'The Greatest Showman' [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital]
(Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Austyn Johnson, Cameron Seely, Keala Settle, et al / Blu ray+DVD+Digital / PG / 2018 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Hugh Jackman leads and all-star cast in this bold and original musical filled with infectious showstopping performances that will bring you to your feet time and time again.
Blu ray Verdict: Hugh Jackman is as complete a package as you can get in Hollywood. Not only can he dance, sing and act, but he also possesses levels of nice-guy charisma most A-listers can only dream of.
It's no shock then that this glitzy musical employs him to play the eponymous circus pioneer P.T. Barnum, an ambitious dreamer who pushes social boundaries to deliver a theatrical extravaganza others couldn't even imagine.
Centering around Barnum's use of outcasts and "oddities" to draw in crowds, the film has a quirky edge to its otherwise mainstream appeal; the traditional song-and-dance numbers are scattered with colorful characters (and a smidge of offbeat humor) to keep it fresh.
The musical sequences are impressively choreographed and often very affecting, the most memorable being the show stopping "This Is Me" led by Keala Settle as Bearded Lady Lettie Lutz, closely followed by "The Other Side", a clever two-hander between Jackman and Zac Efron.
Jackman is clearly in his element belting out tunes and dancing up a storm, but he's also given wonderful support from all involved, including Efron as his plucky apprentice, Michelle Williams as his super-patient wife, and Zendaya as a racially vilified trapeze artist.
The movie succeeds a lot less as a biography though; Barnum's rise amidst risky business ventures and family sacrifices is touched upon but never explored, missing an opportunity to delve deep into the life of a clearly intriguing person.
It might be a little too conventional to convert those who aren't fans of the genre, but with a charming cast, splendid set pieces and sweet natured vibe, 'The Greatest Showman' is a pleasingly fun, and highly accessible musical. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
The Family Behind 'The Greatest Showman'
Music Machine with Sing-Along, and More!