billy mack

I Wanted to Write About It All -- And I Failed

The Hours is an interesting film for The Best Picture Show. I was met with the challenge of looking objectively at a slate of films that featured one my all-time favorites. It is, in fact, Number Five on my Top Ten List. How fair could I possibly be, then, when evaluating The Hours against all others?

Well, fortunately, one can have a favorite movie and admit that it’s not the “best”. I dearly love The Hours, of course, but I understand that there are little things here and there that detract from the overall quality of the picture. More on those later.

There are so many wonderful things happening in this movie. Director Stephen Frears and cinematographer Seamus McGarvey make wonderfully beautiful compositions. Virginia surrounded by the rough drafts of her work, Richard staring out the window while contemplating Laura, the jump, the drowning: all beautiful, all haunting. Costume designer Ann Roth has the challenge of evoking three different time periods, and she ably delivers. The costumes for Meryl Streep are an especial standout, the perfect ensemble for an arty New York socialite.

Michael Cunningham’s source novel was not an easy one to adapt. Much of the “action” involves the three protagonists reflecting on their environment, or their past, or their future, or the flowers. Like Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, it is written as a stream of consciousness, abruptly leaping from one character’s thoughts to another. David Hare does an admirable job of bringing all of this believably to the screen, while also making each of the women into an individual. (I confess, in the novel, everyone seems to be, more or less, the same unhappy, insecure person)

And the acting! Ed Harris is tragic as the poet stricken with AIDS, knowing his mind, his art, his life is going, yet unable to stop it. Meryl Streep is Clarissa Vaughan, the modern Mrs. Dalloway, and she is funny in her flightier moments and heartbreaking in her more sobering ones. Eileen Atkins and Toni Collette are mere cameos, but both are splendid in their roles. Collette actually steals the show, and the more I watch the film, the more enamored am I of her performance. Kitty is real to her, and so she is real to us.

Nicole Kidman’s legendary portrayal of Virginia Woolf is more than the talk of that damned nose would have you believe. Of the three leads, hers is the best performance. Her desperation for London life is understandable, but Kidman never forgets that Woolf was an altogether humorous woman. Smiling slyly, secretly at the maids and the family, there is a mischievous charm to Virginia that is immediately attractive. She is equally matched by the understated and brilliant performance of Stephen Dillane (as Leonard Woolf) and the calculatedly exaggerated posturing of Miranda Richardson (as her sister, Vanessa Bell).

And now we come to the problem. The 1950s storyline is simple: the trapped housewife wanting to get away from it all. It’s been done to death, but if all the elements are in play, even the stalest of routines can seem fresh. Not so here. Daldry has his actors deliver their roles as though to a theatre audience, with sweeping gestures and “dramatic” breakdowns. Julianne Moore, an actress I usually like, is…well, her performance as Laura Brown is a little embarrassing. It’s not a very good, mostly crying and smiling bravely. “What a performance!” we should be thinking. “Where’s Meryl?” we say instead. Only Collette and John C. Reilly breathe life into this dull, underwritten segment. Moore, at least, is able to acquit herself thanks to the final sequence between Clarissa and Elderly Laura.

And I almost forgot to mention the beautiful score by Philip Glass! It is haunting and mesmerizing, though at times a little too intense for what it is underscoring. Its beauty cannot be called into question, however, and it is further evidence that Glass stands alongside such legends as Beethoven and Schubert in the realm of orchestral music.

There is much to love and admire about The Hours. But was it the Best Picture of 2002?

The Hours AT THE OSCARS
Nominations: 9
Won: 1
Best Picture
Stephen Daldry, Best Director
Nicole Kidman, Best Actress (WON)
Ed Harris, Best Supporting Actor
Julianne Moore, Best Supporting Actress
Philip Glass, Best Original Score
Ann Roth, Best Costume Design
Peter Boyle, Best Editing
keith richards, rolling stones

THE HOURSSSS

I really loved this movie. Afterwards, and pretty much since then, I’ve been trying to think of what to say, and I can’t quite find the words. So I am going to do a bulleted list, because that’ll be easier. And just to say it now, I didn’t find anything bad in this movie.

THE GOOD:
- The intertwineyness of the three stories, and how it is initially introduced. Beautiful. I love the first ten minutes or so like, so very much.
- Ed Harris. You are amazing.
- When we find out that that Richard is Richie, Laura’s son. The photograph he’s holding, the shot of the little boy in the window. Oh my God. I had forgotten this part, and it made me absolutely burst into tears.
- Virginia Woolf’s interactions with the maids.
- Stephen Dillane’s protrayl of Leonard Woolf. When he finds her letter and rushes out, when he sees that she has gone to the train station, and when he confronts her at the train station.
- Nicole Kidman, and her glorious nose.
- Meryl Streep, who can totally do no wrong.
- Jeff Daniels’ scene with Meryl. I love their interaction.
- Jon C. Reilly. Awwww.
- The scene in the flowershop.
- The protraylal of the relationship between Miranda Richardson’s character, Vanessa Bell, and Virgina Woolf. You could really tell they were sisters, and how close their bond was.
- THE BIRD FUNERAL. OMG.
- Julianne Moore in the old lady makeup. Very believable, holy crap.
- Ed Harris’ death. Omg. Ugh. Whoa. And Meryl’s reaction to him, before and after. Whoa.
- The music. HIGH. TENSION.
- The cinematography and direction. Genius!

THE OKAY:
- Julianne Moore. I don’t usually like her, and she’s better in this than other things I’ve seen her in, but she seems mighty stiff the majority of the movie. I guess it works pretty well, for the most part.
- Claire Danes. I dunno. I don’t like her very much, I don’t think she’s a very good actress and I felt like she kinda brought the parts down that she was in.
- The water filling up Julianne Moore’s hotel room. Weird.
- Toni Collette. She feels kind of out of place to me, I like her one minute and the next I don’t. Weird.
- The explanation of the relationship between Meryl, Jeff Daniels and Ed Harris. I can never tell what went on there. Sometimes when I think about it I think more went on there with the three of them than really did. I’m just not getting it very well. Ed’s obsessed with Meryl but he was with Jeff longer? It confuses me a little. But I still like it. Rofl.
- Miranda Richard’s boys. Dude. So annoying. LOL.

Hopefully there aren't too many errors in there. So yeah, I pretty much loved this movie. Not one part I really HATED. I’ll end this with some of my favorite images from the film.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I believe I may have my first sentence.

The first movie on our list I haven't actually seen before! Very exciting, I think you'll find. And now! The Hours!


The Good:

-- Ed Harris. I think you're fantastic, Ed.
-- Stephen Daldry's direction.
-- Beautiful sets. Everything looked so real and individual.
-- All the acting was very good. I was right there most of the time, you know?
-- The nose. I dig the nose.
-- Virginia Woolf, in 1921: (writing) Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
Laura Brown, in 1951: (reading) Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
Clarissa Vaughan, in 2001: Sally, I think I'll buy the flowers myself.
-- The partners of the women, John C. Reilly, Stephen Dillane, and Allison Janney
-- The scene at the train station.
-- Laura's attempted suicide scene, with the water.
-- Virginia Woolf, she had my favourite story-line.
-- Random period slash! Only my favourite kind!

The Bad:

-- My main beef with these movie: It starts out about three stories of three women, not connected in any other way other than the appearance of this one book Virginia Woolf wrote -- Laura is reading it, Clarissa is almost acting it out. So you know they're connected there, and then they are connected by the central themes of the move: the alienation, the helplessness, the desire for love and happiness. And that's great, that's wonderful, I'm so there with it....and then two of the story lines get connected even more, leaving the other one out. Having Ed Harris's character in the Julianne Moore and the Meryl Streep stories, and having that realization after the movie has been on for an hour, seems very cheap to me. Hokey. I think it also lessened the Virginia Woolf story, made it feel less important. Maybe there is something about the book Woolf is writing that is more integral to the other stories, but I didn't get it, as I've never read the book, and film makers making something using a literary work has to assume the watcher isn't aquainted with said work if they're going to use something necessary to their overall story.
-- Julianne Moore's storyline was lacking at times. I wanted more.
-- Phillip Glass. I don't want to feel tense and anxious watching someone talking about making a cake, because then I think I missed something important.
-- Why does no one want to be married to John C. Reilly?
-- The last line. It would have been fine if it had just been "Always the hours." Instead it was "Always...~*THE HOURS*~" Like, okay, thanks, I haven't actually forgotten the name of the movie, I've been watching it for nearly two hours.


Overall, it's an excellent movie. The best? Hmmm.

However.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I think we all wish we could be as fierce as this nose.
keith richards, rolling stones

THE HOURS

Tonight, we continued with 2003, finally, and we watched The Hours!

Photobucket

Post your reviews in new entries so we can see what you thought. The next movie we'll be watching is The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers! Have a good Thanksgiving, you guys :D

Lower Manhattan's Five Points

I enjoy Gangs of New York a little more with each viewing.

True, some of the acting is out of this world (D-Day), but what really drew me in this time was the creation of a believable universe...taking suspension of disbelief into account of course.

In this movie there is an atmosphere. There isn't a set, there aren't actors (most of the time) and the successful execution of this alone makes it, to my mind, a fine piece of filmmaking. The environment was so well developed that I forgot at times that this story was bordering on a complete bullshit take on actual events that transpired in New York!

That being said let's cover some of my main concerns:



Cameron Diaz was an utter waste in this film, to the point that I refuse to address her by her character's name. Her character was pointless and stupid. Also, she is despicably unattractive. She could have at least gotten knocked up by Amsterdam which I will touch on again later...WOOF! WOOF!



Now, Bill the Butcher, that's a name I can understand. Now we have business. Haha! He makes this movie. End of story. But in all honesty, my shitty writing skills can't do justice to this man's performance so I'll just go ahead and say it: Wow!

Okay, now the tricky part. How do I feel about Amsterdam? Well, the very first time I watched this movie I was totally for him murdering Bill and avenging his father's death.

But on second and third viewings I realized that he was a real asshole to try and backstab (quite literally) Bill, who takes him in under his "dragon wings". Bill killed his father "Priest" Vallon in a fair fight. Granted, the whole gang war thing was stupid in the first place, but Vallon was extinguished fairly and squarely. Bill expresses his love and respect for the Priest to Amsterdam and even enshrines a photo of the man. My favorite part is when Bill kisses Amsterdam on the head, second hand and basically spells out that he is the closest thing to a son he has ever had.


Damn


The revenge thing pisses me off because at the end of the day, Amsterdam wasn't acting for the better good of the community at all. All he cared about was himself and revenge (one of the seven deadly sins). Amsterdam isn't a hero at all, just like Bill and his father before him he is wrapped up in this bloodshed and culture war horseshit to the end...

Which is why I think he should have died at the end. He has a cute little narrative bit at the very end of the film about how the "old ways" have been swept away and bla bla bla. Amsterdam should have died. He was a part of the old ways and he was consumed by the old ways. I don't care how he died, but he should have before the movie was through for that monologue to be worth anything. Road to Perdition covered a similar theme and the son in that movie was at all times entirely removed from committing the type of violence of his father's generation so it worked. Amsterdam really should have died.

And I think I've come up with the perfect solution to many of this film's problems:

1) It would make Cameron Diaz worth including in the film
2) It would be a great excuse to keep that last monologue in

Amsterdam impregnates Cameron!!!!

Then the kid can see the new world, free of baseless cultural hatred! YAY

irishbaby


The score for this film was entirely hit or miss. The folk songs were excellent and the rock songs fucking sucked and completely detracted from the experience.

If it were my movie, I would have taken out much of the second half because it lost its momentum and sight of its main purpose. Some of the scenes in the movie were overdone and too over-the top

I would have liked to see the story continue its focus on the relationship between Bill and Amsterdam, but I still love what was accomplished in this film.


endnyc

THE INFAMOUS SHOT

challenge accepted

Another bullet list. Yeah, fuck you. Also, I write this like the actors are actually going to receive my criticism for a movie made five years ago like they could actually fix things. Whatever.

Good:

– Daniel Day-Lewis. Come on. What the fuck, I don’t even need to say anything here, this is just filling up space.
– Bill the Butcher. Which is DIFFERENT from the above because I’m not talking about the actor, I’m talking about the character himself. What a brilliantly written role. The most fully developed of all, there is absolutely no reason to like this guy and we can’t help but love him, completely. An true example of what every writer strives for with their characters.
– Leonardo DiCaprio. Oh man, what a good performance. He simply writhes with his confusion on screen, aware of Amsterdam’s honest need to avenge his father warring with his genuine respect for Bill. His best scenes are the ones without the voice over, where he is allowed to let his acting tell the story for him. He retains an innocent, simple quality – knowledge of what is the right thing to do and what is the wrong thing to do, even when tested time and time again, even when he sees the horrible things going on all around him.
– The costumes. I love love love costumes. Big hats? Who needs a big hat? Random extra? You get big hat! You, other extra! You get an even bigger hat!
– I love the score. Every time I hear Irish-sounding music, I just want to start jigging. I don’t know.
– The backdrop of the draft. Really smart, I thought. Gives a time period without being pointless or overdone.
– John C. Reilly. I first saw you in this and Chicago. Imagine my complete and utter surprise when I saw you doing comedy. What an amazing performance.
– Jim Broadbent. Way to make me wish you were my awesome Uncle Jim, again.
– Brendan Gleeson. I’m sick and tired of you being so hardcore, Gleeson. Please stop it, you’re making everyone else seem inferior.
– Liam Neeson. You could make me believe in God, Priest Vallon. Ruff.
(I’m such a horndog. How do I have friends.)
– I’ve only seen this movie like, three times, so I can’t really recall all of my favourite scenes or shots. I do love the opening fight scene, with the music and all. I love the end shot of Bill and Amsterdam lying in the dust. The fire and the firefighter's fight. The scenes where Amsterdam saves Bill’s life and when Amsterdam tries to kill Bill were fantastic, as was Bill’s chat with a post-coital Amsterdam as he’s wrapped in the American Flag. The sequence of the Irish immigrants stepping off the boats, enlisting into the army, then getting onto another boat to go fight, to the coffins being loaded off the boat. Also, the poor little bunny rabbit, along with the scene that leads up to the poor little bunny rabbit’s demise, with Amsterdam hanging it on the fence. The cross-cuts of Amsterdam, Bill, and the rich family praying the day before the fight/mob riot. The many, many, many scenes of Amsterdam praying. Yummy.
– The sexual tension between Amsterdam and Bill. So thick Bill could cut it with one of his many knives, know what I’m saying?

Bad

– Cameron Diaz. I know, I know, how cliche. I like Cameron Diaz, but I think she really shines in comedy more. She really felt out of place in this film.
– The character of Johnny. Way pointless.
– Five points. Five points five points five points. Five points? Five points five points! I GET IT ALREADY THAT’S WHERE THEY LIVE.
– During the fight scenes, when it looks like the character is beating the camera man. I hate those shots, they are really annoying.
- The significance of Bill scarring Amsterdam's face after his betrayal...only to have that scar disappear within a few scenes. What the hell, I'm pretty sure burns leave more of a mark than that. Maybe I'm just weird and like men all marked up. Whatever, you know it makes no sense either.
– The Disappearing Voice-Over. In the beginning, being all poetic and stuff, then disappearing in the middle, only to appear again at the end to be even more poetic and repetitive.
– The accents. Holy hell, guys. Americans, I’m looking at you. You had D-Day and Jim doing great accents, why can’t you keep it together, DiCaprio? Diaz? John C. Reilly manages to do just fine.
– In part with the above, several times the slang seemed really uncomfortable and stand-out, when it should really just flow easy in conversation.
– The end shot. I’m sorry, Allie, I know you love it, and I didn’t mind it the first couple times I watched it, but this time it felt really...cheesy, I don’t know. It could have been the song they play over it.
– I hate U2.


All in all, this is a really good movie. A great movie, at times. But best? As of now, in my opinion, there were some crimes committed at that year's Oscars, but does that mean anything?

Photobucket

Not to him, it seems. Although that could be because he was too busy fucking Adrian Brody's mother that night to notice.
keith richards, rolling stones

bill is a PIMP.

As you all know, Gangs of New York is on my top ten favorite movies of all time. But, that does not mean that I was unable to watch it objectively. Even doing so, I still see an absolutely beautiful movie that captures my heart and leaves me speechless. So… I guess I’ll start with the things I did not like, and save the things I liked for last.

Like Walter, I don’t really like Johnny Sirocco, played by Henry Thomas. He isn’t that interesting of a character, and he alerts Bill to who Amsterdam is, and what he is going to do. I don’t think this part makes much sense; his reason really sucks and he gets Amsterdam all jacked up and he gets himself killed. But, seriously, without him telling Bill and making him all angry, we would not have had the awesome scene with Bill throwing the knives at Jenny, and yelling “WHOOPSIE DAISY!” (A fantastic improvisation by Mr. Day-Lewis). But yeah, I can understand why this plot device would irritate people. It really is a weak point.

Photobucket

I don’t really like Cameron Diaz in this role. She doesn’t look right for this time, her accent goes in and out and it’s really noticeable, and dude, I know, but really, Kate Winslet would have done this role so much better. She’s a far superior actress, it would have paired her and DDL together and that would have ROCKED my world, and she and Leo would have been together again, actually ending up together, and that would have been wonderful! I mean, Cameron did alright, she didn’t ruin the movie completely, but she really did bring down the scenes that she was in.

My least favorite scene is probably the one where Amsterdam is recuperating, and Jenny is talking to him about going to San Francisco. I like the way it looks, but it just has a kind of awkward feel to it. And it seriously hurts my brain to think that they have to travel that far, I mean what the hell.

I tried to think of other things that I didn’t like and couldn’t come up with them. So, on to things I did like.

I think Leonardo DiCaprio was fantastic in this role. He does really well showing a man who wants revenge for what happened to his father, but who is also getting to like the man who he is supposed to kill. The relationship between Amsterdam and the Butcher is amazing. Every I watch this movie, I am amazed by Bill’s actions towards Amsterdam; especially the part where he tips his hat to him after Amsterdam saves him. I feel like that one simple action is such a huge deal, and everyone who is there knows, just by that, what Amsterdam has come to mean to Bill. He pays him the ultimate compliment by tipping his hat to him. No one else in that room would receive treatment like that. The man had come to view him as a son, the son he never had, and that’s why it’s even more tragic when Amsterdam has to betray him.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

You guys know how I feel about Daniel Day-Lewis. The man is an acting GOD. The first time I saw the movie, I didn’t even know it was him. Totally serious. Daniel Day-Lewis only shows up once in this film, and that’s when he smiles. The whole rest of the time, it’s Bill the Butcher. Daniel is unrecognizable. This is a powerhouse performance, and the character saves the movie. It would not be nearly as good if he wasn’t in it. The second he appears on screen he just takes over. He steals every single scene he’s in, and when he’s not on the screen, you are wondering where he is. His respect for Priest Vallon is absolutely staggering, and adds even more to my love for him. How he treats Amsterdam, how he takes to him, so much so that he is willing to share the spotlight with him at the boxing match, is amazing. You love Bill, you love to hate him, and you’re just a little bit disappointed when he dies in the end. It is a travesty, in my opinion, that Daniel Day-Lewis did not take home the Oscar for this role. I have never seen anything like it. And dude. That fucking… scene… with the rabbit. MY. LORD. He slays me.

Photobucket

John C. Reilly, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent and Liam Neeson also give wonderful performances in this movie, and add a lot to it with their characters.

I love the cinematography of this movie, the costumes, the scenery, and the score. The last shot, with the graves fading through time is one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever seen.
So, yeah, I love this movie. I watched it last night with an open mind, and I still pretty much felt the same way I always have. Now, here’s this.

Photobucket

"Yeah, I fucked your girlfriend."
billy mack

The Dissolves That Built America

Gangs of New York works in so many ways. Daniel Day-Lewis's Oscar-nominated performance is a wonder: surely, this can't be Christy Brown, Cecil Vyse, or Daniel Plainview. Surely, you jest! Leonardo DiCaprio gives an intense performance that allows him to furrow his eyebrows majestically (Lord, he loves doing that). The costumes and sets are both beautiful and grimy, a perfect balance between the Five Points and Uptown that meets its center with Bill the Butcher (Day-Lewis). When the story focuses on the conflict between Bill and Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio), it clicks both cinematically and emotionally.

But...

Martin Scorcese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker love the dissolve. Never have I seen a director more enamored of the dissolve (and the slo-mo) than with Scorcese. And it really bugs me. It always brings me out of a movie. Dissolves should be purposeful, should bring a kind of emotional response that a mere cut cannot achieve. Scorcese and Schoonmaker use far too many. Maybe they don't like cuts, but holy crap, is there anything more self-indulgent than a two-and-a-half-hour series of dissolves? Wanting to get to the next scene, refusing to leave the present one, making sure the audience SEES EVERYTHING in your IMPORTANT MOVIE. Ugh.

Although Henry Thomas does a good job in trying to humanize him, the Plot Device (aka Johnny Sirocco) is a criminally underwritten character. His dialogue is mainly exposition dealing with the changes in the Five Points during Amsterdam's absence. Then he plays the Judas role for one scene. Because the plot needs to be furthered. Look, Will wears Priest Vallon's St. Michael charm at his waistcoat -- could not Dead Rabbit-turned-henchman McGloin (Gary Lewis) have noticed this? Or maybe give Plot Device a reason other than jealousy. His death is a mercy-killing in more than one way -- perhaps the three screenwriters knew they were up a creek with this one.

I completely respect the desire to make Gangs of New York a history of New York City. There are ways of doing it that can both entertain and enlighten. One of them is not showing various headlines, political cartoons, and newspaper articles of the period that give us the same information (or, if a cartoon, the same visuals) that is about to be revealed to us. It comes off as more self-indulgent back-patting, an opportunity for the filmmakers to say, "See what a great job we did? Research is fun!" This is a problem in many of the voice-overs. Show me, don't tell me. If I know there's a War, and coffins are lining the dock, I'm going to assume that those coffins carry dead soldiers. I don't need Amsterdam to fill me in.

But don't get me wrong. The rest of the film works just fine. The performances, as I say, are fantastic. John C. Reilly, determined to be in the Best Picture winner that year, has a small role as an Irish cop; it stands as one of his best performances, brogue and all. Cameron Diaz, despite an Irish accent that fades every now and then, is quite good here, a match, at times, for DiCaprio -- though one wonders what someone like Kate Winslet would have done with this role. Jim Broadbent kicks so much ass as Boss Tweed. He and Day-Lewis give the best performances in the film.

Howard Shore's score is wonderful, as well. The sudden introduction of a rock score at the beginning is a little jolting, but what a fantastic fusion of New York past and present. U2's "The Hands That Built America" appropriately caps the whole thing off.

And Bill the Butcher is such a beautifully realized human being. You love him and you hate him. He's a murderer, a racist, a criminal! But he has honor, he commands respect, he keeps up some sort of social proprieties. And look at that hat.



LOOK AT IT.



LOOK! AT! IT!



How can you not side with a man who sports such millinery?

Bottom Line: Gangs of New York is so close to being a GREAT movie. Alas, it falls just short.

Gangs of New York AT THE OSCARS
Nominations: 10
Won: 0
Best Picture
Martin Scorsese, Best Director
Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Actor
Jay Cocks/Kenneth Lonergan/Steven Zaillian, Best Original Screenplay
Michael Ballhaus, Best Cinematography
Bono/The Edge/Adam Clayton/Larry Mullen, Jr. -- "The Hands That Built America", Best Original Song
Sandy Powell, Best Costume Design
Thelma Schoonmaker, Best Editing
Dante Ferretti/Francesca La Schiavo, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration
Tom Fleischman/Eugene Gearty/Ivan Sharrock, Best Sound

(no subject)

Chicago really impressed me the first time I saw it with my father a few years ago. Aesthetically it was stunning and I felt that thematically, it was daring. That was before I knew anything about film in the critical sense. Haha, oh how jaded I’ve become…

It’s a fun flick. I’ll give it that. There are a couple great musical numbers throughout and the cinematography alone was enough to keep me watching, but was that the only thing keeping me watching? That and the fact that it’s on the list for our Best Picture Show?



Catherine Fucking Zeta-Jones in this movie is, as Walter described her, “fierce”. Velma’s a feisty force to be reckoned with and I sympathized with her character more than Roxie’s.

Roxie is a dumb slut that shot a man that was using her for sex even though she was using him for fame. Poor Amos. Geez that guy just can’t catch a break.

Velma on the other hand, murders her cheating husband and sister when she catches them in the act. Bona Fide Badassery.

My favorite Velma moment is when her torn fishnet is exposed at the end of the movie when she proposes the two-person act to Roxie. She manages to maintain her composure and image regardless of her economic situation and that’s honorable.

My favorite scene is the eye-opening hanging of Hunyak. It’s so damn disturbing. Applause, performance, cheering, and death all intercut is just unsettling to say the least. I think it’s fairly obvious that it was the standout scene of the movie.



Cell Block Tango
is my favorite song by far. It’s enjoyable, the music is good and it furthers the story. What more could you ask for?

The finale with Roxie and Velma is good but mainly because the conflicts are resolved and the movie ends with the protagonist’s success.

Honestly, Roxie wasn’t written to be likeable huh?

I wish something more had been done with Mama’s character because as she stood in the film version, she really didn’t do anything for me. She sang a funny and raunchy song sure, but after that I didn’t see her doing much to contribute to anything. Huge waste of potential if you ask me. Pun intended.

Roxie existed, whatever. She’s a bitch and she’s obsessed with herself.

Richard Gere nailed Billy Flynn. ‘Nuff said.

Overall, there were some fantastic performances here. I think the main obstacle for me is the fact that I don’t relate to or like the main character! The cinematography was outstanding. A few of the songs were truly memorable. The musical device works here because it’s all about show business and fame. Was it my favorite of ’03? Hmmm