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Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
  • Audio Codec: LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, SPanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: NR
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 107 Mins.
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • List Price: $19.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Many are well aware of Freddie Mercury, the charismatic frontman for Queen with the powerful voice, but few know much about his personal life and time spent as a solo artist. Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender, produced and directed by life-long Queen fan and expert Rhys Thomas, explores just that. Following the same pattern as the Queen: Days of Our Lives BBC documentary, The Great Pretender uncovers the artist through archival footage and interviews with friends and colleagues to tell the story of his life and career in and outside of Queen. From his debut as a solo artist in 1985 to collaborations with Rod Stewart, singing the previously unheard demo for “Take Another Piece of My Heart,” to a collaboration with Michael Jackson, fans can get a look at the flamboyant crooner like never before. Also included is some rare footage of Freddie’s “black and white” 39th birthday party, infamously filmed for his video “Living On My Own,” and banned by the record company due to its cross-dressing themes. My, how times have changed – Glee, anyone?

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The film is filled with lots of archival video clips that are obviously of a far lower quality than the brief high definition interview segments. Still, this 1080i/60 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement gets the job done for the material at hand.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack supplied with Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender is neither great nor poor, it is simply adequate for a documentary such as this one, offering clear dialogue and a reasonable amount of dynamics and spaciousness for the brief musical clips that dot the film.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The supplements here offer more behind the scenes looks and information on Freddie Mercury.

The supplements:

  • Freddie Goes Solo (1.33:1; SD; 00:07:21) – Interview with Freddie Mercury from 1985 discussing his first solo album.
  • Extended Interview with Montserrat Caballé (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:06:51)
  • Making Barcelona: Special Edition 2012 (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:04:44)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

An interesting look into one of the most intriguing and charismatic rock and roll figures in history, Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender is a well done and touching look back at the life and career of an icon who lives on in his music and our memories.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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[amazon-product]B008N5UX74[/amazon-product]

Purchase Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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