-2019, 10:35 AM
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I like Elton John's music and I liked the "Bohemian Rhapsody" movie but Rocketman didn't do it for me. I think what spoiled it for me was to many fantasy scenes. Just couldn't get into it. I do think however that Taron Egerton did a good job job acting as did the rest of the cast. Worthwhile to see the film IMO, but for me "Rocketman" is a one and done.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknavs View Post
Interesting. Mick LaSalle, a critic whose reviews are printed in my local paper, basically panned it. He didn't like Egerton's singing, and didn't like the movie's departures from historical accuracy.

I was slightly surprised by that, as Egerton appeared on a late night talk show to support the movie, and gave the impression that Elton was involved in, and approved of, the production.

Maybe I'll have to give it a look, although I'm not a big Elton John fan.
Mick Lasalle writing departures from historical accuracy really, i can only count a few scenes.

The music was clearly laid out at the beggining not going to be in chronological order, used songs to move the story along i did not have a problem with that.

Is mother was probably played wrong if she was alive do not think would be portrayed like that mind you he did not speak to her for years, which elton was in the wrong has usual.

it was shown got is name Elton from another band member in the group he started with called Bluesology but is surname was not from a pic he saw of the Beatles referring to john Lennon was from another member of the group called long john baldy.

he had an argument with Bernie Taupin with a credit then at the end never argued in 25 years. Wrong the split was amicable he went to write lyrics for starship - we built this city and also alice cooper.

Bohemian rhaposody on the other hand was pure fantasy 60% was not true. That movie had better sound quality rocketman had lip sync issues on the singing parts almost like was mimimng but the singing was not matched up correctly, and the volume increased when the songs started.
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-21-2019, 12:44 PM
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Any critic who slams the movie for "historical inaccuracy" is missing the point (they often do--my day job is historian and I've done a fair amount of work on the strengths and weaknesses of cinematic portrayals of history). It's NOT a documentary. It is a collection of events from Elton John's life, re-worked to form the narrative of the film's story, with musical choices made to best support the story, not "historical accuracy". As to whether the film accurately represents the real people who are portrayed, that is also beside the point. It represents them in a manner consistent with how Elton John wants the audience to view them and, quite likely, as he remembers them (which is not to say his memory is without fault--there's a reason why eyewitness testimony is among the least reliable forms of evidence at trials).

Rocketman is a delightful cinematic experience, enhanced, of course, by one's degree of appreciation of Elton's music. The performances are excellent, particularly Egerton. I look forward to adding this to the collection.
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Preordered as ordered by the girlfriend.



Thanks for the review Ralph!
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post #12 of 23 Old 08-21-2019, 05:07 PM
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Great review, Ralph! I'm really looking forward to seeing this one. Elton John has been a central figure in terms of my musical taste since I was a kid.

(He gets me every time with "Empy Garden"...what an amazing song.)
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post #13 of 23 Old 08-22-2019, 01:02 AM
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Thanks for the excellent review. I'm looking forward to seeing it. The wife and I will be renting this one soon.
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post #14 of 23 Old 08-22-2019, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post
I saw Elton John in concert 4 times, late 1970's and early 1980's, was a huge fan and still love his music.
Will rent it


I kept some of my old concert stubs ... 37 years ago this one, I wrote the name of the person/date on it .. ahh bygone youth

Awesome ticket stub you saved and even better memories I bet!!!
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Really happy to see this movie scored well Ralph! Excited to see this.

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I walked into the movie not a fan of Elton John. Maybe indifferent is a better way to say it. Of course I know his hits, but sitting there hearing song after song I realized how many there were.

The movie is great and when I walked out of the theater I knew I’d be buying it. I’m glad I did. Watched it last night and it looked great on my A1E and sounded great on my system.
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post #17 of 23 Old 09-09-2019, 04:44 AM
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post #18 of 23 Old 09-09-2019, 06:37 AM
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Great review, thanks. Looking forward to seeing this one. Was interested to see just how involved Elton was in this. Must be worth a watch.
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post #19 of 23 Old 09-16-2019, 04:16 PM
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Rented the Blu Ray from Red Box after seeing it in theatres a few months back. The Blu Ray came with Dolby Atmos audio and the picture looked great on my OLED.

I was invited to see Elton play last night in SF at the new Chase center. Just wasn't willing to pony up the $300 price. I like him but not quite $300 worth.
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post #20 of 23 Old 09-28-2019, 09:30 PM
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Finally caught up with this one.

Taron Egerton can't sing quite as well as Elton John, and he can't dance as well as the pros in the choreographed sequences, but I think that it was quite a good performance. I'm not sure that Egerton will duplicate Rami Malek's (Bohemian Rhapsody) Best Actor Oscar, but it wouldn't surprise me if he was at least nominated.

I failed to recognize Bryce Dallas Howard as his mother. (Seemed like a pretty good false British accent.) Maybe it was the brunette wig.

The audio was good overall, but I had trouble with some of the dialog at times. (I can usually handle the accents.)

I liked the flow of the movie, including the fantasy sequences. There was about the right amount of humor included, as well. There was a little too much emphasis on drug and alcohol abuse, IMHO.

I strongly disagree with the Mick Lasalle review I referenced in post 2. It's a pretty good movie. (Definitely R rated, not for children.)
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Last edited by bobknavs; 09-28-2019 at 09:33 PM.
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post #21 of 23 Old 10-02-2019, 07:09 AM
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Finally watched from rented Amazon HD stream.

Great picture and sound.

Elton was the Soundtrack of the 70's (and a lot of the 80's)

Typical 70's excesses on full display, so parents beware with children.

Bryce did a great job.

Seen through the lens (his vast sunglasses collection? ) of Elton's own bias's of course, as Elton was Exec Producer.

Overall, wife and I liked it as a biopic+"musical" (ie fantasy song & dance numbers)
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Last edited by Rgb; 10-02-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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post #22 of 23 Old 10-02-2019, 03:51 PM
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1972, 2 months (!) BEFORE the album containing it was released.


I will be asking for the 4K disc for Christmas to go alongside all the live concert DVDs/BDs I own.

Last edited by Rgb; 10-02-2019 at 04:17 PM.
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post #23 of 23 Old 01-12-2020, 07:44 AM
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Watched this one last night and we thoroughly enjoyed it! Growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s, my only experience with Elton John was Rocketman, which is a commonly used song for school events (in that time anyways). Later in college, I began to explore different types of music and became an instant fan of Elton’s catalog. He truly is one of the best performers of all time and I wish that I could have attended one of his concerts when he was in the Houston area.

As for the film, this is demo worthy from the start. The picture quality is astounding with nearly every frame revealing minute details in costuming, scenery, and facial complexities. The blacks are deep which contribute to excellent depth of picture. The expanded color gamut really brought the costumes to life, even in some the more subdued scenes. HDR is present, but it really on comes to play in some of the concerts, which is just fine. On the audio front, you are in for a treat from the very first song. The entire sound field comes alive with wonderful music, performed effortlessly by the excellent cast. Every instrument can be heard with pinpoint clarity and the vocals never get lost in the mix. Taron Egerton really brought the acting chops in this one bringing the complexities of Elton John’s persona to life.

Another great review, Ralph!
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