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If you like watching Hugh Jackman sing and dance - boy, do I have good news for you....
Image / 177 Minutes / 1999 / Unrated / Street Date: December 4, 2012
The current megaplex invasion of Les Miserables has kicked new life into the movie musical - especially ones in which movie stars belt it out. In this filmed stage production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, Hugh Jackman rips up tunes like "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" with brash swagger, fusing the bigger-than-life sensibility of his part with his own above-the-title cultural recognition.
I mean this to say that Oklahoma! as a standalone release benefits from Jackman's big-Hollywood presence. I'm sure there are stage actors who could have done just as notable a job in his shoes, but as a lightning rod for this entire performance, it's big fun watching Hugh really get into it. I remember him proving his chops during some Oscar-hosting banter, but it wasn't until this Oklahoma! disc came around that I really recognized his talents.
Blu-ray Discs like this one aren't for everyone, but if you've been bitten by the Broadway bug and aren't headed for NYC any time soon, Oklahoma! should make for a legitimate stand-in. The show itself is a love-it-or-hate-it affair, but I applaud Rodgers and Hammerstein for opening with a gushingly earnest song like "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" - and to have Hugh Jackman (all smiles) performing it: you'll either reject Oklahoma! straight-out or fall immediately under its down-homey spell.