The smash-hit musical from the summer of 2008 has been reissued on Blu-ray with a mouthful of a title: Mamma Mia! The Movie – Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! More Gift Set. The Blu-ray disc containing the movie, along with a bevy of bonus features, is the same as the previously available edition. What makes this edition unique is the inclusion of the soundtrack on CD, containing 18 songs as performed by the cast of the film. Also included is a 32-page book, filled with behind-the-scenes photos. The box itself is actually rather noteworthy; when pressed in a certain spot, it plays a snippet of music while colored lights flash around the title.
I'm not an ABBA fan, nor am I partial to movie musicals in general. Despite being so far removed from the target demographic, I was curious to give Mamma Mia! a shot for a couple of reasons. Meryl Streep has already proven her vocal chops (see Postcards From the Edge) so I was interested in hearing more from her. Amanda Seyfried is a tremendous actress (so effective in Big Love) and I wondered if she could sing too. The answer, having heard her tackle numerous ABBA melodies, is definitely yes. The cast really makes the movie watchable, as they are obviously having a great time.
The plot of Mamma Mia! leaves quite a bit to be desired. A young woman (Seyfried), on the eve of her wedding, wants nothing more than to have her father give her away. Unfortunately for her, she doesn’t know who he is. Neither does her mom (Streep), who wrote in her diary of three men with whom she had affairs in her youth. Any of these guys could be the father. So all are invited to the wedding and the girl tries to determine which is her dad in time for the wedding.
Practically deserving to be billed as a co-star right along with the actors are the locations in Greece where the movie was filmed. It’s all very beautiful scenery and lends a unique flavor to the film. Obviously a great deal of vivacious energy went into the production. Although I wasn’t on the edge of my seat waiting to find out whether the father turns out to be Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard, or Colin Firth, the whole thing passed by surprisingly painlessly. The songs are fun and even the cast members who aren’t blessed with natural singing talent (all three of the aforementioned male leads) manage to acquit themselves nicely.
If you already own the standard Blu-ray release, it’s doubtful the booklet and soundtrack CD will make it worth the double-dip. But if you are a fan, or know someone who is, the gift set is a sure bet. As for the movie itself, the 1080p high-definition transfer is truly impressive. The colors positively burst off the screen. This is about as good as the format gets for movies that aren’t effects-driven, focusing rather on real locations and live actors. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is everything musical fans could hope for. The music is vibrant and the singing is crystal clear. The non-musical sequences sound great too.
With commentary, deleted scenes, and making-of featurettes that manage to add to one’s appreciation of the filmmaker’s efforts, this is an all around terrific package. While the movie wasn’t exactly up my alley, it was easy to see why the movie has such a large fanbase. Mamma Mia! The Movie – Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! More Gift Set is a must-own for fans of the genre.