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The movie Chicago


Has anyone here seen it? I can virtually guarantee that I'll buy it on DVD when it comes out. It looks fantastic.
I saw the movie a while back. (I was surprised to learn that it still wasn't out in much of the country a few weeks after I saw it. It's not like I live anywhere near NY or LA.) I had never seen the show on stage.

I thought it was great fun. I was just grinning through most of the movie. One of the people that I saw it with wasn't too thrilled. She wasn't happy because there wasn't too much to the dramatic narative and none of the central lead characters were exactly what you describe as "sympathetic". To which my response was roughly: "You went into a Bob Fosse show expecting what?" (And even though he is long dead, this does still feel like a Fosse show.)

It really is all about the showmanship and performances and flat out (if somewhat twisted; hey, it *is* Fosse) fun of numbers like "Cell Block Tango". It's not about complex crime solving or courtroom plot lines.

The "It looks fantastic" makes it sound like you haven't seen it yet. Is that correct? If not, then I would recommend trying to get out to see it in a theater. It doesn't have the big FX of a Star Wars or the huge vistas of a Lawrence of Arabia, but the musical numbers have larger than life spectical quality and a bit of reliance on lighting etc. that I suspect won't come across quite the same way in home video.

I hadn't known that Zeta-Jones had that much background in musical theater. I thought she was great, better than Gere and Zelweger in the musical numbers (not that they were bad). I saw one review that while all of the actors sang pretty well, when Queen Latifah got her big solo number it made you realize that the others are really just dabblers. I thought there was a lot of truth in that (although, as I said, I thought CZJ held up better).
No, I have not seen it in the theaters and I probably won't. I've seen movies on the big screen and the small, and quite frankly I prefer the comfort of my own home, or the home of a friend. The big screen aspect has never held much of a fascination for me. But the snippits I've seen do make it look like a fun movie.

I know the characters are not sympathetic. But I loved "A Clockwork Orange". So that will probably not be a problem for me.
. I've seen movies on the big screen and the small, and quite frankly I prefer the comfort of my own home

I can understand that. Still, if you get a chance to see Lawrence of Arabia at a really good theater with a really big screen, .... make an exception and go for it. Lawrence really is a whole different experiance on a big screen.
You think a 73 inch wide screen would suffice as "big-screen"? I'd rather have one of those and rent DVDs than go to the theatre.

I haven't seen Chicago, but since it's our weekly movie night, my Mom and I may go see this or the Pianist.
Are we talking about Chicago or Lawrence now?

For Chicago it is a much more subjective / personal preference thing. The musical numbers are set in caberet / vaudevillian theater setting. The darkened theater and the big sound system (compared to what I, or most of my friends, have) helped put me into the theatric (in the live stage sense) experiance more than I, personally, would be if I was watching at home. For me, that improved the whole experiance of watching it (at least for the first time). Your milage may vary.

However, if we are talking about Lawrence then I don't think it has a chance of getting across what I am talking about unless it is in full HDTV mode (maybe). When Lawrence was first refurbished and re-released several years back I saw nice fresh 70mm print at a big, classic, refurbished (and upgraded, realtive to sound etc.), 1930's era theater in Detroit (the Fox). The scope of the wide shots (which Lawrence makes liberal use of) just doesn't come across in a living room and the detail visible in that kind of print just is not possible at standard TV resolution.
Just for perspective, I have to drive 40 miles or more either north or south to get to the nearest movie theater. The one North has small, layered seating theaters. The one to the south, quite frankly, stinks.

I have to be pretty motivated to drive almost an hour to get to the theater. Espeically as gas prices are going up, up, up, I tend to wait and rent the thing.
Yeah, I know I'm spoiled when it comes to that. Within a 15 minute or so drive I can get to 2 multiplexes (now with "stadium seating" in all of their auditoriums), a 4 screen second run ("cheap") theater, a couple of "art houses" (one with 4 screens and one with 7 or 8), and a not-for-profit run refurbished 1930's theater that bounces back and forth between art house movies and live shows (and added a small [maybe couple hundred seat] extra screening room in the back a year or two ago).

Of course, there are definite advantages to living "in the middle of nowhere" too, especially when it comes to outdoor activities. The rise of e-tailers has cut down on some of the old disadvantages.
I saw a video with Catherine Zeta-Jones dressed up and singing. I don't remember the song, but it was on VH1 this morning.

I think Catherine is a pretty lady, but she looked awful in that video IMHO.
Well, if it was something that they have taken from Chicago, in most of her musical numbers CZJ was wearing the very stylized makeup that you would expect on someone who was on stage performing a live caberet or vaudeville show (heavey eye liner etc.). Also, I read that she chose the short "bob" hairstyle for the movie not for its attractiveness, but because it would be clearer to the movie audiance that it was really her doing all of her dancing and not a double.
Yes, PillowRock, I shop online a lot. I was so sad when pets.com went out of business. But there are still a couple of sites for pets, like petluvers.com and one other I've used. I'm looking for the perfect kitty toy next time I need to order her some stuff.
RW: I always expect to dislike a few of the songs in any musical, or think they are mediocre. It just sounds like the story is hilarious. Well, in a really dark way. I suspect I'll just love the characters and the writing.

If I remember to get it when it comes out in half a year or whenever movies come out after being in the theater. Maybe I should break down and see it in the theater.

I saw Chicago just the other day. I thought it was a fun movie, a great spectacle. Catherine Zeta Jones was phenomenal. I especially enjoyed her opening number. I can understand some saying that the plot was not overly complex and that the characters were not ones the audience could empathize with. However, to me what drives a musical is…well, the music and the dance numbers, and while I felt that some of them fell a little flat, overall the movie accomplished what I think a musical should do. It set up a little story which would not lose you with its complexity and allowed you to be dazzled by the singing, dancing and frankly the costumes. While the characters may come off as caricatures, for example,...
the scheming lawyer willing to do anything to win, etc.,...
End Spoiler Space
they are sufficiently developed for a movie in which the singing and dancing is the focus.

Thanks, Frizzell. I don't always like musicals (believe it or not)!
But this one looks like fun.

One of these days I'll also have to get Cabaret on DVD. It's one of the (if not the only) musical that is actually realistically staged. All of the songs (but one) are actually the cabaret acts. The rest is drama. I admit, that I like.

I don't think I'm spoiling anything here for Cabaret, but

spoiler space for Cabaret:

the only song that is in the movie Cabaret that is not on the stage of the show is that one where a bunch of young Nazis are standing and singing "Tomorrow belongs to me" while an old, unhappy (obviously Jewish) man is sitting looking, well, very angry and sad. It's like he's projecting that he knows what is to come without saying a word.

And the end to Cabaret. Wow! I just love that musical.

END spoiler space

But I confess, I can get into some of the mostly-song-and-dance musicals if I like the music enough.

Hmm, I suppose I'm a fan of the movie/stage musical. I just don't get to see a lot of the stage ones. Heck, I've acted in more than I've seen.
one of the (if not the only) musical that is actually realistically staged
I guess that depends on where you draw the line of what constitutes "realistically". How do you count dream or hallucination sequences? Is still "realistically staged" when musical numbers are presented as being entirely within one characters head? The movie version of Chicago puts all but a couple of the songs (those couple being in nightclub acts, as in Cabaret) inside the head of one of the characters. She is kinda mentally re-staging many of the events of her life as cabaret numbers.

In All That Jazz (which, to my knowledge, is only a movie and was never attempted on stage) all of the musical numbers fall out of the characters being musical theater people involoved in rehearsing a show, .... except for a couple at the end which are clearly presented as hallucinations of a hospitalized, and very heavily medicated, choreographer.