Tag Archive: zac efron


The Greatest Showman

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

In this world of constant information, it can be hard to understand why showman P.T. Barnum was ever a success.

Greatest ShowmanHe relied on society’s fascination with anyone and everyone who was ‘different.’ He created exhibits and shows of what people wanted to see. He made money and lost money and made it again by taking phenomenal risks.

And that is only what is covered in the movie The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum. This movie covers the time that Barnum created his American Museum, his live performances, and the tour with Jenny Lind. We are thoroughly in the mid1800s without mention of the Civil War or Barmun’s abolitionist or temperance activities.

I hate to break it to you but this is not a documentary or bio pic looking to be accurate.

Instead, we get an action packed, musically driven story that hilights Barnum’s desire to make money anyway he can. The whys are the usual reasons that propel anyone to succeed. Barnum adds to this by being willing to risk everything all of the time – his home, his properties, his non-existent fleet of trains.

We also see that he is a brilliant promoter. He knows how to get people to his shows, how to publicize his shows, how to keep people coming into the door. All of this despite the protesters and the angry mob who do not want the freaks on display because freaks need to stay hidden at all times.

Greatest Showman - castThe music is not fitting with the times, instead it has a modern pop and hip-hop vibe. This is Me was nominated for an Oscar and is the big song of the movie as the Barnum show cast sings it with dignity when they become more open about who they are.

The dance sequences are incredible as well. Based on Broadway hip-hop spectacular and Busby Berkley views from the top, we see how Barnum is the center of the show. He wants to be the center, he wants to drive the show, he wants to be the one who says ‘look at this, you have never seen this before.’

Hugh Jackman is great in this movie because he encompasses the hope of a man who has failed before, he is a risk taker, and he is a pure raconteur constantly re-inventing himself with each new venture. Gone is the weariness that we saw in his role as Wolverine; instead we get a man hungry for success who never losses his lust for life. Michelle Williams plays his wife with her own ethereal style. It is something she can do in her sleep and yet I never get tired of watching her as her husband takes them from poverty to riches and down again.

Greatest Showman - Zac and ZendayaBut credit must go the rest of the cast including Keala Settle who plays the Bearded Woman, Lettie Lutz. Rebecca Ferguson is impressive as the legendary Jenny Lind. Zac Efron and Zendaya bring life to their roles as star crossed lovers in a time that did not allow racially-mixed couples. Their performances, singing, and dancing added spark to many scenes.

Not everyone is going to like this movie. But for those who love the musical genre, this makes a great spectacular to add to your collection.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Mr. Irresistable?


Family Movie Night

 

by Karyn Bowman

 

The other day I saw the sign about the “Mr. Irresistible” pageant that is coming up this Friday.

 

I almost asked my husband if he was taking part but then realized I did not want to share him with others.

 

Still, it looks to be a good time and it helps the high school volleyball team. What more do you need for an evening?

 

It did make me think of some stars that are, quite frankly, irresistible.

 

Image from IMDb.com

While the Girl Scouts were at the North Lake Villa this past weekend, one lady and I got into a discussion of movies. She had recently seen The Lucky One starring Zac Efron.  This former Disney performer has slowly built up a nice career filled with comedies and dramas.

 

His latest movie is about a soldier stationed overseas who finds a picture of a girl and it saves his life. Once he comes back home, he finds the girl and they fall in love. But there is more to it and it is based on a Nicholas Sparks book. However, as the lady said, Zac Efron is easy on the eyes.

 

Another actor who is easy on the eyes and good at what he does is Ryan Gosling. This past year the Canadian actor was in a slew of movies including Drive and Crazy Stupid Love. He might be best known for his role in The Notebook, another Nicholas Sparks movie that tells the ultimate love story.

 

His first big movie I remember was Murder by Numbers with Sandra Bullock, a murder mystery in which the detective gets too involved with the suspect. He played one of the suspects with such intensity that I really did not like him for a while. However, I am looking forward to seeing his latest round of movies, especially The Ides of March as I am a political junkie.

 

While Gosling carried the movie, his co-star was George Clooney. Clooney has been irresistible for a long time and a part of me wonders if his time has passed. But there will always be his vast collection of movies. It is hard for me to pick a favorite. I love the Ocean series he did with Brad Pitt and director Steven Soderbergh. These heist movies make it cool to be bad, smooth to be involved with all of the people who have their own specialty.

 

 

Image from IMDb.com

I also love his fluffy movies such as One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer and Batman and Robin or Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. You cannot take these movies seriously as you do with Good Night and Good Luck or Up in The Air. A great black comedy is Intolerable Cruelty with Catherine Zeta-Jones in which Clooney is attracted to Zeta-Jones, a serial divorcee.  

 

If my mother was writing this column about irresistible actors, she might include Cary Grant or Errol Flynn. But that is a column for another day.

Who would you pick to be the ‘Mr. Irresistible’ of your life?

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.