Yesterday – 4K UHD Review

Yesterday is a 2019 British romantic comedy film that was directed by Danny Boyle and written by Richard Curtis, based on the story by Jack Barth and Curtis.  It stars Himesh Patel as struggling musician Jack Malik, who, after an accident, finds himself the only person who remembers the Beatles and becomes famous after taking credit for their songs.  The film also stars Lily James as the protagonist’s childhood friend and love interest, Kate McKinnon as his manager, and Ed Sheehan as a fictionalized version of himself.

The project was announced in March 2018.  Filming began the following month around England, particularly in Suffolk.  Photography also took place at Wembley Stadium, Principality Stadium, and in Los Angeles.  The filmmakers paid $10 million for the rights to use the Beatles’ music; although none of the Beatles were involved, Boyle received blessings from them and their families.

Yesterday had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on May 4, 2019, and was released in the United Kingdom and the United States on June 28, 2019, by Universal Pictures.  The film has grossed over $138 million worldwide, against a production budget of $26 million and received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the premise, the performances, and the musical sequences,  but criticism of the familiarity and not taking the concept further.

The Film Itself (4.5/5):

Imagine a world where the Beatles have never really been a thing, and a world that’s completely lacking their influence in entertainment as we know it.  Yesterday takes that concept and gives audiences a taste in exactly what that world would be like.  Presented in a manner that feels similar to those Hallmark movies we all have been exposed to at one point or another, Danny Boyle’s presentation of the storyline is actually really well done, and really well acted by those involved, and ultimately it doesn’t feel like any of those infamous Hallmark movies.  As my wife and I watched along the other night, we found ourselves really enjoying this movie as it has a handful of laughs and is packed with sincerity.

Picture Quality (5/5):

Presented in 2160p courtesy of Universal Home Entertainment, the 4K UHD release of Yesterday gives audiences an extremely high in quality display.  Considering the film was shot at 8K and finished off with a 4K digital intermediate, the visual presentation is considerably sharp, rich, and everything down to the minor details of the scenery are extremely well defined.  The color spectrum of the display and overall utilization of HDR breathes a significant amount of life into the story at-hand, giving audiences an extremely natural and rich experience as they follow along.

Audio Quality (5/5):

Bundled with an English Dolby Atmos audio track, the 4K UHD release of Yesterday features a beautifully engineered and very well balanced experience that really stands out during the film’s musical sequences.  The delivery of the natural elements during the film help immensely with the overall feeling of immersion, and the transfer from channel to channel with its stage presence were effortless and delivered an insanely clear experience.  The dialogue is spoken clean, and definitely takes priority over the scenic elements, and the characters are able to be heard and understood without any need to adjust the volume levels as it progresses onward.

The Packaging (4/5):

The 4K UHD release of Yesterday comes packaged in the standard two-disc amaray case.  In that case, the 4K copy and blu-ray copy of the movie.  The UHD has the same artwork that’s been provided on the case art, while the Blu-ray only wears the standard release text.  There is a digital copy redemption pamphlet as well as a slipcover that’s been made available in the initial pressing of the release that features the same artwork as the case.

Special Features (4/5):

There are a number of special features included with the 4K UHD release of Yesterday.  Surprisingly enough, there’s some supplemental material included the UHD.  There’s a number of features included that offers some looks at the production work that went into making the movie, while others share some of the experiences and overall fun that the cast and crew members shared while working on this movie.  Included with this release is:

  • 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 Sheehan: From Stadium to Screen
  • Agent of Comedy: McKinnon
  • A Conversation with Richard & Ed
  • Optional Feature Audio Commentary with Director Danny Boyle and Writer/Producer Richard Curtis

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265 (60.57 Mbps)

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: HDR10+

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: Dolby Atmos

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

French: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1

Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1

Subtitles

English SDH, French, Spanish

Runtime

Original Film: 116 Minutes

Final Thoughts:

Overall, we really enjoyed Yesterday.  Even though my wife and I really aren’t big fans of the Beatles or their music.  The story with this movie is one that presents itself in a very light-hearted and innocent manner that it really made for an enjoyable experience.  The audio and video presentation of the 4K UHD release were beyond words, and really made for an insanely beautiful experience.  The special features included with this release were really great, and you could tell that there was a lot of fun that went into making this movie.  If you’re considering this release for your collection, I would definitely recommend picking it up.  Yesterday will be available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD beginning on Tuesday, September 24.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.