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Chicago (20th Anniversary Blu-ray Steelbook) Review

Chicago (20th Anniversary Blu-ray Steelbook) Review
« on: January 28, 2023, 04:58:04 PM »
Chicago (20th Anniversary Blu-ray Steelbook) Review

Studio: Paramount
Release Date: February 7, 2023
Rating: R
Film:  5/5

Nightclub sensation Velma (Catherine Zeta-Jones) murders her philandering husband, and Chicago's slickest lawyer, Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), is set to defend her. But when Roxie (Renée Zellweger) also winds up in prison, Billy takes on her case as well -- turning her into a media circus of headlines. Neither woman will be outdone in their fight against each other and the public for fame and celebrity.

My Thoughts
Chicago seems to be a movie that has been passed around from studio-to-studio for its home video releases. In 2007 it was originally released by Buena Vista, then released a second time from LionsGate in 2011 with the same video and audio encodes (MPEG-4 AVC and PCM 5. Audio). In 2014 LionsGate decides to release it with a Diamond Deluxe edition with a brand-new video encode supposedly in Dolby Vision, which improved the video quality over the previous release. Furthermore, the 5.1 PCM track was updated with a 7.1 TrueHD mix, which upped the ante on an already reference-quality soundtrack.

In 2020, Paramount obtained the home video rights and released their own Diamond release, which is the same as the LionsGate release from 6 years prior. And here we are three years later, and another rerelease is happening but this time the film is housed in a collectable Steelbook package. For A/V purists, nothing’s changed with the audio and video compared to the 2014 release. I guess this is the Oscar-winner that keeps on giving!

My wife and I both love this film and we’ve watched it countless times over the years. I bought the 2014 release and have always loved the reference-quality presentation. I really expected to see this film in 4K at some point, especially since Dolby Vision was used to make the 2014 encode, but I guess we’ll have longer to wait. Regardless, the presentation here is reference-quality from beginning to end and we absolutely love the music. Having never got a chance to see the Broadway production, I have nothing to compare this film to other than itself and despite watching it repeatedly, I never get bored.

Video 5/5 (AVC)
Audio 5/5 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1)

Special Features:

·        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
·        Digital Copy

While originally produced by Miramax, I’m not sure how or why this Oscar-winning film has bounced from studio to studio, but hopefully we’ll see a 4K release at some point. If you already own the Diamond Edition on Blu-ray, there’s no reason to upgrade unless you want the Steelbook packaging, which I personally like. If you don’t have the film in your collection, I have one question. Why not? The music is awesome, and the performances are all top-notch. Six Oscars tells you all you need to know about the production value. Highly recommended.

Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High-Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 110” 2.35:1 Screen
Trinnov Altitude 16 Audio/Video Processor
ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels
ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: URC MX-990
M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
SVS SB3000
HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
M&K Sound X15+ Subwoofer
Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
« Last Edit: January 28, 2023, 05:00:59 PM by David Vaughn »
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine


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Re: Chicago (20th Anniversary Blu-ray Steelbook) Review
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2023, 06:53:10 PM »
It’s showtime!

Thanks David, I agree with you 100%.  I have the diamond edition but was waiting for the 4K. The cast here is great as is the music and story.  I miss Bob Fosse who created this but did not live long enough to direct it. The last line of this movie is “and all that jazz.” That, if you recall, was the name of Fosse’s  film biography. 
McIntosh MX170 Controller: Projector JVC DLA-RS4100; Screen: Stuart StudioTek130: Amps: McIntosh MC-611(center),MC1.25KW (lf&rt);  Krell S-1500 Atmos/Surround; 4kDVD Panasonic UB9000; Speakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2, Ultima Voice 2, (Surround) W 990, Atmos C763L; Subs: SVS SB-13 Ultras;  Cable: 4K Verizon; Broadcast: Mediasonic HW-150PVR; Wiring: Shunyata; Apple TV,


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Re: Chicago (20th Anniversary Blu-ray Steelbook) Review
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2023, 12:00:41 AM »
This movie cries out for a 4K remaster and a Dolby Atmos remix. 
Direct (585) 671-2972 8:00am - 4:30pm Pacific 
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Re: Chicago (20th Anniversary Blu-ray Steelbook) Review
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2023, 01:45:02 AM »
This movie cries out for a 4K remaster and a Dolby Atmos remix.
I had a draft reply sitting for a few hours saying this, lol... I haven't seen it since around the time it was released and probably would need a 4K version to pull me in for a rewatch.


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Re: Chicago (20th Anniversary Blu-ray Steelbook) Review
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2023, 09:38:19 AM »
I LOVE musicals. Just never could get into this one (or mulan rouge) oh well thanks for the review
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