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Chicago Blu-ray Steelbook Review

“Chicago” is one of the best movie musicals of the past 20 years. 

Based on the hit stage musical of the same name, 2002’s big screen adaptation was brought to the screen by director Rob Marshall and writer Bill Condon. The 1920’s Chicago set story revolves around a wannabe stage star named Roxie Hart who winds up in prison after murdering a man (Fred) who she cheated on her husband (Amos) with. While in prison she meets Velma Kelly (a stage star who killed her husband and sister) and the prison matron Mama (who is always making deals). Roxie manages to get a smooth talking hot shot lawyer (Billy) to represent her with the hopes of getting released. As her case becomes public, she becomes an overnight media sensation. Will she get out of prison and receive the showbiz fame she is so desperate for though? 

In terms of modern movie musicals of the 2000’s and beyond, the Oscar winning “Chicago” stands tall as one of the most notable entries. Not only is the satirical film about fame, the legal system and media humorous and wholly entertaining, but the entire cast and crew is in peak form here. Rob Marshall’s first and still best directorial effort manages to be flashy and cinematic (see the choreography for the puppet centric “We Both Reached For The Gun” number) while also never forgetting its stage roots (especially with the fantasy elements). And, of course, there’s the electric soundtrack. After you hear these songs once they will never leave your head. Whether you hear “And All That Jazz,” “Mr. Cellophane,” and “We Both Reached For The Gun,” they’re all earworms. They’re just that good.

Where “Chicago” really comes to life though is with the ensemble cast. Catherine Zeta-Jones was never better than she was as the sultry Velma Kelly. Renee Zellweger seemed an unusual choice as Roxie Hart, but she crushed the role and showed she could sing and dance with the best of them. Richard Gere (who is best known for dramatic work) showed immense versatility here. Who knew he could be a song and dance man? It goes without saying that John C. Reilly is one of the best actors in the biz. The actor can do anything including a scene-stealing role as Amos (whose “Mr. Cellophane” number is my personal favorite). To this day Queen Latifah’s best film role is still Mama. She really should do more musicals.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? Given that it’s the film’s 20th anniversary (although it’s technically been 21 years now), it’s a shame the film hasn’t been given a 4K release. Instead, fans will have to settle for this re-release with a new Steelbook. The good news is the transfer is both solid and maintains the grain of the original print.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The audio track is even better with a dynamic 7.1 track. The music roars to life via the speakers.

* Digital copy
* Commentary by Rob Marshall and Bill Condon.
* Extended musical performances of “And All That Jazz,” “When You’re Good To Mama,” “Cell Block Tango,” “We Both Reached For The Gun,” “Mister Cellophane,” “All I Care About,” “All I Care About With Richard Gere,” “Nowadays With Renee Zellweger,” “And All That Jazz With Catherine Zeta-Jones,” “I Can’t Do It Alone Rehearsal,” “Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag Rehearsal,” “We Both Reached For The Gun Rehearsal” and “Cell Block Tango Rehearsal.”
* “Chicago In The Spotlight- A Retrospective With The Cast and Crew”- A 14 part extra that covers bringing the stage musical to the big screen, the script, casting, dancers, rehearsals, directing, Marty Richards, the choreography, the Awards, the film’s legacy, and more.


January 28, 2023 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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