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Plot: Murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago. Runtime: 113 mins Release Date: 26 Dec 2002
I saw Chicago with my sister yesterday and we were hoping that he movie as going to be fun. We were fulfilled to the fullest. The movie Lavishly well done, energetic and fun to listen to, Chicago is easily on the top 10 best musicals ever. The music in the movie, the rhythm just utterly spellbinding, that's how incredible Chicago is. The movie mostly benefits from it extremely talented cast. Catherine Zeta-Jones shines in Chicago and gives the performance of her lifetime. She well-deserved her Oscar. John C. Rielly, Renee Zellwegger and Queen Latifa deserved their Oscar Nominations.The <more>
cinematography, sound, art directions, and especially the costume design they were all expertly done. I resisting the urge to dance and tap my shoe. What an amazing production it took to create this film. Everyone deserved their Oscar Wins or nominations whomever took part in the production. 1920s Chicago comes alive in breathtaking detail. Everyone whom likes musicals or music should definitely have a listen and watch Chicago.Rob Marshell truly out did himself in this masterpiece. 10/10
Charged, exhilarating, a treat and a surprise. (by sw-12)
I thoroughly enjoyed the current Broadway stage revival of Chicago -- the Kander and Ebb original, with Bob Fosse choreography, opened in 1975, starring Gwen Verdon Roxie , Chita Rivera Velma and Jerry Orbach Billy , all proven musical theatre talents. I saw the revival fairly early in its current run, starring Ann Reinking Roxie , Bebe Neuwirth Velma and James Naughton Billy , who are all proven in musical theatre as well. The casting of this new film adaptation had me wondering -- Renee Zellwegger Roxie , Catherine Zeta Jones Velma and Richard Gere Billy ? Sure, they can act, <more>
but can they sing and dance?Big time. The strength of their performances alone is almost enough to carry the film. Whether the stars come by these moves and voices easily, or were rehearsed within an inch of their lives, it's clear they come by them naturally -- they each perform their own songs, and the dance moves are both fluid and stylistically true to the Fosse choreography. Attention to choreographic integrity in this film is to be expected: director Rob Marshall is a choreographer by trade. The sizzling staging of Velma's and Roxie's "Finale" is practically a Fosse quotation from beginning to end, and is razzle-dazzling beyond the stage version, via the cinematography and editing techniques that only the film medium provides.I was prepared for a watered-down Hollywood take on the wildly popular, 6 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival, but sans the stage talents that got it there. But I actually liked the film BETTER. The film's screenplay adaptation, by Bill Condon, fleshes out the narrative to allow an emotional connection to the characters in a way that I didn't experience in the theater. The film integrates the songs to the story by cutting between an electrifying staged rendition and the 1920's Chicago world of the narrative. This technique gives the characters space for an inner emotional life thus letting the audience better connect with them.I did have a few quibbles. The song "Class", a personal favorite, was cut, likely to keep the momentum up as we rush toward Roxie's sensational jury trial, which delivers several musical treats of its own, and is the dramatic apogee of the story. And, while I found John C. Reilly a most pathetic but sympathetic Amos, I felt that Joel Grey evoked those qualities much more effectively in his Broadway rendition of "Mr. Cellophane."The story, while providing an opportunity for some juicy songs and sharply funny characters, is more than just eye candy. Its portrayal of cynical manipulation of the criminal justice system by creating a celebrity-hungry media circus the raison d'etre of Richard Gere's Billy Flynn is more than apt today. But if there's any moralizing going on here, it's with a wink and a flash of leg. Chicago is a treat.
"Chicago" is a stunning, brilliant piece of cinema.It tells the satirical story of a group of characters living in the windy city, in the roaring twenties: a voluptious vamp that burns in the spotlight, a red-hot mama matron, a greedy, flamboyant lawyer, a wannabe-star chorus girl, and her neglected, suffering, and lovable husband. There lives are interwoven and elaborated on, centering on the chorus girl's rise to fame, through shooting her lover. The genra here is musical. And every number is wildly entertaining, taking on the musical form of a vaudevillian show: there is a <more>
flashy, signature opener All that Jazz , a legendary closer Hot Honey Rag , a circus-show me act, and each character is rewarded a song of their own, to express themselves: the chorus girl, Roxie Roxie , the voluptious vamp, Velma I Can't do it Alone , the red-hot mama matron, Matron Mama Morton When You're Good to Mama , the greedy Lawyer, Billy All I Care About and the neglected husband Mr. Cellophane dance gorgeoussly around in gold lamee, flapper outfits, sultry black vixon dresses, and tramp costumes to exagerate their personas.The story's main center the telling of the voluptious vamp and the chorus girl, fooling the public with their murders is filled with juicy dialogue, and a beautiful flow from song to scene to song.The talent of "Chicago" is unsurpassed. Renee Zellweger gives a legendary performance as Roxie, the chorus girl. Her brilliant, realistic acting, and her oozing charismaa through her musical numbers earned her an Oscar nomination, a SAG Award, and a Golden Globe. Richard Gere gives a fine, haughty potrayel of Billy, the lawyer, with a marvelous tap routine elaborating his talent. He was awarded a Golden Globe. Queen Latifah, and her wildly entertaining number When You're Good to Mama , as well as her red-hot potrayel of Matron Mama Morton, earned her Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, the same as John C. Reilly who gives a beloved, funny, and heartbreaking potrayel of Amos. Mr. Reilly can belt out a mean Mr. Cellophane. But the highlight of Chicago's cast is Catherine Zeta-Jones, as Velma Kelly. Every time I view Chicago I am reminded of her brilliant talent. Miss Jones is a phenominal dancer, in rememberence of Cyd Charise and Ginger Rogers, as well as a fabulous tune belter, up there with Judy Garland. She's also an amazingly real actress, and brings beauty and class back to the movie musical. Her frankly beautiful potrayel of the vamp earned her a Golden Globe Nomination, a SAG Award, a BAFTA Award, and the grandaddy, an Oscar.However, the man of the hour involved with Chicago is Rob Marshall, who is forever-presesnt behind the camera. He weaves a perfectly gorgeous mood throughout the memorable scenes, and his choreography and dancing abilities are on par with Bob Fosse. The star of Chicago is its impeccable dancing and choreography, with sure and creative movements everywhere you look. Mr. Marshall earned a DGA Award, and an Oscar nomination.Chicago is one of the best films of the year, of the generation. Never before have I seen anything quite like it. It brings back the old movie musical, while giving a Broadway flare. It is completely revolutionary and legendary. A perfect 10/10.
Great fun, simply a very entertaining movie. (by TxMike)
Funny thing about watching a movie like "Chicago", which won the award for Best Picture last year. I eagerly awaited the DVD, and when I first sat down to watch it, I didn't finish it. I guess I just wasn't in the mood. I began to wonder what all the hoopla was about. Now, a couple of weeks later, I watched it from the beginning and now I "get" it. I must have been in a different mood, because this time everything "clicked" for me, it was great fun, simply a very entertaining movie. Now I'm glad I own the DVD, aside from my desire to have as many <more>
Oscar winners as I can. The whole story is a parody of fame, crime, and use of a slick lawyer to fool a jury. I will enjoy watching it again and again.My favorite scene was where Gere's lawyer was puppetteer to Zellweger's Roxie, the acting, the singing, the timing were all just perfect. It has been well-publicized that Zellweger neither sang nor danced professionally before "Chicago", and I found her more than adequate for the role of Roxie. In fact, I quite enjoy her singing voice. Yet, Catherine Z-J has the more powerful, trained voice, having started out on stage, and it is apparent when they are together that Z-J is the more seasoned performer. I was very pleasantly surprised at how well Gere handled his singing duties. Some have complained about his somewhat "nasal" singing voice, but to me it fit his character well. A rich, operatic baritone would have been out of character.I viewed the DVD with the DTS track selected and it delivers with a fine surround sound. Plus, the picture is very sharp, in all a good DVD to own for fans of musical comedies.
Absolutely smashing film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical (by Catherine_Grace_Zeh)
CHICAGO, in my opinion, is an absolutely smashing film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. If you ask me, Billy Richard Gere was a really good attorney, dancer, and singer. Despite the fact that she had no voice or dance training, Roxie Renée Zellweger did a very good job... especially Velma Catherine Zeta-Jones and Mama Queen Latifah . Amos John C. Reilly was good, too. I would have to choose Catherine Zeta-Jones if asked who I thought gave the best performance, though. Also, the bandleader Taye Diggs was a very mysterious and stylish man, even though you couldn't see him <more>
most of the time. In addition, the choreography and music were absolutely smashing. My favorite number of the movie, if I had to choose, would be either "When You're Good To Mama" or "And All That Jazz." Now, in conclusion, I highly recommend this absolutely smashing film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical to any Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, or Richard Gere fan who hasn't seen it. You're in for a smashing good time, so go to the video store, rent it or buy it, kick back with a friend, and watch it.
Spoilers herein.About fifteen minutes into `Moulin Rouge!' on its opening weekend I realized that the world was to be changed forever. We've already seen the effects in several non-musicals, but here comes a musical instance.There are two important dynamics at work here. The first involves the question that goes back 80 years in film and 150 years in photography 220 in painting : just who/what is the camera? With older musicals, the answer was obvious: there's the stage, the camera is the audience. `Red Shoes' 1948 changed that forever when it introduced the camera into the <more>
dance as a dancer. `Singin' in the Rain' 1954 followed that convention and effectively killed the musical. That's because you really need special talent to pull off this camera choreography. All the singers and dancers in the world cannot make up for an unintelligent eye. `Newsies' 1992 was about as good as oldfashioned musicals got, and it was just the burble of something long dead.That camera eye. Without the dancing eye, musicals were relegated to an alternative fantasy world for the use of intellectual film reference, as in `Everyone Says I Love You' 1996 and `Love's Labour's Lost' 2000 . Then `Moulin Rouge!' 2001 hit the fan. It was again an example of the dancing camera. Modern tastes flavored the duration of each glimpse, but the real magic of the thing was the eye that moved within the dance as not only a part of that world, but an exuberant dancer within it.The second dynamic is the modern trend for increased `folding' of the narrative perspective. `Red Shoes' was a performance about a performance. The shifting in and out of the two levels gave an excuse for the dancing eye to relax and be mere observer. `Singin' had a similar folded nesting, but the inner performance was in the characters' imagination as it is in `Chicago.'`Rouge' upped the ante by at least a triple nesting: it is a play within an absithne vision within a novel, each inside the other. The camera rushes among these in shifting perspective, not only dancing with each world, but among them as well. Now we have `Chicago' that also establishes three worlds: the world of Roxie's imagination, the world of performance and the `real' world of Chicago in which everything is a circus.Again, the camera dances with frenetic abandon among these worlds. The director needs to be a master choreographer and stager. That's what we have.Two examples of what struck me:In the `Cellophane Man' number, Reilly picks up his hat in Flynn's office and puts it on his head in the number. The manner in which he holds the hat shifts. I haven't been so impressed by the skill of a level shift since Meryl Streep stumbled in `French Lieutenant's Woman.' The mirror bit with Roxie was equally skilled, but required less coordination among music, actor, cameraman and editor. The marionette/dummy number was a masterpiece of stagecraft where the three worlds were mixed cinematically: the whole thing is created in Roxie's head, so she is literally pulling the strings, but she imagines Flynn as the great puppetmaster of not only her but simultaneously of everyone else. But Flynn himself is only responding mindlessly to the forces of Chicago. Remember that during this part of the story, he is writing in her diary -- we discover -- literally creating her imagination and around it goes. The Latifah number, in contrast, was as oldfashioned in the eye as it gets, regardless of what one thinks of her performance. Demographic engineering.Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 4: Worth watching.
Stunning; the first really good musical in a decade (by Spleen)
"Chicago" is the first film in eleven or ten years thoroughly determined to be a full-blooded musical the previous one was "Beauty and the Beast", or just possibly "Aladdin" , and, if there have been others, is almost certainly the best. Forget "Moulin Rouge". That film was terrified by the very idea of being a musical. It couldn't introduce a song without being seen to quote it rather than sing it, and would cut the song short, relieved to have it over and done with, at the soonest possible moment. But "Chicago" REALLY launches into its <more>
production numbers. Its songs are full-throated and lusty. As far as the music goes, and the wit and sparkle of the lyrics, Kander and Ebb wrote far better songs for "Chicago" than for "Cabaret". They've been staged with dazzling style.Yes, a pity about the editing. But whereas the rapid-fire editing of "Moulin Rouge" as good as put a bullet through that film's heart, the rapid-fire - and it's not really "rapid-fire", it's just that there's too much of it - editing of "Chicago" does only minimal harm. Don't get me wrong: it's unquestionably a bad thing. The sudden shifts, bang on the downbeat, from the subtler colour schemes of the everyday Chicago to the block reds and misty blues of the stage Chicago, don't have nearly the impact they'd have if they weren't occurring every other minute; and Marshall's stark and striking shots are never held long enough to get the most out of them. A good thing the next image is never a disgrace on the previous one. A good thing that every other aspect of the production is so rock-solid to begin with.It's absurd that Martin Walsh won an Oscar for such overdone to-ing an fro-ing. Some critics Roger Ebert is one suggest that the award was justfied on the grounds that Walsh's editing skillfully hides the defects of inferior performers, but I don't buy this. I'm convinced, for instance, that Catherine Zeta-Jones is NOT an inferior performer, that she doesn't NEED patchwork-quilt editing in order to look good; if she does, then Walsh has indeed performed a miracle, but not one he should be congratulated for in polite society. As for Richard Gere, I again don't see the need for him to appear to be better than he is. There's nothing wrong with his voice and he doesn't have to dance much HIMSELF. He's the kind who gets other people to dance for him. In the song "Razzle Dazzle 'Em" he actually sings as much: "As long as you keep 'em way off balance, How can they spot you got no talents?" Billy Flynn OUGHT to be a mediocre song-and-dance artist, who relies on glitter, lights and inspired staging - but certainly NOT on deceptive editing. In that song we need to see what's going on. We also need the suggestion that Flynn fools people who on some level willingly allow themselves to be fooled. In fact, we do see all this anyway, which is why the overly frenetic editing fails to do any real damage.The story of "Chicago" is at once deeply moral and deliciously amoral. The two go together. Amorality depends for its zest on our sense of the pull of true morality: our sense that our heroes and heroines really do do the wrong thing now and then, and that no false excuses are being made on their behalf.
Spectacular re-birth of musicals. (by insomniac_rod)
I'm not a big fan of Broadway musicals brought to the big screen but "Chicago" truly amazed me because it signified the rebirth of movie musicals.I had the pleasure to watch the Broadway play one year before the movie's release and I was totally amazed by it; and I repeat, I'm not a fan of musicals.The plot is the less important thing in these kind of movies but "Chicago" has a witty, funny, and sexy plot that will get your attention.But let's be honest, we watch this movie for it's musical numbers and choreography. You won't be disappointed because <more>
every single musical number is spectacular and very well done.Catherine Zeta Jones delivers a super sexy performance that will get you hooked in. Reneé Zellweger also delivers a fine performance and demonstrates her versatility. The rest of the cast is also very well.If you liked the Broadway play, you might enjoy the movie but personally I think the play is way superior.
Not the greatest musical ever made but the greatest performance I ever saw in a musical and I love musicals. Catherine Zeta Jones delivers in every respect as Velma Kelly, overshadowing everyone else in this film. I just found whatever scene she was in she dominated - it was very difficult to take my eyes off her. She really achieved her star potential in Chicago and rightly walked away with the Oscar. Rene Zellwegger was good but far too skinny to be sexy as far as I was concerned and I dislike Richard Gere in anything, he just has nothing for me. The musical numbers are all well done and <more>
choreographed brilliantly but CZJ steals every scene in which she appears - a fair amount of the film flags when she is not on screen. I hardly even noticed Rene was in their final dance number - CZJ just gave that number everything!! This sounds as though I was always a huge fan of Catherine but to be honest I could take or leave her even given her obvious beauty. I enjoyed seeing her in Entrapment and the Zorro movies but Chicago really showed what she can do.