Tag Archives: john c reilly

‘Chicago’ burns with talent

When Kander & Ebb’s Tony Award-winning musical Chicago finally hit the big screen in 2002 after a few failed attempts (including proposed versions rumored to star Liza Minnelli and Goldie Hawn), it was a massive success. The winner of six Oscars, including best picture, Chicago seemed to signal the return of the big-screen movie musical. 

Neither of the lead actresses in the film Chicago — Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones — was known for her musical stage work. But under the direction of Rob Marshall, the duo glittered as murderous jazz-age mamas Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, respectively — and Zeta-Jones took home an Oscar for her work.

Now available in a Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD/Ultraviolet Diamond Edition, with more than two hours (!) of new content, Chicago is holding up better than the city it’s named for. Bill Condon’s inspired Oscar-nominated screenplay transforms wannabe performer Roxie’s musical numbers into effective flights of fancy. As inmates, Roxie and Velma compete for the spotlight and the sympathies of the public and the press. They sing and dance to their (and our) hearts’ content.

Supporting players John C. Reilly (as Roxie’s “invisible” husband Amos), Queen Latifah (as warden Mama Morton), Christine Baranski (as newspaper columnist Mary Sunshine) and Richard Gere (as unscrupulous lawyer Billy Flynn) all make the most of the Kander & Ebb songs, including “The Cellblock Tango,” “All That Jazz,” “Mr. Cellophane,” “Razzle Dazzle” and “Nowadays.”

Special features include commentary by Marshall and Condon, which offers fascinating insight into the film. You’ll also find the deleted “Class” scene, and much more.

Reel advice

(Fox Searchlight)

Mumblecore continues the quest for a mainstream audience with the dark romantic comedy “Cyrus,” co-written/co-directed by Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass (who starred in 2009’s mumblequeer feature “Humpday”). Following, as it does, on the heels of “Greenberg” (starring Ben Stiller and mumblecore goddess Greta Gerwig), it looks like the crossover has officially begun and mumblecore mania is here to stay.

Socially awkward John (John C. Reilly), who compares himself to Shrek, has been divorced from Jamie (Catherine Keener) for seven years. But John but still relies on Jamie for advice, guidance and occasional companionship, in spite of her impending marriage to Tim (Matt Walsh). However, all of that changes when John meets the seemingly out of his league Molly (Marisa Tomei).

Molly’s life is “complicated” and she moves at a cautious pace. But overeager John wants more. Of course he gets more than he bargained for when he meets Molly’s pampered, 20-something, live-at-home son Cyrus (Jonah Hill). At first, neither John nor Cyrus sees the other as a threat. It doesn’t take long before that changes.

Part psychological thriller/part pitch-black comedy, “Cyrus” pits the potential love interest and the controlling son against each other in a war of the wits. The manipulative Cyrus plays Molly and John against each other, although his mad mission backfires on him. Even at its darkest, “Cyrus” manages to find humor in the most unexpected (and uncomfortable) places and is surprisingly touching at times.