“The Greatest Showman” an uplifting end-of-year musical

Movie musicals seem to be making a comeback–or perhaps they never really left.  Original musicals are that much more complicated, attempting to entice the masses to see and hear the unfamiliar.  Director Michael Gracey spent nearly 10 years bringing “The Greatest Showman” to life, work-shopping the story of PT Barnum’s life with Broadway veterans in New York.  When he felt ready, Gracey staged a performance for executives to sell them on the concept.  It worked, and the first-time feature film director moved on to the next part of the process.

For most directors, that would mean a bit of prep and then actually making the film.  For Gracey, it involved ten weeks of rehearsals and producing shot-for-shot video footage (at times on his iphone!) of what would later be re-created by the director of photography, two-time Oscar nominee Seamus McGarvey.

“The Greatest Showman” is a passionate take on the circus founder’s life.  The film balances many issues of the period, including classism and interracial relationships.  While there are moments of un-evenness, overall the production is uplifting; it’s a feel-good movie at its core.

For more about “The Greatest Showman”, including information directly from Hugh Jackman and Michael Gracey, take a look below:

–>Keep in touch with the author on Twitter and Instagram @realZoeHewitt.  Looking for the direct link to the video?  Click here.

BAYWATCH Review & Analysis

I’ve long been a proponent of the Popcorn Flick.  There’s something to be said for a couple of hours of brainless entertainment.  After all, that’s the very premise of “guilty pleasure” tv shows like The Bachelorette.

So, it was with that mindset that I settled into my seat for Baywatch starring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Priyanka Chopra.  There could be no better truth in advertising than what the trailer promised and the full-length feature delivered.  The movie is saturated with the anticipated raunchy jokes–though they weren’t quite as over-the-top as expected from the post-American Pie generation.  The movie’s self-aware humor addresses everything from Efron’s looks to Chopra’s potential as a future Bond girl.

Baywatch delivers exactly as predicted.  Sure, the set ups are obvious and the jokes hit on the same note a few too many times.  This movie, like the long-running tv show which inspired it, isn’t academic and there are just as many manly muscles as — ahem, feminine curves.

The actors commit to Baywatch with acting gusto, a significant element in selling a movie in which Johnson and Efron must believably carry two full-sized refrigerators on their backs.  Their commitment to this silliness sells the concept and the entirety of the movie itself.

Baywatch also stars Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera and Jon Bass.

For more about Baywatch, including eagle-eye details and Dwayne Johnson’s integrative marketing, take a look below:

—>Keep in touch with the author on Twitter and Instagram @realZoeHewitt.

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