The Greatest Showman appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, this became a pleasing presentation.
Sharpness seemed solid, as the film consistently came across as distinct and well defined. I noticed only mild issues connected to softness or fuzziness during a few wider elements, so the majority of the flick remained distinctive.
Jagged edges and moiré effects never presented concerns, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to materialize.
The movie’s palette emphasized a fairly standard sense of orange and teal, with occasional splashes of other hues as well. This became a mild disappointment, as a film about the circus felt like a tale with ample room for a more dynamic palette, but the hues seemed well-reproduced nonetheless.
Black levels were deep and dense, and low-light situations demonstrated good definition without becoming overly thick. This turned into a more than satisfactory image.
Not surprisingly, music dominated the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundfield, as the showtunes demonstrated good breadth and spread across the front channels. Stereo response seemed strong, as the songs filled the speakers nicely, and they also popped up appropriately from the rears.
The surround channels supported the music naturally and didn’t resort to gimmicky material. Effects played a less active role in the film, but they helped flesh out the story well, as they created a good feeling of atmosphere throughout the flick.
Audio quality came across as solid. Speech appeared distinct and natural, and I noticed no issues connected to intelligibility or edginess.
Effects seemed tight and accurate. As previously noted, they didn’t play a prominent role in the proceedings, but they remained clear and concise at all times.
Music sounded great. The songs and score demonstrated clean highs and a nice dimensionality in general, with warm low-end. This became a positive mix for a musical.
As we move to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Michael Gracey. He offers a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, music, production design and locations, choreography and related domains.
Gracey brings us a fairly lackluster commentary. He tends to essentially remark on the on-screen action without real insight, so we don’t learn a lot along the way. While not a terrible track, this one fails to offer much useful information.
A featurette called The Family Behind The Greatest Showman runs 14 minutes, five seconds and presents comments from Gracey, producer Laurence Mark, songwriters Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, choreographer Ashley Wallen, production designer Nathan Crowley, costume designer Ellen Mirojnick, and actors Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Keala Settle.
“Family” examines the movie’s origins and development, cast and performances, songs and choreography, sets and costumes. A lot of happy talk crops up, but we get a decent collection of production-related notes as well.
Under The Music, we find nine clips that examine the movie’s songs. These fill a total of one hour, 10 minutes, seven seconds and features statements from Gracey, Jackman, Mark, Paul, Pasek, Efron, Settle, Zendaya, and actors Rebecca Ferguson and Michelle Williams.
As implied, “The Music” examines the songs and performances. Like “Family”, a fair amount of praise emerges, but we find good thoughts about the tunes, and fans will enjoy the abundance of rehearsal footage.
Next comes The Spectacle, a 32-minute, 12-second compilation of five featurettes. These involve Gracey, Mark, Mirojnick, Jackman, Ferguson, Efron, Zendaya, Settle, Wallen, Paul, Pasek, Crowley, cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, makeup department head Nicki Ledermann, head hair stylist Jerry Populis, circus coordinator Mathieu Leopold, composers John Debney and Joseph Trapanese, and actors Yajya Abdul-Mateen II, Sunny Walters and Taylor James.
“Spectacle” views costumes, hair/makeup, production design, cast and performances, choreography, photography, and score. We hear about some of this elsewhere, but we still discover a positive overview of various production issues.
With Sing-Along, we get a subtitle option that displays the songs’ lyrics as they play. In addition, Music Machine allows direct access to any of the film’s 15 production numbers.
Two subdomains lurk within Galleries: “Concept Art” (34 images) and “Storyboards” (300+ - the sequence repeats and I lost count before I realized I saw duplicate images). Both collections work well, especially because the storyboards offer much more artistic material than the usual basic cartoons.
The disc boasts two trailers for Showman. Sneak Peek also provides ads for The Post, Ferdinand, The Mountain Between Us, Goodbye Christopher Robin and Hidden Figures.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Showman. It includes all the extras except for “The Songs”, the trailers and “Sneak Peek”.
Slowly but steadily, audiences embraced The Greatest Showman - and I can’t figure out why. Messy, clumsy and erratic, the movie lacks the zest and coherence it needs to become a satisfying musical. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and audio along with a selection of supplements. Showman fails to turn into a memorable experience.