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Chicago (Widescreen Edition) (2002)

Musicals & Performing Arts movie directed by Rob Marshall

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Snap! Crackle! and Pop!

  • Jun 25, 2003
Rating:
+5
This film deserves all of the praise it receives, especially given the fact that it is derived from a Broadway musical (1973) which was, in turn, derived from two non-musical films, Chicago (1927) and Roxie Hart (1943). I can think of few other works of high quality which have such a heritage. (Can you name five film sequels which are superior to the original?) Crisply directed by Rob Marshall with choreography devised by Bob Fosse, this film operates simultaneously (and seamlessly) on two different levels of narrative: a murder trial which requires the main characters to act and a musical revue which requires them to sing and dance. Thus, the film has a multi-dimensional "choreography" for which Marshall deserves special credit. Frankly, I was surprised by Gere's performance, especially by his footwork both when dancing and while defending Roxie Hart (played by Renee Zellweger) in the courtroom. In my opinion, he deserved at least an Academy Award nomination. Among the targets of the film's social comments are the role of media in celebrity creation, how an adroit attorney such as Billy Flynn can manipulate the media to his clients' advantage, and how transient celebrity can be. Long ago, I recall my grandmother suggesting that "Today's news wraps tomorrow's fish." In all respects, this is a film with Snap! Crackle! and Pop! Here is pure entertainment, worthy of favorable comparison with Singin' in the Rain which remains, nonetheless, my favorite film musical.

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More Chicago (2002) reviews
review by . November 02, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
In Hollywood Musicals are funny things.  There are those that love them because they enjoy the singing and dancing, while others can't stand them because they're in no way realistic (and then they talk about how Disney classics are awesome BECAUSE they're not realistic... I don't get it).  Granted, no one ever just breaks out into song and dance and we could write a million jokes about how West Side Story might would be far less laughable without the singing and dancing (albeit, West …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Great singing and dancing as well as staging of difficult scenes that work on stage and sometimes do not work on film.
review by . May 28, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Bob Fosse's "Chicago" is a spectacular and naughty musical. Two Showgirls (Rene'e Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones) are put in the slammer for each murdering their lovers. Their crimes of passion are presented as petty, but predictable in the Windy City during the Jazz Age. The only regrets they have are the gallows, and their only deliverance is a greedy and conceited lawyer (played by Richard Gere). Even though the women are desperate, they also crave the publicity that oddly gets them help …
review by . December 08, 2005
I've never seen the stage version of "Chicago", so I can't say if the movie was faithful to the source material, but judged on it's own by a pair of fresh eyes, "Chicago" was a lot of fun, especially considering I'm generally not crazy about movie musicals. No wait a minute........ Except for "West Side Story." After seeing this movie I clearly understand why it had won 6 Oscars including Best Picture.    Catherine Zeta Jones has a very nice voice and plays the confident Velma …
review by . July 29, 2003
Simply put, this is not your grandmothers type of musical. Its a musical about women who kill.. their boyfriends, their husbands, their sisters and whoever may have wronged them. And when they relate their stories in the show stopping performance of the Cell Block Tango, you quickly discover that the sultry ladies of the Cook County Jail have standards that differ from those of polite society. They are not very likely to win points of sympathy. So its from this rather questionable basis that …
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Robert Morris ()
Ranked #75
Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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About this movie

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Bob Fosse's sexy cynicism still shines inChicago, a faithful movie adaptation of the choreographer-director's 1975 Broadway musical. Of course the story, all about merry murderesses and tabloid fame, is set in the Roaring '20s, butChicagoreeks of '70s disenchantment--this isn't just Fosse's material, it's his attitude, too. That's probably why the movie's breathless observations on fleeting fame and fickle public taste already seem dated. However, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones are beautifully matched as Jazz Age vixens, and Richard Gere gleefully sheds his customary cool to belt out a showstopper. (Yes, they all do their own singing and dancing.) Whatever qualms musical purists may have about director Rob Marshall's cut-cut-cut style, the film's sheer exuberance is intoxicating. Given the scarcity of big-screen musicals in the last 25 years, that's a cause for singing, dancing, cheering. And all that jazz.--Robert Horton
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Details

Director: Rob Marshall
Genre: Music, Musical
DVD Release Date: August 19, 2003
Runtime: 113 minutes
Studio: Miramax Home Entertainment
First to Review
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