Paramount Home Entertainment has now given Chicago a Limited Edition Blu-ray SteelBook to mark the Oscar winner’s 20th anniversary.
The new Blu-ray SteelBook also comes closer to the anniversary of the film’s wide release in early 2003. In addition to a digital copy, audiences get some three hours of legacy bonus content as detailed below.
Chicago is quite the musical spectacle. I didn’t get an opportunity to see the film on the big screen. In fact, my first viewing initially came at some point in 2008-09 during my first go-around in the Windy City. Unfortunately, an air mattress is especially not the best way to watch this film. Watching on an air mattress might work for others but not for me. Suffice it to say, last night’s viewing certainly went much better. I mean, there were some distractions but at least I didn’t fall asleep this time around! But I digress.
There are a number of musical numbers as we get to know Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) and Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Shortly after we first meet them. they both find themselves sitting on Murderess’ Row. First, Velma kills her husband and sister. Not long thereafter, Roxie cheats on her husband Amos (John C. Reilly) before later killing furniture salesman Fred Casely (Dominic West). Matron “Mama” Morton (Queen Latifah) supervises Murderess’ Row despite being corrupt. However, it’s Morton’s advice that leads Roxie to seek out Velma’s lawyer, Billy Flynn (Richard Gere). They basically reinvent Roxie’s entire life and manipulate the press to their advantage. It works!
As a result of everything that happens, both Roxie and Velma end up performing together as a vaudeville duo. I love how they also manage to incorporate the Chicago Theatre on State Street in the process. It certainly adds a level of authenticity to the film. I’m not sure if it is the theater’s interior but it is definitely the exterior.
Back in 2003, Chicago won six Oscars for Best Picture, Supporting Actress (Catherine Zeta-Jones), Art Direction, Costume Design, Film Editing, and Sound. The film also received additional nominations for Director, Actress (Renée Zellweger), Supporting Actor (John C. Reilly), Supporting Actress (Queen Latifah), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, and Original Song (“I Move On”).
It should also go without saying that along with a few films, Chicago helped bring back the musical genre to the big screen. While there have certainly been highs and lows for big screen musicals, the genre has never gone away.
- Feature Commentary with director Rob Marshall and screenwriter Bill Condon
- Chicago in the Spotlight – A Retrospective with Cast and Crew
- Bringing Chicago to Life: Adapting the Broadway Musical to Film
- Developing the Screenplay: Collaborating with Bill Condon
- Casting the Movie: Finding Actors Who Can Sing and Dance
- The Extended Cast: The Great Dancers of Chicago
- Rehearsals: The Best of Times
- Rob Marshall: Born to Direct
- Marty Richards: In Remembrance
- Neil Meron and Craig Zadan: Renowned Musical Producers
- The Magicians Behind the Camera: Colleen Atwood – Dion Beebe – John Myhre
- The Best of Broadway: The Choreographers
- The Director’s Cut: Musical History is Made
- The 75th Academy Awards: And the Oscar goes to…
- The 85th Academy Awards: A Walk Down Memory Lane
- The Relevance and Impact: The Aftermath of the Modern Day Musical
- Extended Musical Performances
- “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 Renée 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
- “Cell Block Tango” rehearsal
DIRECTOR: Rob Marshall
SCREENWRITER: Bill Condon
CAST: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Lucy Liu, Taye Diggs, Colm Feore, Christine Baranski, Dominic West, Mýa Harrison, Deirdre Goodwin, Denise Faye, Ekaterina Chtchelkanova, Susan Misner
Miramax released Chicago in theaters on December 27, 2002. Grade: 4/5
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