Apr 152018
 

The Greatest Showman may not be the greatest movie musical to come down the pike with some average storytelling, but the musical performances themselves and songs more than made up for its shortcomings.

 

 

The Greatest Showman
(2017)

Genre(s): Musical, Drama
Fox | PG – 105 min. – $34.99 | April 10, 2018

Date Published: 04/15/2018 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Michael Gracey
Writer(s): Jenny Bicks (story), Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon (screenplay)
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Galleries, Theatrical Trailers
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 42.9 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

 


THE MOVIE — 3.75/5


Make no mistake, The Greatest Showman is not some phenomenal musical nor the next The Sound of Music, with a rather weak story once the music stops. However, the songs and overall soundtrack was indeed extraordinary starting off with the title-song with its foot tapping beat.

The plot focuses on P.T. Barnum (HUGH JACKMAN), a man who came from the lower class of society but did manage to marry childhood friend/sweetheart Charity (MICHELLE WILLIAMS) from the upper class and the pair produces two beautiful daughters. While Charity is content, P.T. wants to provide more for his family and after being laid off, cons his way to getting a loan from the bank to open up a macabre wax museum… which immediately fails.

At the suggestion of his daughters, he decides to go the live person route and recruits the outcasts of society like the bearded woman, a little person and African American sibling acrobats, amongst many others. The crowds are eventually drawn in and business is good, much to the displeasure of higher society, including its snooty critic, and the thugs wanting to force the circus out of town.

But wanting to be accepted by high society, Barnum expands his reach going across the pond meeting the Queen where he encounters singer Jenny Lind (REBECCA FERGUSON) who had been making a splash in Europe and he believes she will be a sensation in the States. He makes her an offer for a one-night engagement where she indeed wows the audience of the upper echelons including the in-laws.

As you might guess, you do get the whole rags-to-riches (and back) kind of story here as Barnum quickly loses sight on his very basic goals of entertaining and giving hope to those in society that were outcasts plus an every growing distance with his pride and joy of family.

The plot itself with The Greatest Showman isn’t anything special, in fact I’d call the non-musical parts to be cut-scenes and when we get to them, the film is rather flat be it with the performances, dialogue or character moments. For instance, there is a subplot involving Barnum going on the road on tour with Lind; given each character’s upbringings, there’s supposed to be a romantic bond, one that fails to translate as neither Jackman nor Ferguson had any chemistry impacting when Barnum rebuffs Lind’s advances and she subsequently quits the tour leaving Barnum in financial ruin.

Now, where the movie excels, and brilliantly, is with the actual music and musical sequences, which were absolutely fantastic, lavishly and richly shot by director Michael Gracey, marking his directorial debut working mainly in visual effects in Australia. He may not be good at the scenes in between, but the music, written by the Academy Award winning duo for La La Land, and prolific production and costume designs, were something to behold.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5


This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Audio Commentary – Director Michael Gracey leads us through the process of helming a musical and offers insights and tid-bits on working with Hugh Jackman talks about the music itself.

The Family Behind The Greatest Showman (14:05; HD) takes viewers behind the scenes on how the project all began and includes interviews with Hugh Jackman, director Michael Gracey, producers and others.

The Songs (1:10:07; HD) breaks down each song featured in the film from ‘The Greatest Showman’ to ‘This is Me’, written by the two Academy Award winners of La La Land.

The Spectacle (32:12; HD) looks at the characters, choreography, cinematography, production design and scoring.

Galleries – Concept Art, Storyboards

Music Machine (56:14; HD) is a feature where you can jump right to your favorite song with the option of turning on the sing-along version.

Sing-Along – You can view the movie with lyrics.

Theatrical Trailers (4:38; HD) – Two trailers are provided.

 


VIDEO – 4.75/5


The Greatest Showman takes the stage on Blu-ray presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. This is a beautiful looking movie, colors are vibrant and bright, and detail sharp throughout. From the very beginning, the red in Barnum’s jacket pops and black levels appear stark while contrast nicely balanced.

AUDIO – 5.0/5


The movie comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track which does take full advantage of the musical numbers which blares from every speaker with excellent clarity and the LFE channel kicks on for that extra measure of depth. Outside of the music, dialogue levels were very good as well.

 


OVERALL – 4.0/5


Overall, The Greatest Showman may not be the greatest movie musical to come down the pike with some average storytelling, but the musical performances themselves and songs more than made up for its shortcomings. The Blu-ray offers up excellent video and audio transfers and there is a fair amount of features provided.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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