A few words about…™ The Greatest Showman — in 4k UHD Blu-ray

One to grab in 4k, and enjoy! 4 Stars

The Greatest Showman, is a terrific piece of cinema, and one of my favorite films of 2017.

It follows the birth of The Greatest Show on Earth, and it’s creator, one, Phineas T. Barnum.

Filled with almost constant motion, it’s a beautifully crafted production, which is shown to great advantage on 4k UHD, with HDR, as it was released in 4k — still one of the rarities in the format.

Dolby Atmos creates a huge expanse of audio, and for me seals the deal.

Michael Gracey, directing Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya.

One to grab in 4k, and enjoy!

Sheila O’Malley commented on Roger Ebert.com“The Greatest Showman,” directed with verve and panache by Michael Gracey, is an unabashed piece of pure entertainment, punctuated by 11 memorable songs composed by Oscar- and Tony-winning duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who composed the songs for “La La Land,” as well as the current Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen. The film is made for the whole family to enjoy, and so it leaves out many of the darker elements (explored in the 1980 Broadway musical Barnum). This is a difficult tightrope to walk, but credit is due to Gracey, a perfectly cast Hugh Jackman, and the entire cast, who play this story in the spirit in which it was written…”The Greatest Showman” positions itself as a story celebrating diversity, and the importance of embracing all kinds. 

Image – 5

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

author,member

58 Comments

  1. I've watched the iTunes 4K digital version 5 times already since March 20. Love, Love, LOVE this film! It's so much fun.

    I will absolutely purchase the 4K Blu-ray too. But I'll wait for the price to drop below $20 before doing so.

    Mark

  2. Robert Crawford

    One of my favorite films of 2017 too. I have the 4K/UHD release on preorder so I’m happy your review confirms that it should look and sound great on my HT setup.

    This disc is reference audio-wise for me due to the music and Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The video wasn't half bad either.;) I'm in the middle of the bonus material right now.

  3. Robert Crawford

    One of my favorite films of 2017 too. I have the 4K/UHD release on preorder so I’m happy your review confirms that it should look and sound great on my HT setup.

    This disc is reference audio-wise for me due to the music and Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The video wasn't half bad either.;) I'm in the middle of the bonus material right now.

  4. View attachment 45434
    (Click on photo for full image)

    Just finished watching the 4k release (down-rez'd to 1080p) in Dolby Atmos. First time watching this film.

    WOW!

    I don't know how The Shape of Water beat this film out for Best Picture.

    The Greatest Showman is an absolute electric spectacle in both sight and sound. It's rare that I am elevated to such a level of cinematic high when watching a film in my home theater. It matches the level of excitement I felt when seeing Moulin Rouge for the first time — a film that remains one of my absolute favorites to this very day.

    A brilliant piece of filmmaking from songs that kept the heart racing, to cinematography and editing that kept the mind engaged.

    One of the best all-encompassing Atmos tracks I have had the pleasure to experience.

    Screw La La Land! This is how you make a modern day musical!

  5. View attachment 45434
    (Click on photo for full image)

    Just finished watching the 4k release (down-rez'd to 1080p) in Dolby Atmos. First time watching this film.

    WOW!

    I don't know how The Shape of Water beat this film out for Best Picture.

    The Greatest Showman is an absolute electric spectacle in both sight and sound. It's rare that I am elevated to such a level of cinematic high when watching a film in my home theater. It matches the level of excitement I felt when seeing Moulin Rouge for the first time — a film that remains one of my absolute favorites to this very day.

    A brilliant piece of filmmaking from songs that kept the heart racing, to cinematography and editing that kept the mind engaged.

    One of the best all-encompassing Atmos tracks I have had the pleasure to experience.

    Screw La La Land! This is how you make a modern day musical!

  6. Tino

    Easy. The Greatest Showman wasn’t nominated for Best Picture.;)

    I am shocked. I thought it was. Shows how closely I actually followed this year's Oscars. Didn't even watch it.

    Well, my comment is still valid. This film should have not only have been nominated but won.

  7. Tino

    Easy. The Greatest Showman wasn’t nominated for Best Picture.;)

    I am shocked. I thought it was. Shows how closely I actually followed this year's Oscars. Didn't even watch it.

    Well, my comment is still valid. This film should have not only have been nominated but won.

  8. Ronald Epstein
    View attachment 45434
    (Click on photo for full image)

    Screw La La Land! This is how you make a modern day musical!

    I'm not going to go that far as I think "La La Land" is a quality film, but without a doubt I prefer "The Greatest Showman" as it's the best musical film I've seen in at least ten years. The music and choreography were aligned with my personal tastes. When I watch this film, it makes me feel good and it leaves a smile on my face. I'm about to have my sixth viewing of it this week.

  9. Robert Crawford

    I'm not going to go that far as I think "La La Land" is a quality film, but without a doubt I prefer "The Greatest Showman" as it's the best musical film I've seen in at least ten years. The music and choreography were aligned with my personal tastes. When I watch this film, it makes me feel good and it leaves a smile on my face. I'm about to have my sixth viewing of it this week.

    I am not surprised by your response — and I am certain — the response of other forum members in favor of La La Land.

    Never, in recent memory, have I known a film that has been under such immense debate than that one.

    Either you loved it or hated it.

  10. Ronald Epstein

    I am not surprised by your response — and I am certain — the response of other forum members in favor of La La Land.

    Never, in recent memory, have I known a film that has been under such immense debate than that one.

    Either you loved it or hated it.

    I wouldn't say I love La La Land. It's a quality film, but my feelings towards it are more "like" than "love'. Mike Frezon loves La La Land for instance. However, I do "love" The Greatest Showman. My closest friends and family would be shock to know I watched a musical six times in three months. It's my least favorite film genre. I think part of my connection with The Greatest Showman is that I'm from Bridgeport, CT and Barnum and Tom Thumb are recognized as favorite sons of my hometown. Barnum was even mayor of Bridgeport at one time.

  11. I am well aware of Mr. Frezon's devotion to that film. 🙂

    I was blown away by TGS. Certainly going to watch this a few times more, and that's something I rarely do for any film these days.

    Interesting story about Barnum being the mayor of Bridgeport. Guess that should be one included in the sequel perhaps? 🙂

  12. Ronald Epstein

    I am shocked. I thought it was. Shows how closely I actually followed this year's Oscars. Didn't even watch it.

    Well, my comment is still valid. This film should have not only have been nominated but won.

    And to add an additional comment…

    I got pissed off when the Academy expanded their choices of nominees from just 5 films to around 50 [/sarcasm off]. But really, with the huge expanded list of titles the Academy now nominates, you mean to tell me The Greatest Showman couldn't even make that list?

    "Greatest Showman" got mediocre reviews – 55% on RT. It was popular commercially but not particularly well-received by critics, so it's not a surprise it didn't get a BP nomination…

  13. What Colin said above. I adore the hell out of TGS…I left the theater in a great mood back in January and love the music. But is it a quality movie? Eh…I don't think I can say it's Best Picture worthy. It plays SUPER loose with history and has more than one "oh boy, they did that…" part.

    When people ask me what my favorite movie of the year is so far, I point to this one with a caveat: it has issues, but I feel good listening to the music or watching it. I don't feel that way about anything else I've seen in a theater this year.

    We're watching in 4k on Thursday night. The BF said he was told TGS was a good movie and he wanted to watch it. He NEVER wants to watch ANYTHING I like.

    Sidenote: as of this past weekend, I could STILL see TGS in an AMC theater locally. That's three MONTHS after initial release. Critic scores be damned on this one. Audiences apparently LOVE it with an 88% on RT. It's easily profitable in domestically; $84 million budget and grossed $172 million…almost another $250 million internationally.

  14. Tino

    Easy. The Greatest Showman wasn’t nominated for Best Picture.;)

    Ronald Epstein

    I am shocked. I thought it was. Shows how closely I actually followed this year's Oscars. Didn't even watch it.

    Well, my comment is still valid. This film should have not only have been nominated but won.

    I believe its only nomination was for Best Song, and didn't win that either (Oscar goes to Coco).

  15. Tino

    Easy. The Greatest Showman wasn’t nominated for Best Picture.;)

    Ronald Epstein

    I am shocked. I thought it was. Shows how closely I actually followed this year's Oscars. Didn't even watch it.

    Well, my comment is still valid. This film should have not only have been nominated but won.

    I believe its only nomination was for Best Song, and didn't win that either (Oscar goes to Coco).

  16. Jason_V

    Shouldn't that be 55% fresh and 45% rotten? There are more positive reviews than negative, so that would mean it was 55% fresh.

    At RT, anything below 60% is "rotten".

    Audience score was 88% at RT, so there was a big disconnect between the critics and audiences.

  17. Not gonna argue their terminology, but when someone says "55% rotten," what does that make you think? It certainly doesn't say to me 112 of 204 scores are fresh. If you score 112 of 204 on a test, you got 55% of the answers correct, 45% incorrect.

    The film is "rotten" based on their numbers, though you can spin the 55% pretty much any way. I think most people would hear "55% rotten" and think most critics hated it. Based on the numbers, that simply isn't true.

  18. Wayne_j

    I watched that yesterday. IMO they spent way too much time talking about historical inaccuracies.

    As the director stated on the audio commentary let's not let the truth get in a way of a good story. The old time directors like Ford, Hawks, Hitchcock and many others always thought of themselves as storytellers.

  19. Wayne_j

    Critics hated The Greatest Showman (55% rotten). It was never going to be nominated for best picture.

    55% of the reviews were positive. That's not "the critics hated it".

    And a "rotten" review doesn't mean "hated it" anyway.

    If I say "I thought this was a lackluster movie", RT marks that "rotten".

    If I say "this is the dumbest, most ridiculous, unwatchable piece or crap ever made", RT marks it "rotten".

    That binary system lacks nuance – it's possible that the 45% of "rotten" reviews "hated it", but they also could've just been mildly negative…

  20. The Rotten Tomatoes score, in and of itself, doesn't really mean much to me.

    You can have a movie that absolutely no one loves, that's competently made but has little to recommend specifically, where all of the critics say, "Yeah, it's ok, it won't blow your mind, but it's fine" – and since all of those reviews are technically positive, the movie could score 100%.

    Then, you could have a movie that most of the critics absolutely love and think is one of the greatest things ever made, but that a fraction of the critics didn't enjoy. That movie could score 75%.

    Which one seems like the better bet? The movie that left everyone feeling unenthusiastic but without a specific fault to point out, or the movie that blew the minds of most people who saw it?

  21. The Rotten Tomatoes score, in and of itself, doesn't really mean much to me.

    You can have a movie that absolutely no one loves, that's competently made but has little to recommend specifically, where all of the critics say, "Yeah, it's ok, it won't blow your mind, but it's fine" – and since all of those reviews are technically positive, the movie could score 100%.

    Then, you could have a movie that most of the critics absolutely love and think is one of the greatest things ever made, but that a fraction of the critics didn't enjoy. That movie could score 75%.

    Which one seems like the better bet? The movie that left everyone feeling unenthusiastic but without a specific fault to point out, or the movie that blew the minds of most people who saw it?

  22. I look forward to watching TGS on blu/UHD as the theatrical trailer didn't grab me. I also didn't care for Moulin Rouge or Chicago but absolutely loved La La Land and watch it often. I can appreciate why LLL won so many awards and I like it because it is a homage to my favourite musicals period of 1940/50s whereas TGS looks like it has been inspired by more modern musicals. Will post comments after viewing.

  23. I liked the movie more than I thought I would.

    1. I it is not historically accurate. and that always bothers me.
    2. I loved the diversity theme. These are things that people talk about; this movie shows diversity in action. My favorite part.
    3. The music is just OK for me. I also was not keen after La La Land BTW, preferring the originals to which LLL pays "homage".
    4. Hugh Jackman is extremely talented but he seldom sells me with his performances. He does a bit better on this one. Perhaps he should stick to musicals. Jim Dale in the 1980 musical Barnum was better for me.

  24. This one is arriving tomorrow from Amazon. I sure hope the UHD is as impressive as people have noted. My wife and I saw this twice in the theater (first time the day after it opened) and left the theater trying to remember the songs. I felt like I had a goofy grin on my face as we left. Purchased the soundtrack the very next day. Since it was still in theaters at the end of January, we went again. As soon as it was available for pre-order, I placed my order. Looking forward to spending time viewing this one again this weekend. Most enjoyable movie experience in recent memory.

  25. Ronald Epstein

    Amazing how they fictionalization this film as I understand the real Barnum was a total jerk for most of his life

    People should have realized that when they cast Hugh Jackman as Barnum.:) Barnum wasn't a good looking man.

    [​IMG]

  26. Films like TGS have a much harder time these days because everyone carries around a device that can nearly instantaneously provide a concise biography of any famous person, warts and all. Until the advent of the Internet, if you wanted to know more about a person, you had to make the effort to search out a book or historical newspapers. Most people couldn't be bothered. Even the best biographical films tend to fictionalize and simplify. Why? In order to have a successful film you need to entertain. You also need to exaggerate certain things in order to elicit an emotional response. Make the good guys great and the bad guys despicable. I haven't seen this film (though I will, since everyone I know loves it), but it was bound to have a hard time with critics and people who form their opinions based upon clickbait articles with names like "10 Reasons Why The Greatest Showman Was the Worst Person Ever: Number 7 will blow your mind!" My feeling is that no human who has ever walked this Earth was perfect and it's unfair to hold a historical figure to contemporary social mores. The world is constantly changing. Does that mean we should elevate someone who was demonstrably horrible? No. But P.T. Barnum, while not perfect, was certainly not a monster. He was a larger-than-life personality whose skill at showmanship was such that he is still worthy of acknowledgement over a century after his death. Who cares a big Hollywood musical ignores his faults? The title of the film tells you exactly the kind of movie the filmmakers set out to deliver. If that isn't for you, just don't see it.

    Sorry for the rant. I'm just glad that an original Hollywood musical was a financial success that seems like it will have legs past its initial release. We need more pure entertainment these days. Real life gives us enough war, politics, and misery. Sometimes it's just nice to spend time watching something that makes you smile.

    Doggone it, I'm renting this tonight.

  27. Brian Kidd

    Films like TGS have a much harder time these days because everyone carries around a device that can nearly instantaneously provide a concise biography of any famous person, warts and all. Until the advent of the Internet, if you wanted to know more about a person, you had to make the effort to search out a book or historical newspapers. Most people couldn't be bothered. Even the best biographical films tend to fictionalize and simplify. Why? In order to have a successful film you need to entertain. You also need to exaggerate certain things in order to elicit an emotional response. Make the good guys great and the bad guys despicable. I haven't seen this film (though I will, since everyone I know loves it), but it was bound to have a hard time with critics and people who form their opinions based upon clickbait articles with names like "10 Reasons Why The Greatest Showman Was the Worst Person Ever: Number 7 will blow your mind!" My feeling is that no human who has ever walked this Earth was perfect and it's unfair to hold a historical figure to contemporary social mores. The world is constantly changing. Does that mean we should elevate someone who was demonstrably horrible? No. But P.T. Barnum, while not perfect, was certainly not a monster. He was a larger-than-life personality whose skill at showmanship was such that he is still worthy of acknowledgement over a century after his death. Who cares a big Hollywood musical ignores his faults? The title of the film tells you exactly the kind of movie the filmmakers set out to deliver. If that isn't for you, just don't see it.

    Sorry for the rant. I'm just glad that an original Hollywood musical was a financial success that seems like it will have legs past its initial release. We need more pure entertainment these days. Real life gives us enough war, politics, and misery. Sometimes it's just nice to spend time watching something that makes you smile.

    Doggone it, I'm renting this tonight.

    Barnum was from the robber baron era, as bad as Barnum was, he was small time "bad person" compared to other more successful businessmen from that era which is why many of them established foundations to help ease their guilt for being total s**** when they were alive.

  28. Ethan Riley

    I don't see any reason to worry about it. It's about as historically accurate as "Camelot,"

    To be fair, there is very little evidence that King Arthur actually existed outside of stories.

  29. I agree absolutely! Just finished watching it and THIS should have received Best Picture for 2017 IMO. No slight at all intended to del Toro's marvelous film, but The Greatest Showman was a ballistic tour de force of amazeballs cinema that left me gasping for oxygen. What a magnificent euphoric experience!

  30. Seriously? – theses rave on here for this? I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt even with the Glee staged opening number but when Jenny Lind came out and struck a Taylor Swift pose and belted out drek I was pining for the Diva Plavalaguna to sing an actual aria! The real travesty here is that Side Show was not made ( same topic (freaks) but with a fantastic score) instead of this heavy handed, bang-me -with-a-hammer-political-correctness-poor-excuse of a musical.
    I’m appalled. This is music???

  31. atfree

    Watching now. For the critics, I say F$#@ reality, THIS is what movies are about. Pure, unadulterated entertainment.

    Wonderful film.

    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Best post of the day!

    I go to the movies to be entertained. I generally check my reality meter at the door. If I wanted non-fiction I'd watch travelogs and documentaries. You know, the films that are generally BORING.

    Mark

  32. Wow! Did we see the same film? The Jenny Lind song basically took my breath away. Her non-operatic song just fit in with the style of the rest of the movie. When we bought the CD, we played it over and over. That should have received the Oscar nomination for best song.

  33. noel aguirre

    Seriously? – theses rave on here for this? I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt even with the Glee staged opening number but when Jenny Lind came out and struck a Taylor Swift pose and belted out drek I was pining for the Diva Plavalaguna to sing an actual aria! The real travesty here is that Side Show was not made ( same topic (freaks) but with a fantastic score) instead of this heavy handed, bang-me -with-a-hammer-political-correctness-poor-excuse of a musical.
    I'm appalled. This is music???

    To each their own.

  34. Robert Crawford

    That's what I always say, I'm sure there are some classic musicals or other films that he loves that I never thought highly of. It's all about personal and subjective taste.

    Yep. I watched How to Succeed in Business… this past weekend, which many have raved about around here. While it was a fun film, I'm not sure it was successful as a musical, IMO. A few days later, and I couldn't tell you about any of the songs or what they're titled. It just wasn't memorable to me. Same with Newsies, which was part of my musicals triple-feature from last weekend (along with La La Land).

    I've seen La La Land twice, and though I'm not as impressed with it as others here, I can at least remember a couple of the songs (Another Day in the Sun; City of Stars).

    IMO, the best musicals use the songs to move the story forward or describe what's going on with the characters, they're not just random production numbers plopped down into the film at regular intervals which, to me, seems descriptive of many "musicals" that I've seen.

  35. You know,it's just struck me that the argument that the film is not at all representative of real history pretty much is exactly the theme of the movie. "Who cares if it's not real, the smiles are genuine!"

    I'm sure this point has already been put forth by many, but it just came to me on my own.

  36. Jeff Cooper

    You know,it's just struck me that the argument that the film is not at all representative of real history pretty much is exactly the theme of the movie. "Who cares if it's not real, the smiles are genuine!"

    I'm sure this point has already been put forth by many, but it just came to me on my own.

    The director says as much on the audio commentary when it states "don't let the truth get in the way of a good story".

  37. Jeff Cooper

    You know,it's just struck me that the argument that the film is not at all representative of real history pretty much is exactly the theme of the movie. "Who cares if it's not real, the smiles are genuine!"

    I'm sure this point has already been put forth by many, but it just came to me on my own.

    Here's how I put it my review "The film, when confronted with the legend or the truth, “prints the legend,” and while that makes for shaky biographical efficacy, it also makes for an impressive indulgence of emotion and warm feelings."

  38. I grew up watching classic movies about real people and events being mainly fiction with a little historical reference thrown in. MGM, Warner and Fox did plenty of such films that many of us love and adored over the last 80 something years. Then as it is today, it's about entertaining people, if folks wanted a history lesson back then they would turn to the library, today it's the internet. Usually such films would peek my interest and I would turn to books and the internet to find out the true historical facts.

  39. I watched this one this afternoon. Pure entertainment with a capital "E." The melodies were bracing and big and grand, and the production values were eye-popping (beautiful UHD visuals and BIG sound). I also appreciated some directorial touches that showed a lot of chic transitions between scenes. The singing actors really gave it their all, and it's the kind of big, showy show that fans will relish revisiting. I certainly will be enjoying it many times over the next few years. The fact that the story is very standard (rags to riches to rags and back to riches) keeps it from being a first-rate musical, but certainly doesn't impede its primary emphasis which is entertainment.

    I had quibbles. The score was composed of too many huge power ballads in succession. Each one impressive and tuneful and memorable, but a little variation in the musical menu might have given the audience a bit of time to catch its collective breath. And I caught on several occasions what I call "lazy rhymes," rhyming words which are close but don't really rhyme (like "home" and "alone" – not that specifically but similar to that). That's nothing new with modern musicals. That's been found in almost every award-winning show score for the last decade. (Spring Awakening is particularly guilty of it.) Most people don't notice or care, but it's the kind of thing Sondheim and Lerner and Hammerstein avoided like the plague.

  40. Matt Hough

    I had quibbles. The score was composed of too many huge power ballads in succession. Each one impressive and tuneful and memorable, but a little variation in the musical menu might have given the audience a bit of time to catch its collective breath. And I caught on several occasions what I call "lazy rhymes," rhyming words which are close but don't really rhyme (like "home" and "alone" – not that specifically but similar to that). That's nothing new with modern musicals. That's been found in almost every award-winning show score for the last decade. (Spring Awakening is particularly guilty of it.) Most people don't notice or care, but it's the kind of thing Sondheim and Lerner and Hammerstein avoided like the plague.

    I watched this a second time last night, and originally I had come away with the same first impression (too many ballads) but realized after the second time that it's really not true. There are some ballads, and in general I have a very low tolerance for ballads, but the majority of the songs were actually quite aggressive and the ballads were pretty limited. I don't consider the quiet little, intimate tunes to be ballads. To me, something like "Never Enough" is a ballad. The quiet little ones, like some exchanges between Barnum and Charity aren't.

    Regarding the rhymes, I think I disagree. I'm a big classical literature fan and I've read a lot of poetry and lyrical prose, and I find a lot of the rhymes and meter of the songs to actually be the more sophisticated type you find from writers like Shakespeare, as opposed to the more common, more obvious type. For example, from the song "Never Enough"…

    All the shine of a thousand spotlights
    All the stars we steal from the night sky
    Will never be enough

    Towers of gold are still too little
    These hands could hold the world but it'll
    Never be enough

    In the first section, each line is a self-contained phrase and they don't exactly rhyme, but they're mostly setting up the second section. In the second section, the second phrase rolls into the third line, rather than each line being it's own phrase. This is extremely common in more sophisticated poetry. So, I think it's actually better than most lyrics. The point is to say something in a lyrical way and with a meter, not just to use words that sound exactly alike.

    Finally, regarding the lack of historical accuracy, it occurred to me that the theme of the movie is the importance of thinking of others, and particularly the destructiveness of ruthless pursuit of self-glory and wealth. So, maybe it's actually a brilliant irony to use the most famous huckster in American history to completely alter reality and make that point.

Leave a Reply