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

editor,member

101 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
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    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
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    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.

  41. 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.

    Seriously? There's a reason this wasn't nominated for Best picture even thought we now have 9 nominees! It was just OK.

  42. noel aguirre

    Seriously? There's a reason this wasn't nominated for Best picture even thought we now have 9 nominees! It was just OK.

    Yes, seriously as I wasn't even talking about this film not getting a Best PIcture nomination! I was referring to subjective opinions about films and in this case musicals. Please name your top 10 ten musicals and I bet there is one that I thought was just OK? It doesn't make your list wrong nor me wrong for thinking one of them is just OK, it's just my opinion.

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

    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?

    Edited

  44. We finally watched this film last night — I picked it up from Best Buy using a $15 Rewards certificate, so it only cost me $10 out of pocket, plus I got a $5 Best Buy e-gift card for a future purchase as part of a promotion with Fox.

    My wife and I both enjoyed the film. I thought Jackman was excellent, and Efron did a decent job — although he did seem to have some difficultly hitting some of the notes in the songs. The other performers all were excellent, as well. The story was entertaining and held our interest.

    My one criticism is that most of the musical numbers seems too similar — there just wasn't much variety in them. With other "modern" musicals which are favorites of mine — Grease and Chicago — I felt compelled to buy the soundtracks to those films. I doubt I will be doing this with The Greatest Showman. Maybe it's the difference between a film based on a musical stage play with already developed musical numbers and an original work for the screen.

    Maybe the musical numbers will grow on me more with a subsequent viewing. I don't usually watch films multiple times in a short period of time, though, so it will be a awhile before I watch this again. But I do not feel compelled to sell the disc, as I did with La La Land.

  45. PMF

    As for "The Greatest Showman"? Well, I wanted to chirp in on Mr. Epstein's valid argument (as quoted), concerning the expanded number of Best Picture nominees from within the decade. Mr. Epstein is more than right, for in a year that produced 9 nominees for Best Picture, AMPAS actually allows for 10. With that reminder, this omission of "The Greatest Showman" becomes all the more beguiling.

    Isn't it possible that the voters didn't think it was a good enough film to merit a nomination?

    People act like "TGS" was some kind of shoo-in that got neglected mysteriously. The movie earned mediocre reviews – it has 56% on RT and that plummets all the way to 36% when only "top critics" become the focus.

    You can get a BP nod with bad reviews – "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" earner one with similarly weak reviews – but it's an exception.

    I don't get the apparent belief that "TGS" was screwed out of Oscar love…

  46. Colin Jacobson

    Isn't it possible that the voters didn't think it was a good enough film to merit a nomination?

    People act like "TGS" was some kind of shoo-in that got neglected mysteriously. The movie earned mediocre reviews – it has 56% on RT and that plummets all the way to 36% when only "top critics" become the focus.

    You can get a BP nod with bad reviews – "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" earner one with similarly weak reviews – but it's an exception.

    I don't get the apparent belief that "TGS" was screwed out of Oscar love…

    There's was room for 10 Best Picture nominations. So be it "The Greatest Showman" or any other film from 2017, one motion picture got the short end of the stick. And since that spot was never utilized, then fans of "The Greatest Showman" or any other film have filled in the blank with their own favorite. One thing is for certain, "The Greatest Showman" deserved far more than a single nomination; even if it couldn't be one for Picture. So, this is why we love our HTF, as not everyone can agree on everything; and its done so with the greatest of passions.

  47. PMF

    There's was room for 10 Best Picture nominations. So be it "The Greatest Showman" or any other film from 2017, one motion picture got the short end of the stick. And since that spot was never utilized, then fans of "The Greatest Showman" or any other film have filled in the blank with their own favorite. One thing is for certain, "The Greatest Showman" deserved far more than a single nomination; even if it couldn't be one for Picture. So, this is why we love our HTF; as not everyone can agree and its done so with the greatest of passions.

    The Oscar system isn't designed for 10 nominees – it's designed for up to 10 nominees.

    The voting system intends to ensure a certain level of support for each nominee – if the film doesn't receive a certain percentage of votes, it doesn't get the nomination.

    This means no movie "got the short end of the stick" – no movie was deprived of that 10th spot as it's not guaranteed.

    In any case, I still don't see how "TGS" was screwed because – as noted – it wasn't a film that received good reviews.

    A lot of people liked it, apparently – great. There are tons of movies every year with lots of popular support – I don't think it's a sin these movies don't get Oscar nominations…

  48. Colin Jacobson

    A lot of people liked it, apparently – great. There are tons of movies every year with lots of popular support – I don't think it's a sin these movies don't get Oscar nominations…

    It's not a sin, granted and understood. But the post-telecast hand wringing over ratings and eyeballs tends to argue this point. The more the arty, no one has seen them movies get nods, the less people tune into the show. Add some more popular movies in there and you may get more eyeballs. People are always complaining about the politics in the show, but I don't buy that as much as everyone wants to sell it.

    I'm not saying you nominate/vote based on popular opinion. But if you have a bunch of nominees no one has heard of, it doesn't matter if we're talking Citizen Kane…no one is going to watch.

    A more likelier reason is the voters passed the movie over on screener or in screenings because it was only a musical or was untrue to history or had Jackman/Efron, etc. So they didn't watch it, though it is their duty to watch it. I haven't heard this is the case, but I'm not ruling it out. Same thing happened to Brokeback Mountain years ago. Voters didn't watch it so it didn't really have a shot at BP.

  49. Jason_V

    […]A more likelier reason is the voters passed the movie over on screeners or in screenings […] though it is their duty to watch it.
    I haven't heard this is the case, but I'm not ruling it out.

    It's an absolute duty. If one is going to vote at all, then play the game and play it fairly. Like a film or don't like a film; but respect and see the work put forth. Otherwise, don't send in the ballot, at all.

  50. PMF

    It's an absolute duty. If one is going to vote at all, then play the game and play it fairly. Like a film or don't like a film; but respect and see the work put forth. Otherwise, don't send in the ballot, at all.

    Then every Academy member really should be watching every single film released within a given year, which is somewhere around 700, or about 2 per day.

  51. Worth

    Then every Academy member really should be watching every single film released within a given year, which is somewhere around 700, or about 2 per day.

    It's part of the gig, isn't it? Otherwise, every award is a crock of crap.

  52. Jason_V

    It's not a sin, granted and understood. But the post-telecast hand wringing over ratings and eyeballs tends to argue this point. The more the arty, no one has seen them movies get nods, the less people tune into the show. Add some more popular movies in there and you may get more eyeballs. People are always complaining about the politics in the show, but I don't buy that as much as everyone wants to sell it.

    I'm not saying you nominate/vote based on popular opinion. But if you have a bunch of nominees no one has heard of, it doesn't matter if we're talking Citizen Kane…no one is going to watch.

    A more likelier reason is the voters passed the movie over on screener or in screenings because it was only a musical or was untrue to history or had Jackman/Efron, etc. So they didn't watch it, though it is their duty to watch it. I haven't heard this is the case, but I'm not ruling it out. Same thing happened to Brokeback Mountain years ago. Voters didn't watch it so it didn't really have a shot at BP.

    Um… you know Ang Lee won Best Director for "Brokeback", right? It had a strong shot at BP – it was an upset that "Crash" won instead.

    I still think the most likely reason "TGS" didn't get a BP nom is because voters didn't think it was a very good movie.

    If the Academy wanted to find a big hit movie to nominate, they could've gone with "Wonder Woman:" – great reviews and massive box office.

    "TGS" wasn't some massive hit. It ended up in 18th place for 2017 – behind actual BP noms "Get Out" and "Dunkirk".

    So it's not like "TGS" was this super-smash that the Academy ignored in favor of obscure art house fare.

    There seems to be a cult building around "TGS' that makes it out to be a massive hit that is an all-time great film that got screwed out of Oscar love. None of this makes any sense to me.

    "Wonder Woman" has a waaay better argument for getting screwed out of that 10th slot than "TGS" – and if you wanna look at other 2917 hits, there are others than have a better argument as well. "Logan" or "It" or "Beauty and the Beast" all make stronger claims for possible BP attention than "TGS", a moderate hit with generally mediocre/weak reviews…

  53. Colin Jacobson

    Um… you know Ang Lee won Best Director for "Brokeback", right? It had a strong shot at BP – it was an upset that "Crash" won instead.

    Totally. But how many voters publicly acknowledged not watching the film? How many others didn't acknowledge it but didn't? Is anyone actually going to make the case that Crash is a better film? If you look at ye ole' loved Rotten Tomatoes, BM wins with critics and Crash has the lead with audiences. If we look at world wide dollars, that's Brokeback by a mile.

    So, moving on. The first weekend of TGS grossed a paltry (relatively) $9ish million domestically. It legged out to $173 million domestic. Dunkirk is "barely" more at $190 million, and Get Out at $176 million. I would call it a financial hit. The first weekend looked awful. But from word of mouth, it stayed in theaters for months. Longer than Wonder Woman, Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars.

  54. Colin Jacobson

    "Logan" or "It" or "Beauty and the Beast" all make stronger claims for possible BP attention than "TGS", a moderate hit with generally mediocre/weak reviews…

    Don't forget Wind River.

    Jason_V

    …every award is a crock of crap.

    This is pretty much it.

  55. Jason_V

    Totally. But how many voters publicly acknowledged not watching the film? How many others didn't acknowledge it but didn't? Is anyone actually going to make the case that Crash is a better film? If you look at ye ole' loved Rotten Tomatoes, BM wins with critics and Crash has the lead with audiences. If we look at world wide dollars, that's Brokeback by a mile.

    So, moving on. The first weekend of TGS grossed a paltry (relatively) $9ish million domestically. It legged out to $173 million domestic. Dunkirk is "barely" more at $190 million, and Get Out at $176 million. I would call it a financial hit. The first weekend looked awful. But from word of mouth, it stayed in theaters for months. Longer than Wonder Woman, Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars.

    Didn't say it wasn't a hit – it just wasn't some massive hit, despite many apparent claims to the contrary.

    You feel the Academy needs to nominate more hits and used "TGS" as the likely party. I pointed out the fact that a) bigger hits were nominated, and b) even bigger hits had a better claim to being "screwed" because they had better reviews.

    Yes, the movie had nice legs – that's the factor that makes it more popular than the other movies?

  56. Colin Jacobson

    Didn't say it wasn't a hit – it just wasn't some massive hit, despite many apparent claims to the contrary.

    You feel the Academy needs to nominate more hits and used "TGS" as the likely party. I pointed out the fact that a) bigger hits were nominated, and b) even bigger hits had a better claim to being "screwed" because they had better reviews.

    Yes, the movie had nice legs – that's the factor that makes it more popular than the other movies?

    Well, look at the numbers. If you start at $9 million and make $178 million, the movie ends with almost 20x its opening weekend. The Last Jedi, for example, ended with about 3x it's opening weekend. I call 20x a hit. That means the people who did see it started telling their friends and family to see it. And they told other people. And so on. That clearly didn't happen with The Last Jedi or Wonder Woman or really anything else. I could find TGS in a first run, quality theater the weekend before it's home video release. When did Last Jedi or BatB get pulled? Only Black Panther has those kind of legs right now.

    If the issue of Oscar ratings are actually a "problem" and the Academy cares more about eyeballs than honoring the actual best movies, yes. Popular movies are the culprit. Wonder Woman was a huge hit. Absolutely. Beauty and the Beast was polarizing. TGA has a higher audience score on RT than BatB, btw.

  57. Colin Jacobson

    How does "Wind River" fit this discussion? It got good reviews but made little money…

    I just identified it as a movie which could have received a BP nomination last year. Until I finally say The Shape of Water, I thought it was the best movie I had seen from last year.

    I guess I missed the point the particular point about Box Office in this discussion.

    But I gave up a long time ago caring a whit about these types of award shows since the premise of rewarding quality work is a ship that sailed long ago with inter-industry politics taking over the process.

    I will now quietly back away from this discussion.

  58. Worth

    Then every Academy member really should be watching every single film released within a given year, which is somewhere around 700, or about 2 per day.

    Well, I was addressing the viewing of all the films in the Post-nomination phase; when voting opens up to all of the branches.

  59. PMF

    Well, I was addressing the viewing of all the films in the Post-nomination phase; when voting opens up to all of the branches.

    Nominations for BP are submitted by the entire membership. From Oscars.org:

    BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR AWARD

    1. A Reminder List of all eligible motion pictures shall be made available along with a nominations ballot to all active and life members of the Academy who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five pictures.

    2. The pictures receiving the highest number of votes shall become the nominations for final voting for the Best Picture award. There may not be more than ten nor fewer than five nominations; however, no picture shall be nominated that receives less than five percent of the total votes cast.

  60. Jason_V

    Well, look at the numbers. If you start at $9 million and make $178 million, the movie ends with almost 20x its opening weekend. The Last Jedi, for example, ended with about 3x it's opening weekend. I call 20x a hit. That means the people who did see it started telling their friends and family to see it. And they told other people. And so on. That clearly didn't happen with The Last Jedi or Wonder Woman or really anything else. I could find TGS in a first run, quality theater the weekend before it's home video release. When did Last Jedi or BatB get pulled? Only Black Panther has those kind of legs right now.

    A) You seem to believe I claimed "TGS" wasn't a hit. I didn't – but it wasn't some massive hit. 18th place for 2017. Not massive hit.

    B) Legs are awesome, but ultimately act as some be-all, end-all of what's a hit and what isn't. The fact it stayed in theaters longer doesn't somehow make "TGS" a bigger hit than those other movies – it also had the advantage of a less competitive time of year than movies like "BatB" and "Wonder Woman", so screens stayed open longer…

    If the issue of Oscar ratings are actually a "problem" and the Academy cares more about eyeballs than honoring the actual best movies, yes. Popular movies are the culprit. Wonder Woman was a huge hit. Absolutely. Beauty and the Beast was polarizing. TGA has a higher audience score on RT than BatB, btw.

    Barely – 88% for "TGS" and 82% for "BatB". Not sure where "BatB" was "polarizing", since it got generally good reviews – 70% for "top critics" vs. 36% for "TGS"'s "top critics".

    You seem bound and determined to claim that "TGS" is some era-defining hit when it's not. It's a movie that did pretty well – that's it. It's not "Star Wars" or "Titanic" or something of that level…

  61. Mike Frezon

    I just identified it as a movie which could have received a BP nomination last year. Until I finally say The Shape of Water, I thought it was the best movie I had seen from last year.

    I guess I missed the point the particular point about Box Office in this discussion.

    The discussion went to box office because the apparent train of thought was that Oscar needs to nominate more popular movies, not "art house" fare like "Shape of Water". It needs to appeal to "real viewers" so the show can get better ratings.

    Allegedly "TGS" was the ideal movie to do so – despite the fact it got largely mediocre to bad reviews and was only the 18th highest grossing film of 2017.

    There are a number of movies that could've claimed that 10th spot – and "Wind River" is a good choice in terms of quality.

    I remain befuddled at the apparent belief that "TGS" deserved that 10th spot when it got iffy reviews and wasn't some super-smash hit…

  62. PMF

    Well, I was addressing the viewing of all the films in the Post-nomination phase; when voting opens up to all of the branches.

    I would agree that Oscar voters should watch all the films on which they can vote. This means they should watch all of the BP noms since (IIRC) everyone votes on those.

    Not too much to ask for them to watch 5-10 nominated films – a little much to demand they watch every movie released every year period! 😀

  63. Colin Jacobson

    You seem bound and determined to claim that "TGS" is some era-defining hit when it's not. It's a movie that did pretty well – that's it. It's not "Star Wars" or "Titanic" or something of that level…

    In fairness, there seems to be more than one "bound" to both sides of The Greatest Showman argument. Just saying, a lot of posting energy and passion seems to be working both sides of that fence which isn't a bad thing as it stimulates discussion for this forum.

  64. This is just me (and I am not representing anyone else):

    In the end, the beauty of our love for a particular film will never be contingent on whether its in or out of any awards race. And that's a good thing. Either a film reaches and touches an individual, or it doesn't. I might love a film and be surprised when another does not. I only take the discussion to one point; which is to ask what is was that they didn't like about it. I may even go so far as to point out a films attributes; but if it doesn't wash, we move onto another film to which we agree upon. Furthermore, if there is a film I hated, I won't spend my time taking away the very pleasure it derived for another. But that's about it. We like what we like; and that, as they say, is that. Well, maybe that's no entirely true; as I do go on an on about Peter O' Toole never winning a competitive Oscar…but that's about it. Well, pretty much.:)

  65. A) You seem to believe I claimed "TGS" wasn't a hit. I didn't – but it wasn't some massive hit. 18th place for 2017. Not massive hit.

    B) Legs are awesome, but ultimately act as some be-all, end-all of what's a hit and what isn't. The fact it stayed in theaters longer doesn't somehow make "TGS" a bigger hit than those other movies – it also had the advantage of a less competitive time of year than movies like "BatB" and "Wonder Woman", so screens stayed open longer…

    Sorry we don't agree, Colin. When you eventually make 20x your opening weekend by the end of your theatrical run, that's a hit. Even the big boys don't do that. Not Black Panther, not Wonder Woman, not Star Wars. When you increase the amount you take in week after week when, for most films, you make less and less each week…that's a hit for me.

    And you're also wrong, again. It opened with Jumaji, another film that had great legs. Opened right after Last Jedi and right before Downsizing and Pitch Perfect 3…movies that all got pulled fairly quickly. Had this truly been a period with less competition, then ALL of those films would have stuck around.The fact that none of them did says something.

    Colin Jacobson

    Barely – 88% for "TGS" and 82% for "BatB". Not sure where "BatB" was "polarizing", since it got generally good reviews – 70% for "top critics" vs. 36% for "TGS"'s "top critics".

    Really? I'm assuming you saw it and we can talk about the end of the film now. There were articles and lots of talk about LeFou having a crush on Gaston and then dancing with a man at the end of the film. Then there was Emma Watson's singing. I'll gladly point you to the Disney movie podcasts that were against the first decision.

    Colin Jacobson

    You seem bound and determined to claim that "TGS" is some era-defining hit when it's not. It's a movie that did pretty well – that's it. It's not "Star Wars" or "Titanic" or something of that level…

    Nope, not at all. All I'm claiming is that the film is a hit based on any objective measure looking at the people who watched it and not the critics who are increasingly far, far removed from the audience. That is the problem with the Oscars and other award shows.

  66. Jason_V

    Sorry we don't agree, Colin. When you eventually make 20x your opening weekend by the end of your theatrical run, that's a hit. Even the big boys don't do that. Not Black Panther, not Wonder Woman, not Star Wars. When you increase the amount you take in week after week when, for most films, you make less and less each week…that's a hit for me.

    "TGS" only made 20X its opening weekend because it's opening weekend was horrible!

    Basically you're praising it for doing so poorly when it opened! 😮

    And you're also wrong, again. It opened with Jumaji, another film that had great legs. Opened right after Last Jedi and right before Downsizing and Pitch Perfect 3…movies that all got pulled fairly quickly. Had this truly been a period with less competition, then ALL of those films would have stuck around.The fact that none of them did says something.

    It opened with "Jumanji" – and flopped hard.

    "TGS" did most of its money-making in the slower period of January…

    Really? I'm assuming you saw it and we can talk about the end of the film now. There were articles and lots of talk about LeFou having a crush on Gaston and then dancing with a man at the end of the film. Then there was Emma Watson's singing. I'll gladly point you to the Disney movie podcasts that were against the first decision.

    Awesome – it still was a well-liked movie by the masses.

    You want to use the audience meter on RT as a gauge when it suits you – ie, "TGS" – but not when it doesn't.

    "TGS" audience = 88%, "BatB" = 82%, and a LOT more people saw "BatB", so that makes its higher %age more impressive.

    Nope, not at all. All I'm claiming is that the film is a hit based on any objective measure looking at the people who watched it and not the critics who are increasingly far, far removed from the audience. That is the problem with the Oscars and other award shows.

    I already have stated repeatedly that "TGS" was a hit! 🙄

    You want to make it out to be a much bigger hit than it was, and since I don't agree, you continue to claim I make arguments I don't make.

    The movie did well. It wasn't a smash. It has a solid core group of fans but it's not something that appealed to a huge group – if it had, it would've made a lot more money!

  67. I'd rather watch a musical flop like Les Girls or Hello Dolly or The Wiz 0r New York or I's Always Fair Weather than this "moneymaker". But to each his own- to those who rave about it at least more musicals will get made because of it and I salute you.

  68. Obviously TGS had great word of mouth. That’s what made it a hit after it’s soft opening. Most people I would say that saw it loved it and told their friends to go see it.

    No one here as far as I know said it was a massive hit. But the story was it’s staying power and that can’t be denied. Critics may not have loved it but the majority of the moviegoing audiences that saw it did.

  69. Just a wee bit late to the party on this one because I waited for a price break. I'll admit it was great fun, colorful, and had a kick-ass song score. But, (and I promise not to threadcrap), I wasn't blown away by it. I understand why it didn't get a best picture nomination because it just wasn't as good as the films that were nominated. And for me La La Land was clearly superior as it packed an emotional wallop that this film lacked. Still The Greatest Showman is a movie I enjoyed a lot and am glad to have in my collection. Not every movie has to be a masterpiece. 🙂

  70. Mark-P

    Just a wee bit late to the party on this one because I waited for a price break. I'll admit it was great fun, colorful, and had a kick-ass song score. But, (and I promise not to threadcrap), I wasn't blown away by it. I understand why it didn't get a best picture nomination because it just wasn't as good as the films that were nominated. And for me La La Land was clearly superior as it packed an emotional wallop that this film lacked. Still The Greatest Showman is a movie I enjoyed a lot and am glad to have in my collection. Not every movie has to be a masterpiece. 🙂

    What was the emotional wallop of La La Land? I had a more emotional connection with The Greatest Showman, perhaps because of where I'm from and my cultural background, go figure.

  71. Usually I buy a disc for a film I think I may like, but wasn't sure about TGS so decided to stream it. I really disliked the film, the continuous singing, the unmemorable songs. By contrast I rate La La Land as one of the best films I have seen. Good story with an excellent ending, and very hummable, memorable songs. LLL reminded me of the classic film musicals whilst TGS that of a second rate musical theatre production. But that is the great thing about movies, there is something for us all.

  72. Keith Cobby

    But that is the great thing about movies, there is something for us all.

    You're right! The more I think about it, the less I think of "La La Land" for the same reasons while "The Greatest Showman" is among my favorite musicals from the last 20 years.

  73. Keith Cobby

    Usually I buy a disc for a film I think I may like, but wasn't sure about TGS so decided to stream it. I really disliked the film, the continuous singing, the unmemorable songs. By contrast I rate La La Land as one of the best films I have seen. Good story with an excellent ending, and very hummable, memorable songs. LLL reminded me of the classic film musicals whilst TGS that of a second rate musical theatre production. But that is the great thing about movies, there is something for us all.

    This film and La La Land do seem to create polarizing opinions. Personally, I liked The Greatest Showman, but did not care for La La Land. While I didn't think either film had any memorable songs, I thought the performers were better suited for singing & dancing roles in TGS than LLL.

  74. Scott Merryfield

    This film and La La Land do seem to create polarizing opinions. Personally, I liked The Greatest Showman, but did not care for La La Land. While I didn't think either film had any memorable songs, I thought the performers were better suited for singing & dancing roles in TGS than LLL.

    Ditto. Enjoyed The Greatest Showman, didn't care much for La La Land (mostly the story, I did enjoy some of the songs).

    The key original songs for both films were written by the same people, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, so it's odd that one would be considered so much better than the other:

    The Greatest Showman (lyrics: "The Greatest Show", "A Million Dreams", "A Million Dreams (Reprise)", "Come Alive", "The Other Side", "Never Enough", "This Is Me", "Rewrite the Stars", "Tightrope", "Never Enough (Reprise)", "From Now On", "From Now On (Reprise)")

    La La Land (lyrics: "Another Day of Sun", "Someone in the Crowd", "A Lovely Night", "City of Stars (Pier)", "City of Stars", "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)")

  75. La La Land gets more and more irritating to me. If it weren't for the sumptuous cinematography and Cinema-Scope colors, I wouldn't have watched it more than once. Can't stand the Emma Stone character. A real milk-toast yuk who sorely lacked the focus and spine of the Ryan Gosling character.

    The Greatest Showman. Ah, now there's a show of strength, hope and loyalties, all around. Nobody runs, regardless of the setbacks and adversities. Its not just about a visionary who believed in himself; its about others being inspired to believe in themselves, as well. And everyone ultimately sticks together, after being helped and supported. I'm a great believer in seeing positives and promises through; even if it takes far more time and efforts than originally expected or ever dreamed.

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