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The winner of 6 Academy Awards® (2002) including Best Picture, Chicago seduces like never before on Blu-rays high definition disc. Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere and Queen Latifah, this "splashy, sexy, knockout" (Rolling Stone) sizzles in this spectacular new format. After committing crimes of passion, nightclub sensation Velma Kelly and spotlight-seeking Roxie Hart both wind up on Chicagos famed Murderess Row. But with the help of slick, defense lawyer Billy Flynn, these notoriously lethal ladies will soon become local legends! Get more than an eyeful of "razzle dazzle" in jaw-dropping 1080p, and experience every sultry, musical nuance with 5.1 48 kHz, 24-bit uncompressed audio. Set your senses free with Blu-ray High Definition.
Bob Fosse's sexy cynicism still shines in Chicago, 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, but Chicago reeks 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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It honestly is not good use of your time for me to discuss the film itself here. For that, you might want to choose "Most Helpful" and read those reviews. So I won't discuss the plot, musical number, etc here if they were on the earlier releases. Also, you should know that there are two discs in the new package. One is a standard DVD and is virtually the same as the previous DVD release with a full length Director's Commentary and a featurette on going from the Broadway stage version to the film version. Plus there is one song that was deleted from the film. Heck that is a lot of bonus material....... But wait.
The other disc is a Blu ray which contains the gorgeous new "HD" print with even better sound. (Since, when I watched the original DVD of this film, it was on a standard-def TV I wasn't seeing much anyway. Now with my larger 42-inch HD screen it looks great. But that's not all. The package cover states that there are "Over two ours of NEW bonus material". I wasn't sure if this was a ploy - after all the film runs just under two hours - but they were right. The BD disc contains a new multi-part documentary that covers nearly all aspects of the film (casting, screenwriting, costuming, and auditions) and runs 2 hours and 20 minutes! The longest section is the 33-minute one on casting each major actor. All of them were recently interviewed as well as the creative team. Yes, there are obviously clips from the film to illustrate the comments but the interviews take up most of the time. I will warn you that this is a "love fest" and you will hear nary a negative comment. You will hear a lot of "he/she was PERFECT", "He/she is astounding" and "he/she is a remarkable singer/dancer/actor". It's almost too positive and the superlatives fly a bit too often. But you will certainly know more than you ever expected to about this film and Broadway musical fans will love every minute of it. But that's NOT all the "bonus material". Really! The BD has a slew of "extended musical numbers" and a few "rehearsals" too. If I counted correctly, there are nine of these, each running about 3- minutes except for the jail cell number which goes on for eight minutes. Because Director Rob Marshall often cut action into the musical numbers, we can now see them without interruption. (Side note - if only Francis Ford Coppola would release the music and dance numbers he filmed for "The Cotton Club", this reviewer would be a happy camper. It's never been released and the editing in the film destroys the performance by music legends.)
So there you have it. Would I recommend that those who have the prior DVD "upgrade" to this new set? If you are a music theater or Hollywood musicals but, ABSOLUTELY - both for the print and the ne bonuses. If you have only seen the film in the theater or on Amazon Instant, and liked it, then yes too! You'll have a better understanding. Then if you had a previous configuration, pass that one on to someone who hasn't seen the film and you just might introduce them to what a film version of a Broadway musical should be!
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.
Two of my favorite scenes are "When you're good to mama" played by Queen Latifah and the mesmerizing "Cellblock Tango".
My only complaint is the pacing, which could have been a tad less "galloping" for lack of a better word; which almost leaves you gasping for air.
Otherwise, the production values, choreography and stagings are superb.
I saw the 1996 revival which was fun and memorable, but I especially appreciated the often overlooked portrayal of "Mr. Cellophane" who I believe may have been played by Amos Hart; unfortunately I don't have the original Playbill to verify this.
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