Roxy Hart will do anything to get famous; she cheats on her husband (John C. Riley) with a furniture salesman because he tells her that he can get her a jazz act in a club. When he admits that he was lying about his contacts at the jazz club she kills him in a fit of rage. She convinces her somewhat dim husband to lie to the police and take the blame but as he is telling his story to the police he puts one and one together and figures and tells the cops the truth. She finds herself on Chicag…’s famed murderess row with nightclub sensation Velma Kelly. Velma is in jail for murdering her husband and sister after catching the two of them together. Billy Flynn is the most famous lawyer in town and can get anyone off, he manipulates the media and is just as concerned with his own fame as he is with helping his clients.
Chicago is a musical featuring both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio tracks. The Dolby Digital track is good but the DTS track really shows why it is a superior audio format. We have a fantastically clean and open sounding audio track that makes very good use of the front channels with a very nice wide and deep audio image. Voices come through in all their glory, crystal clear with all of the subtle nuances. Bass is full and robust but not over done. The rear channels add ambience and balance to the very busy front channels really helping to flesh out the song and dance numbers. This is not an audio track that will hit you over the head but rather seduce you with its subtle wares as it draws you into the film. Also included is French 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track.
The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is of reference quality. The image is razor sharp without being artificial (no edge enhancement). With song and dance numbers that basically take place on a stage we have lots of color wash from lights that could become a problem but again we see no chroma noise or issues just rich vibrant colors with fantastic looking reds. Shadow detail is perfect with deep inky blacks and no obscuring of any of the details. This is one of the best transfers I have seen to date and will really show off a good quality display device. The menu transitions are animated but not the menus themselves and only the main menu is scored.
You would think that a film that garnered 6 Academy awards would be loaded with extra content; but alas this is not true. We have a behind the scenes featurette which gives you some good background information on the story and the film. We also get treated to a deleted musical scene featuring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah, I am gald that it was included as it is a great performance but I can also see why it was cut as it would have done some damage to the pacing of the story. Lastly we have a commentary with the screenwriter and the director, this is pretty typical and nothing out of the ordinary. It would have been nice to also a commentary with the stars of the film.
First and foremost I am going to start this off by saying that for the most part I am not a fan of musicals so this film had to be very good to win me over. I just can not get my head around why in the middle of a perfectly good film someone would break into a song that has usually very little to do with the story line. In this film everything fits perfectly the songs serve to advance the story and are never overbearing, boring or cheesy. The acting is very good and the film is extremely enjoyable. Throw in a reference quality transfer and a fantastic audio track and the only thing holding it back is the lack of extra features. This is still a must own DVD, pick it up you will not be disappointed
Special Features List
- Commentary by director Rob Marshall and screenwriter Bill Condon
- Deleted musical number “Class”
- Behind-the-scenes featurette