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)"
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I had put off watching this for a while, having watched the first scene a couple of times but not really being in the mood. I had misconceptions about what it was going to be, having initially thought it was set on a stage and showed how one girl battled her way into appearing on stage with a showgirl.I couldn't have been more wrong. The film opens with Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta Jones) as she takes to the stage havign just murdered her sister after catching her in bed with her husband. At a similar time, Roxy Hart (Renee Zellwegger) is arrested after killing her lover. Both end up in prison, and are defended by hot shot lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere). As average broad Roxy gets more attention from Flynn, famous Velma gets jealous.
This is it in a nutshell really. It gives away nothing in essence, as the plot itself really is pretty basic. There are elements of a courtroom drama here that means the film would have worked quite well without all the musical paraphernalia that the film is laced with, but as it is, I found the film found a rather novel way to present the story. What it does is take each scene, and instead of filming it as should be, it takes it to the stage. For example, as the various prison characters are introduced, we are flitted away to the stage where they present themselves dressed in showgirl gear dancing around, glammed up in an imagination sequence, before being brought back to reality in the prison with them in their inmates' clothes.This also happens in the courtroom, although the stage for this is rather more glamourous, and the way the characters intermingle between the two shows that it is where they feel like they are as opposed to where they actually are. Gere is surprisingly good at singing. I already knew that the two leading ladies were good, and they share the screen very well, too, although Zellwegger does have the majority of the limelight.
The pace is very fast, with the songs telling the stories as you would expect a musical to. It is almost like there are dream sequences interspersing the story to make it go quicker, and although the film is nearly two hours long, it doesn't feel like it. The music is brilliant, very catchy jazz numbers with easy to listen to sounds and lyrics mingling nicely wiht one another. I really liked this element.Overall, I really liked the film. The plot is one that normally appeals to me, and I like a good musical, so I really enjoyed this, despite my initial misgivings. It's not my favourite musical, by any means, but I liked it, and would happily watch it again. Impressive in all areas, and well worth the watch, Chicago is currently available from amazon.co.uk for decent prices, and is a film I happily recommend.
Product Information : Chicago (DVD)
Manufacturer's product descriptionThis 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.
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
Studio(s): WALT DISNEY STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINM; TECHNICOLOR DISTRIBUTION SERVICES
Author: Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb
Director of Photography: Dion Beebe
Screenwriter: Bill Condon
Producer: Martin Richards
Composer: Danny Elfman, Fred Ebb
Main Language: English
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>
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
BAFTA: Best Supporting Actress 2002 (Catherine Zeta Jones)
OSCAR: Best Actress In A Supporting Role 2002 (Catherine Zeta Jones)
Listed on Ciao since: 06/11/2005