FEATURES : COLUMNS : REVIEWS : NEWS : FILM & TV : FORUMS : UGO

ABOUT




New Doc Ock Hits Spider-Man
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Marvel Hires New Publisher
Following such rumors, Marvel today announced that Bill Jemas has been replaced as Publisher. Now read who took his job.
CrossGen's Solus #7
CrossGen thinks you'll love George Pérez's new issue of Solus. And to prove it, here's a five-page preview.
Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunite for Marvel's Avengers as they search for She-Hulk.
Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
A comic about a cybernetic cowboy that hunts outlaws riding dinosaurs? Where do we sign up? Read on and find out.
Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
Marvel's New Mutants has a new artist onboard, and we've got a five-page preview. See if he's got the chops.
Image Rocks Out With Shangri-La
Are you ready to rock and roll? Image is, with their upcoming graphic novel Shangri-La. Read the details here.
Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk team up for charity in a special December one-shot. Read all about it.
Davis' Marquis Returns In December
Guy Davis' sin-slayer is back in The Marquis: Intermezzo, coming from Oni Press. Read all about it.
Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.
 








Movie Review:
Chicago
By Matt Singer

01.14.03


Chicago is all about that first song, “All That Jazz” - the noise, the brawls, all that jazz. Though the events take place in 1920s, its message and themes are utterly modern, as is its approach to movie musical making; in an ingenious choice, the songs and dances mostly exist in the mind of the protagonist, the murderous Roxie Hart (Renee Zellwegger). If the movie musical is dead, Chicago is the healthiest looking rotting corpse this side of Michael Jackson.


Article continued below advertisement


Roxie kills a poor schmoe who makes the mistake of promising her a career as a singer and only giving her a month of rolling around in the sack. When Roxie finally gets wise, she plugs him, then tries to get her equally schmoey husband Amos (The always good John C. Reilly) to take the fall for her. She winds up in the slammer where she meets Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a big star on the stage and an even bigger one in her own mind. Early in Roxie’s incarceration, the film has its greatest moment, during the spectacular number “Cell Block Tango” in which Velma and the rest of the Murderer’s Row All-Stars recreate their crimes in black, white, and red.

Eventually cute little Roxie lands the ear of hotshot lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), who only cares about love, and the $5,000 each of his clients provides him. Gere typically plays very serious and earnest roles; Flynn is a huckster in a nice suit and wicked grin, and when Gere flashes his as he sings his first big production number there doesn’t seem to be too much acting behind it. Gere’s casting certainly doesn’t sound appealing (at least, not to me), but his charm and enthusiasm carries him past the point where his talents as a singer and dancer would otherwise take him. His female co-stars seem better equipped for their numbers; Zeta-Jones in particular looks more than comfortable dancing the charleston or acting like an egotistical bitch.

It’s tough to say whether younger audiences will embrace this film like they did Moulin Rouge; unlike Baz Lurhman’s psychotic headtrip, Chicago is a lot more lucid and a bit more controlled. And older musical fans might be put off by the often frenetic crosscutting between reality and Roxie’s glitzy dreams. Then again, the lighting, cinematography, and choreography (also by director Rob Marshall) are topnotch, and the editing, by Martin Walsh, is among the very best of 2002. Typically dance numbers in musicals were filmed in very long takes to show off the performers’ talents, but current fashion requires a much choppier look and here the cutting manages to bring out the big moments and keep things moving at an tight-jawed pace.

If Chicago was not ahead of its time when it debuted on Broadway in 1975 (and some would say it was), it’s because its story of unbridled ambition and desire for fame is a timeless one applicable to any time in memory. If Roxie Hart was around in the 1970s she could have been on The Gong Show and today she would have fit in quite nicely on Joe Millionaire. Velma resembles any number of sorta-celebrities, Robert Blake being the latest, who winds up getting accused of murdering his or her loved ones - you half expect Velma to promise to search for the “real” killer just as soon as she is rightfully acquitted.

Chicago is a fun, well-made movie, and you can certainly count on its presence at the Oscars (It has already received eight Golden Globe nominations). I saw the film at the Ziegfeld theater, an huge old movie house appropriate for such a film. The large audience at this noisy hall laughed out loud and even applauded after the musical numbers. If this musical thing takes off, Marshall has established himself as a key player in its next evolution. And when you see his name on some more movies just remember; all he cares about is love.

 

 
E-Mail Author  |  Archive  |  Tell A Friend

 

 



 
Sword of Dracula
Slush launches our Halloween countdown with the first in a series of spooky reviews. First up? New series, Sword of Dracula.
John Byrne's IMO
This week John points out that fans cannot read the minds of creators, although you wouldn't know that by listening to some of them.
The Dead Zone
Flesh-eating zombies battle the last remaining police officer in Image's new series, The Walking Dead. We review the first issue.
Steve Niles Interview
Slush interviews Steve Niles, the acclaimed writer of 30 Days of Night, who tells us about the relaunch of Fused.
A Spidery Preview
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Kill Bill Review
Slush reviews the first installment of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu slasher masterpiece, Kill Bill.
Viper Interview
Slush takes a look at new publisher Viper Comics, and interviews the guys behind two of its hottest books.
Peanuts Collected
Cartoon fans rejoice. Fantagraphics is reprinting the entire collection of Charles Schulz' Peanuts. Read on for details.


CHANNELS:  Features | Columns | Reviews | News | Film & TV | Forums | Slushfactory.com

Copyright © 2003 Slush Factory Entertainment (E-mail)
All Rights Reserved : No portion of Slush may be reprinted in any form without prior consent