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The Greatest Showman Blu-ray Review

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The soundtrack saves “The Greatest Showman.”

Based on the life of P.T. Barnum, the musical film “The Greatest Showman” chronicles the life of the famed businessman from his childhood to the rise of his iconic circus show. There are other key subplots here that include Barnum’s wife and family and some of the circus performers (namely Phillip Carlyle and Anne Wheeler).

Considering a Broadway show named “Barnum” already exists, it’s a bit strange that that production wasn’t just adapted into a film instead. Regardless, “The Greatest Showman” now exists. Content wise, the script by Bill Condon and Jenny Bicks is pretty generic in that it chronicles the ups and downs of an ambitious man (P.T. Barnum) trying to achieve his goals. At the same time, you have a story about members of the circus troupe trying to find a place where they belong and fit in. Add in some cheesy soap opera theatrics and standard biopic material and it all comes across as very familiar stuff. Basically, it feels like it’s on auto-pilot at times.

When I first heard the film would contain more modern music, I was puzzled. I was fully expecting the film to have more traditional musical songs especially since it’s a period piece. As it turns out, however, the soundtrack is THE highlight of the entire film. Justin Paul and Benj Pasek’s pop songs like “This Is Me” and “The Greatest Show” will undoubtedly be stuck in your head in constant rotation. They elevate an otherwise safe movie.

It should be noted that the cast is on point here. It’s always nice to see Hugh Jackman return to his musical roots. I hope he does more in the future. Zac Efron, Zendaya and the scene stealing Keala Settle (the bearded lady Lettie) also shine in supporting roles.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? The Blu-ray disc boasts a crisp hi-def transfer.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The 7.1 track certainly delivers. The music is especially lively here.

Extras: * DVD copy * Digital copy * Fox trailers * 2 “The Greatest Showman” trailers * A subtitled sing-along option for the film * Music Machine- Skip to a song feature. *Concept art and storyboard galleries. * “The Spectacle”- A 5 part extra that covers the characters, score, production, choreography, cinematography, and production design. * “The Songs”- Featurettes about 9 songs, what they mean, behind-the-scenes stories about them. * “The Family Behind The Greatest Showman”- An extra that contains interviews, set footage, stories about how members of the crew became attached to the project, discussions about music and more. * An insightful solo commentary by Michael Gracey

Overall Thoughts: “The Greatest Showman” may not be one of the best musicals out there, but I’m glad it exists, I’m glad it’s a clear crowd pleaser, and I’m glad it was a hit. Slowly but surely, the genre is starting to make a comeback and I for one welcome it.

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April 9, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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