*** Official "CHICAGO" Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Greg_M, Dec 12, 2002.

  1. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    I saw the film of "CHICAGO" last night and was pleasantly surprised. One of the best films of the year (and the best musical film since "Little Shop of Horrors") Rob Marshall has filmed the stage show with an inventive eye and the film works (The musical numbers are performed on the vaudeville stage much like the numbers in the film of "Cabaret" so audiences won't be shocked into seeing actors sing and dance) The cast was incredible. I was most surprised by John C. Reilly and Queen Latifah. Both actors stopped the film with their solo numbers. Catherine Zeta-John's is sympathetic and sexy as a showgirl, and Renee Zellweger should be nominated for an Oscar as the dizzy blonde who dreams of stardom. This role has always been difficult - the audience must sympathize with her even though she is a murderer
    and seems to only care about herself. The editing wasn't as busy as "Moulin Rogue" and the musical numbers were inventively filmed. The film is for sophisticated audiences but at the same time it's a lot of fun. Highly recommended.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Greg,
    I've edited your post because in my mind you gave away a couple of important details about the main characters which would spoil a person's enjoyment of this film, who was not familiar with the musical play.




    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Thanks Robert, - I didn't even think of that.
    Greg
     
  4. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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    I saw it last night and I agree. Thoroughly enjoyed it! The audience applauded at the end and even after some musical numbers.

    My one HUGE gripe was the theater here in NYC didn't show it in anything but mono which killed part of it for me. I have to say that barring that, I still loved it so it says a great deal about the film itself.
     
  5. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    I saw it last week...and I'm completely unimpressed. I didn't think there was anything new, inventive, or energetic about 90% of the film. It's well done, and looks good (it has a big enough budget...), but I never felt any of the movie ever lived up to the energy and excitement of Zeta Jones' first number. Now THAT was great.

    It's also a far cry from either "Cabaret" or "All That Jazz", two movies that were much more successful at capturing Fosse's stage plays.

    I don't think it helped that it comes on the heels of "Moulin Rouge" either. That was a musical that attempted to radically re-define the genre, and this film is flat when compared to it.

    I'm not saying it's a BAD film...I'd give it a solid "B". It just doesn't live up to the hype, the source material, the cast or the budget.

    And, while Zelwegger was alright...I don't expect to see her around for any more than a Globe. Zeta Jones on the other hand should be a lock for an Oscar.
     
  6. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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    Well..see I hated Moulin Rouge and thought it was one big headache...but I guess I'm in the minority.

    And I loved this one.

    I guess it helps that I love the music as well.
     
  7. Luis Esp

    Luis Esp Supporting Actor

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    I've seen the touring company here in Toronto several times, and once with Chita Rivera! Wow! It's being "sneak previewed" tomorrow, can't wait. Although Richard Gere as Billy Flynn, can he sing?

    Let's hope they do the movie justice on dvd.
     
  8. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Craig, you may not be in the minority. I disliked MOULIN ROUGE because it applies bombastic Michael Bay-style action film staccato editing to the musical form and, in my opinion, it did not work. It left me feeling exhausted and in bad temperment. Further, as was the complain against Richard Lester for A FUNNY THING HAPPENED.., the quick edits necessarily break up the dance numbers so you really don't get a chance to see the (probably) wonderful choreography, except in second-long camera bytes. This spate of classic films remade to look like music videos has grown old fast, and I am hoping CHICAGO does not follow its lead.
     
  9. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Re: editing - I also disliked style of editing in the MOULIN ROGUE. I sat through the film in the theater but it WAS work. I tried watching it on DVD but the editing was so frustrating that I gave up. I was prepared to witness the same style of editing in CHICAGO - But to my surprise the film is not edited in the MOULIN ROGUE style. (I wasn't bothered by the editing at all, and I viewed the film from the front row (O.K. it was a studio screening room, which was only about 20 rows deep, but even so) I felt the editing in MOULIN ROGUE was an assualt on the senses. I felt CHICAGO was more entertaining since I could take more of it in at a lesiurely pace.
    CHICAGO is a completely different kind of film than MOULIN ROGUE (Old school vs. New, and comparisons are inevitable) Even though CHICAGO is a musical, it is really a film with music - the actors don't break into song and dance. The songs are performed on a stage as a comment on the action, much like "Cabaret" which is why this film may appeal to people who dislike musicals.[​IMG]
     
  10. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    Before this gets too far out of hand...

    This is NOT a Chicago vs. Moulin Rouge thread and it shouldn't turn into one. I will oblige you guys though, if that's what you want, since I love Moulin Rouge with every atom of my being. You don't like Moulin Rouge? That's fine by me, I have no problems whatsoever with that. I do have problems when this thread is threatening to turn into a bash-Moulin Rouge thread.


    (sound of knives being sharpened at the ready...)
     
  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Guys, let's stick to the topic at hand. This is
    a Chicago discussion thread.
     
  13. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    I'm looking forward to seeing Chicago. I'll be very interested to see how Zeta-Jones handles her role - she was a hoofer before she was a "straight" actress.

    A more apt comparison to Moulin Rouge would be All That Jazz, which contrary to the post above, was never a stage musical, but was conceived for the screen. (And a damned fine film it is, IMO.)

    I'm not a MR fan. I don't care for a lot of the music. Baz Lurhman's films tend to be way too busy - for Baz, too much is not enough. But I enjoyed MR, especially the art direction. I applaud its success. The director got a bold, highly personal vision up on the screen, and even if it's not my particular cuppa, I enjoyed the brashness of the attempt. I'm all for personal films, even if they're not to my personal taste. As far as the choreography, the camera is the dancer and the choreography is in the editing.

    I'll be very interested to see how the dance shots are handled in Chicago, whether they retain the energy of Fosse's staging. Close-ups and fast cuts, staples of modern editing technique, are not usually good news for dance numbers. The choreographic shape and logic get lost. And on stage at least, the choreography and lyrics in Chicago are deeply intertwined.

    I'm just glad Chicago finally got made.

    (Later...I gotta go rest up now for my TTT marathon.)
     
  14. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    What's the aspect ratio of CHICAGO? The IMDb has no info on this yet.
     
  15. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    CHICAGO was shot 1:85:1
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Chicago" please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.
    All HTF member film reviews of "Chicago" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Crawdaddy
     
  17. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I haven't seen the picture yet, but I want to. I really want to see the traditional musical make a serious comeback as a film genre.
     
  18. RafaelB

    RafaelB Second Unit

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    I caught a sneak preview of this Wednesday night and was pretty much blown away by how good it was (although I'm a huge fan of the show itself, so I may be a bit biased [​IMG]).
    The way the creative team reconfigured the show to make it more cinematic was so seamlessly done as to make me think, "now why hadn't they thought of that previously?" and it really put the story into focus.
    Catherine Zeta-Jones is amazing in this movie. I can't think how badly Madonna would have been in this role if they made it years ago and Renee Zellwegger was not as bad as I thought. Other standouts for me were Queen Latifah as Mama Morton and John C. Reilly- both great supporting roles.
    I'll stop gushing now, but I can't wait to see it again.
    Rafael
    It's not a surprise how it took the lead in Gloden Globe noms.
     
  19. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    This will be a Best Picture nominee and the odds-on favorite to win. Easily.
    I liked it and think it's one of the more enjoyable films for this time of year. (So many of the year-end releases are downbeat.) I don't think what's in spoilerized in the first post is a spoiler considering it's in the trailer and happens within the first ten minutes of the film but so it goes...
    Zeta-Jones delivers the goods, and Zellweger is fine as Roxie. Now if only the press screening hadn't been held in the worst theater it could have been in. The sound system was definitely not up to snuff for a movie where the audio is so important. [​IMG]
     
  20. Luis Esp

    Luis Esp Supporting Actor

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    Amazing with all the Golden Globe noms. The president of Miramax must be peeing in his pants with excitement. I had heard that he wasn't happy with the film because "Chicago" was a traditional musical and he had wanted directed in the style of "Moulin Rouge".

    I hope that crow pie taste great.

    Please release a dvd version with no errors such as the dts problem of "Moulin Rouge".
     

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