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on October 1, 2015
Absolutely fabulous movie! We saw Chicago on stage, and the music was stuck in my head so long, that I simply had to buy the movie to hear it all again! The story is great, too, speaking of the corruption and ways of the media, not only in the past, but in the present as well. The stage is well-set, and this is one of the best movies ever. With catchy music, a drawing story, and moments of hilarity and sadness, the movie is certainly a hit. Not for younger audiences, as it does have murder, sexual themes, etc.. This movie is not similar to many other stage-to-film movies, as it is not simply a "view from the audience," nor is it a film following one person around and expanding beyond the text of the original. It has jumps from on-stage to in the jail, but is done really well. It's like a combination of watching from the audience and seeing a movie, or cut scenes from the past, at the same time. We watched this on stage as a family, then bought the film, and a few weeks later, we watched it. Most agreed the experiences were different, both good, but the film does a great job of recreating the play in a unique and enjoyable way.
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on March 11, 2017
A throughly enjoyable and entertaining film version of the Broadway production.
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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on March 29, 2015
Even though I don't watch too many musicals, I've ended up liking the handful I've seen. That trend continues with CHICAGO, which is possibly the best modern musical I've seen (to differentiate it from classic Hollywood musicals of the 1950's-1960's). Since it's been out for over 10 years, most people probably know the basic plot. Set in 1920's Chicago, it's about a woman who murders her lover, gets sent to prison and uses the publicity to become a tabloid sensation and star. Everything about the film is just spectacular, from the sets and costumes, the musical numbers, to the singing and performances. Who knew that Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere could sing and dance so well? The film also has some great (if a little on-the-nose) commentary about corruption in the justice system and opportunists who are just out for their 15 minutes of fame. Richard Gere was perfect as the slimy lawyer who always gets his clients off...as long as he gets paid. Catherine Zeta-Jones was also good as a jazz sensation whose better days are behind her, and Renee Zellweger provided nice counterpoint as an ingenue looking to break into the biz. Even the way the film is constructed was pretty innovative. All of the musical numbers take place in the minds of the characters (except for the opening and closing numbers) so that the basic plot can maintain a sense of realism. There was also a kinetic energy in the way the musical numbers were filmed and edited that made them really pop off the screen. Overall, with some classic Kander/Ebb tunes, great performances and pointed commentary on fame and the justice system, CHICAGO is a film I can see myself returning to again and again.
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on November 18, 2013
.. the truth? Atypical! ;-)

It's about time they made a really good musical film.

Pros: This blu-ray is accompanied with several audio tracks. Blu-ray PCM 5.1 channel 24 bit, AAC Compressed Dolby Digital 16 bit, PCM 2.0 channel 24 bit, PCM 2.0 channel 16 bit .

Cons: About the only musical performed without interruptions, appears to be Cell Block Tango. This Blu-ray version (and likely DVD versions as well) do not include the musicals in their entirety without interruptions. The musical features included are a split view of their making and final performances with director and actor comments. With the availability of the PCM 5.1 24 bit audio streams, it would have been really nice to provide the musical performances so people would not have to also buy the CD soundtrack. Or, the CD/DVD soundtrack should have been included with the movie!

For people whom purchased the Blu-ray and you're computer literate, can likely extract the Cell Block Tango audio using the following after legally copying the relevant audio stream. In other words, 1380 is the start position and 18480 (start pos + t offset) is the ending position. (Otherwise if you're wanting the audio only musicals, will need to also buy the soundtrack CD.)

ffmpeg -i stream.wav -ss 1380 -t 460 -acodec copy CellBlockTango.wav

When dealing with music Blu-ray media, I usually extract all available stream types (ie. PCM 5.1, PCM 2.0 24 bit, PCM 2.0 16 bit, AAC/AC3/A52 Dolby/DTS) and divide each song into their individual tracks. I do this for all my music media, and reserve hunting for the original media for Movie DVD's and Blu-rays, with Blu-rays being optional as I have no choice but to convert them as I use Linux. (God how I dislike Blu-ray media and HDMI! But am pro copyright here as people have to make a living.)
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on April 18, 2017
This movie is classic. I love the theater and the music to this as well. If you have not seen this well you are seriously missing out on a wonderfully played production. Renee Zellweger narrows down the role of playing victim to a t. Katherine Zeta Jones knocks this movie out of the park. And Richard Gere is charming and amazing well being pretty truthful for a lawyer. This movie is so awesome you will not want to miss a minute of it. All I got to say is grab your friends and your family and make it a fun singing and popcorn eating night.
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on August 14, 2016
Great movie!!! I used to own a copy but it seems to have been lost in repeated moves. That happens with work in my field. Which is why I buy so much online now instead of buying hard copies of things. That and keeping up with the tech of movies can be a pain. I still don't know weather to buy Blu-ray or DVD's at this point, but most of them have come with copies of both and a violet issue now, so I guess it doesn't matter all in one case and on the net so I guess that is generally the best option if you have the space for the DVD's to begin with.
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on July 6, 2015
Sent my Blu-ray dvd player in for repair because my Chicago DVD would not eject. I should not be surprised that the repair people enjoyed the movie and decided to keep it. I did not however have the Blu-ray edition of the movie so ordered it from Amazon which arrived promptly and was able to see more of the movie that was cut from the final release. I love musicals and this is one of the better movies of this era. Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere were mesmerizing as well as John C. Reilly and Queen Latifah and others. A cast of starts with the story set in Chicago during the 1920's. I wanted this movie to be in my library enough to buy it twice. If you have a passion for musicals, this is one to own.
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on November 9, 2010
I have to give credit to director Rob Marshall - he and his crew did a fantastic job bringing my favorite musical to the big screen. I live in Chicago and cannot be impartial. Tough act when you've seen this show on Broadway multiple times and understand "Chicago" transmits best when live on stage. I loved Marshall's idea to have the musical numbers play out in Roxie's head and this is one of the many reasons that it works. The sets and costumes are wonderful too. Now I feel that the negative reviews are plain unfair. Casting was right on. The stars, Zeta-Jones, Zellweger and Gere are actors and not professional Broadway thespians. And many Broadway thespians will never be Hollywood A-list movie stars. With exception of Zeta-Jones whom is a talented dancer/singer, both Zellweger and Gere had a lot of courage to sign up for this film. Neither had attempted a musical before. All three actors really outdid themselves and the hard work paid off. Watch Gere's footwork in the tap dance scene and also his opening number "All I Care About is Love." Catherine's "All That Jazz" rivals Bebe Neuwirth. And Renee was the biggest surprise of all for me. I loved her renditions of "Funny Honey" and "Nowadays."
Queen Latifah was hilarious as Mama Morton.
Taking all these facts into consideration, "Chicago" is outstanding film and hopefully brought this wonderful musical to many new fans across the world.
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on February 21, 2017
A fast-paced, irreverent farce on trial by publicity. The dancing and singing integrated perfectly with the story. The frenetic pace sets the mood for the 1920's synical lost generation and "all that jazz".
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on May 5, 2018
This movie is good in the rear view mirror, but is was over hyped in the media. It was not dramatic in the sense that it had this huge wow or aha impact. It was mediocre at best. It is not divine as the critics raved. But then again years ago the critics slammed Waterworld and I actually thought it was entertaining, interesting and fun...so go figure.
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