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The Greatest Showman Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Keala Settle, Sam Humphrey, Paul Sparks, Paul Sparks,

The Greatest Showman: an original musical loosely based on the life of P.T. Barnum and his “abnormals assemble” crew. You have two choices with this film: enjoy it as a (very) lightweight piece of entertainment, or thumb through the catalogue of issues with its presentation as an actual ‘movie’. My biggest gripe is the songs – they’re all too similar and formulaic; designed by committee – starting with a quiet talky bit, rapidly build into a punch-the-air, feelgood and uplifting sing-a-long major-key chorus, then ending with a more emotional talky bit. Granted, they’re perfect for a musical, but each one is about twice as long as necessary and the core numbers are continually repeated throughout the entire picture. While it makes the most of the cinematic medium through scale and visual effects, it’s unbelievably stagey and theatrical; essentially begging for a live action theatre run. The story is wafer thin; it is the most positive spin on Barnum’s life told through very broad brushstrokes, and whenever someone is about to do a bit of real acting (starting to get vaguely emotional) they spontaneously burst in to song! The critic character is a laughably knowing pre-emptive jibe at how the film itself would obviously land; engineered to be popular with the masses but sneered at by critics – and I can understand both sides. Every family member, friend, and colleague that’s seen this has gone to the cinema for multiple viewings and subsequent sing-a-long viewings, yet the critical response is lukewarm at best. The Greatest Showman is hammier than a hog roast and cheesier than a fondue: it’s unashamedly naff, but is clearly plugging a massive gap in the popular and musical markets.

Score: 5/10

The Greatest Showman Boozy Bar Drunk Mumford Song Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Keala Settle, Sam Humphrey, Paul Sparks, Paul Sparks,

The Greatest Showman Bearded Lady Cleavage Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Keala Settle, Sam Humphrey, Paul Sparks, Paul Sparks,

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New mini-feature about the great use of great songs to make a great scene even better.

Party Down Season 1 Adam Scott Ken Marino Lizzy Caplan Ryan Hansen Martin Starr Jane Lynch ennifer Coolidge Ken Jeong Kristen BellSong: “Wrong” by LA Glam Rockers TSAR.

Show: Party Down

Scene: a rich but unpopular girl has been thrown a huge party on a boat; none of the cool kids show up, but when this song goes on all of the misfits – including the Party Down staff – rock out on the dancefloor.

Why it’s awesome: the arc of the song is great – starts off slow and controlled and slowly builds up to a hyper-emotional, multi-layered rock frenzy. Few songs would have worked as well as this.

This scene was so uplifting that (thanks to Shazam!) I got that single; loved it so much that I got the Band.Girls.Money album; then TSAR’s first album too. Great band for those that like their rook loaded with catchy pop hooks.

Remember that awesomely catchy theme for the film Super? That was them too.