Chicago (2002) Film Review


Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) wants to be on the stage, but is in a tedious life married to a boring mechanic, Amos (John C Reilly). When she discovers the man she is having an affair with is not only unable to get her an audition, but is going to leave her, she shoots him and is quickly arrested for murder. She joins Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a famous singer and dancer who killed her husband and sister after she caught them in bed together. The two use Mama Morton (Queen Latifah) to obtain the legal services of Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) to set them free. And all this whilst singing and dancing.

I have no idea if this is a good film or not. It certainly is a very interesting interpretation of a stage show to film, with it flowing from cabaret performances in a club to scenes of reality. What I know is the music is fabulous. The other thing is that we did Chicago as a high-school performance long before the recent stage (and then film) revival and I still know pretty much every word of every song. It was just as well that there was no one home at my place and my neighbours were away, because I watched the film singing at the top of my lungs. And no one needs to hear that.

Chicago won Oscar for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Catherine Zeta-Jones), Best Art Direction – Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Sound. Chicago was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Renee Zellweger), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (John C. Reilly), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Queen Latifah), Best Director (Rob Marshall), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Bill Condon), Best Cinematography and Best Music, Original Song (I Move On).

John Carter (2012) – Film Review

John Carter is a former American Civil War Confederate Soldier who, on retirement, has become a gold prospector. When he is leant on to join the fight against the Apache, he flees and finds himself in a cave with some amazing gold seams. At this point, a being appears from nowhere. John Carter kills him and is accidently transported to Mars. On Mars, there is a war between two cities, but John Carter ends up staying with a peaceful group, the Tharks. As the atmosphere and the make-up of his body varies greatly to that of the creatures of Mars, he is able to leap across the land, making him an asset to any army.

The film lost me at the start. It started during the war on Mars, and then skipped back to John Carter’s nephew receiving the will after John Carter’s death, and then went into the story, and by this stage, there were so many threads for me to follow. Once you add in the crazy science fiction names for everything, and I was lost. But I’m so glad I persevered, because it gets great. John Carter has an awesomely dry and wry sense of humour, and the story isn’t as complicated as you thin once you get into it.

Plus, there are huge spaceships that explode a lot, and I love explosions. The CGI creation of Tharks were hard for me to get used to at first, but as the personalities came through, I was won over. And then there is that gorgeous dog creature – he’s the best!