2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2004
Catherine Zeta-Jones looks superb and gives a sterling performance in her role as one half of a vaudeville act with her deceased sister (whom she killed because she caught her sleeping with her husband). Renee Zellweger is captivating as the young wannabe who aspires to be something like what Zeta-Jones is in the movie. They both meet up in jail however, because Zellweger kills the man whom she ends up hating, and Zeta-Jones is in jail for killing her sister. They both employ the assistance Richard Gere, the expensive fast-talking successful lawyer, to get out of jail. In the process, they each try to win the favours of the media and grab the headlines of the papers.
First, the score, the singing, the dancing are so good that I can watch each scene over and over and still feel the magic in it! Secondly, the acting of course, by each of the actors featured in the movie, is superb. Thirdly, the set production and the costumes were dazzling and so well-coordinated. The director evidently put in a lot of hard work into this and it pays. This is no Moulin Rouge. In this film, the director has done to me what I think Baz Luhrmann couldn't do in Moulin Rouge - which is to successfully blend aspects of film with aspects of musicals seamlessly. The acting is dramatic but each actor fits the role so perfectly that you hardly suspect they're acting... you'd think they are really like that in person! And the music is so well-composed and played, that anyone who watches this will want to dance to it. My daughter is barely 2 years old, and she loves this film like she loves the other film about dancing : Strictly Ballroom. Great entertainment! (unless you're not into musicals...)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2004
A great piece of musical theatre put to the big screen. Richard Geere is a surprise in the movie, who knew he could sing and dance his way through a film with such great success.
The story of Roxie is a reflection of our culture and our obsession with celebrity. Rene Zellwigger is a convincing "victim" of the celebrity obssessed time. The screen lights up with her beauty and excellent acting ability.
Queen Latifah justly deserved the Academy Award nomination (I can't remember if she won or not)
Lots of talent packed into this movie.
Highly recomended for those who are musical theatre fans.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2004
I thought this movie was great! I think the actors were well suited to their roles. The musical numbers are terrific and they get stuck in your mind for days. All the actors showed their talents in areas beyond just acting. Of course, all the women commit a "sure I did it, but can you blame me" type crime. It's just a fun movie to watch. Get it, you won't be disappointed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2004
I love the show "Chicago"; however this is horrible! Renee cannot sing or dance! Putting men into the number "Cell Block Tango"?! - Fosse didn't and he should know! Also SIX (count 'em) SIX songs were left out. The best thing about this movie was that Marc Calamia (hot!) is in it as a dancer (from the Broadway cast) but all too briefly. Buy or rent "Fosse" if you want to see more (almost ALL of!) Marc and some REAL dancing!
on February 26, 2004
Je n'ai rien à redire contre le film. Surréaliste, flamboyant et merveilleusement interprété, c'est l'un des meilleurs films de la dernière année, juste derrière Moulin Rouge. Catherine Zeta-Jones, en femme fatale déchue, nous montre des talents surprenants de danseuse et de chanteuse, et Renée Zellweger, si elle n'a pas le physique et la voix de sa partenaire, parvient à rendre attachant un personnage de femme-enfant ambitieuse, menteuse, égoïste et ingrate. L'ambiance "années folles" des numéros musicaux contraste étonnament bien avec la misère du milieu carcéral. Certains ont critiqué le réalisateur en disant que son procédé (alternance entre vie réelle et numéros spectaculaires sortis de l'imagination des personnages) était directement copié sur "Dancer in the dark", mais avec une telle histoire, je ne vois pas comment on aurait pu le raconter autrement. Et que dire des costumes, et de la musique!! All that Jazz, Cell Block Tango et le numéro du ventriloque sont des petits bijoux. Le film provoque de plus une intéressante réflexion sur le système de justice et la manipulaiton des médias. Seuls les éternels réfractaires aux comédies musicales n'appécieront pas.
Seule condition: il faut absolument le regarder en anglais. Le doublage en français n'est absolument pas à la hauteur. Les dialogue perdent beaucoup de leur saveur, les voix ne transmettent pas du tout la même intensité; quant aux chansons, elles deviennent banales et caricaturales. La reprise des chansons anglaises avec ajout de sous-titres français, comme on l'avait fait dans Moulin Rouge, aurait été préférable.
La version DVD, malheureusement, laisse, beaucoup à désirer. C'est ce qui m'a obligée à baisser ma cote. Pour mettre en valeur ce grand film, lauréat de nombreux Oscars, on ne retrouve qu'un seul misérable documentaire sur le tournage, pas très long d'ailleurs, et quelques trailers promotionnels de films à venir. Pas d'entrevues avec les acteurs, pas d'infos supplémentaires sur la comédie musicale originale, sur son auteur, pas de galleries de photos. "Chicago" méritait un meilleur traitement. Il est à souhaiter qu'une édition spéciale soit préparée bientôt, même s'il s'agit d'un procédé de marketing détestable.
on November 19, 2003
I was really excited to see this film in the theater. It's been ages since I've seen a Broadway like hit at the movies. Some people liked Moulin Rouge. I love Chicago. The cast is incredable: Renee Zellweger (who learned to dance and sing in a matter of months) is spectacular and should have won an Oscar for this film, with along side the extremely talented and strong voiced Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifa (who's the best in this movie, then I've ever seen her in anything else), and the amazing Richard Gere who will make you smile with his numbers and dance moves.
The movie is set of course in Chicago around the 1920's, where we meet a woman named Roxie Hart who will do anything to become famous. Starts off on the wrong foot by killing a man who she had thought could get her into vaudeville. Now thrown in jail Roxie becomes famous due to her lawyer Billy Flynn turning the story around to where Roxie is the innocent one. Meanwhile, while making enemies with the famous singer/dancer Velma Kelly who then both compete for media attention. And love stepping over each other's toe's. During this time Roxie daydreams of song and dance numbers at every event she experiences while in prison.
The storyline, the music which fits extremely well and I have listened to this amazing soundtrack over and over again, makes this the best classic movie of all time and is well worth all the awards and nominations. Nothing is played down to the audience and there's no body doubles in this film everyone did their own song and dance.
And from the behind the scene's look that's featured on the DVD this one story is based on a bunch of 'like' stories from around that time - minus the song and dance - but a reporter Mary Sunshine who was played by Christine Baranski in the film - actually wrote stories of women killing their men and writing about them in the paper to get the public to feel sorry for them and which stopped them from getting hanged. She then went onto writing the play which turned into the Broadway Hit with help of Bob Fosse.
So in summery the movie, the music, the dancing, and the DVD is all the way an A!!
on October 16, 2003
I used to hate musicals. They were always so sweet and nice, with all these happy little songs...they made me want to throw up. I have only seen a few musicals I actually liked, and those are the ones that have a dark edge to them, like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and now CHICAGO! I loved Chicago because it wasn't all sweet and nice. Yes, for all those of you out there who hated it, it does NOT have a moral to the story. It is not about morality. It is making fun of the justice system. For all of you hypocrites out there, a movie doesn't have to have a moral. Just look at wonderful movies like Mel Gibson's Payback, and all other movies like it out there. you can either root for the bad guy or.. the bad guy! so what if the murderous singer/dancers get off and make a fortune off of their crimes? At least they do it with style. And yes, I was sad too that the only nice guy in the movie got thrown away by Roxie, but better that than being stuck with her! People shouldn't take things like this so seriously, and shouldn't walk into the movie expecting to get a sweet morality tale just because it happens to be a musical.
on October 11, 2003
I really like Chicago. Yes, it's dark and no, there aren't many sympathetic characters, but it's fabulously energetic and clever. I was impressed by the singing and dancing skills of the leads, especially Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger, and I thought that the way the movie was put together was great. Chicago is not just a superficial musical with people breaking sporadically into song, but the songs - seen through the mind of Renee Zellweger's Roxie - compliment and add new levels to the story and the themes. Richard Gere's performances during the courtroom scenes were especially well done in this way, and my personal favourite was the puppet scene. The costumes are great, the dancing is professional and the songs are fantastic. The scene where one of the inmates is hanged is an admittedly sobering part, but is an important contrast with the rest of the movie. I could understand Chicago winning the "Best Picture" Oscar, but I was a little skeptical of Catherine Zeta-Jones' win. She was great, but she didn't seem to be in the film all that much to win an Academy Award. However, Chicago is definitely worth watching and will probably end up being studied in film studies classes.
on September 29, 2003
Siggghhh!! everyone said it was so good! Well........What the HECK is wrong with them?!! Keep in mind I didn't see this in the theater, and when it came to video I didn't see it right away either. So I had to hear about how great it was for eight months, and when I finally watched it last week, as you can imagine I was highly disappointed!
I suppose the days of those fabulous, heart-warming musicals, that you can't help but love, and when no one is listening, sing along with. Recently, however, there was a more than pleasant revival of the musical age with the release of "Moulin Rouge" which, by the way is one of my favorite movies, and one that I will be giving due credit to in an upcoming review.
I really do wish that I could do the same for "Chicago". I really wanted to like. But.... I just could'nt. besides tolerably good acting from Renee Zellwegger, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, I really don't think Jone's Oscar was deserved. she is good, but the actual "acting" is cut very short by her song and dance sequences, and her limited role. I think the Oscar should have gone to Zellwegger who turned in a slightly better performance. Richard Gere was Richard Gere. In reality nothing could really be expected of him, but foolishly I thought that this would be his coming-of-age, so to speak, performance. It was not, his acting was but a mere trifle, and there is no other way to describe his musical numbers, than by the words annoying and intrusive. The other musical sequences were good, but very much short of phenomenal. In short they were entertaining, but I'm terribly sorry that that wasn't enough.
on September 17, 2003
The art of making any musical in the mainstream has been long lost, until now. Chicago is a satire musical, satire meaning over-the-top, impossible, just hilarious stuff. There is no doubt this movie has a dark side to it, but the music is so good and the actors pull everything off beautifully.
I have to say that "Velma"(Catherine Zeta Jones)really steals the show here, even more than Richard Gere does. Aparently Catherine has been in theatre and done musicals before, it shows. She has this incredible flow and energy out there, she would lite up a stage no doubt about it. There was basically no weak link in this cast at all, they all suprised me. Who knew that Renee Zwelleger, Richard Gere /Katherine Zeta could sing so well!! They really suprised me in this movie.
The best aspect of the movie by far is the way the dream sequences and regular scenes are blended together so well, they flow right into one another. People just do not bust out into song, you know it is coming and feels right at the time. This method could have been butchered, sloppy and disaterious for the movie, but they pulled it off wonderfully. The electricity that is required in a live musical is here and grabs your towards the screen, of course the short costumes help also.
I liked the set designs, it had the look of the 20's and the feel of it. The craziness of the times was there on screen and it added the finishing touch to the movie.
As I said before, this is a satire. A satire basically pokes fun at a subject, the impossible and outlandish are required for it. Try not too take the plot too seriously and just enjoy it. There are actually truths to this plot, while they are exaggerated, they are still there.
Overall a masterpiece of a musical, funny, well thought out and the music just makes the movie come alive. Highly reccomended to anyone.