Chicago (DVD)

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Chicago (DVD)

This Hollywood adaptation of the classic Broadway musical sparkles with glamour and reverberates with the energy of good, old-fashioned song and dance...

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Review of "Chicago (DVD)"

published 29/10/2009 | sewbizzie
Member since : 09/07/2007
Reviews : 1126
Members who trust : 271
About me :
About to move house, yet again (the joys of being an army wife!) so having some much needed time off and thought it about time I updated my status!!!
Pro Great story, acting, song and dancing
Cons None from me
very helpful
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"A Razzle Dazzle of a Film!"

As I had my Nan staying with me last week we both decided that we would take over the TV and watch a film of our choice. We both agreed on this one as we are both fans of Richard Gere much to hubby annoyance!

The film is based around Roxie Hart who dreams of making it on stage, she is even having an affair with a man who she believes can make her dream come true. Things go wrong for Roxie when she finds out the man is lying to her and she ends up shooting him. Roxie sweet talks her husband to take the blame but he soon drops her in it when he finds out the truth behind his murder. Roxie is taken to prison where she meets her idol Velma Kelly who is also there for murdering her husband and sister after she found them sleeping together.

Roxie and Velma are soon competing with each other for the time and work of the top lawyer Billy Flynn who has never lost a case. The prison Matron, Mama is also helping Roxie as she too believes that Roxie would be big on stage and as she is taking a cut of all the profits and goods she is receiving.

Billy soon agrees to take on the case and Roxie’s husband Amos has come up with the money and they are working to come up with some good press to make Chicago fall in love with Roxie to get her off the murder charge.

Just how will Velma take the lack of cooperation from her lawyer now he has anew client and will Roxie ever fulfil her dream of being big on stage?

I really did not know what to expect from this film as it stars three big actors but all of whom I have never head sing or watched dance so for me it was a nice surprise. I found Renee Zellweger who played the role of Roxie to be fantastic and she really could belt out the tunes and I found her character to be both naive and powerful which really did make for some good viewing and gave us a wonderful insight into her mind. She worked extremely well with Richard Gere who took the role of Billy Flynn and I think they had a great on screen chemistry together.

I was expecting Catherine Zeta Jones to have had the main role of the film but she played Velma who appeared to be second after Roxie. She too did a great job with her character and gave her such a good competitive edge. I thought she had an amazing voice and loved seeing her in the dance routines. I also found the competitiveness between her and Roxie made for some entertaining viewing.

The supporting actors were all very good and for me the best by far was Queen Latifah who took the role of Matron Mama. She had an amazing screen presence and showed so many different sides to her personality and I also found hr vocals to be excellent.

The film is a musical and I have to say it worked so well. I have not seen this on stage so cannot make any comparison to that but for me the film was excellent. I found the mix of straight acting with the songs to work so well and it all just seemed to fit into place without much effort needed to follow what was going on. The songs throughout were brilliant and despite not having seen this before I did know quite a lot of them so was able to sing along at times. I think the vocals from everyone and not just the lead actors were good and made for some great listening.

The film did start off in a strange way with us being shown Roxie’s dreams but after the first 15 or so minutes they did become easy to follow and differentiate between dream and reality.

There was one scene which really did stand out for both me and my Nan and that was when Richard Gere did a routine with the characters and Roxie being puppets. I thought this was all excellently made and really was the highlight of the film for me. Even hubby did say that it was very good.

The film is set in the 1920’s in Chicago and this is very apparent from the costumes and sets which have been used. I found it all looked very real and authentic for this year and I loved seeing how different everything was back then. I did however find that at times it was quite dark and just wished we could have seen more of the film shot in the daytime.

The DVD which I have does have some bonus features which include:-

Feature Commentary with Director and Screenwriter
From stage to screen ; The History of Making Chicago
Deleted Musical Number Class

I am not a fan of bonus features so have not taken the time to watch these so I am unable to make comment on them. The running time of the film is 109 minutes and I found this to be a great length and loved the whole thing. The certificate is a 12 as there are some mild sex reference and violence and I do have to agree with this. I managed to pick this DVD up for just £3 in Tesco which I felt to be another great purchase.

Overall I do recommend this to everyone who has not yet watched it as it has a great storyline, excellent songs and dance routines and Richard Gere is excellent and sexy!

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Comments on this review

  • M.Newcastle published 21/04/2011
    Hated this film the first time I saw it, but it's now one of my favourites x
  • danielleg1989 published 30/10/2009
    Excellent review, i have not seen this one. Sounds good though x
  • catsholiday published 29/10/2009
    It was an interesting film but not my favourite
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Product Information : Chicago (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

This Hollywood adaptation of the classic Broadway musical sparkles with glamour and reverberates with the energy of good, old-fashioned song and dance. As the film leaps into its first riveting act, Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), one half of the famous number she performs with her sister, arrives at the night club late, dishevelled, and with blood on her hands. Nonetheless, she goes onstage unhindered and wows the crowd with her shimmying rendition of 'All That Jazz'. Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) a young blonde who dreams of someday being famous like Velma, watches from the audience with eyes full of envy. Later, as the cops pick up Velma for the murder of her sister, sending her fame to all-time heights as she becomes a tabloid sensation, Roxie also commits a crime of passion--shooting a lover who falsely promised to secure her cabaret debut. The girls wind up together in jail, where Mama Morton (Queen Latifah), a compassionate guard, is their only hope of redemption; and Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) is the lawyer who can get them out. There, through wonderfully familiar songs like 'Razzle Dazzle', 'Cell-Block Tango', and 'Cellophane Man' Roxie and Velma tell their story of competing for bad-girl celebrity. Director Rob Marshall presents a loveable CHICAGO that shares all the grit and grime of the Bob Fosse Broadway original with phenomenal performances by this grouping of Hollywood stars. The dizzying camerawork and dazzling sets make an easy transition from stage to film.

Release Details

DVD Region: DVD

Release date: 12/09/2005, 04/08/2003

No of Discs: 2, 1

Catalogue No: BUA 0013401, BED 888819

Barcode: 8717418056377, 5017188888196

Voice: Danny Elfman

Choreographer: Bob Fosse

Music: Fred Ebb


Author: Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb

Director of Photography: Dion Beebe

Screenwriter: Bill Condon

Producer: Martin Richards

Composer: Danny Elfman, Fred Ebb


Main Language: English

Professional Reviews

Review: "...Fresh and daring....Queen Latifah and John C. Reilly are the surprise standouts..." (Box Office, p.59, 01/03/2003)<br><br>"...Zeta-Jones, all legs and growls, has found her calling card..." (Film Comment, p.73, 01/01/2003)<br><br>"...It's Zeta-Jones who keeps you watching from start to finish....She refuses to let you go....If musicals are dreams, she is their greatest dreamer..." (Los Angeles Times, p.C8, 27/12/2002)<br><br>"...[The actors] deliver sizzling performances....This tawdry, hard-as-nails carnival of ghouls generates plenty of fireworks..." (Movieline, p.62, 01/02/2003)<br><br>"...It's the raw expenditure of energy and the canniness of the staging that should pull audiences in and keep them rooted..." (New York Times, p.E1, 27/12/2002)<br><br>"...Zellweger wins our hearts. That's what makes her dangerous. Just like the movie....Dynamite..." (Rolling Stone, p.76, 23/01/2003)<br><br>"...[Jones] makes nightclub singer Velma a droll fishnet virtuoso..." (Sight and Sound, p.41-2, 01/02/2003)<br><br>"...CHICAGO shows how much the element of surprise is missing from today's movies....It's part of the basic Zeta-Jones bio that she can really sing, and, wow, can she..." (USA Today, p.7D, 27/12/2002)<br><br>

Technical Information

Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scene, Behind The Scenes Footage

Dubbing Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English<br>Dolby Digital 2.0 English

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0

Award Information

BAFTA: Best Supporting Actress 2002 (Catherine Zeta Jones)

OSCAR: Best Actress In A Supporting Role 2002 (Catherine Zeta Jones)


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