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Ultra HD : Worth a Look
Ranking:
Sale Price: $34.96 Last Price: $44.99 Buy now! 3rd Party 22.75 In Stock
Release Date: May 28th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2024

Bob Marley: One Love - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray [SteelBook]

Overview -

4K UHD Review By: Matthew Hartman
In a world of Rocketmen, Bohemian Rhapsodies, and Walking Lines, the light of the Hollywood musician biopic will never dim. And so the musician biopic decides to chill and kick back to the life and times of
Bob Marley: One Love. Featuring a powerful performance from Kingsley Ben-Adir, the film itself sticks to the classics without reinventing the genre for an overall fine film that looks and sounds fantastic in 4K with Atmos audio. At the very least - Worth A Look

OVERALL:
Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
Dolby Vision HDR / HDR10
Length:
120
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.39:1
Audio Formats:
English: Dolby Atmos
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Release Date:
May 28th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

I don’t envy anyone who takes on the task of creating and crafting a biopic about one of the most famous and impactful musicians of a generation. For a writer or director, it can’t be easy facing the pressures of staying true to the person, warts and all, while also conforming to the typical rousing Hollywood structure. It’s equally difficult to cast these roles and deliver a true character for the audience to follow that isn’t a caricature of the person they’re portraying. Thanks to Kingsley Ben-Adir’s excellent performance in the lead role, Bob Marley: One Love is elevated from being a typical routine into something worth watching. 

As with most biopics, Bob Marley: One Love finds the most fraught and desperate time in our subject’s life to frame its story. In this case, our film explores the turbulent times of political unrest in Jamaica coinciding with Marley releasing his most famous album - Exodus - during his exile in London. With some flashbacks, we see Bob find his voice as a young man, meeting his wife Rita (Lashana Lynch) and working with Island Records founder Chris Blackwell (James Norton). Within this structure, the film touches on his attempted assassination, performing within days of being shot, his time abroad, and then the unfortunate diagnosis that would lead to his early death. 

The worst thing I can say about Bob Marley: One Love is that all of the standard biopic plot beats are hit. I wouldn’t call myself an overly educated individual about the life and times of Bob Marley. Through the osmosis of listening to the man’s music and hanging out with some die-hard fans, I had at least a cursory understanding of the man’s life. A “greatest hits” of key moments, if you will. And that is the folly of so many biopics, a cursory knowledge is all you need to stay ahead of the plot. 

From Point A to Point B, I knew where this movie was going. I got to sit back and enjoy some great performances, again Kingsley Ben-Adir nails it, but I didn’t come out of this, learning anything new or exciting that I didn’t already learn by reading album liner notes. That isn’t to say the film is a waste of time or anything, it isn’t, but it’s also not very remarkable when it comes to bringing a remarkable man and musician to life. 

I think my measured indifference to Bob Marley: One Love is that it follows the path of so many biopics. Considering how early and quickly the moment is run through, I was shocked that the film didn’t spend more time with Marley’s attempted assassination and subsequent performance two days later. That, to me at least, is a more exciting and dramatically fulfilling film. Marley’s message and mission was of peace, love, and perseverance. By trying to show a life in its entirety in under two hours, the impact of that message gets lost. Two hours dedicated to the political turmoil of the island, the genesis of the Smile concert, the shooting, and Marley performing two days later backed by Zap Pow would have been a hell of a picture! 

Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 
Bob Marley: One Love
lets fans know everything is gonna be all right with a 4K UHD + Blu-ray + Digital SteelBook release from Paramount. The 4K is pressed on a BD-66 disc with a BD-50 serving up the 1080p. Bonus features are found on both discs. The discs load to a standard static image main menu with traditional navigation options. The SteelBook is a classy piece of work, all black with Kingsley Ben-Adir’s Bob Marley done up in negative space red, yellow, green colors. Pretty damn stylish.

Video Review

Ranking:

Bob Marley: One Love strikes a visually appealing cord thanks to a lovely native 4K Dolby Vision transfer. Right from the get-go, visuals are impressive and appealing displaying a full range of clean clear details. From Jamacia to London, the production design and work to recreate the early and mid-1970s is impressive. As I said in the review, the film nicely encapsulates the era without it being distracting. Changes in facial features, clothing, and hairstyles are appreciable throughout. Bitrates remain nice and healthy steady throughout without any odd dropoffs. There is a strange little bit of haziness that could either be compression noise or some kind of “film filter” effect. It’s not always consistent so it feels like some slight compression there - but not enough to distract or pull you out of the action. 

Dolby Vision is well applied highlighting the bright bold colors while also ensuring contrast and black levels stay on point. A lot of the concert footage is all at night or in low-light venues and those scenes look fantastic. Skin tones are healthy and human without looking peached or too pinked. Black levels are deep and inky with an impressive sense of three-dimensional depth to the image. 

Audio Review

Ranking:

This should be a no-brainer, you can’t have a Bob Marley flick without great sound and this Atmos mix delivers the goods, especially for those big concert sequences. In those moments the soundscape can feel huge with distinct crowd noise effects and music beats blasting the various center, height, side, and rear channels. But even when the film is a bit quieter, the mix never loses its sense of immersion. Dialog is clean and clear without issue. An early recording session with Teenage Bob Marley is another big highlight where the mix really comes together. Throughout, the film finds impressive ways to use the soundscape so heights remain active without just giving an extra sense of space to any location. Likewise, the surrounds and rear channels see plenty of activity during these moments. Key of all are the uses of Marley tunes throughout. They all sound amazing like you’re right in the recording studio. All around this is a banger of an Atmos track. And again, anything less than perfection for a Bob Marley movie would be a waste so I’m glad to hear they nailed it.

Special Features

Ranking:

On the side of bonus features, we have just under an hour of bonus content to dig into. Overall it’s a nice selection of extras, we do get some little insights into the production, but a lot of the more interesting pieces like what it took for Kingsley Ben-Adir to get into character are far too brief and feel more like your typical EPK package than anything meaningful. We also have over ten minutes of deleted scenes that are interesting to see, give a little more character depth in places, but you can see they were likely cut for pacing and time than anything else. The same set of extras are on both the 4K and Blu-ray in this SteelBook release.

  • Becoming Bob Marley (HD 7:28)
  • The Story: Bringing Bob Marley’s Story to Life (HD 7:25)
  • The Cast (HD 9:49)
  • On Location: Jamaica and England (HD 8:27)
  • The Band (HD 9:50)
  • Extended/Deleted Scenes (HD 10:23)

At the end of the day, it’s not that Bob Marley: One Love is a bad film that bothers me, it’s that it’s just such a basic Biopic. So many Biopics, particularly ones about musicians, seem to lose the forest for the trees. Trying to encapsulate the impact of someone’s life through a typical three-act narrative frustratingly distills grand events into predictable plot beats. That’s what so often upends Reinaldo Marcus Green’s effort to tell the tale of Marley and his cultural impact. Key events during turbulent times in Marley’s life are highlighted but this film doesn’t really get to go deep into what made the man who he was. Kingsley Ben-Adir does a magnificent job in the film but I wish the film had more to hang its hat on. Personally, I’d rather see a single key moment in Bob’s story brought to life rather than trying to squeeze the whole life's story into two hours. Overall it’s a nice film, but not a genuinely great one. Thankfully it makes for a hell of a 4K release with a beautiful transfer and a banger of an Atmos mix. If you’re a fan of the film, it’s a great disc to pick up. At the very least consider this one Worth A Look